I’ve been practicing wheel walking intensively for several weeks now, and today
I achieved what I feel is a major milestone.
I have been riding indoors at the local YMCA since January, in one of the
aerobic rooms. It has a wooden floor and handily enough, a 2" electrical conduit
running horizontally along one wall about 48" from the floor. It’s on standoffs
so it’s like a big fat handrail. I started rolling along, just learning the
footwork at first, later on trying to get a feel for the front-to-back balance.
After that it was just hundreds of repetitions of ‘get on, roll a bit, fall
off’. While all this was happening I got some sense of side-to-side balance too.
I don't know about you other wheel-walkers, but I found learning the
fundamentals of this skill (I didn't say trick, Jack) to be a real mu... er,
very tough. For me, tougher than learning to ride in the first place.
Learning to ride a uni will sharpen one's sense of balance quite a bit but I
feel wheel-walking requires a sense of balance an order of magnitude higher.
Still have my sights set on learning to coast someday--I can't even imagine
what it takes to do that!
Last week I finally got all the elements coordinated enough to be able to roll 3
wheel revolutions (18 feet) after letting go of the bar on several attempts. Ah,
but today, I started by holding onto a vertical pole in the middle of the room
(one of a pair of volleyball net stands). I managed 4 revs a couple of times,
basically all the way to the wall, and then decided to try starting from a
one-footed idle with no handholds.
I managed to get all the way to the wall on three consecutive attempts, 4 revs
or about 24 feet. I’ve still got a lot of practicing to do of course, and I
still have to learn how to get my feet back on the pedals but I got that great
feeling of success I always get when all my effort in learning a new skill
finally pays off.
I’d brag to my coworkers but since there’s no beer drinking involved, they
wouldn’t be interested. So I brag to people who can appreciate it (that’s you
guys). Thanks for listening.
d. kathrens wrote: > I’d brag to my coworkers but since there’s no beer drinking involved, they > wouldn’t be interested. So I brag to people who can appreciate it (that’s you > guys). Thanks for listening.
Well, while we are all bragging, I thought I’d be the first person from HMC to
tell you all about this year’s Gonzo Madness Foster’s Run. Twenty unicyclists,
eighteen 24" unis, and two 6 foot (20" wheel) giraffes, two chase cars, and
three dedicated uni-club-supporters all made it the 8 miles down historic Route
66 to the best donut shop in all of Los Angeles for a strawberry donut. As if
that weren’t silly enough, four of us made it back “on wheel”, including one of
our frosh members, who swears he’ll make the round-trip for the next three
In the week preceding the ride, I spent a fair amount of time on the giraffes
(since I was one of the giraffe riders). Aside from the Foster’s run itself, my
accomplishment for the week was to free mount it twice. I haven’t been able to
since, though, so I guess I need a little more work. (During the long-distance
ride, I mounted using people and steetlamps, when necessary.)
A full report on the Foster’s run will likely be forthcoming from our
illustrious [and slightly inflamatory ] president, Jim Frinier.
Jeff R. Allen | Senior CS major | Support your local (fnord) | South 351d, x4940 | unicyclist!
> I’ve been practicing wheel walking intensively for several weeks now, and > today I achieved what I feel is a major milestone. > > I started rolling along, just learning the footwork at first, later on trying > to get a feel for the front-to-back balance. After that it was just hundreds > of repetitions of ‘get on, roll a bit, fall off’. While all this was happening > I got some sense of side-to-side balance too.
Having just snapped my axle (Pashley suck but we all know that), wheel walking
is a about the only thing I can do with the uni at present, so I thought I’d
better try learning it. My tactic was to grab an appropriate wall and haul
myself up onto the machine, then just launch and see how far I get.
Very quickly (about 15mins) I plateaued at four or five steps on the wheel. How
far this is in wheel revs, I don’t know, its a tad hard to work out if you’ve
not cranks on the uni. Side to side balance is the main prob, along with my left
foot being excessively slow on the return. Pushing down hard with my heels seems
to held, as does keeping my head up (obviously). Still working on it 'coz
there;s nowt else I can do without pedals and if I work out some amazing magical
solution to the problem I’ll be sure to let you know.
As an aside from this, who in Britain has uni axles for sale. I’d like one of
the SEM cro-moly ones, whatever the proper name is. They have an importer in
> A unicyclist friend of mine in town who also possesses a master’s degree in > engineering insists (jokingly, I think): riding a unicycle has NOTHING to do > with physics.
That’s I think a very good piece of advice for any adult learning to unicycle.
Especially if said adult is an engineer or other academic type. We have too much
tendency to try to analyze when the most educational part of the learning
process comes through the seat of the pants. Ride!
I like that quote enough to elevate it to sig. line status!
>That’s I think a very good piece of advice for any adult learning to >unicycle. Especially if said adult is an engineer or other academic type. We >have too much tendency to try to analyze when the most educational part of the >learning process comes through the seat of the pants. Ride!
“Seat of the pants” is simply an indescript pattern of neuron firings that in
this case somehow result in successful unicycling. It is hardly an educational
process. Analysis is an important part of unicycling education. The point is
analyze before and after, but not durring a unicycle learning attempt.
>“Riding a unicycle has NOTHING to do with physics.” - an unnamed engineer, >trying to help adults learn to ride