RE: Still learning to jump
> Last night I had an idea: Why not try jumping without the unicycle? Here’s
> what I tried. I’d ride a short ways, come to a stop with the pedals parallel
> to the ground, then leap off of the pedals (and unicycle). I can get a lot of
> altitude and distance this way–without the unicycle. It is like jumping off
> of a trampoline.
With a pre jump, you put some load onto the tire and the recoil of the tire
helps you get more air. I try to do a little jump before the big jump. This
isn’t necessary for curb-sized jumps, but it may be helpful not only in the
learning stages, but also to coordinate you to pull up on the unicycle when your
momentum is with you.
I learned to hop up curbs by riding up alongside them. This way you can jump
when your pedal position is right, and it’s a smaller jump. Just start falling
toward the curb, and then jump high enough to clear it, landing on top. You
should be more or less on balance when you land, if you leaned enough
beforehand. A common mistake is to not point your center of mass in the right
direction (leaning) before jumping. If you don’t, you’ll have to jump back off
the curb to stay on the unicycle.
Those sideways jumps can get pretty big with practice. Here’s an extreme
example: http://www.unicycling.com/unifoss/thingnot/dontdo.htm#22 Note the body
position. Had I not made a big lean first, I’d be all crooked by the time I got
halfway, as seen in the picture. I didn’t quite have enough to clear little Kato
(I landed on my feet, and not on him) but you can see me reaching for it.
Also, make sure you’re comfortable making consecutive hops in place first. The
hopping action should be second-nature before you start adding distance to it.
Making the hop while riding forward is more difficult for two reasons. First,
you have to have your pedals lined up at the right spot to make your jump. This
often means pacing it off; rolling the unicycle back from the desired jump
point. Second, it’s a bigger jump, as you have to clear at least half the wheel
of distance in the air to get on top of your obstacle. When jumping to the side,
you can make a much smaller-distance jump.
Hope this is useful,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone (reply to firstname.lastname@example.org)
“I’m okay, I crash like that a lot.”