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how to relax when cycling (newby)?

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  • #16
    No point obsessing about weight on the saddle. It will come in time as your balance reflexes develop and the uni stabilises more. Observe your weight distribution as part of your development but remember it is just one part of a many faceted learning experience.

    Meanwhile, as you have no doubt noticed, you are getting a serious workout, preparing you for when you start climbing hills and riding bigger wheels. Or you want to learn Seat-in-Front.

    Clearly no weight in the saddle for SIF and there isn't a lot either pushing a big wheel up a steep gradient. Any weight that there is under these conditions comes from pulling up on the nose/bars because the rider is putting their whole weight and more on one pedal then repeatedly transferring the force to the other pedal. It requires a lot of rhythm, balance, strength and fitness to sustain for long. Just like you are doing now.

    Soon enough you will find yourself in the wonderful phase where your riding progresses phenomenally because both your fitness and skills are improving so rapidly. Sometimes I miss those early days where everything was a physical challenge. Maybe it was the Endorphin I enjoyed so much.
    Last edited by OneTrackMind; 2017-07-06, 10:50 AM.
    Triton 36" + 29" | KH 29" | KH 26" | KH 27.5" Muni | Nimbus eSport Race 24" | Torker LX 24" | Qu-Ax Luxus 20" | Qu-Ax Profi 20" | KH / Impact 19" hybrid

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    • #17
      ride w/ your legs

      My $0.02:

      Try riding around w/ your hands on the front seat handle. This will feel very awkward at first but you'll quickly realize that you can steer the uni with your legs and hips. This will help tremendously in relaxing your upper body which is mostly along for the ride. It did for me, at least. You want eventually to get most of your control from your lower body. The arm waving routine is just inefficient and mostly ineffective for controlling the uni. Arm waving can correct for momentary imbalances but shouldn't be relied on for directional control. Like skiing, most of the action should be below the waist with a quiet upper body (as much as possible).

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      • #18
        Yes. Initially leaning is all about tilting the uni and counter leaning with the body to keep the point of contact below you. If you lean your body in it can be very difficult to come out of a turn especially is you don't maintain speed in the turn, which is difficult for a beginner.

        Later you learn to lean your body into the turn too and even to use a controlled "high side" to get back up.
        Triton 36" + 29" | KH 29" | KH 26" | KH 27.5" Muni | Nimbus eSport Race 24" | Torker LX 24" | Qu-Ax Luxus 20" | Qu-Ax Profi 20" | KH / Impact 19" hybrid

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        • #19
          Originally posted by johnfoss View Post
          Nope, it's a fairly subtle change, not affecting seat height.
          You are correct, in terms of not affecting seat height in the middle of the seat. I ride with the seat already pretty high, and I tend to sit on the back of the seat. For me, tilting the nose up or down is more than a subtle change. For the OP, however, I suppose the change would be small.

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          • #20
            hi folks.... thank you all for your daily advices
            so cool to get such an interesting discussion with the pros in my early stage of unicycling.

            Well, I did change the saddle position today... I moved it all the way forward... ideed not an enormous differens as it only was a change of about 10mm. I had a good feeling... but let me train more to find out what works best for me.

            Today I changed my training location for the first time from the basketballplace to the street (a small street without traffic). There was a bit of a gradient in the road and I realized that it is calmer and more stable to unicycle uppwards... and there where some edges up to the pedestrianlan etc. which was a bit of a challenge.
            today only freemounts... it's cool because one is so much more independent when there is no need to find a post.

            Oh yeah guys... for me it still is a real workout everytime
            But I enjoy every step of improvment.

            So thank's for today!
            I hope this inspiring discussion will go on.
            I really like the very positive spirit in your posts guys... so nice and motivating

            cheers from Switzerland
            Dominik
            Last edited by gschwind11; 2017-07-06, 07:41 PM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by OneTrackMind View Post
              No point obsessing about weight on the saddle. It will come in time as your balance reflexes develop and the uni stabilises more. Observe your weight distribution as part of your development but remember it is just one part of a many faceted learning experience.

              Meanwhile, as you have no doubt noticed, you are getting a serious workout, preparing you for when you start climbing hills and riding bigger wheels. Or you want to learn Seat-in-Front.

