Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Road riding tips/advice

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

  • Road riding tips/advice

    Over the Christmas period I've taken advantage of the quieter roads and been out on the 29-er.

    It seems much better suited to being on the road rather than the pavement and I'd like to continue with it.

    The uni i'm using is a 29-er with 125mm cranks and a reeder handle, as much of the riding is in the evening I've got front/back lights and reflective waistcoat.

    I was wondering if those of you who have done a lot of road riding had any useful tips/experiences that they could post?

    I'm interested in opinions about the safety of unicycling on roads- my feelings are that a high degree of riding competence is required, but even with experience and skill is it more or less safe than cycling?

    I'm aware of the theoretical factors such as pros- being more visible than cyclists, higher position for better point of view; and cons- chance of UPDs etc; I'm more interested in the practicalities experienced by those who've spent many hours in the traffic.

    Also, any tips about problematic situations such as turning right at a junction (in England we drive on the left) where, on a cycle the thing to do is wait in the center of the road till it's clear. It seems to me that idling in the middle of the road would be a bit dodgy?

    I did a search and didn't really find much on this subject, although: -

    http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/sho...l&pagenumber=1

    has some stuff about what to do at traffic lights
    Last edited by onewheeldave; 2003-12-27, 04:04 AM.
    "You can't outrun Death forever.
    But you can make the Bastard work for it."

    --MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
    "Last of The Lancers"
    AFC 32

  • #2
    Unicycling on the road... borderline legal, borderline safe. I've done some long road rides, but I'm very careful where I ride.

    My general theory of unicycling is that if you acto like a cyclist, you will be accepted as a cyclist; if you act like a pedestrian, you will be treated like a pedestrian; if you ride like a clown...

    So, to ride on the road you need to be dressed like a cyclist and wearing a helmet and possibly a daygo/reflective top. Send out 'I have a right to be here" messages!

    Keep the speed up, but well within your comfort zone. A UPD on the road is a serious problem. Be seen by the wrong person (e.g. a Policeman) and you may provoke an incident.

    Imagine being knocked off your unicycle and appearing in court to make your claim for compensation. First question: "Why were you riding that dangerous toy on the road?"

    Turning right: if there's any traffic at all, dismount tidily and walk across the junction. If you're confident you can make the turn, then give clear signals.

    Idling: generally, don't. Better to time the junction by approaching very slowly. Dismount if you have to stop. idling is 'circus' and will confuse and alarm other road users. Idling is a fine opportunity to UPD - then how silly do you look?

    Choose your roads carefully. Country lane = good. Busy ring road = bad.

    Use the pavement/footpath/ cycle path when approrpiate.

    Build your confidence and experience step by step.

    Remember that in this country, 9 people die every day on the roads, and nearly 100 are seriously injured. That's a September 11th every year, but we don't hear about it on the news. I read accident report forms for a living. Most motorists do not understand that they are responsible for the consequences of their actions when driving.

    Good luck.
    My first novel, Bridge of Otherwhere, Michael Wilkinson, on Kindle. A tale of subtle magic, mystery, friendship and love. Tinyurl.com/Bridge-of-Otherwhere For US$ page: TinyURL.com/OtherwhereBridge

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mikefule
      Turning right: if there's any traffic at all, dismount tidily and walk across the junction. If you're confident you can make the turn, then give clear signals.

      Idling: generally, don't. Better to time the junction by approaching very slowly. Dismount if you have to stop. idling is 'circus' and will confuse and alarm other road users. Idling is a fine opportunity to UPD - then how silly do you look?
      Don't dismount for anyone unless you have to. You are normally best off riding through gaps in traffic rather than walking because it is much faster. I think idling in the middle of the road is OK if you can do it, same with hopping on the spot. Ignore the traffic rules, go through red lights. It's OK because Unicycles fall into a loophole in the law. Just make sure you don't get hit by cars because that wouldn't be fun. I wouldn't worry about how much traffic is out because no matter how jammed the cars get, a Unicycle will always fit through the gaps in between them. Dress how you please, and helmets are optional. I think the chances of landing on your head are fairly slim compared to on a bicycle.

      Comment


      • #4
        There goes wreckless Rowan. Take his advice, go on, I dare you.
        I think oranges were named before carrots

        Comment


        • #5
          When i steal Nicks coker to go out for some distance riding, I generally find myself looking further ahead and planning what I'll need to do at the next corner long before I actually get there. By doing this I can often speed up or slow down to time the light. If I can't make the light i usually just play it safe and grab ahold of something to wait it out. If nothing is available, I'll hop off and hope for better luck at the next corner. You really don't want to put yourself in any kind of danger. Also, try to make it look like youre not endangering anyone.

