With gritted teeth...

Re: Re: With gritted teeth…

You have my sympathy Mikefule. [/B]


Mikefule, you also have my sympathy. A back in the pain can be one of the worst pains you ever experience.

“Treat Your Own Back” by Robin McKenzie, ISBN 0-9597746-6-1. It was recommended to me by my physiotherapist after I slipped a disk in 1995. It’s quite expensive for a very thin volume, but I’m sure it’s saved me a lot of pain. [/B]


Danny Colyer is right. This book by McKenzie is wonderful. I am a Doctor of Chiropractic (we fix patient’s backs all day long), and I teach McKenzie stretches to several patients every day. He did the whole back industry a great service by writting this book.

Danny, if this is the case, I would suggest you locate a good Chiropractor. The combination of re-aligning your spine, through Chiropractic care and doing your daily stretches should give you a better result. Getting stiff within 2 days of skipping your stretches tells me you, in all likelyhood, need the addition of Chiropractic care to you “Healthy Back Plan”.

Plus, you could ride your unicycle further, harder and in less pain! :slight_smile: That got us back on topic. --chirokid–

Whoops, I guess I still have not figured out this MULTIPLE Quote in one post thingy yet. I’ll keep trying to learn.

I’m a back doc, not a computer guru. --chirokid–

Re: Re: Re: With gritted teeth…

In ’98 I was having frequent back spasms and really threw it out the weekend before my vacation that year. I was walking like Grouch Marx for almost a week! It was bad enough I ended up going to Physical Therapy. My PT was ¼ physical and ¾ education.

My problems distilled down to a couple things. First, I had put on a few pounds and my belt was tight. That irritated my back. Second, my worst problems were after extended periods writing reports on my computer. I learned I was slouching and it didn’t take much exertion on the weekend to throw my back into spasm from all the irritation it received throughout the week.

Three things really help me. First, better posture. Second, I learned bending forwards does not relieve back pain, it aggravates it. I now bend backwards to keep what I think is called the “Lordotic Curve”. The PT said to imagine a fish hook pulling up under your sternum. Third, stretching the muscles that run from the back of the legs up through the lower back. While standing slightly elevate your foot on a step or chair, keep your back straight, bend at the hips and stretch that set of muscles. These have resolved almost all my problems. (Losing 20 lbs didn’t hurt either).

I think frequent unicycling has also helped tone my back and abdominals.

hi there

i can’t remeber who told me this but it works a charm
if u want to do multiple quotes, u can either remember the whole sequence of [url/#^}–blahbblah]^$@_ u have to type or cheat

cheating is easier
once u decide to reply to a thread using multiple quotes, press control and ‘n’
this (i never knew) opens a copy of the page that u’re on in a new window
file-new-window does the same thing (i’m in IE here, dont get complicated now)
in the original window, click on ‘quote’ at the applicable post
go to the new window and click on ‘quote’ at the other post u want to quote

back to the first window, trim the quote, add your bit and then go to the new window, trim the quoted bit to your needs and highlight/copy/paste it below your first quote and reply in the original window (make sure u copy all the ‘frilly bits’)
u can now hit ‘back’ on the second window in case u need to do another quote

and so on


just spreading the joy…

Just for the record, I didn’t invent the Constant Footspeed Hypothesis. I vaguely recall the first reference to it that I saw was by Roger - on that someone quoted Roger in this forum. I did, however, use it as a basis for several informal experiments. The results seemed to suggest it is only a valid hypothesis in the ‘mid range’ or for adjacent vlaues of wheel size or crank length. For extremes, common sense says it couldn’t possibly be valid.

Re: Re: Re: Re: With gritted teeth…

i read a piece on pilates training recently and thought that unicycling sounds (and feels) like the kind of exercise that should do all those things for u

anybody here do the pilates stuff?

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: With gritted teeth…

Well, I wash my hands every day…

(A rare biblical joke from the unicycling atheist.:stuck_out_tongue: )

(The unicycling pedant chooses to ignore the punctuation.:wink: )

Re: With gritted teeth…

onewheeldave wrote:
> Is it a small enough set that you could post what the exercises are?
> I’m sure a few people here would appreciate some effective back
> protection exercises.

It’s 73 pages, including photos and diagrams. It also includes a lot of
advice on preventing back problems and on when to do which exercises.
I’m a little reluctant to go into detail in case I get torn to shreds by
Chirokid, who should know a great deal more about back pain and its
treatment than I do. But anyway…

Except on the (now very rare) occasions when I suffer from back pain or
sciatica, I do 6 repetitions every morning of the Flexion in Sitting
exercise, followed by 10 of the Extension in Lying. Every evening I do
6 repetitions of the Flexion in Standing, followed by 10 of the
Extension in Sitting. I’ll copy the descriptions of these exercises
from the book further down (the book also includes other exercises,
which exercises it recommends depends upon the state of your back). It
is important always to follow flexion exercises with extension

When I suffer from a little back pain, I replace the evening standing
exercise with the morning sitting exercise. But if you suffer from any
pain at all (which I have for no more than a few days in the last 7
years) then it’s obviously better to read the book or seek professional
advice than to persist with a set of exercises that you read about on

Of course, exercises are no good if you don’t bother with good posture,
proper lifting technique etc. Unicycling is great for posture. It’s
also good for abdominal muscles, which oppose the lumbar muscles and so
should also be kept strong to maintain a strong lower back. Maintaining
all round flexibility is a good thing. I was very flexible before I
injured my back, because I spent a lot of time at judo and aikido and
also stretched most days when I wasn’t training. (Slightly ironically,
my back injury occurred while playing judo). A year or so after
slipping a disk I took up gymnastics, which did me a world of good until
I moved a couple of years later and couldn’t find an adult gymnastics
club that I could get to.

