Somewhat new to this forum

Hi, I’m Dawson from Calgary, Alberta (Canada).

I have been lurking on this forum for maybe a week or so. My son got me on to it. In particular I had a question about upgrading my new unicycle frame with an ISIS hub/crank setup.

I started unicycling last year at the age of 55 with my son’s old 20" unicycle. Then I ended up buying a couple of used ones, both in somewhat non-working order. The 24" unicycle was cheaply made and after less than 50km on it I broke the frame. So I started looking at making a unicycle out of the old frame and the front forks from an old bicycle.

My son and I did something like that earlier so that he could have a 26" unicycle to ride. He built the 26inch wheel with spokes that were too large, so he wrapped them around the flange a bit. He also used bolts to bolt the old 20" frame to the front fork of a MTB that I had broken the stem quill on in winter riding. Later on I gained access to a MIG/Fluxcore welder and welded the frame together. I think we called that one Frankenuni.

Then, my son got a 27.5" unicycle from Mad4one - it cost a lot of money, but it is a beautiful machine. So, somewhat recently I got a fairly nice QX series aluminum frame (27.5") - I ended up paying about half price for it, and just recently bought a Nimbus ISIS steel hub (36H), and a QU-AX ISIS crank for it from the UDC UK store — thanks to everyone on the forum, especially my son, and Roger from the UDC UK store whom I emailed back and forth a bit.

Ok, enough about the tinkering, and equipment. I long to be able to ride well. There are times when I’m in the groove and I don’t even realise I’m riding a unicycle, but most of the time I wobble and fight to stay ballanced, sigh. Sometimes my freemounting is 100%, and other times I shake my head wondering if I’ll ever get it.

Happy riding!
And thanks community for you help already.

Dawson

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Good stuff. With riding, it will become easier. Don’t sweat it! :slight_smile:
Just enjoy that you can do it, and when you get better, you’ll be amazed at your improvement :slight_smile:

@Gockie thank you for your words of encouragement.
Dawson

I started unicycling almost two years ago and now ride pretty safely and most of my freemounts hit. However, I just went on a short ride this morning and it was terrible, I had one UPD and missed multiple freemounts. I’m guessing there will always be those day, no matter what…

My approach is just enjoying the rides and the things that I can do. Sometimes I try to learn something new but I never force it. If it doesn’t work out, so be it. To me unicycling skills are like a plant, they need time to grow. :wink:

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Wise words there I think.

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Yes, that is good advice, that is actually how I process it too. I guess one doesn’t pick unicylce riding because it is easy.

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Yup

As a beginner, I tended to practice mounts near the beginning of my sessions. If I mounted successfully, I was rewarded by getting to ride. I have been more successful at mounts when I’m fresh, and after seven years I’m still not immune to epic fails when I’m exhausted.

I’m a big fan of practicing mounts on both sides. If you want to practice a variety of mounts, I suggest you do so on a smaller wheel.

Welcome to the forum!

thanks @elpuebloUNIdo (the united people). Yeah, I mostly mount right sided, but I can do both. And yeah, my main thing is using the uni for transportation, so when I dismount, I don’t get to ride again until I successfully mount.

I agree 100%. The more I force things the less I enjoy them. Some days are good, others not so good.

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Forcing things and enjoyment don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

I’ve practiced a mount 100 times unsuccessfully followed by 1 successful mount. Maybe the 100 failed mounts were not so enjoyable, but final, successful mount, that was enjoyable! Even better, though, when I practiced again on the next day, I landed the mount the first time! Some forms of enjoyment require delayed gratification.

As a beginner, I forced myself to keep practicing after I got tired. Instead of diminishing returns, I got my second wind. Maybe I’m a slow learner, but it took me at least 30 minutes to catch up to what I’d achieved the previous day.

When I started practicing wheel-walking, I knew it was going to be hard. That kept me from falling into the trap of thinking FUN = SUCCESS.

The don’t force it method works sometimes for techniques I already know. In those cases, I can take a week break from unicycling and return even better at a technique. But for new techniques, wood shedding seems to work better than anything else.

I guess we’re all different…

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:flushed::flushed::flushed:

@TJYeti and @r4nd1nt yeah, I am not really trying to force things despite what my writing might appear to betray. I am happy to note that since I built my new Unicycle things are much smoother. My ride is smoother, I have been able to go all the way up some hills I hadn’t been able to before, I am riding more stably, and I can ride for longer without feeling so tired. So, I am hitting what I have been calling the “sweet spot” earlier and for much longer than ever before. It is so encouraging. However, maybe I overdid it the other day when it was really hot, I did about 14km of riding in pretty hot sun when I went to the office and when I went back. I came back home and now have a pretty sore inner thigh, both chafing, and it seems like bruising, or something like that. So today and yesterday when I tried to ride even a small distance my inner thigh was very sore.

