riding surfaces

I’d like to see a discussion of the differences in various surfaces and
differences in technique when riding a unicycle.

I have done more indoor riding in the last two weeks than I have done in the
last year. I have ridden outdoors on asphalt and concrete of varying degrees
of smoothness and indoors on carpet, vinyl tile, hardwood and Terracite
floors, with varying amounts of varnish or wax on them. Terracite is a name
I have heard used for a floor made of crushed stone laid over a subsurface
of concrete and polished to a flat surface. Metal strips set on edge
separate adjacent blocks of surface, which may be of differing colors to
form a pattern.

In general I find that rougher surfaces offer more adhesion for tires but
make it harder to turn or twist. Smooth surfaces are the opposite, less
adhesion but easier to turn or twist.

I find that wooden floors seem to be the slickest, especially if the
varnish/wax has been worn off. Vinyl tile is in the middle, closely followed
by Terracite. Short pile carpet offers great adhesion but has other
properties which put it in a category of its own. Of the indoor surfaces I
have ridden on, Terracite seems to be the best balance of adhesion and
twistiness.

What is your favorite riding surface? How do different surfaces affect your
riding technique?

Dennis Kathrens

Re: riding surfaces

In message <199501260137.AA088484239@relay2.geis.com> d.kathrens@genie.geis.com

(Yeeks. One week away and 34 messages waiting…)

> What is your favorite riding surface? How do different surfaces affect
> your riding technique?

I love outdoor asphalt. Indoors I actually prefer hardwood floors. Can’t stand
carpets of any sort. I don’t really notice the lack of adhesion much, but I sure
notice how much easier it is to pedal or turn on a hard surface.


__
/ ____ Jimmy Brokaw -> jimmy@juggler.demon.co.uk ________\ Also at ->
unicycle@juggler.demon.co.uk
||
|| <- My Absolute Balls Red Unicycle <- Also known as really bad art

Re: riding surfaces

In message <199502021016.AA230740218@relay1.geis.com> d.kathrens@genie.geis.com

> Since most of my riding is done outdoors, my particular favorite happens to b
> smooth asphalt too. But finding smooth asphalt that I can ride on without
> risking auto traffic or indignant yells of “Can’t you read? NO BICYCLES!” can
> be an epic quest. And outdoors, you have to factor wind direction and speed i

I realize that unicycling on streets and/or sidewalks is illegal here in
Britain, but I do it all the time (staying away from major roads of course, I
live in a Hick town!) The policemen around here must not be aware of the law,
they’ve driven by and taunted me about the missing wheel before, etc. Anyone
ever have any trouble conforming to civic laws?


__
/ ____ Jimmy Brokaw -> jimmy@juggler.demon.co.uk ________\ Also at ->
unicycle@juggler.demon.co.uk
||
|| <- My Absolute Balls Red Unicycle <- Also known as really bad art

Re: riding surfaces

> I realize that unicycling on streets and/or sidewalks is illegal here in
> Britain, but I do it all the time (staying away from major roads of course, I
> live in a Hick town!) The policemen around here must not be aware of the law,
> they’ve driven by and taunted me about the missing wheel before, etc. Anyone
> ever have any trouble conforming to civic laws?

    In California, people on unicycles are considered nearly the equivalent
    of pedestrians. While we're probable not allowed to ride around in the
    local supermarket, it is quite possible to ride on sidewalks and
    streets. It's sort of fun knowing that it is illegal to ride a bike on
    sidewalks, yet we are free to traverse them at any time. You may want to
    have a look at the local codes for the definition of a pedestrian and
    bicycle/non-pedestrian. If they have laws against unicycles, well,
    you're out of luck. The laws here depend on whether the human power is
    applied directly to the wheel or through some gear/chain system (ie.
    giraffs are not allowed on sidewalks).

                                                    - John Larkin