Rails are awesome!


First of all I’d like to show my gratitude to Andrew Carter for providing those excellent building instructions at unycycle.2ya.com! I built a few sandwich boards, a gapping bar and what’s more important a practice rail a few weeks ago. Last week I began practicing the rail, and I’ve been working on it a few hours a day since. Today I went on a muni ride, and the aid from my improvement balance was remarkable! I have some nice deforestation areas with pretty rough terrain, lots of mud, branches, drops and deep tracks from lumbering machines to ride in. It’s kind of hard to direct the wheel there, you pretty much have to follow it where decides to go, slipping back and forth on branches and in the mud. Anyway, it was A LOT easier to stay on the wheel today! I managed to get through some truly dreadful sections that I hadn’t got through with less than two UPDs or so before! It’s deer hunting season here now and some fellow was watching me from his hide, it must have looked kind of cool, and I felt really proud. Well, he was probably mostly worried that I would frighten his prey, but I hope he was at least a tiny bit astonished … Or maybe he just thought I was practicing for the circus, how would I know.

So my advice for any muni rider is to find/build a rail, practice it avidly, and then get out there again and feel the difference! :slight_smile:

Oh… by the way, I have already broken two sandwich boards, the wood just splits, one split in the middle and then I rebuilt them with 5 cm thick planks and then it split at the screws where the hinges are instead. Maybe I need to reinforce them somehow. I was not even dropping onto it, just hopping on it… The gapping bar was nice, maybe I should build a few more of those. :slight_smile:

A guy I know was riding a handrail that should have been really easy (about five inches wide), but he fell and broke his ankle. Later I watched the video they got of it and I figured out why: He was riding about as fast as he possibly could. Even after I always tell people to ride slow on skinnies…

Re: Rails are awesome!

Sounds like you are using plain wood. Try using plywood instead of regualr wood. Plywood has the layers built up with the grain of each layer perpendicular to the layer next to it. It makes the plywood much stronger and less prone to splitting. A word of caution, if plywood is left outside in the rain, it will start to fall apart pretty quickly.


That’s great to hear, they are a lot of fun! I’d just like to point out that www.unicycle.2ya.com is actually a joint project between Peter van B and I.

I’ve had the same problem with my most recent sandwich boards. I got a gift voucher for a hardware and bought myself some sheets of wood. The problem was that they only came cut with the grain running down their length so I built the boards like that and now I’ve snapped two. What I’m about to do is glue them back together (you may be surprised how strong glue is) and glue and screw some little bits of wood across the grain on the inside so they’re not visable. That should hold it.

But after building about 7 sandwich boards I’ve decided that the best option is to find old bits of plywood that they’re throwing out (or even particle board holds up pretty well - I haven’t snapped that one) at construction sites and use that. But as Bill mentioned, you should keep them out of the rain.


Re: Rails are awesome!

On Sat, 21 Aug 2004 17:29:03 -0500, “billham” wrote:

>A word of caution, if plywood is
>left outside in the rain, it will start to fall apart pretty quickly.

Plywood comes in two varieties: regular and moisture-resistant. Use
the type that can withstand moisture if you plan on storing your props
outside. It is a bit more expensive because a different (water
resistant) glue is used.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I like the idea of not having to balance when out on a ride - joe