Today was one of the best days of my life. My wonderful family and friends joined me to celebrate my 20,000th day on Earth.
The entertainment action included unicycling and I was treated to something truly extraordinary.
I gave a demonstration and explained the fundamental principles of riding a unicycle. Three candidates decided to give it a go, my two sons, aged 32 and 27, and my almost ten year old grand daughter.
Both my sons made remarkable progress but my eldest son’s performance was exceptional. He got a feel for it on a fence over a few minutes then I invited him to try a block mount.
Much to the delight of all in attendance, within a few minutes, he proceeded to ride half a revolution, then one, then one and a half, then two and on. By this time these were not achievement milestones among failures but consecutive runs.
By the end of his first session he could ride several metres. By this time he clearly had adequate functional control of the unicycle and was riding at a level that has taken me many, many hours to achieve.
On his third session of the afternoon he very nearly achieved a free mount then block mounted, riding the whole ten metres across the front lawn and was beginning to negotiate the turn to ride back when he fell.
His only previous exposure to unicycling was watching me a couple of times for a few minutes in January.
It’s amazing when someone gets it that quickly. Did your son express any interest in getting a unicycle of his own and continuing to ride?
Hee, hee, hee, " A Chip Off The Old Block"
Sounds like the best party ever! Doesn’t that make you both proud and jealous at the same time?
My brother was like that. Anything that needed good balance was easy for him. I told my folks that I took up unicycling and they remembered it only took him a day to learn. I tried his uni once many years ago but didn’t really know the right way to learn when it doesn’t come so naturally. He wasn’t around to teach me.
Unicycling makes great memories.
I wasn’t really jealous because I can ride quite well now. Just absolutely amazed. Others who watched had no idea just how extraordinary it was. They probably assume unicycling is no where near as difficult as it is.
It was a fabulous day. To have both my sons actually riding a uni within their first session was incredible. The younger son managed a few metres after a bit of practice but was always losing control throughout. The elder one looked like an experienced rider literally within minutes.
He has always had a great sense of balance, walking at seven months of age without crawling first. He works in native vegetation regeneration and is known by his colleagues to walk in places that they wouldn’t dare. He also rides wakeboards behind a speedboat.
The uni was a KH 19 inch trials with a Creepy Crawly tyre. He was riding across the grass lawn pocked with undulations.
He said he would be back to try more. I will get him onto a smooth surface.
We have video of some of the riding. I will edit it down and post some time.
Second learning session today.
My son picked up where he left off several weeks ago, riding right across the front yard over and over again by the third of fourth run.
I had just commented that we need to go to a bigger space when I had to take an important phone call. So he kept doing it. I returned to find him attempting a wheel walk!
He had done wheel walks on his bike as a kid. Sit on the handlebars and wheel walk in a circle centered on the back wheel. I am beginning to see how he learnt to ride a unicycle in twenty minutes.
We went to a local park with fairly flat grass and off he went until he literally went down down hole. “Seems easier on the gravel” he commented later after exploring the terrain.
Next to the netball courts. Across the hard court then the grass court, coming off when the surface got really rough beyond the grass court at sixty metres.
Holding a goal post he hops about getting the cranks into position. Then lets go of the post and takes off.
On to the road optimised 24 inch Torker. “Oh I get it”, after a few shaky starts and he rides it thirty metres coming off trying to negotiate a turn.
His natural ability must surely be quite rare.
For a second there I was thinking you sons were preteens, :pthen I all sudden realized they’re at the ripe age of 32 and 27; capable of producing kids that I originally thought you were talking about. .
In my line of work, I work with lots of older customers that always talk of their children like they were still kids…then I realized, when they mention their age…, ‘wow’ their childrens’ older than i am! why o why? :D:D
Just kidding, good job teaching, btw.
We had our third training session today. The goal was steering.
It was raining so we used the multi-story council car park. (Hey it only said “No bicycles or skate boards”;)) The designers thoughtfully fitted perfect starting blocks right around the outside too. It was obviously designed for unis.
After a few short runs to get the feel again he rode it directly back toward one of the blocks, stopping just before it and, in three bounces, turned around and stood there perfectly balanced for a moment looking at me saying “how do I take off again?”
He was so completely balanced during the turn he couldn’t take off because he hadn’t realised he needed to lean forward. I didn’t have time to absorb what I had just seen let alone convey what he had to do.
I have tried repeatedly to do a simple rolling hop without success and he just does that on his first attempt. This is utterly uncanny to watch.
He was soon out onto the road, across the kerb ramp doing drops that phase me. Then up the big ramp and down.
After some persistence he managed several free mounts.
I have now loaned the uni to him and eagerly await him becoming my uni instructor.