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Any tips on riding in circles?

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  • LanceB
    replied
    There is an outdoor basketball court near me that I practice on sometimes. I think it's useful to ride around the painted circle in the center. Following the line helps me concentrate on keeping the turn smooth, and not jerky.

    In general, you have made tremendous progress in a very short time. Congrats!

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  • haqreu
    replied
    Yup, I train on a very rough asphalt (three months in unicycling, buying third tyre in a month), it is a bit more difficult to turn than on a smooth asphalt or sand.

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  • Setonix
    replied
    Originally posted by haqreu View Post
    I guess my problem was the speed, I tried turning while pedaling too fast. Slow and steady pace gives nice 3m diameter figure eights.

    1.5 m diameter (IUF level 3) is definitely doable, but for now it is not smooth, it is more like I ride in 1m squares instead of 1.5 m circles
    It also depends very much on the tire. With my 29" nimbus muni turning on asphalt is harder than on sand. Too much friction

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  • haqreu
    replied
    I guess my problem was the speed, I tried turning while pedaling too fast. Slow and steady pace gives nice 3m diameter figure eights.

    1.5 m diameter (IUF level 3) is definitely doable, but for now it is not smooth, it is more like I ride in 1m squares instead of 1.5 m circles

    Leave a comment:


  • Setonix
    replied
    Originally posted by Mikefule View Post
    All mu unis except my 20 have pinned pedals.

    On a ride, I wear cycling gloves and a bike helmet.

    I own or have owned KH leg guards, wrist guards, and a full face helmet. These days, I would only consider putting all this stuff on if I were riding on uneven rocky surfaces. For general cross country, road and trail, helmet and gloves are enough.

    For practising skills away from traffic, and for occasional performance, I don't wear the gloves or the helmet.
    Yes I bought shin guards, but they are too warm to wear and even when learning to hop I rarely tumbled off badly enough to tear something open. In the forest I ride with a helmet and gloves and when riding with my family in the park only gloves. I'ts been a few times that I landed on my hands last year and the year before, but never on my head.

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  • Mikefule
    replied
    Originally posted by haqreu View Post
    Personally I wear only gloves for protection, I have quite a few marks on my legs (pin pedals!) but nothing dramatic.
    All mu unis except my 20 have pinned pedals.

    On a ride, I wear cycling gloves and a bike helmet.

    I own or have owned KH leg guards, wrist guards, and a full face helmet. These days, I would only consider putting all this stuff on if I were riding on uneven rocky surfaces. For general cross country, road and trail, helmet and gloves are enough.

    For practising skills away from traffic, and for occasional performance, I don't wear the gloves or the helmet.

    Leave a comment:


  • johnfoss
    replied
    Originally posted by haqreu View Post
    ...but all the learning is done with a 20" qu-ax profi. It has a very smooth 1.95" tyre with 2.4 bars max pressure allowed.
    Sounds perfect.
    That I do not understand. Do you mean an accident backspin?
    No, because a Backspin is a single move you do, rather than part of a circle. Hard to explain; easier to say give it some time, and you will suddenly see what I'm talking about.

    And in case it wasn't clear in my previous post, your pedaling motion should be steady and constant, without stops or pauses.

    Leave a comment:


  • haqreu
    replied
    Originally posted by johnfoss View Post
    By any chance, is your unicycle like a giant tractor wheel with really low pressure? Or a 36"?
    Nan, I do have a 29" road nimbus for distance rides, but all the learning is done with a 20" qu-ax profi. It has a very smooth 1.95" tyre with 2.4 bars max pressure allowed.


    Originally posted by johnfoss View Post
    A beginner changes directions kind of like a sail boat, by tacking. 30-degree course change, 45-degree course change, etc. What you want is to get where the turn is constant, not with corners.
    Yup, right. I can do 180 no problem, but (tight) constant is still elusive.


    Originally posted by johnfoss View Post
    As you get smaller, you may find yourself crossing the "center", where you might have to ride backwards to keep moving. That means you went too small.
    That I do not understand. Do you mean an accident backspin?

    http://www.unicyclist.org/cont/video5.cfm?p=backspin


    Originally posted by Canoeheadted View Post
    Try accelerating slightly while leaning.
    Body straight and head up and straight.
    Lean, don't bend.