          When I need to turn across traffic (left here in the states) I usually just go onto the sidewalk and wait for the light, then cross with the pedestrians.

          Just make sure you don't get hit by cars because that wouldn't be fun.
          It is not fun I'm sure.
          SWAT Gallery
          SWAT webpage
          Arrow Racing
          Sixsixone

          "Obie is definately a trend setter, I got in to unicycling because of him, and came here because of him" - KJ-52

          "try not to annoy the great Obie, for he is better than us." - Murde Mental


          Disclaimer: The above message was not intended to offend anyone. If you are offended I can take no responsibility for my actions because I don't feel like it. Also you are reading an internet newsgroup where not everyone will share your same views and beliefs, be able to take criticism and post/read threads at your own risk.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rowan
            Ignore the traffic rules, go through red lights. It's OK because Unicycles fall into a loophole in the law. Just make sure you don't get hit by cars because that wouldn't be fun.

            I think the chances of landing on your head are fairly slim compared to on a bicycle.
            Never mind anyone else's rights, after all, it's a free country. Just do what feels right at the time. Hey, none of those drivers will ever have seen a unicycle on the road before, so they're not likely to be startled, lose concentration and crash into someone else. And if they do, you won't be hurt, so that's all right. Of course, it could lead to bad publicity for the sport, but so what?

            And the helmet thing is partly a costume issue. Look like a responsible road user, be treated like one.

            Also, your risk assessment is faulty, because it's not landing on your head that's the problem, it's the glancing blow to your head as you roll, or as a truck's mirror clips your head - and it may be very unlikely, but the consequences can be life changing.

            I've been investigating road accidents since 1981. When you've read a few Coroner's reports, you take road safety seriously.
            Last edited by Mikefule; 2003-12-27, 04:22 PM.
            My first novel, Bridge of Otherwhere, Michael Wilkinson, on Kindle. A tale of subtle magic, mystery, friendship and love. Tinyurl.com/Bridge-of-Otherwhere For US$ page: TinyURL.com/OtherwhereBridge

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Rowan

              Just make sure you don't get hit by cars because that wouldn't be fun.
              Unless they are made of Nerf. Then it might be fun, as long as the pavement, trees and rocks are Nerf too.
              I was standing in the park wondering why frisbees get bigger as they get closer. Then it hit me.

              Comment


              • #8
                Rowan, are you ironic?
                I hope!
                http://picasaweb.google.com/Giocologgi

                Comment


                • #9
                  Concerning the legal issue, it's apparent from posts on this forum over the past couple of years that it varies from place to place; in some places unicycles are classed as being in the same class as cycles, whereas in others they're not.

                  In England I suspect that the police would intervene if they saw a unicyclist on the road at night without lights, and rightly so. I've got lights on mine not just for the legal aspects but because it makes good sense; I also have a reflective waistcoat for the same reason.

                  I agree fully with what Mike Fule says about following the road rules and behaving responsibly; if unicyclists start getting run over or causing accidents then it will have an adverse effect on unicycling.

                  I went out on the 29-er again this afternoon, the roads had more traffic today and I felt a little vulnerable and didn't really enjoy the ride.

                  I'm aware of the fact that roads are pretty dangerous even if you're 100% focused and safety orientated due to the fact that some car drivers aren't; I feel this even when on a normal bike.

                  My feeling is that the 29-er is less stable than a bike, but that's maybe offset by the fact that car drivers are unlikely to not see a unicyclist (I noticed today that there was a lot of slowing down and reluctance to pass me; whilst I know that I'm competent on a uni, I guess that car drivers are going to be somewhat dubious).

                  Tonight I've decided to address my reluctance to experiment with crank/wheel setups by switching the 125's onto my muni, and the 150's onto my 29-er, so tomorrow I'll see what difference it makes.
                  "You can't outrun Death forever.
                  But you can make the Bastard work for it."

                  --MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
                  "Last of The Lancers"
                  AFC 32

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I may have been a little harsh on Rowan there. Sorry.

                    But let's look at this pleasant fiction about unicycles being a grey area in the law.

                    Unicycles may in some areas fall between the gaps in regulations. Regulations are part of the law, but are not the whole of the law.

                    UnicyclISTS are people and are subject to the law whether they are unicycling or not. Unicyclists have statutory and common law obligations to behave in a way which does not obstruct the flow of traffic, cause a danger to other road users, cause a breach of the peace, and so on.

