Two Quick Questions

  1. Any tips for riding in the wind? The other day I had a pretty hard fall when the gusty wind I was riding into stopped briefly. I’m a little scrapped and bruised but I like to figure how not to have that happen again.

  2. Having a bike riding background I’m familiar with the subject of pedal cadence. How important is cadence while riding a unicycle and is there an optimal cadence range?

  1. Avoiding riding in changing wind is the best method. Other than that, give as little area as possible for the wind to attack on, but I guess that’s obvious.

  2. Cadence works different than on a bike, since we are so limited with gears. The higher you can get your cadence, the faster you are. To put it simply, on a unicycle it is much more important to choose your maximum cadence by choosing a crank length. The shorter your cranks, the higher your maximum cadence will be, with the downside of having less control/harder acceleration. Wheelsize is obviously the second choice, the bigger the wheel, the faster you can be without reaching extremely high cadences.

It is hard to fight the forces of nature. I see three choices, don’t travel, walk or ride and wear protective gear. I noted that world unicycle traveler Ed Pratt’s choice has been to walk when the wind got too intense. Road riding with traffic in a cross wind could easily be fatal.

1.) Always ride with the wind.

2.) Always pedal the right speed.

@Unitoddo: riding in the wind is a skill just like everything done on unicycles. You might work on learning how to “step off” your unicycle in any direction — front, back, and both sides. I usually don’t change my commute route until the wind gusts start exceeding 50 or 60 mph.

Spin as fast as needed, but less than your max cadence at your current exhaustion state or you’ll fall off the front eventually.

I eventually fall over at a zero cadence.

@Greg: we never would have made it to work everyday commuting with advice like this in our part of world.

I’ve been blown off while riding with the wind in road cuts through headlands on the Oregon coast. I just couldn’t pedal fast enough.



Not to mention that only riding with the wind can only take you so far when your destination is in the opposite direction :roll_eyes:

My advice is: If it’s windy out, ride your smaller wheel. My 29er is FAR easier to handle in the wind than my 36er. I’m not sure if it’s because of the effective gearing, or the larger wheel having more sail-like properties, but the difference is noticable. Aside from that, as Joe said, you’ve just got to learn to ride it. Try not pushing as hard when the wind is coming towards you, that way when it gives out a bit you don’t fall forward.

Gusty wind is going to be unpredictable, so it’s hard to plan for. If you get the chance, go down to New Zealand, and ride around Wellington for a few weeks. It’s apparently one of the windiest cities on Earth. Puts Chicago to shame, though I suppose that might be an easier alternate city for you to do wind practice.

Unicon XV was in Wellington in 2010, and the 10k race was postponed due to wind (much of the course ran along the downtown waterfront). During the Marathon, I was “literally bitch-slapped off my unicycle”. Coming around a corner next to a big hill, the wind literally knocked me off the uni. I ended up walking a portion of the course due to that. That quote was my sig line for a while.

And that’s true for an unladen unicycle. When fully loaded, his is really heavy, and much more sensitive to any form of crosswind. I remember riding my old 45" wheel (with no luggage) across a giant parking lot, crossways to a strong wind. I couldn’t go straight, as it kept blowing my wheel to the side. I had to “tack” like a sailboat, riding in long zig-zags which eventually got me to the other side.

That never, ever would have gotten me to school. Or home. It would always have been the opposite direction. :angry:

That’s a bicycle thing. Cadence is a thing when you have a choice of gears. I suppose it applies a little even when you have only two gears (Schlumpf), but not much. The idea is to pedal at the speed at which you are most efficient. But on a typical unicycle, once you’ve picked your wheel size, your cadence is merely a by-product of how fast you want to go.

I don’t get it with you two. I always ride with the wind and I always ride downhill. It’s just easier that way.

Uphill, both ways, through two feet of snow eh?

I think I’ve seen you in a painting by M.C. Escher.

I’m from Michigan, remember? So to be fair, more like one foot. :smiley:

BTW, let me just throw in a plug for NAUCC this summer. It’s being held in my home town (Livonia, MI) and all the Freestyle, Track, Basketball, Hockey, X-Style and the Public Show, will be held at my high school, Stevenson! Come check it out!

In a swimsuit?

you mean, ride backwards when you have the wind in the face? :smiley:

Riding with a side wind is like riding with camber. I just see it as an extra challenge. Also with wind in the face, I keep telling myself I am heavier than the wind and try to ignore it. It can be quite tiring with a strong head wind.

I have been checking the sites schedule off and on for the non-competitive or convention activities they are planning. I would like to attend as a non-competitor this time for a few days and would like to plan my time around the clinics and workshops? Do you have any idea if they are planning on having any or is it pretty much just the competition side of the event this year? My first two NAUCC’s I attended in Minnesota and Wisconsin the first day or two seemed to be when they had them and they were the highlight of the week for me. It is the only time I get any instruction and I need it! LOL

…until you need to go home :wink:

I think that one was a Pollock.

I’m going to recommend signing up as a competitor, since the event is really built for participation. Everybody does the best they can within their own abilities, which is totally fine. It’s less competitive in the “adult” age groups…

Workshops and non-competitive events generally take a back seat to the competitions, which are required elements. In other words, though Convention is part of the name, that part usually gets short-changed. I will try to fit in my usual Sumo workshop if there’s a time/place available during my time there. I would also love to lead a ride on some of the old trails I used to ride, but I don’t even know if any of them even exist anymore. The place where I got started in {what we now call} Muni is now part swampy area, and part Walmart parking lot. :frowning:

I’ll be around July 8-11, though some of that time will be family stuff. I hope to be in the Cyclocross, watch the Freestyle, possibly sub on a basketball team for a game or two, and ride the Muni events.