Unicyle ramps

Hello everyone. I have been unicycling for about 2 months now and I already have
my eyes set on becoming world champion and breaking lots of records. It’s a big
goal but I am determined. But anyway, I was wondering if any of you jump ramps
on a unicycle. I tried it twice today and only managed to get a swollen bruise
the size of a kiwi on the right side of my shin. The problem I had was not being
able to get enough speed. The ramp was going downhill on grass and the grass
really slowed me down. I ended up stopping at the tip of the jump and toppling
over. Does anyone have any tips? I know I can do this. It’s just a matter of not
killing myself in the process.

                                                               Wholehe
                                                               arted, J'hon
                                                               Spring

Re: Unicyle ramps

Ramps may be tough to get distance on, but I’ve personally found that it’s
easiest to get more distance using a straight ramp with a “kicker” at the end,
ie. a small bump at the lip of the jump. If you hit the kicker with your feet in
the ideal position (dominant foot down and slightly back)and a hand pulling up
on the seat, I’ve found that I can get some upwards momentum and lots more
distance. They don’t have a kicker and are a bit dangerous, but airing a flight
of stairs is a fun way to try to get big air and distance.

More than ramps, I think that dropping in on half pipes and skateboard bowls is
a blast- I could do that all day!

-kris.

flamingdeath1@my-deja.com wrote:
> I have ramped on bikes and skateboards and have done umx. My combined
> knowledge tells me it would be very hard to look impressive with any jump on a
> unicycle. Here are my theories:
>
> This would be tough because of lack of speed and weight distribution. Speed
> will require practice. Speed also requires that you put your center of gravity
> out far in front of the wheel. To go off the ramp you’ll need to instantly
> shift your weight far back in order to put your momentum behind the wheel to
> give it the force to push you up in the air. Also, because of the center of
> gravity problems you will probably want to use a straight ramp as opposed to
> one which has a big transition. This way you won’t have to adjust your weight
> a million times to each angle of the ramp. I’d start with a longer ramp and
> then gradually work down to a smaller one to get more launch. You’re going to
> have to situate your balance three times at ramp time. You’ll have to kick
> back fast when first hitting the ramp. You’ll have to get more above the wheel
> when taking off. And you’ll have to kick back again for the landing. Ahh,
> landing that will mess you up so bad. You are going to have so many injuries
> related to impact. Even if you land it right everytime you’ll have back, knee
> and ankle problems. Stopping dead when you land will be the easiest thing to
> do but it will hurt you more than riding on.
>
> You should really put a lot of thought into this. Meditate on how you’re body
> has to react to the speed, the ramp and the landing. Wear protection. I would
> like to see someone do some great stuff like this but, it probably won’t be
> something that you just pick up in a year.
>
>
> Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/ Share what you know. Learn what
> you don’t.
>