                    I am sometimes too strident about road safety, but this arises from far too much experience of the consequences of bad attitudes on the road.

                    In England, at least, most members of the public, and most coppers, have respect for the principles of the law, even if the interpret the regulations rather flexibly. That's why I say, act like you ought to be there, be treated like you ought to be there. Act like a nuisance, be treated like a nuisance.
                    My first novel, Bridge of Otherwhere, Michael Wilkinson, on Kindle. A tale of subtle magic, mystery, friendship and love. Tinyurl.com/Bridge-of-Otherwhere For US$ page: TinyURL.com/OtherwhereBridge

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by giocologgi
                      Rowan, are you ironic?
                      I hope!
                      Yeah I was using just a tad of sarcasm, but I was making a point about not taking things too seriously. When you are riding a Unicycle you are not expected to behave just like a regular Bicycle commuter. I am not saying you should ride dangerously, but you can ride agressively in traffic without causing accidents. I was joking about the loophole, because if Unicyclists misbehave the grey area will soon be made black and white to keep them in line. If you are worried about a truck mirror beheading you, then you may as well wear a helmet indoors too, in case someone leaves a cupboard or a dryer door open for you to smash your head on. Apology accepted Mike, I deliberately provoked you by contradicting what you said, so it is my fault really. I don't think I have a bad attitude on the road, and I mostly ride on the footpath, considering how some drivers get all prepared for the worst when passing me, giving a wide berth. I mostly give way to all road users, to be safe.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Road riding tips/advice


                        "onewheeldave" <onewheeldave@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com> wrote
                        in message
                        newsnewheeldave.z4g5p@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com...
                        >
                        >
                        > In England I suspect that the police would intervene if they saw a
                        > unicyclist on the road at night without lights, and rightly so. I've got
                        > lights on mine not just for the legal aspects but because it makes good
                        > sense; I also have a reflective waistcoat for the same reason.
                        >

                        Before I first climbed on a unicycle, I would occasionally see a guy on a
                        unicycle, riding on the A6, just South of Manchester. My thoughts as a
                        car driver were "wide berth", "fruitcake", " that's interesting " etc
                        etc. My worries were that he appeared to be commuting, as I saw him
                        several times along the same route, that he appeared to have no lights, no
                        safety gear and was riding along some very busy trunk roads at night, during
                        the rush hour.
                        I did fear for his safety, apparently rather more than he did.

                        I haven't seen him recently, probably not for 4 or 5 years..

                        Since starting to ride myself I have often wondered who he was, and indeed
                        whether he survived.

                        Anyone know who used to ride Dialstone Lane and the A6 past Stockport
                        College?

                        Naomi.


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well, I've just done a short ride (8 ish miles) on the 28, with about 3 of those miles on the Queen's highway. For the road section I was wearing a fluorescent green cycling top as well as my helmet, wristguards and Camelbak. The wheel is a 700c which makes the uni look more akin to a conventional bicycle than, say, a 20, 24 or Coker would.

                          No problem with the motorists. Indeed, the ultimate compliment: Mr. Safety-Conscious Volvo Driver overtook me without slowing down or moving over tot he right - just as if I'd been on a bicycle. :0\

                          Bloomin' cold day for a ride. That makes about 8 miles on Wednesday on the Coker, 8 on the MUni on Saturday, and 8 on the 28 today - and I'm off for a short ride this afternoon with my mate Andy. :0)
                          My first novel, Bridge of Otherwhere, Michael Wilkinson, on Kindle. A tale of subtle magic, mystery, friendship and love. Tinyurl.com/Bridge-of-Otherwhere For US$ page: TinyURL.com/OtherwhereBridge

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Rowan
                            http://picasaweb.google.com/Giocologgi

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              In the UK riding a unicycle you're legally a vehicle.

                              This means

                              1) You should be on the road

                              If you're not confident or you're riding a small wheeled unicycle, it'd be dumb to ride on the road and I'm pretty sure no-one is going to pick you up on this one. However, if you're riding fast on a 29er or a coker, the place for you is in the road (or on a cycle lane if you like to ride them), not on the pavement.

                              2)You should be obeying the rules of the road.

                              As a road user you've got the responsiblity to everyone else not to do anything stupid. Even the most stupid of car drivers don't actually want to run you down, you should do everything you can to make it easy for them not to.

                              3) You've
                              old pics new zealand pics new pics
                              Where have I been riding? (GPS)

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X