Riding down stairs...

I agree with what terry says about riding down stairs. I’ll just emphasize
some things.

The stuff terry says about pulling the seat up really helped me. When we first
learnt, the harder i pulled it the safer i felt.

And about leaning forward–I definitely do it. I find it much less scary to fall
off forwards than backwards, even though there is father to fall.

And do lower the seat. After we learnt stairs, i would do them on my way into
the office with my seat at normal height. It really tenderized my crotch.


Re: Riding down stairs…

According to terry@santafe.edu:

  • >>>>> “Greg” == Greg Alt galt@asylum.cs.utah.edu (Greg Alt) writes:

  • Greg> I plan on picking up that video that everyone is talking about,

  • Greg> and taking a look at OOW magazine, but for now, I’d like

  • Greg> pointers for learning how to go down stairs.

  • In case you’re wondering, the video wont help you learn this (at least

  • not directly).

    I agree the video won’t help much at all for curbs. Actually the video is not
    a good representative of the USA/IUF levels. But it does give a good idea of
    what the trick is.

  • Greg> I’ve practiced

  • Greg> going off curbs, and that is pretty easy, but the thought of

  • Greg> moving on to 2 steps is pretty scary. I was thinking about

  • Greg> trying some steps that are spread out more, with each step about

  • Greg> 4 feet or longer. It still seems that going to 2 steps is the

  • Greg> tough/dangerous part, after that 3 steps wouldn’t be much more

  • Greg> difficult.

  • [good info deleted]

    1. If you lean back, you wont make it. You need to commit to doing the
  • trick. It’s just like skiing in this respect - if you don’t lean down

  • the hill you’ll lose it backwards off the uni.

    Actually I tell people who start to do curbs is to lean back just before going
    over them. Same goes for stairs. Usually if I fall doing curbs or stairs it is
    forward. Of course if you lean to far back will make the unicycle go shooting
    out down the curb or stairs and leave you standing (or sitting) on top of the
    curb or stairs.

  • 6 & 7) This is a great stabilizer. Another thing to try (highly

  • recommended) is pulling the seat up towards yourself. Pull hard. This

  • will keep the pedals on your feet for longer. One problem you’ll

  • initially encounter is your feet getting bounced off the pedals. This

  • helps to solve that.

This is a very good thing to do. Use on hand to hold the seat (the new Miyata
seat handles work great for this) and the other for balance. This way I can
control where the unicycle is in comparison with my body. When I do curbs I
don’t hang on to the seat but when I do stairs I will hang on the seat.

  • Apart from all this, just try it. Yes of course the smaller and

  • further spread the steps you try, the better. For a sense of scale, I

  • have ridden down a maximum of 9 fairly normal stairs. I haven’t yet

  • screwed up the courage to do more and flights of ten or more around

  • here all seem pretty steep. I’ve gone down sets of 6 stairs that I’d

  • rank as as steep as any normal flight.

    I would highly suggest this method. It gets the confidence up. What I have
    seen some people do when the stairs are a little wider apart is to go
    diagonally down them.

  • Greg> I’d appreciate any help or safety tips (I assume falling off the

  • Greg> back is the preferred panic maneuver).

  • It’s preferable not to panic at all :slight_smile: I have always managed to keep

  • my feet, except for once when I twisted my ankle :frowning: I actually prefer

  • to “fall” off the front - jumping over the uni to clear steps.

    1. Wear some gloves if you have some. Not that you will need them but they
      will make you feal more confident, and confidence is key to doing curbs and
      stairs. The other day I did wipe while doing a set of three stairs and I
      landed kinda hard on my hands, I wished that I had some gloves on to
      cushion the blow.

    2. Use a 24" wheel (or larger) for stairs. The bigger wheel will make the
      stairs ‘smoother’. When I was Quebec City last summer for the UNICON
      (Unicycle Convention), there was a bunch of people doing stairs on day
      (showing off) and all of them had 24" unis. The number of stairs that they
      were doing (with ease I might add) was about 10-15.

  • Terry.

Andy B. Cotter CAE UW - Madison cotter@cae.wisc.edu Application Support