Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

how to relax when cycling (newby)?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    Originally posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
    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.

    DaUniGuy, please provide us with a nice write-up on Nationals. Good luck!!!
    Actually I learned young, went away for awhile and hopped back on in my mid 50's. http://unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116086

    As to a write up I may do that but it would be from the perspective of someone who is there more for the convention/clinics/vacation/pub crawling perspective then as a serious competitor. We had to change our original plan of driving out to flying so instead of bringing my stable I can only brig my trusty equinox street.

    Thread unhijacked and back to your original question gschwind11

    Originally posted by gschwind11 View Post

    1.) How can I relax when cycling? ... Do I have to put nearly all my weight on the saddle?... My distancelimit is more defined by the stressy uncomfortable sitting than the ability to manage the cycling stability.

    2.) Funny enough for me the right turns work relatively well, but I have a hard time to turn left... How can I solve this problem when cycling?
    I do not have the Chris Holm book in front of me but he talks about sitting up straight, engaging your core and trying to relax every muscle that is not needed at the time. This makes a big difference for me and I will mentally chant this in my head sometimes when I am getting tired or struggling.

    As to turning, I still to this day turn smother to the left then the right. I know it is not what you want to hear but seat time is the secret. Hang in there you are doing great!

    Comment


    • #32
      Relaxed? Are you stressed? or just working too hard?

      I'm guessing you just want to be able to use "less energy" and go farther.

      I can't imagine you are just flapping your arms around, twisting your hips and worried about falling. Nope, I want to give you more credit than that.

      When I finally "got it" and started to go beyond 20ft, I was really "lead footing" and hunching forward for stability.

      I also noticed I would wobble, twist a lot. 3 things to watch for:
      1.) You're knees/thighs should be pinching inwards to stabilize the seat. A little bit or a lot depends on your pedaling speed. Some people do this naturally because of their knee bend inward, but if you bend out you just have to add some tension.

      2.) You're feet should be on both pedal equally. Typically, if you are free mounting the "down pedal" feet will be "fully in" but the jumping feet tends to be a little off the pedal. You can fix this by putting more weight down on the other feet, and carefully unweight and wiggle the pedal feet that needs to move. Sometime, you don't even notice it...or if you look down you will fall. A good way to check is try to rub your calves against the fork. Left and right side...any difference?

      3.) Also, I learned something that helped me steer early on. Just slightly turn both your feet in the direction you want to go. Kinda like skiing. It seemed to work for me.

      So, beginners if you are at this point(you experts can you even remember?...I am slowly starting to forget myself). 3 things. Pinch your thighs, watch your feet, point your toes!!! Keep on.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by bungeejoe View Post
        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.

        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.
        Joe Myers
        hi folks,.... today is day 17 since my start...
        Well, I started my training at 7am... indeed a bit too early because of the basketball-place beeing still wet after last nights heavy rainfall.
        However I didn't mind and optimistically started to try using Joe's advices... (thank's Joe )
        I hardly tried to take the turns outside hand and hold the gripfront... making my first attempts to lead to smooth curves...
        Oh gosh.... it seems that I still have too much tension in my corebody...
        sorry Joe, I cannot report success about my curves today... but I will absolutely go on using your adviced technique... it works at least already mentaly for me

        Then you and some other forum members mentioned the "ambidextrous"-aspect when learning new skills.
        this sound soooooo meaningful
        Thank's guys!!!
        Already this morning I said to myself: "Dominik, you'll do at least as many freemounts on your weaker side as on your dominant side"
        YESSSS
        That was another key-advice... resulting in another stonehard workout type of training but in the end I could freemount on both sides..... even with the wet shoes and pedals...

        I'll absolutely follow the "ambidextrous"-princip in the future

        Thank's for today
        cheers from Zuerich

        Dominik
        Last edited by gschwind11; 2017-07-11, 09:08 AM.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by slamdance View Post
          1.) You're knees/thighs should be pinching inwards to stabilize the seat. A little bit or a lot depends on your pedaling speed. Some people do this naturally because of their knee bend inward, but if you bend out you just have to add some tension.
          oh hi slamdance,
          yeah the pinching inwards method is something that I already discovered myself too... indeed I realized this morning that when pinching the knees together you can not only get more stability in the ride but also you can stand up and ride in a standing position...

          thank's for your comments too!

          Comment


          • #35
            I'll keep this short as I'm going to update my long overdue thread but felt I would write this here quickly.

            I also had the problem with turning one way far easier than the other.
            One day I took my kids out on their bikes. My daughter had just had her stabilisers off.
            I jumped on my uni (well, struggled on I guess ) and followed her. \I was paying so much attention to watching her and being close in case she toppled over that I was paying very little attention to myself and eventually realised that whichever way she turned, I did too without trying. I also had all my weight in the seat and felt much more relaxed.

            If you have anyone to ride with, maybe give it a go and see if that helps.
            Originally posted by onewheeldave:
            Neither unicycles nor dreams should be stuffed into cupboards & left to rot.

            Un-branded 20" x 2.125 with 140mm cranks and a nutt buster seat which is now in many many pieces.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by gschwind11 View Post
              Oh gosh.... it seems that I still have too much tension in my corebody...
              Beginners wave their arms for balance. While they are throwing their upper-body weight around, their core muscles must compensate by tightening up.

              Eventually you will learn to ride with both hands on the seat (or on bar ends). You will stick your hips out to the left or right for balance. Your core will then relax.

              It will take time to make the transition to core-balance. Baby steps. Baby steps. Here is a suggestion: When you are ready, use your elbows, rather than your hands, for balance. This will get your hands closer to the grab handle. Reach down and touch the grab handle, then try it with the other hand (I think that was already suggested by another rider).

              Many beginners, while they are excited to be making progress, complain about discomfort and tension. They tend to blame themselves, as if they're doing something wrong. You are doing nothing wrong. I think everyone is amazed at your progress. Keep practicing, and you will learn to relax, and in the meantime, enjoy the great workout you're getting!

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by MonkeyMark View Post
                I also had the problem with turning one way far easier than the other.
                One day I took my kids out on their bikes. My daughter had just had her stabilisers off.
                I jumped on my uni (well, struggled on I guess ) and followed her. \I was paying so much attention to watching her and being close in case she toppled over that I was paying very little attention to myself and eventually realised that whichever way she turned, I did too without trying. I also had all my weight in the seat and felt much more relaxed.
                Thank's MonkeyMark for this fantastic story... this is so real, I love it
                You motivated me to go out for a second training the same day... I don't do that normally but it just was a belly decision.... I had to try your advice immediately!!!
                And it was absolutely amazing...
                Instead of the basketball-place I decided to simulate your experience on a nice cycling way and tried to imagine my daughter cycling in front of me for the first time without stabilizers...
                Wow wow wow... so cool I cannot believe it. I think this was the first time today when I really could rest 95% of my bodyweight on the saddle and it makes such a difference.


                Originally posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
                Beginners wave their arms for balance. While they are throwing their upper-body weight around, their core muscles must compensate by tightening up.
                And yes elpuebloUNIdo you are absolutely right... this must be the case, I realize that now more and more.
                Well I can't wait for my next training.... this is so exciting

                Cheers from Switzerland
                Dominik

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by MonkeyMark View Post
                  I was paying so much attention to watching her and being close in case she toppled over that I was paying very little attention to myself and eventually realised that whichever way she turned, I did too without trying. I also had all my weight in the seat and felt much more relaxed.
                  That's a great story indeed. Once you get to the place where you are riding and turning some, it helps to have a little distraction from the mechanics of riding, and let your body kind of figure things out. If you have a group of people, a great activity is unicycle hockey. The stick can be used as a stabilizer, but otherwise, you are focused on chasing the ball and your body does a lot of the work automatically. Any activity can work, and it can really help during those stages of learning!

                  Originally posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
                  Eventually you will learn to ride with both hands on the seat (or on bar ends). You will stick your hips out to the left or right for balance. Your core will then relax.
                  The handlebar thing comes later; it may be a little early to worry about that yet. We rode unicycles for years with nothing but seat handles (and before those as well); our cores figured it out all right. Handlebars are most used for certain types of riding, namely Road, Muni, and also racing. The handles, in different ways, help you stay in control (Muni) and ride more efficiently (Road and racing).

                  Holding onto your seat handle can be a start for this. Try with one hand for a bit, then the other. Or just touch the handle at first, to get used to the idea. You can also use that as a turning aid; your left hand on the handle will help you turn right and vice-versa. This is because it helps turn your upper body in the direction of the turn, and also leaves the "inside" hand out to help you lean toward that side.
                  Originally posted by elpuebloUNIdo
                  I think everyone is amazed at your progress. Keep practicing, and you will learn to relax, and in the meantime, enjoy the great workout you're getting!
                  Absolutely. Your reported rate of learning is way above average. You were probably good at some other sport(s) to help your body learn as well. Also you seem to good at following advice from strangers!
                  Last edited by johnfoss; 2017-07-12, 03:41 AM.
                  John Foss
                  www.unicycling.com

                  "Who is going to argue with a mom who can ride a unicycle?" -- Forums member "HiMo"

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    well, thank's John for your motivating words!
                    You are right I did Skating, Windsurfing and Snowboarding... all sports that train the body to handle balance.
                    It's a good feeling for me to hear from someone like you that I'm on track with my learning-journey...
                    By coincidence I just came by a photo from you cycling in Livonia Michigan in 1981... (in Kris Holms book)...that's really cool!... yeah you must have an enormous experience after all this years
                    cheers from Zurich
                    Dominik

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by johnfoss View Post
                      The handlebar thing comes later; it may be a little early to worry about that yet. We rode unicycles for years with nothing but seat handles (and before those as well); our cores figured it out all right. Handlebars are most used for certain types of riding, namely Road, Muni, and also racing. The handles, in different ways, help you stay in control (Muni) and ride more efficiently (Road and racing).

                      Holding onto your seat handle can be a start for this. Try with one hand for a bit, then the other. Or just touch the handle at first, to get used to the idea. You can also use that as a turning aid; your left hand on the handle will help you turn right and vice-versa. This is because it helps turn your upper body in the direction of the turn, and also leaves the "inside" hand out to help you lean toward that side. cut .......
                      With my newly acquired 36er I'm about in the same stage of converting from a arm flailing steering mode to a two hands on the handle mode. In Dominik's case he is riding a 20" uni and it seems that he would have a very hard time with two hands on a handle or handlebar. With the smaller wheel and likely slower speed he just does not have the gyroscopic effect needed for a relaxed "armless" riding style. You need a larger wheel and/or faster speed to ride with out at least some arm flailing.

                      On my 24" uni and even at slow speeds on my 36er I can ride quite relaxed but with some arm flailing. In my reading/research the exact body movements need to steer and stay upright in the sideways direction without using the arms seems to not be well defined. I'm sure it will come "naturally" with practice but maybe not easy to describe. On this forum I've read that some use their feet, or hips, or turn the upper body, or lean, or counter steer to ride without using the arms for balance but it all seems to be a bit of a mystery. In viewing videos of armless riding it is not clear what is being done either. Does anyone have a reference explaining the body movements needed to ride without using at least one arm for balance?

                      Jim

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by gschwind11 View Post
                        Thank's MonkeyMark for this fantastic story... this is so real, I love it
                        You motivated me to go out for a second training the same day... I don't do that normally but it just was a belly decision.... I had to try your advice immediately!!!
                        And it was absolutely amazing...




                        Cheers from Switzerland
                        Dominik

                        That's great that it motivated you and well done on your progress. Seeing your progress is really encouraging me to get back out the again.




                        Originally posted by johnfoss View Post
                        That's a great story indeed. Once you get to the place where you are riding and turning some, it helps to have a little distraction from the mechanics of riding, and let your body kind of figure things out. If you have a group of people, a great activity is unicycle hockey. The stick can be used as a stabilizer, but otherwise, you are focused on chasing the ball and your body does a lot of the work automatically. Any activity can work, and it can really help during those stages of learning!
                        A couple of years ago, before life got in the way, I attended a club. They use two halls and in the second hall they were playing uni hockey. What the heck! Uni hockey!
                        I never even knew that existed. When I was younger I played roller and ice hockey so as soon as I saw that I was like "I gotta have a go at that" and it is still one of my main goals, it looks so much fun.
                        At the moment I can't attend the club as it clashes with something else but I am trying to work things out to enable me to go. I am a long way off being able to even try to play but I think having goals like that are very important.
                        Originally posted by onewheeldave:
                        Neither unicycles nor dreams should be stuffed into cupboards & left to rot.

