Today's Challenge! 4 stairs backwards on Coker

In addition to practicing things that I’d like to learn or get better at (such as the Coker kick-up mount & Coker wheel walking) at the New York Unicycle Club meetings that I attend, I decided that I wanted to try and challenge myself with something new at each club meeting… so the challenge I set for myself at today’s meeting was to ride backwards down the small flight of 4 stairs (that I’ve previously ridden up on D5’s Super-Stockton Coker) on my Coker. After a few failed attempts, I finally nailed it and D5 recorded it on his digicam. The last step kept messing me up, so it was pretty cool to finally make it. Well since Dave Lowell followed up his 4-step stair hop with a succesful 10-step stair hop (I think he may have even nailed it on his first try!) the following club meeting, perhaps I should try to follow in his footsteps and attempt the 10-stair flight backwards on my Coker at the next club meeting… only I doubt very highly that I’ll have the same luck and nail it on my first try… I’ll be happy if I nail it at all!

Very awesome. You are one of my biggest inspirations to buy a coker sometime, and I can’t wait to see the video.

Excellent! I’ve only tried riding stairs backwards on my trials uni, but if you have a brake on your coker 10 should definitely be do-able for you. Then after that, 20 isn’t much more difficult (at least not on a trials uni) and a lot more fun. :slight_smile:


Thanks, Andrew! Actually, I don’t have a brake on my Coker… I hadn’t ever even thought of a good reason why I would want to have one… and until trying a fellow club member’s new Coker (that was equipped with a brake) today, I had never before ever tried using a break on any kind of uni! I guess you could say I’m a bit of a purist… I also didn’'t like the thought of adding handlebars either (is a uni still a uni if it has handlebars?), but I’m not averse to having a brake… especially if it could make certain tricks doable or easier. Riding my Coker with no brake down many more than 10 stairs (depending on the steepness) gets pretty hairy becuase the speed builds up rather quickly and my ankle usually takes a good pounding on the transition from the last step to level ground. That happened to me today, actually, when I rode down the biggest flight of stairs at the back of Grant’s Tomb (where our Uni club meets)… and I was kind of annoyed thinking about that problem impeding my ability to ride down longer flights of stairs… but the brake is obviously the solution! Since I’m getting an Airfoil wheelset, if I can buy a Coker frame for a decent price somewhere, I’ll build up a Coker with a brake for stairs and light MUni, possibly. It’ll probably take some getting used to, though. I’d love to do 20 stairs backwards on my Coker… thanks for your encouragement!

Thanks a lot, Catboy! Wow… that’s quite flattering that I’ve inspired you to want to get a Coker - I obviously wholeheartedly recommend them! I’ll be posting the next release of my video this coming week… it will have additional skatepark footage and footage from Rays (and a couple of guest appearances of Dave Lowell riding at Rays). A photographer came down to our club about a month ago (he showed up again today and tried riding!) and took a few shots of me on my Coker. Here’s one Dave Lowell posted to our website…


I just hope to someday be able to make sharp turns like that, and have both my uni and I live.

Wow! Being a new Coker rider and knowing what it feels like to just try to slow the thing down after a lot of riding, hearing of your latest feat just knocks me over! I remember seeing the skate park turn pictures and realizing at that point that Cokers must be able to go fast to bank like that. I’ve been thinking about building skills on my 24" Schwinn, but maybe the new toy is the one to work out the kinks on…you’re definitely an inspiration. With access to Billham’s enthusiasm and technical knowledge, and hearing about (and hopefully seeing) your stretching of the Coker limits, I’m excited to get back on it (even though I’ve logged close to 40 miles in three days of riding). This is the best Christmas present I’ve ever gotten! Thanks for the post, and more power to ya!

That’s really wicked, i must say i love hearing about things like this, makes me happy, and makes me want to get out on my uni, sadly i havent a coker, and i will probably buy a trials before i do that, but even so, i want one!

I think you’ll be able to pull it off… and survive! It is a good idea to avoid wet or slick surfaces, though, because you will go down. It has happened to me on numerous occasions! Actually the stone surface at Grant’s Tomb where our unicycle club meets is a bit slick, so I can’t achieve maximum lean angle over there, though I can lean it fairly decently even on that surface (as you can see from the picture which was taken at Grant’s Tomb). I ride in the rain and snow and have a tendency not to be as conservative as I should so now I make a concerted effort not to ride so aggressively in the rain! I would imagine that slide outs from my aggressive turns actually look pretty cool to spectators, though (club founder and President David Stone said it looked like some sort of fancy dismount)! Actually, it’s kind of weird because I’ve had several slide outs that seemed to occur almost in slow motion… and I wound up landing on my feet! One slide out in particular occurred when I was riding in the rain carrying an umbrella in my right hand and some bags of stuff I bought from the drugstore in my left hand. I took a turn way to sharply and the wheel slid out from under me (felt like slow motion) and I landed on my feet (and didn’t drop the umbrella or the bags). The Coker continued to slide into the street that I was turning on to, however, and came inches from getting run over by a passing truck! If David Stone had seen that, he would really have thought I mastered some kind of new fancy dismount… especially if I had done it right in front of my apartment!

Thanks a lot, Bob! Yeah, the speed of the Coker definitely helps you bank it over… but once I got that maneuver down, I learned how to bank it pretty steeply at slower speeds, too, by pedaling in circles. I, too, have wondered if perhaps I should build certain skills on smaller uni’s… but so far I’ve just learned everything on the Coker right from the beginning… so I’ll probably just stick with that approach for now. I can’t wait for you to see the next release of my video (which is taking me forever… I lost a bunch of work when the hard drive I rent at the editing studio was wiped out), but I should have something posted this week. The Coker is definitely addictive…. and it was the best present that I had ever received, too… on Christmas four years ago! You seem to have taken to it like a fish to water. You’re doing great! I look forward to hearing more stories and seeing more pics from your great riding trails in Pittsburgh. Thanks for your encouragement.

Thanks a lot, lleberg… it’s great to make someone happy and inspired to ride! I bet you’ll get a Coker before too long! Perhaps the next release of my video will inspire you to get it sooner than planned! :smiley: