Hi, I have read several things about idling. The 9 - 3 ‘half rotations’ and such, but my question is this:

Do you constantly rotate your pedals back and forth, or do you only do it when you’re about to loose balance, and thaqt tire movement will save you? Or is it personal pref?

[QUOTE]
Originally posted by Sofa
[B]Hi, I have read several things about idling. The 9 - 3 ‘half rotations’ and such, but my question is this:

Do you constantly rotate your pedals back and forth, or do you only do it when you’re about to loose balance, and thaqt tire movement will save you? Or is it personal pref? >>

>>>>>> If I’ve understood correctly, you’re asking, “Do I have to keep going back and forth to idle, or can I sit still and only go back and forth when I need to?”

Just siting still would probably be called a ‘static rest’ or some similar name. It’s difficult to do for more than a second or two as nothing ‘dynamic’ is happening. The uni just sits there until it gradually tips in one direction or another. The more perfect the static stand, the harder it is to predict which way it will eventually fall. Once it starts to fall sideways, there is little you can do to stop it, due to Newton’s laws, but if it falls forwards or backwards, you can usually catch it with a half idle.

On the other hand, when you are idling, you are in a position of dynamic stability. You are always ‘falling’ one way or the other, so it is very clear at any moment which way you have to counteract the fall. Also, if you start to fall sideways, the wheel automatically goes into a slight curve which tends to throw the centre of gravity back over the wheel. (When idling, the wheel follows a curved path - usually an s, but sometimes a c. (If it follows a treble clef, then you’ve really got something.)

So, the answer to your question, the long way round, is that they are two separate skills, but if you want to idle for longer than a second or two, or if you are in a real riding situation, a constant back and forth of the wheel, with constant reflex correction of balance is the way to go.

A simpler answer is: it’s much much easier to idle with a bit of forward and backward movement, so do it that way. :0)

My question about idling is whether you really need to go all the way to the 9 and 3 positions. I have been having moderate success with learning to idle (record 53 “idles” with left foot down), but I find that I am most successful when I don’t make my motions quite as big and go to 7-8 and 4-5 rather than 3 and 9. I only tend to go to 3 and 9 with big corrections. Should I break myself of this habit now?

Also, I find that I have a tendency to move sideways (cumulatively) while idling. Usually to the left (when my left foot is down). Is this normal?

Thanks.

Myakishnock
“The Silly Sound of Silence”

> Hi, I have read several things about idling. The 9 - 3 ‘half
> rotations’ and such, but my question is this:

> Do you constantly rotate your pedals back and forth, or do
> you only do it when you’re about to loose balance, and
> thaqt tire movement will save you?

The answer to this is self-evident when you try it. Based on the concept
that idling is supposed to keep you balanced while not riding forward, you
do with the pedals what’s necessary to stay balanced. Pedal forward, wait
till you’re falling the other way, pedal back.

As you get better at it, you can do it in a rhythm, but this would come
after getting the balance down. Someone who’s good at idling can do it in
super-so-mo too, moving the pedals only once every few seconds.

Enjoy practicing,
JF

I find I tend to drift from side to side when idling if I don’t have most of my weight on the seat. Put your weight on the seat. Repeat.

On Thu, 9 May 2002 11:15:46 -0700, John Foss <john_foss@asinet.com>
wrote:

>Someone who’s good at idling can do it in
>super-so-mo too, moving the pedals only once every few seconds.

I am NOT good at idling but I occasionally have a funny thing a bit
similar to what you describe. If I go into idling from forwards
riding, I sometimes misestimate the forwards/backwards equilibrium
point. So my first few idles are asymmetric and sometimes I will
standstill for one or two seconds at one of the ends. After some idles
it will develop into a symmetrical thing.

## Klaas Bil

“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked automagically from a database:”
“ISG, Competitor, bird dog”

Sortaontopic- pedal rolling

For the longest time my ‘iddle’ was a tight roll-back, requiring top foot controll. As a consiquence, I couldn’t one foot iddle at all- as soon as the top foot left the game, the wheel would stop. Somebody (Greg?) described iddling as a pumping, rolling motiong (then again, he describes alot of things that way…) with the foot. I’v kept this in mind as I practice, and have started to develope a ‘true’ iddle- much tighter, controlled, etc. It has also helped a good deal with my weak foot iddling.

I foot iddling just might be do-able now -someday.

Christopher

Re: Sortaontopic- pedal rolling

Mmmmmm…pump…roll…mmmmm

Just don’t try idling on uni.5

A few comments based on the above:

After a while idling becomes like a sort of riding-in-place. The constant motion is necessary to keep going in a straight line, using the same kinds of minor course corrections involved in riding forward or backward.

The only requirement to call it normal idling, as far as I know, is that the pedals cross the vertical line (12:00); the 9 and 3 are truly the extreme ends of the idling motion. If your goal is to idle as long as possible, you want to avoid the extremes because they waste energy.

Idling, by definition, is not just motions-to-keep-balance. It “requires” the continuous change in direction; otherwise the idle is broken.

Idling on rough terrain, in my experience, essentially requires the use of the top foot to overcome the bumps; the rougher or spongier the surface, the more the top foot is involved. I’m still working on one-footed idling, though, so this opinion may change.

I am finding that 1-idling (idling with one half-cycle between endpoints, so that the bottom foot is different from forward to back; see http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=17099&highlight=0idling) is a great tool for finding and working on weak points in my circular motion / power over the full 360 degrees, especially for backwards rotations. By slowing the 1-idle way down, the jerkiness in my rotation really shows up - embarassingly so! Moreover, since I am staying in place and repeating the action, I can focus more closely on that part of the circle than if I were just riding backwards. This exercise helps force me to put more weight on seat and to relax. It also makes a good companion for practicing new mounts.

One foot idling is easy. It’s all about getting your foot up there.

My foot keeps getting lost.

> Just don’t try idling on uni.5

Why not? You just have to use the super-slo-mo method. With the new Kovachi
wheel, the tire probably won’t rub like it did when I idled on it…

JF

> Just don’t try idling on uni.5

Why not? You just have to use the super-slo-mo method. With the new Kovachi
wheel, the tire probably won’t rub like it did when I idled on it…

JF

> My question about idling is whether you really need to go all
> the way to the 9 and 3 positions.

No. Those are general guidelines to explain the foot motion. Going all the
way to 3 and 9 is actually a little risky because if you go too far it can
cause problems for beginner-idlers.

> that I am most successful when I don’t make my motions quite as big

Use big idles to be “showy”, and small idles to be lazy. Most of my idles
are very small, unless I’m exaggerating the motion on purpose, such as when
right on the edge of (above) the audience on my 6’.

> Also, I find that I have a tendency to move sideways (cumulatively)
> while idling. Usually to the left (when my left foot is
> down). Is this normal?

It is if you want to go in that direction. Practice doing it in the other
direction. Once you can do it both ways you can decide if you want to go
anywhere or not.

Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
jfoss@unicycling.com

“If people want to truly understand mountain biking, they have to do two
other things: ride a unicycle, and master the trampoline.” – Joe Breeze,
one of the originators of mountain biking, in a conversation with Tim Bustos