Re: has anyone ever piggybacked someone on a uni

> In article <33E923B5.4A2@netcom.ca>, djw <djw1@netcom.ca> wrote:
> >I tried recently to give someone a piggyback ride on my uni, but I was too
> >afraid for my volunteer, who, while brave and fearless, had her dad watching
> >this particularly stupid uni trick so I chickened out.
> Might depend how old she is, and how much she weighs compared to you. I am 63
> kg, 1m82 tall, and I have no real problems piggy-backing with a girl who
> weighs 43 kg (and is rather small, 1m65, I guess), and I am not particularly
> athletic. Stronger types should have no problems with heavier persons.
>
> Piggy-backing someone on a uni is not extremely difficult, but it is a lot
> easier if she holds herself rather straight and doesn’t try to help you
> compensate for what’s going on (okay, you can also do it bearing guys… but
> as it is easier to find light-weight girls… why not enjoy the fun ?)

Ok, it’s easier to find light weighted girls, but I have made the experience
that boys/men sit more upright and clamp themself more tight with their legs to
your back. I think this is due to the extra amount of strength an average man
has compared to an average woman. Don’t get me wrong there are strong women and
there are weak men, but averaging a man is stronger than a woman. Warning: be
careful when hopping piggyback with a man. It could result in pains for your
passenger!

> It might look a bit scary at first, as stability is much better when going
> forward. You also need a long straight line to get used to it before trying to
> turn… As long as you can find a solid post to climb onto the unicycle, and
> another one to dismount, everything should be okay.
>
> Somebody to watch over the person you’re carrying might help, for confidence.

For not endangering your volunteers I suggest to practice with a heavy backpack
at first. That’s the way I started. I especially practiced unintentional
dismounting as this is a thing you MUST be able to handle, when riding with any
human on your shoulders. YOU are completely responsible for your volunteer. When
dropping only one person seriously it is hard to find another one to sit or
stand on your shoulders. I once dropped a friend when practicing wheelwalking
with her on my shoulders. There were no injuries but both of us had been scared
to death. It was the first time we realized that riding piggyback could be
dangerous. Ok, we went on practicing and showed piggyback wheelwalking together
with the piggyback kick-up-mount, spins, hopping, riding one footed, stillstand
and some other nice skills with the two of us on one unicycle at the next german
championships in the pairs freestyle competition. You can see a picture from
this routine at
http://spectrum.Mathematik.HU-Berlin.DE/~stroess/pictures/biggi_stand.jpg

> This is one of the cases where I find a larger wheel-size notably easier.

I disagree. I started riding piggyback on a 28" uni (weird, isn’t it, but it was
the only uni I had at that time) and it was amazing how my abilities raised when
changing to 20". For instance I never was able to freemount my 28" with someone
on my shoulders. My first attempt on a 20" uni was successful. Ok, meanwhile I’m
able to mount my 28" as well with a passenger, but it took very long.

> In case you can find other riders/volunteers, trying that with two
> riders/piggy-backers holding hands will give you a more stable pattern. Or if
> you have several riders and one piggy-backer, use your friends for support.

Don’t use unicycle riders. It could be dangerous, if you drop your passenger
and he/she falls onto another unicyclist. But your friends may help you by
walking beside and especially behind you to rescue you and especially your
volunteer. Maybe you should mention that the volunteer is the one to pay major
attention on.

> For quick dismounting, the trick is obviously to land on your feet… try to
> slow down, as a running landing is awkward (and dangerous), check that there
> is nothing dangerous in front, and realize that your unicycle will probably be
> thrown in a random direction at first… you will NEED your arms for balance.
>
> Don’t go for long distance, remember to breath, and dismount before being
> tired. Pretty soon, your riding time will get longer, and idling, or mounting
> without a post will get possible.

Once I was on a small unicycle trip with a friend, when her seat broke apart. So
I took her on my shoulders, her unicycle in her hand, mounted my uni (the 28"
again as I use this for distance riding) and took her home for about 2km. It
worked, but it was quite hard. But the incredulous faces of people seeing us
riding like this was a good compensation for the effort.

> Be gentle with your back… you want to stay rather upright, and don’t EVER
> let the pattern start to fall backwards. It is hell to get back upright (last
> time I had this happen to me, it took me two full weeks before my sprained
> muscles stopped protesting)… it obviously might not apply to you if you are
> in perfect physical condition :slight_smile:

Yes, that’s true. I suffered from just the same things after two days of last
Unicon. It was two days with a lot of piggyback riding (several hours a day).
After that it took 3 days to recover.

> As far as records go… I’ve seen a photograph on the web (sorry, I don’t have
> the URL handy) of one german guy riding with 4 children perched everywhere on
> top of him… I also remember that most photographs on that page were very
> impressive.

That guy was me. You can find my photo page (including the picture you
mentioned) at
http://spectrum.Mathematik.HU-Berlin.DE/~stroess/photos/photos_gb.html

Regards, Wolfgang

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