# Two wheelers & other reverse drive unicycles - difficulty riding

Having some experience riding two wheelers, I’ll venture to say that the
difficulty of riding them has much more to do with adjusting to the two
wheeler’s reverse drive than the lack of angular momentum.

Getting adjusted to a reverse drive unicycle is a bigger problem than simply
pedaling in the direction oppose to what one is used to. This would amount to
fighting reflexes that developed in learning to ride a standard unicycle. One
also has to fight reflexes that developed when one learned to walk and learn a
new “reverse balance principle”.

Compare a person on a standard unicycle with pedals horizontal to a person
standing with one foot in front of the other (a normal walking position). Assume
that both people have their left foot forward and right foot back. Let’s say
that both people start to fall backward. The person standing will naturally (has
learned to) allow his back (right) leg to support more weight and his front
(left) to support less weight, thus regaining his balance. On the unicycle, this
same natural reflex causes more force to be applied to the back (right) pedal
and less force to be applied to the front (left) pedal, thus turning the wheel
backward slightly in regaining his balance. (In falling forward, a similar
effect would be observed.)

Now, compare a person on a standard unicycle with pedals horizontal to a person
standing with one foot in front of the other (a normal walking position).
Repeating the above experiment with the reverse drive unicycle replacing the
standard unicycle, one can see that not only must normal unicycle riding
reflexes be suppressed in favour of new reverse drive unicycle riding reflexes,
but normal balancing reflexes ingrained by a life time of walking must be
suppressed as well, in favour of reflexes that are useful in walking in a
reverse balance universe!

Please send me a note, if the concept of “reverse balance universe” I tried to
explain above was interesting or a waste of bandwidth. Also anyone who can ride
or is interested in two wheelers or other reverse drive unicycles, please send
me a note as well.

Stay on Top, in the reverse balance universe,

Ken Fuchs <kfuchs@winternet.com

Re: Two wheelers & other reverse drive unicycles - difficulty riding

>
>Please send me a note, if the concept of “reverse balance universe” I tried to
>explain above was interesting or a waste of bandwidth. Also anyone who can ride
>or is interested in two wheelers or other reverse drive unicycles, please send
>me a note as well.

I’ve seen such a unicycle, but never tried it. But I have tried a trick bicycle
that makes someone a lot of money:

I’ve twice come across someone at general public fairs/festivals who has a
bicycle with a geared device on the handlebars. This makes the front wheel turn
left when you turn the handlebars to the right, and vice versa. This makes the
same kind of demands on overcoming reflex balancing instincts - i.e. it’s
impossible! He lays out two lines on the ground, around three yards apart, and
offers 5 pounds to anyone who can start at the first line, and ride over the
second without the feet touching down. He charges 1 pound a go. It looks easy
of course, especially when he shows how it’s done every now and again. But I
never saw anyone win that money, and my three goes didn’t get me further than a
yard at best.

Most of the general public can ride a bicycle, so he makes loads of money, but
unfortunately I don’t think you’d get many takers if you put your unicycle in
a sideshow.