Weekly Progress report

For those that DON’T have A.D.D. here’s another longass McPost. I kinda feel like i’m doing homework, but in another way, making these posts is kind of like a visit to the shrink… :smiley:

  • Last weekend was mostly frustrating. I spent 3 hours, and nothing satisfying came of it.
  • On Wednesday, i spent 30 minutes going down a handicap access ramp, with rails on both sides. It’s a bit steep, maybe 10-15 degrees, but whatever. It presents a different environment in which to practice. I took the seat up a tad, and didn’t mess with it at all since.
  • Thursday, i spent a mere 20 minutes. This time i spent time going UP the hill too. I find going UP the hill rather than DOWN does several things for me. It forces me to lean, because for whatever reason, using (and abusing) the rail as a support does to nothing to help me when i’m going uphill. it does help maintiain side-to-side balance clearly, but on flats and downhill i tend to abuse the rail as i approach the dead zone. and it helps, and i abuse it. anyway, uphill forces me to learn smoother pedaling. Another thing it does is helps me… not fear… leaning forward. Yes, it forces me to lean, because i’ll fall if i dont, but… it’s less “scary” because the ground seems closer and all. Yada Yada. As far as i am concerned, Wednesday the 9th is when i started making progress. Another note, my shoes broke, quite literally, and i bought a replacement pair. No help with the pedal-slip problem though. I also started experimenting with the position of my ass on the seat. Farther forward helps me.
  • Friday: 30 minutes up and down the hill. Forwards AND Backwards now. Did fairly well, THE GODDAMN CRANKS KEEP HITTING MY HEELS. It’s the other way around no doubt, but plastic pedals on flat soled shoes means i’m having a piss of a problem with crank-heel collisions. GRR.
  • And Finally, TODAY, Thursday the 11th: Firstly i should mention that i am doing nothing “unassisted.” Even when i do 1,2,4 and sometimes 5 revs “solo” i am always next to railing, having gotten an assisted start. While on a flat area i’ve found, after having done mostly ramp practice for the last few days, i figured i’d compare my current skills to last weekend. I’m increasingly comfortable with speed, but not consistently capable of getting there… in the 10-15 feet i have to work with. I’m also mounting 1 handed now. before i was using 1 or 2 hands… now i’m just using 1, and i’m comfortable with it too. I can tell my leg strength/balance/comfort level is increasing alot. The standing on the pedals horizontally thing i’ve been doing, well i can stand on the pedals, without them being horizontal, without the wheel moving with no problem. I actually did it several times without realizing. Yada yada i’m a wussy i know. After doing the flat 10 foot rail thing for 25 min i tried to do a SINGLE totally unassisted revolution. I tried for 20 minutes. No luck. I can’t get going. The leaning, the momentum… my wussy fear, whatever. It’s keeping me back. I’ll get there though. After those 20 mins, i went back to my hill. I’ve developed a routine for the hill. I’m doing laps. Go down, turn around, come up. When i get to 5 “UPD-in-motion” i will stop that, and check how long it’s been. today i did 20 minutes. THEN after normal laps, i will do another thing… go down… then… BACK up. backwards. 5upds, check the time. 10 minutes today.

SOOOOOO… for the week…
5.5 hours practice over 6 days. 0 unassisted revs [none that count]. BUT I AM NOW HAVING MORE FUN. I am developing confidence and a comfort level.

TOTAL PRACTICE TIME: 8 hrs 50 min.

have someone give you an unexpected push (not hard) from the waist while you are leaning on someone…
and try to spend more time in one go, with a friend if possible.

get the pedal under the middle part of your shoe if there’s anything there.
stop being pidgeon toed on the unicycle. get your feet straight.
less weight in the pedals, more in the seat, you should be able to have someone come hold the pedal and pull your foot off without too much trouble if you are holding onto something.

no assistance available. at all.

i just today began putting the pedal under my mid-foot, rather than the ball of my foot. Oddly enough, this is only occuring with my right foot.

i haven’t been able to spend more time in one go because of the short-ness of my practice area. I could try a longer section, but that would require practicing on grass. Or finding a different practice area… This park is otherwise perfect though. I’m going to look around at my apartment complex tho.

I think you just HAVE to get away from railings, fences etc. Having something solid to hold on to before you start is fine. I also think that using a ramp, be it up or down, is going to create a whole new set of problems for you in the future. The ramp totally throws off your sense of how far to lean forward, even worse if you are going up AND down a ramp using the railings.

You’ve said you get absolutely no forward progress without holding on to something. Is there any chance you could post a couple bits of video of exactly what happens when you try to ride away form a solid object without any assistance from a fence or railing? That way we might be able to spot something specific that is giving you grief. It seems to me you are giving waaay too much power to the idea of the dreaded dead spot.

Keep at it.

Kurt

McNerdius,

If nothing else, I am encouraged by one statement you made:

“I’ll get there though.”

That one phrase will be enough to get you riding. As long as you keep working at it, you definitely will get there.

So I salute your effort and appreciate your write ups which will help future beginners work through their frustrations as well. Keep at it. Rest assured, you are doing what it takes to learn to ride a unicycle.

You’re making progress - keep at it!

One thing that helped me kick a dependence on lateral support was a practice area that allowed me to move in two dimensions, not just linearly (for me, a parking lot).
Where previously I would start to overbalance sideways and use my support, in the parking lot I was allowed to make the necessary correction to stay on, even though it tended to involve, in the beginning, a 45- to 90-degree change of direction.

You keep mentioning being afraid. What sort of safety gear are you wearing?

There is another comment you make that is also encouraging

“BUT I AM NOW HAVING MORE FUN”

Great that you are having fun!

Keep up the good work.

Cheers

Simon