# Turns, spins, (practice skills right/left & forward/backward)

Dennis Kathrens wrote:
> In a previous posting I explained my terminology but today it occurred to
> me that folks might wonder why I specified one type of turn over the other
> to initiate a spin.
>
> At my present level of skill, it seems that since the leaning turn is less
> jerky, I go into a spin more smoothly. Things start happening pretty fast
> and the less error correcting I have to do the better. I suppose one could
> learn to use an action/reaction turn too but I think it would be harder.

Let’s consider the results of action/reaction turns versus leaning turns and
finally how this affects doing a spin:

A purely action/reaction turn begins with absolutely no sideways lean. During
the turn, the wheel turns right (or left), while the rider’s body tends to
continue in a straight line. As a result, the rider will progressively lean to
the left (or right) as he executes the turn. (This by the way is the primary way
a unicyclist achieves a lean to one side or the other; the other far less
effective way is using the arms as a tightrope walker might.)

A pure leaning turn begins with the rider already leaning to the right (or
left). With a constant speed, the wheel moves in a circular arc of constant
radius. Increasing speed will decrease the lean and the radius of the arc will
increase. Decreasing speed will increase the lean and the radius of the arc will
decrease. (Note that this is a pure leaning turn, so absolutely no angular
action/reaction of the upper body/lower body is being done.)

All real turns are leaning turns as required by physics, but they are usually
initiated by a split second action/reaction turn to establish the required
lean. Also as a turn progresses, many small action/reaction turns may be
required to maintain or adjust the lean as desired. Finally, another split
second action/reaction turn may be required to neutralize the lean, thereby
ending the turn.

A spin is just riding in a very small circle with usually a large lean and fast
rate of speed. Assuming the above paragraph is correct:

A spin is initiated by a stronger or longer action/reaction turn to establish
the large lean required. As the spin progresses, small action/reaction turns may
be done to maintain the lean and balance. Of course pedal speed adjustments can
be used as well. When the desired number of small circles has been completed,
another strong or long action/reaction turn is done to neutralize the lean, thus
completing the spin.

Hope you find this technical analysis of turns and spins useful.

Spins are moderately difficult (level 6), but the general public loves them, so
please keep working on them. The personal sense of accomplishment in mastering
the spin is wonderful!

Practice doing spins both to the right and to the left (level 7). (For any
unicycling skill that has a right and left way of doing it, in any sense of the
word right or left, please practice it both ways. You’ll be a much better and
more versatile unicyclist as a result.)

(Also, for any unicycling skill that has a forward and backward way of doing it,
in any sense of the word forward or backward, start practicing the backward
skill soon after some success with the forward skill is made. If you do this,
you’re less likely to develop habits in the forward skill which will later make
the backward skill harder to learn.)

Ken Fuchs (kfuchs@winternet.com)

Re: Turns, spins, (practice skills right/left & forward/backward)

> Spins are moderately difficult (level 6), but the general public loves them,
> so please keep working on them. The personal sense of accomplishment in
> mastering the spin is wonderful! … Ken Fuchs (kfuchs@winternet.com)

What is the difference between a spin and a frontspin? Level 6 includes both.

Beirne