Anyway, the exercises:

Flexion in Sitting - Sit on the edge of a steady chair with your knees
and feet well apart and let your hands rest between your leg. Bend your
trunk forwards and touch the floor with your hands. Return immediately
to the starting position. Each time you repeat this movement cycle, you
must try to bend down a little further so that in the end you have
reached the maximum possible degree of flexion and your head is as close
as possible to the floor. The exercise can be made more effective by
holding on to your ankles with your hands and pulling yourself down

Flexion in Standing - How embarrassing, this one doesn’t seem to be in
the book. I stand up straight, then bend down and touch my toes, or
further if I can manage it. I can usually put my palms flat on the
floor, but I don’t think I’ll ever regain the flexibility I had 10 years

Extension in Lying - Lie face down on the floor. Place your hands under
your shoulders in the press-up position. Straighten your elbows and
push the top half of your body up as far as pain permits. It is
important that you completely relax the pelvis, hips and legs as you do
this. Keep your pelvis, hips and legs hanging limp and allow your low
back to sag. Once you have maintained this position for a second or
two, you should lower yourself to the starting position. Each time you
repeat this movement cycle you should try to raise your upper body a
little higher, so that in the end your back is extended as much as
possible with your arms as straight as possible. Once your arms are
straight, remember to hold the sag for a second or two as this is the
most important part of the exercise. The sag may be maintained for
longer than one or two seconds if you feel the pain is reducing or

Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny )
Recumbent cycle page: http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” - Thomas Paine

Re: With gritted teeth…

chirokid dodgily quoted:[color=darkred]
> > > > > This book by McKenzie is wonderful.[/color]
> > > > > He did the whole back industry a great service by
> > > > > writting this book.[/color]

It’s good to be backed up by an expert :slight_smile:
> > > > > Danny, if this is the case, I would suggest you locate a good
> > > > > Chiropractor.[/color]

I’ve been told that before. But I don’t believe chiropracty is
available on the NHS, and I’m a cheapskate. I’ve only had a few days of
discomfort in the last 7 years, so I’m happy enough.
> > > > > Plus, you could ride your unicycle further, harder and in less
> > > > > pain! :slight_smile: That got us back on topic. --chirokid–[/color]

The only times I’ve ever had discomfort while unicycling have been from
riding with a twisted saddle (easily corrected) or from riding on a
camber with low tyre pressure (lots of twisting, again easily
corrected). I tend to twist to the left, and holding onto the front of
the saddle with my left hand helps enormously in preventing that.

I should ride more and harder to strengthen my abs, though, which have
been getting progressively saggier over the last few years :frowning:

(According to Zod I’m exactly 1 week younger than Kris Holm, so his
should be that bit saggier still. But I think he cheats by yiking a lot
more than I do).

Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny )
Recumbent cycle page: http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” - Thomas Paine

there’ve been so many tangents i feel like i’ve stepped into geometry class… ahem…

anyway i wanted to bring up the crank ratio topic. a 24" with 170s is incredibly inefficient at moving without perspiring. i considered 150s a while ago, but nothing happened of it… after reading Mikefule’s essay, i again consider new cranks. being back in urban berkeley, i wonder if getting 102s would be a good option. i don’t think there is much mountainous terrain here, and i can probably still MUni if i so desired. i would probably use the machine as a convenient transport… which begs another question of tire type… should i stick with my knobby? or get a hookworm? or something else? how many times i’ve asked that question, i’ll never know.

Hey Nosabe332, we play uni basketball in Berkely on wednesdays around 6-6:30 all the way to 7:30-8. We play across the street from the track at Berkely’s Washington High. There’s a bunch of riders, and I’m there occasionally. Good games, though. I’ve also seen 2 riders demonstrating tricks such as wheelwalking and onefooted wheelwalking, if you like freestyle. There are also a few muni riders, me being one of them.
Also, Berkely is so flat compared to S.F. that you’ll be fine on 102s, I think. The hills there are so shallow that you need a level to notice them. Since it’s spread out I also think that 102s would look even better. Oh yeah, if you’re looking at a hookworm, go the next step up with the Dyno Fireball, sold on unicycle.com. It’s a 24x3.0 slick and I believe the only one ever made. If you want street and muni, then get a cheap 3.0 knobby that you can replace when it wears out.

Have Fun

102s are good on a real 24. On a 24 with a big tyre (effectively a 26) you might find them a bit short. You gain on speed but lose on control.

110s are a good compromise. Anything longer than 125 on a 24 makes it a real tractor.