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Re: Unicyle ramps

Hi,
>
> In my opinion, big steep ramps are one of the toughest MUni challenges, due to
> our speed limitations compared to a bike. I was a bit confused the post’s
> description so I’ll just spout off (at length!) on my opinion on ramps in
> general.
>
> For very steep downhill ramps (ie >40 degrees) that are too steep just to
> slowly ride down, I think that the most controlled descent is to roll down the
> ramp at the absolute limit of braking friction (before your tire slips). This
> generally means that you start slow and have to increase speed as you generate
> momentum down the ramp (not that you intend to speed up, just that you can’t
> help it). Just like car antilock braking systems, if the tire slips you can
> ease off slightly on the braking pressure. To be good at this it is very
> important to learn what your tire friction limit is at under conditions that
> you’ll face (wetness, different materials, etc.) It is also very very
> important not to instinctively freeze up if your tire skids (which usually
> puts you on your rear end!)
>
> For longer steep ramps, if you think that your feet will be spinning too fast
> by the bottom of the ramp, you can try jumping down the first half of the
> ramp, landing on the bottom part of the ramp, and rolling down the bottom bit.
> This provides a good transition rather than trying to launch over the entire
> ramp to the ground. However, it also requires a very accurate gauge of both
> your body’s landing position and the friction available on the ramp, and can
> be totally catastrophic if you screw up.
>
> For short, very steep ramps (ie under 2 m, and over 50 degrees), sometimes
> it’s best to try to launch the top bit and skid the bottom bit. Often this is
> the only option if it’s wet.
>
> All of the above applies to steep rockslopes and dirt slopes as well as
> wooden ramps.
>
> Re uphill ramps:
>
> I think that uphill ramps are tough! If the ramp isn’t too long, you can ride
> at the thing and use your momentum to propel you to the top. I think that most
> failures here occur either at the transition at the bottom, or when too much
> power is applied to the wheel. Estimate the minimum necessary speed necessary
> so that you will almost be stationary as you arrive at the top of the ramp.
> Also, I think that it is important to maintain constant pressure on the cranks
> throughout the entire revolution (jerky movements increase the chance of
> skidding out).
>
> If the uphill ramp is too long and steep for momentum alone, then pulling up
> on the seat is probably necessary. This drastically increases power (often
> more than enough power). Gauge each pedal thrust so you just barely make it
> through the vertical, to minimize excess driving force (and resultant
> skidout). Often the first part of the ramp can be done using momentum, then
> grab the seat when you have to start reefing on the pedals.
>
> If there is a lip or bump at the bottom of the ramp, or it is too steep,
> period, forward or sideways hopping up the ramp works well. Sideways hopping
> works well if the ramp is wide and you have enough tire pressure so that the
> tire doesn’t fold over. Forward hopping is better if the ramp is extremely
> narrow, because you are better able to balance side to side on on the ramp.
> The disadvantage is that the rear foot tends to come off the pedal a bit.
> Orienting yourself so you are slightly diagonal to the ramp helps this a bit.
>
> Hope this was useful.
>
> -Kris.
>
> P.S. Wear the leg armour that downhill mountain bike racers use- I am sure
> I’d have shins that looked like cauliflower without them!
>
> — Barbegazi2 <barbegazi2@aol.com> wrote:
> > Hello everyone. I have been unicycling for about 2 months now and I already
> > have my eyes set on becoming world champion and breaking lots of records.
> > It’s a big goal but I am determined. But anyway, I was wondering if any of
> > you jump ramps on a unicycle. I tried it twice today and
> only
> > managed to get a swollen bruise the size of a kiwi on the right side of my
> > shin. The problem I had was not being able to get enough speed. The ramp was
> > going downhill on grass and the grass really slowed me down. I ended up
> stopping
> > at the tip of the jump and toppling over. Does anyone have any tips? I know
> I
> > can do this. It’s just a matter of not killing myself in the process.
> >
> >
>
> > Wholehe arted,
> >
>
> > J’hon Spring
> >
> >
> >
>
> __________________________________________________
> Do You Yahoo!? Bid and sell for free at http://auctions.yahoo.com
>
>


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Re: Unicyle ramps

Learn to glide on a unicycle… possibly at high speeds on a big wheel…
something in the area of 20 mph, and jump off ramps like that. if you live, i
will consider you a world champion. you might also want to refer to the Things
Not To Do On A Unicycle webpage. David

Re: Unicyle ramps

Barbegazi2 wrote:
>
> Hello everyone. I have been unicycling for about 2 months now and I already
> have my eyes set on becoming world champion and breaking lots of records. It’s
> a big goal but I am determined. But anyway, I was wondering if any of you jump
> ramps on a unicycle.

I have tried it with a little success. I got up to 6ft and then did some
reasonable damage to myself. I would recommend using ramps wider than the 8
inches I was using.

> I tried it twice today and only managed to get a swollen
> bruise the size of a kiwi on the right side of my shin.

A kiwi eh? Do you mean the fruit, the bird or the people (ie New
Zealander’s) :slight_smile:

> The problem I had was not being able to get enough speed. The ramp was going
> downhill on grass and the grass really slowed me down. I ended up stopping at
> the tip of the jump and toppling over. Does anyone have any tips?

If you don’t know how to bunny hop, learn. This will help in your launch. I
recommend you practice jumping up and down curbs forwards as opposed to
sideways. This will also come in helpful. Finally get some protective gear on.