              Clearly no weight in the saddle for SIF and there isn't a lot either pushing a big wheel up a steep gradient. Any weight that there is under these conditions comes from pulling up on the nose/bars because the rider is putting their whole weight and more on one pedal then repeatedly transferring the force to the other pedal. It requires a lot of rhythm, balance, strength and fitness to sustain for long. Just like you are doing now.

              Soon enough you will find yourself in the wonderful phase where your riding progresses phenomenally because both your fitness and skills are improving so rapidly. Sometimes I miss those early days where everything was a physical challenge. Maybe it was the Endorphin I enjoyed so much.
              ^^^^This! As an "adult onset unicycler" I got very discouraged always being told weight on seat..because I couldn't do it! Time in saddle on a daily basis was the answer. For me there wasn't a specific day where I could pedal along with weight on the seat. It happened over a period of a few weeks. Enjoy the journey!
              Last edited by TMason; 2017-07-07, 06:23 PM.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by TMason View Post
                "adult onset unicycler"
                A) I totally agree about the weight in seat thing
                B) I need to steal this phrase for my profile!
                Heading for the outskirts of Awesome, one fall at a time.
                Arrived at Outer Awesome city limits 26/10/2016, Day 86 of practicing!

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                • #23
                  hi folks,.... today is day 14 since I started unicycling!

                  It's a wonderful but superhot summerday here in Switzerland,... so i decided to go unicycling in the forest for the first time...
                  on a pretty good packet trail indeed... I have no Muni, only a Qu-Ax 20" Profi... with quite hard pumped tires.

                  What a encouraging experience... so nice in the woods
                  So there were no posts... therefore only freemounts which work better and better.
                  The training or better said the workout as I'm still sweating like a monster everytime , was very satisfying... did mostly 50 - 100m rides and could partly get some relaxing moments when finding the right position in the saddle.

                  Unicycling slightly uppwards is a good thing for me... more stability and stability.
                  When it goes downwards the small 20" wheel is always willing to spin too fast.. I wonder how a 24-26" unicycle feels...

                  However... i might just go on practising.... and all will come.... as the most of you are recommending

                  It's a pleasure to meet Spinningwoman in that discussion... I was reading parts of your thread in that forum... I just say.... soooo cool!
                  Yo are all very motivating

                  Cheers from Switzerland
                  Attached Files

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                  • #24
                    Nice picture! It looks like a beautiful day and place for unicycling. A trail like that is an unpaved road by my way of thinking, so there's no need for any special off-road equipment. Bicycles became popular at a time when paved roads were rare and cyclists went along fine. The tire on your unicycle should be OK on that too.

                    And I agree with you about gentle uphills being more comfortable and easier to relax on. I had the same experience as a beginner, and I think it comes from being able to control front-to-back balance by pedaling forward harder or easier, not ever having to apply reverse pedal pressure. That's a more awkward thing to do. It's worth practicing both though.

                    Great progress, keep it going!

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by TMason View Post
                      ^^^^This! As an "adult onset unicycler" I got very discouraged always being told weight on seat..because I couldn't do it! Time in saddle on a daily basis was the answer. For me there wasn't a specific day where I could pedal along with weight on the seat. It happened over a period of a few weeks. Enjoy the journey!
                      Also, you can only do weight in seat on a very smooth surface. Bumps and off road, even potholes, require more weight on the feet to prevent UPDs.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by gschwind11 View Post
                        What a encouraging experience... so nice in the woods
                        hi folks,.... today is day 15 since my start in this amazing sport!
                        Oh that was pretty nice today... after my first experiences in the forest on a unpaved road yesterday (thank's Large Eddie I was looking for that right expression :-)... I went back to the deadflat basketball-place and everything seemed to be just much easier
                        Well, freemounts became standard now and I got more and more safety on ideling without support.
                        And thank's to your excellent advices guys and Kris Holms good tipps in his book to lean with the shoulder towards the side you want to turn towards.... my turns are becoming more defined too....
                        I also started cycling eights as Bungee Joe recommended.... thank's for that advice too

                        Okay, that was it for today...
                        I really wonder how progress will develop for the next 3 weeks as I then will depart to my summervacation in Wales... and my goal was from the beginning to get as fit as possible on the unicycle until that moment...

                        cheers from Switzerland
                        Dominik

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by gschwind11 View Post
                          And thank's to your excellent advices guys and Kris Holms good tipps in his book to lean with the shoulder towards the side you want to turn towards.... my turns are becoming more defined too....
                          You should be ready to start holding the saddle horn/front handle while riding. It will not seem natural. Force yourself to touch the handle with one hand and then the other. Then try to hold it for a second. Then hold it when you turn. Make sure to trade which hand you use as you turn.