However, I think I will practice some, I think it is called SIF, and some bunny hopping as my inner thigh is not going to be affected. I think idling, and sharper turns, 180s, 360’s, and “blind” freemounting are my next bit of learning, oh yeah, and learning how to ride over bigger drops. That is a lot, but these are skills I think will be quite useful in learning how to ride “muni”.

The last few days I have built a couple more unicycles by either building a wheel as is the case for the black 20", or just adding another spoke to the 24" “Frankenuni” along with crank arms and pedals. So, here is a picture of my fleet. I am probably going to sell the 20" locally so I can use those funds to buy a used 27.5" rim when one comes available, then I will build that wheel based off of the Nimbus hub that currently hosts a 26" rim from an old MTB that was in my garage.

Ok, here is the fleet:

Happy riding,
Dawson

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Hey Dawson,
Thanks for reaching out. I love your “fleet”, proof positive that one is never enough!!
When I learned to ride, around 50 years ago, I rode for the fun of it. I loved riding around the neighborhood, just playing all day on my unicycle.
Fast forward to today, with a family, job, and life in turmoil due to Covid-19, I’m trying to keep things in perspective and learn how to play again. There’s no better way than riding a unicycle…. Skills will come by just being in the saddle.
Enjoy the ride!!
Tim

Hey Dawson,

You have shared some of the wise words here. Thanks for your wisdom.

@venusgrey thanks for your kind words. And welcome to the community. I hope this community will be everything you need it to be!

Happy & safe riding!

Dawson

Hi @TJYeti thanks. When I was in university in last millenium (in the late 80’s) I had joined a juggling club where someone had a unicycle, but I only got a couple of minutes to try it and I wasn’t that interested back then. Too bad, because I think the skills would have been easier to pick up then instead of in my mid 50’s. I was able to go for a short ride again last night so I think I am back in the saddle again, yeah!

I’m looking forward to when my son returns from Germany so we can do some riding together. Although he is much better than I am, having already done some unicycle touring and camping.

Have a great day!

Dawson

I’m in my early 50s myself, but I initially learned to ride as a teen. I thought I was pretty damn good at the time, considering that I could free mount, hop and do very small drops, but the bar back then was extremely low and I was just goofing off and doing my own thing. By the standards here I was still a novice.

So I went 35 years without riding when my 8 year old daughter found my old unicycle in the garage and decided she wanted to learn to ride and given that this was at the start of COVID, she had very little else to do. When she started I told her if she learned to ride I’d get one of my own and join her.

Anyway, I’ve been riding 5-6 days a week for 7 months now and I don’t think age has held me back too much from developing skills. The biggest age related issue has been my own fault. I let myself get fat. When I started this I weighed about 260 lbs. Now I’m about 225 lbs. if I can avoid injury and get down to about 190 that will be an enormous boost to my riding. Injury is the other problem I find associated with age. You just don’t heal up like you used to and if you’re like me you have a number of prior injuries as well. I’m not as strong as I was 20 years ago, but I’m still a hell of a lot stronger than I was as a teen and if I put in the time and don’t wimp out when a skill is intimidating, I think I learn comparably fast to what I did then.

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Wow, what a great success story. Cheers on losing that extra load - that is good for health and for pursuing unicycling too. I have been fortunate to never have gained a lot of weight, in part due to my three-fold philosphy of transportation: 1) use my own body to get me somewhere, 2) if that can’t work at all, then use public transit, 3) if that is just not possible, then carpool, or drive. So, #1 means take the stairs vs elevator, ride, run, walk whatever no matter what to the places I frequently go to. So I have relied on riding my bicycle (unicyle with training wheel, eh?) to get to work or school or whatever, rain, shine, blizzard, cold (-40C), hot (+50C … when we lived in the Middle East). I think that had something to do with not a lot of weight gain, so reasonably healthy when I started trying to unicycle at 55 last year. I did find that fighting to maintain balance really took a lot of energy out of me, I found riding a unicycle up until fairly recently, more strenuous than running. I may not be as ambitious as you. I mainly want to unicycle as a form of transportation, and I’d like to be able to get into mountain unicycling. I may do a unicycle / camping trip some day, but I might just stick with my bicycle for that kind of riding.

Have a gread day!

Dawson

Thanks, myself, I just want to be able to ride intermediate level muni competently. I’d like to be able to do drops of 2’ or less and hop obstacles in the trail up to about 9”. I initially wanted to try unicycle commuting, but now I plan on doing it once or twice simply for the bragging rights with my coworkers. They already think I’m nuts for occasionally riding my bike to work.

For things like touring and commuting I’ll stick to bikes. Unicycles are more fun, but for actually getting somewhere or carrying a load, bicycles are much more practical. For recreation however I find unicycles much more enjoyable.