> I know I can do this. It’s just a matter of not killing myself in the process.
>
> Wholehe
> arted,
> J’hon
> Spring


                University of Waikato 61 Nevada Rd Peter Bier
                pjb10@cs.waikato.ac.nz Hamilton Unicyclist, juggler and
                mathematician. (07) 856 1103

Re: Unicyle ramps

I have ramped on bikes and skateboards and have done umx. My combined knowledge
tells me it would be very hard to look impressive with any jump on a unicycle.
Here are my theories:

This would be tough because of lack of speed and weight distribution. Speed will
require practice. Speed also requires that you put your center of gravity out
far in front of the wheel. To go off the ramp you’ll need to instantly shift
your weight far back in order to put your momentum behind the wheel to give it
the force to push you up in the air. Also, because of the center of gravity
problems you will probably want to use a straight ramp as opposed to one which
has a big transition. This way you won’t have to adjust your weight a million
times to each angle of the ramp. I’d start with a longer ramp and then gradually
work down to a smaller one to get more launch. You’re going to have to situate
your balance three times at ramp time. You’ll have to kick back fast when first
hitting the ramp. You’ll have to get more above the wheel when taking off. And
you’ll have to kick back again for the landing. Ahh, landing that will mess you
up so bad. You are going to have so many injuries related to impact. Even if you
land it right everytime you’ll have back, knee and ankle problems. Stopping dead
when you land will be the easiest thing to do but it will hurt you more than
riding on.

You should really put a lot of thought into this. Meditate on how you’re body
has to react to the speed, the ramp and the landing. Wear protection. I would
like to see someone do some great stuff like this but, it probably won’t be
something that you just pick up in a year.

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/ Share what you know. Learn what
you don’t.

Re: Unicyle ramps

Dear Kris “UNI Legend” Holm,

Thanks for the note below.

I’m interested in jumping off a ramp, and doing either a 180 or 360 degree
rotation in the air before landing. The distance issue is not key, just the
visual aspect of a spin while jumping and then landing safely and elegantly
enough to continue a routine.

Since YOU are the master of UNI AIR, any hints??

Steve

P.S. Any others tried this?

At 08:56 PM 8/22/99 -0700, you wrote:
>Ramps may be tough to get distance on, but I’ve personally found that it’s
>easiest to get more distance using a straight ramp with a “kicker” at the end,
>ie. a small bump at the lip of the jump. If you hit the kicker with your feet
>in the ideal position (dominant foot down and slightly back)and a hand pulling
>up on the seat, I’ve found that I can get some upwards momentum and lots more
>distance. They don’t have a kicker and are a bit dangerous, but airing a flight
>of stairs is a fun way to try to get big air and distance.
>
>More than ramps, I think that dropping in on half pipes and skateboard bowls is
>a blast- I could do that all day!
>
>-kris.
>

Re: Unicyle ramps

David Moss <FZBU23A@prodigy.com> wrote in article
<7pfa28$2m4i$1@newssvr04-int.news.prodigy.com>…
>> you might also want to refer to the Things Not To Do On A Unicycle

Although of course people did and do the things mentioned there.

Arnold the Aardvark

http://www.foxholly.demon.co.uk ICQ# 30592054

Re: Unicyle ramps

flamingdeath1@my-deja.com wrote:

Please allow me to make a few comments about all the great info that
“flamingdeath” provided concerning unicycle ramp jumping. (Please note that I
have LITTLE experience in unicycle ramp jumping, but have perhaps a sound
understanding of informal unicycle theory in general.)

>This would be tough because of lack of speed and weight distribution. Speed
>will require practice. Speed also requires that you put your center of gravity
>out far in front of the wheel.

It is actually forward acceleration that requires a prior forward lean.
Once at the desired (constant) speed, the center of gravity must be
directly over the axle.

How much speed does one need to jump a ramp? 20-30 MPH on a Coker 36"? It
depends on the goal of the ramp jump. A specified height and/or distance can be
the goal, plus the obvious goals of avoiding a fall or injury and riding away.
BTW, only very experienced riders should attempt ramp jumps were the speed
exceeds 5-10 MPH.

>To go off the ramp you’ll need to instantly shift your weight far back in order
>to put your momentum behind the wheel to give it the force to push you up in
>the air. Also, because of the center of gravity problems you will probably want
>to use a straight ramp as opposed to one which has a big transition. This way
>you won’t have to adjust your weight a million times to each angle of the ramp.
>I’d start with a longer ramp and then gradually work down to a smaller one to
>get more launch. You’re going to have to situate your balance three times at
>ramp time. You’ll have to kick back fast when first hitting the ramp. You’ll
>have to get more above the wheel when taking off. And you’ll have to kick back
>again for the landing.

