Wahoo, went 35 feet today!

Well it is day 8 on the uni and I decided it was time to let go of the
railing and launch out for a try at riding the uni unassisted. So off
to the local soccer field, use the goal post for mounting and do that
little lean forward, spotting a tuff of grass in the middle of the
field I tried mightily to keep my weight off the pedals and on the
seat… first dozen tries ended in a bare revolution of the pedals
but then I went about 5 wobbly feet, veered to the left and fell off.
Ah, a vague sense of the possiblity of success was in the air.
As the morning wore on I spent a lot of time not going very far with a
few rides of 8 feet, then 15 feet and finally at the end of the
practice session I did a huge run of 35 feet or so… rode right to
the tufts of grass that I had been using as a focus spot. It was a
little wobbly still but I didn’t really veer off to the left like I
had eariler in the morning. And best of all I felt like this was
going to be possible; yes, riding the uni was something that I was
probably going to be able to do! Ah, what a nice feeling. Can hardly
wait for tomorrow’s practice session… now if only those bruises
on my ankle and inside of my knee and forearm heal quickly.

Erin

Good going! As you can tell, you’re just on the cusp of “getting it”. You’ll be amazed how quickly it will click in now. Once your body finally gets that slightly longer run (your 35 feet) to get a real feel for the balance, then you’ve almost got it. Your distance and skill will build quickly from there. If it’s any consolation, I suspect we all went thru the “legs getting chewed up” period during learning (I know I did anyway). Hang in there!

Jerry

Re: Wahoo, went 35 feet today!

Outstanding! Your body will get the feel for balance in no time at all-
and then you’ll be rolling, rolling, rolling. I have found that the
wobble can be lessened with nice even peddle strokes, which can be quite
difficult during your initial rides but comes quickly after you have had
a few (rides not beers). :wink:

Jason

Well done. it should all come quickly from now. bear in mind that even flat mown grass is about twice as difficult to ride on as smooth tarmac, so what you’re doing is good training.

Re: Wahoo, went 35 feet today!

On 6 Jul 2002 18:57:21 -0700, beandawg@direct.ca (rif raf) wrote:

>And best of all I felt like this was
>going to be possible; yes, riding the uni was something that I was
>probably going to be able to do! Ah, what a nice feeling.

All of us here can relate to that feeling. I for one wasn’t sure if I
could even learn to ride, so it was a blast to discover I could ride
across a gym (after many hours of practice). Even more of an
achievement if you learn on grass. Congrats!

Klaas Bil

Re: Wahoo, went 35 feet today!

Thanks for all your encouragement!

The soccer field is actually one of those sort of gravel ones not
grass (why anyone would want to play soccer on gravel I don’t know but
those kind of fields are quite popular here - low maintanence I guess)
anyways probably not as difficult to learn on as grass but still maybe
a little more friction than pavement.

Today was not quite as successful a day. I practiced for an hour or
so and the longest run was probably only about 10 feet. And wobbly as
all get out. But on the other hand I got quite quick at mounting with
the help of the soccer goal post and really felt more at ease with
unplanned dismounts as I really did a lot of those today…LOL.

Anyways I have read that other folks have had not so good days
interspersed with better days so I am just hoping that tomorrow or the
next day or the next day… will turn out to be the day that I can
free ride more than 10 feet… more than 35 feet even… keeping my
fingers crossed and I’ll keep you posted…

(PS Jason, your my inspiration and role model right now… hoping I
can do at least half as well as you in twice as long!!! )

Cheers,
Erin

Keep at it! I learned a few months back, and am already level 3. Since I recently went through the learning process, I understand how you feel about those off-days! Furthermore, I am teaching a close friend of mine to ride, and I would say her progress directly parallels yours. She has been riding for only a little while, with her longest run being not longer than 35 feet so far. I have her starting by leaning against a lengthwise car to mount, then riding down the street. She has off days just like you describe, and based on my own experience and hers, I think I can tell you the problem:

Everyone when learning has those moments where your balance feels absolutely perfect but they pass quickly. The harder you work, the more your confidence builds and the farther you get. We all start out to be very nervous riders, and gradually build confidence in ourselves. But as I’ve found, after a burst run, (like your 35 foot spree), you become nervous once again. You are NOT nervous from the unicycle anymore, rather, you can feel the anxiety of trying to duplicate your past achievement. Your fear of not making it that far will force you to have an off day, and lose all the confidence you built up. Now for the good news: If you keep at it even longer you get to the point where you just don’t care anymore about failure, about past accomplishments, or anything, and you say “what the heck…” and just ride. You are undoubtedly very close to breaking through, achieving great distance. Just keep doing what you are, and you will break down your fears, and have the greatest time of your life as you finally learn! Kudos on your progress so far, and just keep gettin out there until… umm… well, never stop practicing! Even WHEN you learn to ride!

Good luck, and I expect good news soon!

-Ross

Re: Wahoo, went 35 feet today!

Thanks for everyone’s encouragement. Ross I think you are absolutely
right about the nervousness to achieve the long run of the previous
day. I took your advice to heart this morning and have just returned
from my ‘day 10’ practice session.

I went down to our underground parkade as it was pouring rain outside
and I have been determined to not miss a day of practice, if at all
possible, till I can actually free ride the yike.

I mustered up more effort to get riding and I think the smooth
concrete surface was a bonus as well. First 15 minutes I got some 20
foot runs… that was more than just about anything that I managed to
do in an hour and a half yesterday. I found that I had to really go
for it, believe I could ride and also lean out my upper body a little
more during the first ten feet or so of the ride. Gradually the runs
became longer and the dismounts a little less dramatic.

I finished the hour of practice with three 40 foot runs that included
turning a 90 degree corner in order to extend the run and not hit any
of the parked cars.

I am thrilled with the sucess but won’t play it up too much so as not
to set myself up with too great an expectation for my next practice
session.

Thanks for letting me share this on the forum. Your support has been
invaluable to me as I learn to ride the uni and your advice has been a
big help.

Cheers to all of you that share your knowledge and enthusiasm with us
learners!

Erin