                        Un-branded 20" x 2.125 with 140mm cranks and a nutt buster seat which is now in many many pieces.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by gschwind11 View Post
                          By coincidence I just came by a photo from you cycling in Livonia Michigan in 1981... (in Kris Holms book)...
                          I'm old! The sad thing is, that place isn't even there anymore. Now it's a flat, grassy (swampy?) area behind a Kohl's store, next to a Walmart Supercenter.
                          I did much of my early learning in that parking lot, like 1-footing, wheel walking, etc. before those stores were there and when the Sears was just one part of a big shopping mall.

                          I much prefer the Muni photo at the back of the book, on page 167. I took a picture at that spot last Sunday. It looks so much better in the winter, with short, green grass. This time of year it's crispy dry, yellow, tall weeds. And the back half of that trail has even been re-routed!

                          Yes, plenty of (great) experiences with unicycling since 1979.
                          John Foss
                          www.unicycling.com

                          "Who is going to argue with a mom who can ride a unicycle?" -- Forums member "HiMo"

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            hi folks,.... this is day 21 of my unicyclepractise... with some breaks indeed.
                            Well, 2 days ago I had another day with quite some progress... which means that did my first slopes...
                            Only small slopes of about 2m in height but on gravel and grass... so for me at my stage quite a challenge.
                            But it worked fine... I'm happy.... got for the first time that special feel when you are breaking the way down with the upcoming pedals.... it reminds me a bit of staircase walking.

                            Today was indeed a day of consolidation...
                            What I mean by that is .... a day were I just practised but couldn't feel real progress.
                            I guess it's quite normal that this happens inbetween from time to time.
                            It was still fun but no big WOW-feelings.

                            That is it for today
                            cheers from Switzerland

                            Dominik

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by gschwind11 View Post
                              got for the first time that special feel when you are breaking the way down with the upcoming pedals
                              Can you please explain? I am confused about what you are describing. Were you going up or down a hill when you had that feeling?

                              You are smart to ride on different surfaces. In the vicinity of my house, there are hills and flats, cement, blacktop, fine gravel paths, thick grass, sand, roots, rock gardens, wood chips, you name it... Exposing yourself to different riding conditions will help you discover different muscles, different methods of balance, that you may not have been already aware of. Keep it fresh!

                              Find as many hills as you can. Some of them will be easy. On some of them, you will fail epically. Some hills will be right in the zone; you will struggle, but you will make it. Later on, you will succeed in spinning up a hill which you previously had slogged. Sometimes you will fail, but you will able to imagine success. There is a small but very steep incline near my house. Yesterday, after making it up more than halfway, I realized that riding up this slope may be possible.

                              Keep riding!

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by JimT View Post
                                Does anyone have a reference explaining the body movements needed to ride without using at least one arm for balance?

                                Jim
                                I think I can chine in on this one. I have arms, but I tuck them behind my back, so Im really not armless . Prior to acquiring and currently practicing on my Schlumpf 36". I did alot of gravel trail riding on the 26,29, and particularly 36 starting from 165 to 145, 127,110 and finally 88mm cranks. I find myself much more relaxed after the warm up period of 20-45mins of behind the back. So with any unfamiliar uni size, tire, crank, or saddle I go back to the same practice.
                                The steering is sort of like skiing or bicycling without poles or use of hands. The steering is upper body isolated and very subtle, with a slight shift of the weight, I believe on the hips. The upper body especially , I train my shoulders to stay still and square.
                                For more demanding sharper turns, more weight is shifted and requiring not only hips but ankles and knees. It really helps me to feel relaxed as I eventually gain more control, with greater lean forward, while have more arm weight on the back. However, with a word of caution, Be careful at first, when practicing speed and leaning forward.

                                Now, currently Im back at the unfamiliar 36G second gear. Though, after a couple weeks, first gear became very familiar, almost as familiar as my standard 36. Second gear is a whole different "muscle memory" with a whole other level of leverage to achieving a smooth cadence. My unfamiliarity with it shows, I can only let go of the saddle for only a short distance, and for a shorter distance, behind my back. But, as Im more warmed up into the few hour ride, the more stability, the less back and forth corrections, the greater the distance I can ride without grabbing on to the saddle handle, and behind my back.
                                All in all, really thinking about it. It's really not too much difference in the learning process when going down to 88 cranks, just more difficult because the greater fear of falling at a higher speed.
                                Relaxation only comes after 'muscle memory' familiarity. Muscle memory familiarity only comes with saddle time.😉

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X