A constant pitch (straight) ramp is probably not a good choice due to the
balance adjustments mentioned above. A ramp with a curved upper surface that
gradually increases the pitch would be better. The curve could increase the
pitch slowly at first until it reaches half the final specified pitch where the
pitch change per unit length (i.e. cm or inch) reaches its maximum. From this
point the pitch change per unit length could decrease as the pitch continues to
increase more slowly again until the final pitch is attained. At this point the
ramp could end or extend this final (constant) pitch for a specified length.

To make the transition from the underlying surface (ground) and the ramp easier,
a flat thin level board of two or more meters can precede and be directly
attached to the beginning of the ramp. This would allow the ramp jumper to
adjust from the underlying surface and slight bump of the thin board to the ramp
surface texture well before any change of pitch (the actual ramp) is
encountered. The flat thin board surface and the curved ramp surface should be
made of the same material.

>Ahh, landing that will mess you up so bad. You are going to have so many
>injuries related to impact. Even if you land it right everytime you’ll have
>back, knee and ankle problems. Stopping dead when you land will be the easiest
>thing to do but it will hurt you more than riding on.

Here, a smaller curved landing ramp is a possibility. It also provides an
interesting obstacle for the ramp jumper to hit in case his speed was not great
enough. Audience anticipation of the resulting mangled unicycle, rider and blood
makes the jump (for them at least) all the more exciting.

With or without a ramp, mountain unicycling experience will help a great deal
with the landing. A mountain unicycle with suspension could make it the landing
a bit softer.

>You should really put a lot of thought into this. Meditate on how you’re body
>has to react to the speed, the ramp and the landing. Wear protection. I would
>like to see someone do some great stuff like this but, it probably won’t be
>something that you just pick up in a year.

I couldn’t agree more! You may even want to sketch each step of the jump,
drawing yourself and the unicycle at various point and what you want to be doing
at those points.

BTW, I’ve geared all my comments toward what semi-professional to professional
unicyclists should technically consider in a ramp jump. I’ve said almost nothing
about the showmanship and creative stalling that can maximize the effect of the
final ramp jump on the audience.

Finally, credit for the idea and implementation of ramp jumps from a curved ramp
jump and curved landing ramp go to Randy Barnes who impressed everyone who saw
him do it and other stunts at the 1980 USA National Unicycle Meet in Kokomo,
Indiana. He said he had gone to a Hollwood? stunt training school which helped
him do all those stunts he did at the NUM without getting hurt (too badly).

Sincerely,

Ken Fuchs <kfuchs@winternet.com

RE: Unicyle ramps

> I have ramped on bikes and skateboards and have done umx. My combined
> knowledge tells me it would be very hard to look impressive with any jump on a
> unicycle. Here are my theories:
>
> This would be tough because of lack of speed and weight distribution.

Back in the 70’s, the Pontiac Unicycle Club (Michigan) used to jump over a half
dozen people or so in shows. This was done using a straight ramp maybe 3’ long
and about a foot high at the end. My friends and I used to do similar jumps in
the Redford club also. So much for the “impossible, injuries and weight
distribution” part. Yes it takes practice and of course there’s a chance for
injury, but it didn’t take long to figure out how to do the jumps and land them.

But, these are always going to be little jumps compared with what you can do on
a bike. Speed is the main limiting factor, along with inability to coast. On a
bike, not only can you reach a pretty high speed, you can then stop pedaling and
just manipulate yourself above the bike while it flies. On a unicycle you
unfortunately have to keep pedaling (except when in the air of course), which
takes a lot more energy and does a lot to destabilize you as you go up the ramp.

So jump small, and let the bikers understand the difference. If they could do
better, why don’t they?

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone


jfoss@unicycling.com http://www.unicycling.com

RE: Unicyle ramps

> I’m interested in jumping off a ramp, and doing either a 180 or 360 degree
> rotation in the air before landing. The distance issue is not key, just the
> visual aspect of a spin while jumping and then landing safely and elegantly
> enough to continue a routine.

It’s hard to get rotation off the top of a tilted ramp. If you were aiming to do
it with continuous forward motion, you would have to make a curve at the top of
the ramp to set up your spinning motion. But as Kris says, riding off the top of
a flat surface, you have more options. Practice off a curb to get the feel of
things. It’s pretty easy to do a 180 off a curb, if you set up your rotation
before jumping.

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone


jfoss@unicycling.com http://www.unicycling.com