                          Using the outside hand on turns will help you lean with the shoulder toward the side you want to turn towards.

                          Turns to left: grip front handle with right hand. Turn shoulder and hips left. Hold out lift arm.
                          Turns to right: grip front handle with left hand. Turn shoulder and hips right. Hold out right arm.

                          When you start turning sharper at speed on mini in banked turns this switching of hand will become increasingly important. Learn it now before you develop the habit of ridding with one hand dominate will make it easier later on as you will add working a brake lever into this hand exchanging on steep down hill turns.

                          Strive to be ambidextrous as you learn each new skill. Don't fool yourself thinking you will develop the non-dominant side later. Most don't. Look through most any expert's videos or Kris Holm's book. Almost all of the stuff they show are dominant side tricks.

                          Joe Myers
                          You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself....



                          ...

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by bungeejoe View Post
                            Strive to be ambidextrous as you learn each new skill. Don't fool yourself thinking you will develop the non-dominant side later. Most don't. Look through most any expert's videos or Kris Holm's book. Almost all of the stuff they show are dominant side tricks.
                            Today I learned how to idle holding the seat behind me with my right hand. My left hand was out for balance. Immediately after succeeding the first time, I performed the same trick, but this time holding the seat with the left hand. Before today, I'd not been able to perform a single idle, in this position, either-handed, without falling off.

                            The best time to learn something on the "other" side ... is immediately after doing it on the opposing side. Don't wait until muscle memory has taken over. Learn on both sides while your brain is still coming to terms with the trick. Doing something on both sides, I think, indicates a certain understanding of the mechanics of a trick.

                            In defense of the expert riders: They tend to choose, for their edits, jumps and techniques at the limits of their abilities (why make a video if you can't show off?). Those riders may revert to their dominant side in extreme cases, such as jumping onto pallets. That doesn't necessarily mean that certain techniques are absent from their non-dominant sides.

                            I fall back on my dominant side on difficult downhills. I tend to grab the handle with the right hand and hold the left out for balance, for example. I need to find challenging but no-too-hard conditions to practice the other side. Also, when I am exhausted, such as at the end of a hard mUni ride, I find it much easier to mount onto my left foot.

                            But, to ignore the non-dominant foot altogether (such as only learning to mount only on one foot) is, in my humble opinion, BAD! If you are a level-10 rider and you can only do a backwards, one-footed pirouette clockwise (but not the other way), I will cut you some slack. But for mounts, idling, one-footed... definitely learn both-footed.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
                              But, to ignore the non-dominant foot altogether (such as only learning to mount only on one foot) is, in my humble opinion, BAD!
                              D'OH! OK elpuebloUNIdo I will start practicing. After all you are our SIF Sherpa "lead me to the summit O'Wise One!"

                              I hop and idle with both feet. Hopping is better left foot forward, idling with my left foot down is better. I do both my roll back and static mount with my right foot. I am comfortable using either hand on the grab handle or both. Except on SIF where I am just glad I can do it at all. Being able to do these skills ambidextrously has practical applications in my riding every day.

                              Other then passing the levels test which does not mean much to me, or just to say I can, what is the purpose? I just need to practice left footed mounting I guess. I doubt if it would take long. The problem for me is backwards practice, skinnies, rolling hops and 2 handed SIF is just a whole lot more gratifying and fun, and fun is why I ride.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by DaUniGuy View Post
                                fun is why I ride.
                                I think fun is why a lot of people don't ride. They want instant gratification. You (and others on this forum) picked up unicycle as a middle aged person, endured the un-fun-ness of constant UPDs, and despite that, learned to ride.

                                There is an undeveloped hill behind my neighborhood. I remember the first time I rode down it on my starter 24". That was fun! But, over time, fun acted like a drug to which I was developing a tolerance. So, I had to learn new stuff to keep it from getting boring. I don't think I'm much different from other riders in that regard.

                                Every unicycle session feels different. Muni is typically quite gratifying. Practicing wheel walking is a pain in the ass. I suck at it!!! But, when I can wheel walk for a few feet, that is fun!

                                DaUniGuy, please provide us with a nice write-up on Nationals. Good luck!!!

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