Monday, June 22, 2009

Unicycle: Days 6 and 7

Well, as they say (more in walking than in riding things, I guess), two steps forward, and one step back.

Day 6 of self-lessons on the unicycle was incredible! I accidentally rode away from the wall that I usually hold on to, and just kinda went with it, and ended up riding about 20 feet! I honestly didn't control direction at all, just marveled that I was successfully riding.

Feeling strong, I decided to go from my apartment's dumpster to the next apartment's dumpster -- about 30 feet. AND. I. SUCCEEDED. FOUR. TIMES. ... And it was really fun! (Okay, I only barely made it each time, and wasn't *fully* controlling direction, but really only had a width of 15 feet to work with, so I'll count that as a win.

Then there's the one step back: Day 7 was a complete bust, I wasn't even able to ride 10 feet next to the wall without touching it. I was, however, dumbly experimenting with flip flops, something I probably won't do again for a while. (And I raised the seat which reeeeeally helped. I'm now at my max seat height, allowing me to give advice to others: if you're taller than 5'10", don't get a 20" CyclePro Unicycle -- it probably will be too small.)

And this is just a random google image that I thought folks would like!


  1. Congratulations on your 30 foot dumpster crossings. Crossing a chasm with no balance aids can be a great motivator to weaning yourself off the wall.

    I am worried, to be honest, about your unicycle. The 20" wheel size was a bit troubling, but the short seat post and the narrow tire width are quite worrisome. The tire looks a bit flatish in the photos on your blog.

    However.... when you learn on this, you will find that subsequent unicycles with larger, wider wheels are far easier. You are learning on a uni where the required input frequency is quite fast relative to a 24" or larger wheel. You may be surprised when you switch wheels at how much mechanical advantage you have, how much slower you need to pedal, and how much faster the uni travels.... Read More

    Excellent progress. It seems like you need yet a few more days to get to pure solo, and then you get to work on robustness to disturbances during your ride. Riding over twigs, ruts, and bumps is crazy hard at first.

    There are a variety of ways to injure yourself on a unicycle, and you seemed to find one of the most effective ways - flip flops. I tried sandals fairly early after soloing and managed to slip one foot of the pedals and slamming my toe back into it. Not fun. Stick with tennis shoes or similar for now, as each piece of footwear will change your pedal awareness and grip and require corrective action from you during the stroke.

    You will join the ranks of the unicycling community when you start riding in the open and become subjected to the barrage of derogatory and mocking comments from the general public. The common man substitutes such negative remarks for his true feelings of astonishment and humility.

  2. Congrats on your 30 ft successes. You have become my daughter's hero by riding a "bih one wee" (that's bike with one wheel in toddler). Please send autographed photos when available...she might just start your fan club ;) Hope all is well. ~Nickey

  3. Man, you just have way too much fun! I've seen a couple of uni's out on the MTB trails at Woodhill. Amazing stuff. Even saw one successfully negotiate a 12-inch stepdown.

    Keep us posted.

  4. MA -- thanks for the great tips. Tried again tonight for a very few minutes at a park, with shoes on again, and had excellent results -- new record distance!

    Nicole, that's too awesome that I already (almost) have fans! I'll try to send some pics when there are some worth sending -- can you email me your address? (View full profile on the left side)

    Brian, I would love to see some kids on Unis at Woodhill. I have a friend who rides mountain Uni. MA - check out the place he's talking about, down in New Zealand:

    More to come in a day or so!



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