Unicycling - Unusually tiring??

I don’t know if this is normal but when I take my uni out for a ride, I’m barely
on the thing and I start getting tired. I have participated in many energy
intensive activities over the past few years (distance running, drumming,
cycling, tennis, etc., etc.) but none compare with the draining effects
unicycling has on my body. I have read articles on this newsgroup referring to
distance unicycling and I really can’t imagine it. My thoughts go back to the
days when I spent many hours on an indoor treadmill, gazing at the calorie gage,
slowly counting the numbers on their seemingly endless journey towards 400. On
the uni, can see the same numbers spinning like a top, instantaneously reaching
the majic 400.

Anyway, I have no trouble doing 1/2 a mile but that’s it…I’m dead.

Does it get better? I’m not so sure anymore.

Have a great week! Derrick

Re: [Unicycling - Unusually tiring??]

“D. L. Sheppard” <dlsheppa@cancom.net> wrote: I don’t know if this is normal
but when I take my uni out for a ride, I’m barely on the thing and I start
getting tired.

<SNIP>

Anyway, I have no trouble doing 1/2 a mile but that’s it…I’m dead.

Does it get better? I’m not so sure anymore.


Yep it gets better! A lot of the energy expended when you first start riding a
unicycle goes into balancing rather than actually moving. As your body becomes
more adjusted to unicycling the corrections you need to make get smaller and
smaller and your body learns how to balance. This means less energy is spent on
staying upright and more energy can be used to actually get somewhere.

For example riding backwards when you first start takes a lot more energy for
most people than riding forwards even though the same muscles are involved. The
extra energy is going into staying on while doing something that your sense of
balance hasn’t learnt to cope with yet.

I remember when I first learnt going for a spin around the block and being
covered in sweat after 5 minutes. Now I can ride for a few hours without
breaking a sweat (if I’m not pushing myself).

Some of your exhaustion may be due to your riding style. The more weight you
have on the seat as opposed to the pedals the less tiring it will be. Posture
also has an effect.

Also the terrain you are riding on and the kind of unicycle you are riding will
have an effect. Hills naturally take more effort to travel up and down. A badly
designed unicycle can take lots more energy to ride and for longer distances you
should consider the wheel size and the crank length. Changing either of these
things modifies the gearing making it easier or harder to go faster, traverse
hills etc.

It sounds like you are fairly active so the problem is not your fitness. Can you
give more details on what kind of unicycle you are riding, how long you’ve been
riding and what kind of terrain you tackle?

o o Peter Bier o O o Juggler, unicyclist and mathematician.
o/|\o peter_bier@usa.net


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RE: Unicycling - Unusually tiring??

Once I learnt how to relax while riding, I found that unicycling on flat ground
seemed to be less strenuous than cycling, running or walking. The main thing to
do is to stick almost all of your weight on the seat, and just use your legs to
turn the pedals, rather than to maintain your balance and support your body.
When riding offroad, i tend to support a lot more weight on the pedals rather
than the seat, simply because it is easier to get up and down small bumps. In
this case, it’s a lot more tiring.

Besides keeping your weight on the seat, another thing to consider is that you
shouldn’t need to provide excessive force on the ‘rear’ pedal (the one behind
you that is coming up for half a revolution) to provide you with stability.
Essentially you should only be applying force to the front, drive pedal. This
will minimise the amount of effort that is required to maintain your balance.

An important issue may be your wheel size and crank size as well - long cranks
on a small wheel mean you’ll never be able to generate any ‘rhythm’ or spin your
pedals like a racing cyclist.

hope this helps, nic

            ----------

From: “D. L. Sheppard” <dlsheppa@cancom.net> Sent: Monday, 9 October 2000 8:56
To: <unicycling@winternet.com> Subject: Unicycling - Unusually tiring??

    &lt;&lt;File: Mime.822&gt;&gt; I don't know if this is normal but when I take my uni
    out for a ride, I'm barely on the thing and I start getting tired. I
    have participated in many energy intensive activities over the past few
    years (distance running, drumming, cycling, tennis, etc., etc.) but none
    compare with the draining effects unicycling has on my body. I have read
    articles on this newsgroup referring to distance unicycling and I really
    can't imagine it. My thoughts go back to the days when I spent many
    hours on an indoor treadmill, gazing at the calorie gage, slowly
    counting the numbers on their seemingly endless journey towards 400. On
    the uni, can see the same numbers spinning like a top, instantaneously
    reaching the majic 400.

Anyway, I have no trouble doing 1/2 a mile but that’s it…I’m dead.

Does it get better? I’m not so sure anymore.

Have a great week! Derrick

Re: Unicycling - Unusually tiring??

It most likely has nothing to do with the cardiovascular aspect.

Think of it this way. Bench press a 200 pound barbell. Chances are you can’t do
it, so you will be sweaty and breathing very hard after a 30 seconds or so. Now
get a hard-core body builder to do it N it might take him 5 times as long as you
to get exausted. So, he never runs, plays tennis, etc. but he seems to be more
“cardio vascularly fit”

So give yourself a bit of time N your muscles will adapt quickly!

Marc

— “D. L. Sheppard” <dlsheppa@cancom.net> wrote:
> I don’t know if this is normal but when I take my uni out for a ride, I’m
> barely on the thing and I start getting tired. I have participated in many
> energy intensive activities over the past few years (distance running,
> drumming, cycling, tennis, etc., etc.) but none compare with the draining
> effects unicycling has on my body. I have read articles on this newsgroup
> referring to distance unicycling and I really can’t imagine it. My thoughts go
> back to the days when I spent many hours on an indoor treadmill, gazing at the
> calorie gage, slowly counting the numbers on their seemingly endless journey
> towards 400. On the uni, can see the same numbers spinning like a top,
> instantaneously reaching the majic 400.
>
>
> Anyway, I have no trouble doing 1/2 a mile but that’s it…I’m dead.
>
> Does it get better? I’m not so sure anymore.
>
> Have a great week! Derrick
>
>


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Re: Unicycling - Unusually tiring??

3 years ago, 1/2 mile was an impossibility for me. I would ride around my block
(which is pretty small) and just that would destroy my legs and leave me hot and
breathing hard. With more time and practice, it’s gets WAY better! Last year I
rode 12 or 13 miles without a dismount on my Coker, and have done a 1600’ climb
without a dismount, etc. Sit on the seat and R E L A
X. Reduce the amount of force on the pedals to a feather touch and you won’t get
tired. Believe me, it does get better - keep at it!

—Nathan

“D. L. Sheppard” <dlsheppa@cancom.net> wrote in message
news:v46E5.5308$mC.338822@monger.newsread.com
> I don’t know if this is normal but when I take my uni out for a ride, I’m
> barely on the thing and I start getting tired. I have participated in
many
> energy intensive activities over the past few years (distance running,
> drumming, cycling, tennis, etc., etc.) but none compare with the draining
> effects unicycling has on my body. I have read articles on this newsgroup
> referring to distance unicycling and I really can’t imagine it. My
thoughts
> go back to the days when I spent many hours on an indoor treadmill, gazing at
> the calorie gage, slowly counting the numbers on their seemingly
endless
> journey towards 400. On the uni, can see the same numbers spinning like a top,
> instantaneously reaching the majic 400.
>
>
> Anyway, I have no trouble doing 1/2 a mile but that’s it…I’m dead.
>
> Does it get better? I’m not so sure anymore.
>
> Have a great week! Derrick

Re: Unicycling - Unusually tiring??

How long have been riding? It definitely gets better. I could barely ride a 100
metres a year ago. Now I regularly take rides of several miles. A pity about my
idling though…

Arnold the Aardvark