    Get better, then bender.
    Thank you!

    Leave a comment:


  • haqreu
    replied
    Originally posted by song View Post
    Did you wear shin guards?
    Personally I wear only gloves for protection, I have quite a few marks on my legs (pin pedals!) but nothing dramatic.

    Leave a comment:


  • haqreu
    replied
    Originally posted by Mikefule View Post
    Without ever practising it, and without realising what he was doing, he had learned to steer smoothly in both directions.
    Clever trick, thank you. I think that indeed I have to alternate both directions.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mikefule
    replied
    Years ago, I taught a friend to ride and he struggled with steering.

    I set up six chairs as follows in an oblong a few metres long. We did it indoors in a village hall, but a space the size of a badminton or tennis court would do. Take the net down, of course.


    2 4 6


    1 3 5


    We then did pursuit races, starting at opposite ends of the oblong and both riding in the same direction.

    He, as the new rider, only had to do simple circles passing on the outside of all six chairs.

    I, as the more experienced rider, went outside chairs 1, 2, 5 and 6 and inside chairs 3 and 4. Therefore, I was following a slightly longer and slightly tricker route, which made the race closer.

    At first, my friend was trying hard not to let me catch him, then later he was trying hard to catch me, but in both cases, he was so busy racing me that he forgot that corners were difficult. Soon, his pride made him determined to follow the same route as I was. Without ever practising it, and without realising what he was doing, he had learned to steer smoothly in both directions.

    Leave a comment:


  • Canoeheadted
    replied
    Try accelerating slightly while leaning.
    Body straight and head up and straight.
    Lean, don't bend.

    Get better, then bender.

    Leave a comment:


  • Setonix
    replied
    It is amazing you can do all of that in just 2 months of learning. It took me 3 weeks to learn to ride and another full week to freemount. Im still learning the ride hop ride thing and hopping on a kerb I mostly can't do because I fear I will trip. Im sure I can do it if I can stop thinking.

    As for turns, I learned them by riding a lot, though I've never tried a figure 8. Occasionally I can do very sharp turns, mostly when Im too lazy to step off and also when I think too much before making a 90 degrees turn, I sometimes fall off. Those times where my mind is elsewhere I make very smooth turns. I''ve been riding 3 years, but can't idle or ride backwards. So far I don't see the point in learning those skills. Mostly just like to ride and explore somewhere. A uni is easy to take around with you.

    Leave a comment:


  • song
    replied
    Originally posted by haqreu View Post
    After 5 years of riding, can you do spinning?
    No, not yet! Wheel walking is my best skill so far, I think, and I do a bit of one-footed and seat-out stuff.

    I remember when I was like you, learning something new on almost every ride, but now it takes a lot longer. I will follow your instructions for hopping on the tire, though. Did you wear shin guards? I have some cheap ones for soccer, but they are too hot, especially if I add the calf protectors that I made to go with them.

    Leave a comment:


  • johnfoss
    replied
    By any chance, is your unicycle like a giant tractor wheel with really low pressure? Or a 36"?

    It helps to have a smooth-ish tire, and plenty of pressure to reduce the friction. A tire with lots of tread/knobs will resist turning more than a smooth one, but if it does have big treads, just pump it up hard. Pump it up hard anyway, especially if your surface is rough.

    A beginner changes directions kind of like a sail boat, by tacking. 30-degree course change, 45-degree course change, etc. What you want is to get where the turn is constant, not with corners.

    So start big. Try making big circles with constant pedaling (no pauses) and not too much arm movement. Twist your upper body toward the inside of the circle; this will help the unicycle follow in that direction.

    Go both ways. Most people are better at going one direction than the other, but working on both will keep you closer to being even. As your big circles become easy make them smaller, but without losing the smooth pedaling. When it's working right, you can feel it; all the forces are balanced into a continuous turn.

    As you get smaller, you may find yourself crossing the "center", where you might have to ride backwards to keep moving. That means you went too small.

    If you can ride backward, practice doing it backward as well. It will help your body to understand what's happening to make a turn. For backward circles, you turn your outside shoulder in the direction of the turn, so your upper body is facing outward. Start big and slow, then look for smoothness.

    Enjoy the process!
    Last edited by johnfoss; 2018-07-06, 07:29 PM.

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