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  • Originally posted by Dane M View Post
    I have a pretty simple brag for today.... Today I went for a Muni ride.

    It meant a lot to me. I haven't been for a real ride in about 6 years. Recently I have been getting in shape, I lost 35lbs, I've been eating vegan and cooking all my own food (something new for me) I've been social and active and expressive and I have a lot of big goals this year that I'm confident I can achieve.

    One thing I really wanted to do was get back into Muni. But it had been so long that I wasn't sure if I would still enjoy it. Today proved I'm on the right path, as even though my legs are in horrible shape for riding, and I'm dead tired, I actually rode a lot of intense terrain that I wouldn't have even attempted back when I was riding more consistently. Which I attribute to my recent boost in confidence but also I just noticed how much more nimble and capable I was without carrying all that extra weight. It really was amazing.

    That's all! Oh and all my new gear fit me and was amazing and I can't wait for my new shorts because these were so huge and terribly uncomfortable haha. I definitely will be picking up a new KH29 soon, super excited for that. Might even throw it on a credit card, it's worth it for the happiness right?
    Well done on the weight loss. Kudos
    And muni is hard....
    If you are female please join the Female Unicyclists! group on Facebook!

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    • freestyle

      So last week worked on some freestyle stuff:
      • backwards figure 8 (after quite a few tries)
      • 3 one-footed circles clockwise with right-foot (> 40 revs, probably more)
      • 1 one-footed circles counter-clockwise with right-foot
      • 100 one-footed idles left foot
      • 80 one-footed idles right foot
      • 1-2 revs one-footed left foot
      • wheel walk slowly progessing to about 7-8 kicks
      • one-footed glide slowly progessing to about 10 kicks


      For some weird reason I can idle one-footed with the left foot really well (better than right) but cannot ride one-footed with the left (but can well with the right). It is for sure related to my previous ACL tear of my dominant right leg (right is more coordinated but still have remnants of a muscle avoidance behavior for the 5 years before my second operation where my right knee was unstable).

      And the week before I played unicycle hockey for the first time, which as expected I really enjoyed.
      36" Nimbus Oracle, VCX 100/125/150, 200mm disc
      29+ KH, Maxxis DHR II 29x3, 127/150 Spirits
      Schlumpf (KH29) Duro Crux 29x3.25 137/117 Spirits
      26" Nimbus, Maxxis DHR IIx2.8, 117/137 Sprt
      19" Trials Impact Athmos
      20" Qu-Ax Profi Freestyle, 89mm VCX

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      • so I looked back and on 1-14 I managed to do 1 360 hopping and ride out of it, today I went out at lunch and pulled off a handful of ride to a stop hop in a 360, pause then hop a 360 the opposite direction then ride out of it. also I managed to start hitting 1/4 turns per hop and got 1 180 hop, that one caught me by surprise because I was just trying to do a good 1/4. Idling is still kicking my butt but I'm not giving up
        24" Torker LX
        29" UDC Trainer
        32" UDC trainer

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        • Riding Backwards!!! Finally got it.
          Up until now, i could go backwards for one or two revolutions while idling. Now, I can consistently pedal backwards 5 revolutions and stop and idle. Not only that, but I can keep going continuously. How many rev's? I don't even want to try! If I focus on "not interrupting" with an idle, I just keep on going. Kinda scary and weird my legs just go into autopilot. Then I have to forcefully think to "jump/abort" to snap out of this hypnotic state. I've gone way past a few dozen revolutions, when my goal was just to do ten and stop. It's a strange sensation when I ride it "continuous". It almost feels like I am in a perfect idling pattern, but my pedal tension is equal on both sides. I am not even thinking about side-to-side balance, but some how I maintain an even "fish-tailing" motion perfectly in line. My goal is to avoid this "hypnotic" balance state. Rather I want to be able to control it one pedal at a time. Just like how I ride on grass or when going super slow.

          Anyways, while I am still at this early stage of learning and conscious of my body action, I want to archive my observations to help others and me(in future, if I forget). What exactly am I doing to be able to ride a unicycle backwards:

          1.) Posture. I think about keeping my body "straight up". Not leaning back as we would think would be logical.
          2.) Point knees inwards. This was almost the "key" to being able to ride continuously. When riding forwards keeping knees inwards is important to minimize wobbling, so I guess it applies the same in going backwards.
          3.) Pedal drive action. I focus on driving the pedaling foot "straight down". Avoid downward/circular motion. This would make sense in the same way as in forward riding when riding slow and on lumpy grass. Weight on your pedal. Not your seat for maximum stability.
          4.) Lead with your heels. Not with your toes. The moment I "stopped" pressing down with my toes/calves to power the pedals. Another Ah-ha moment!! Keep your feet stiff and push down with your heels.
          5.) Maintain pedal pressure. Keep "tension" on your trailing pedal foot. Especially, when this pedal rotates from 11 o'clock > 12 o'clock > 1 o'clock. Don't let it just drop down and "over speed/rotate", so again you must maintain tension on the opposite foot. Just like in forward riding, always keep tension on both pedals. Strive for constant rotational velocity. Never let it accelerate.
          6.) Freeze your pedals to momentarily Pitch/Lean forwards(actually backwards = your riding direction). This is something you should already know when riding in the normal direction. What happens when you momentarily "pause" your pedaling? Your body lurches forward, which is what you "want" to happen if you are falling the opposite direction. Well, the same happens in backwards pedaling. Only you have to think of everything in terms of backwards. The key is "equal tension" on both pedals when you freeze.

          Anyways, hopefully this will make sense to some beginners struggling with this skill. Most typical technical advice on how to ride backwards is simply "just keeping doing it until it happens". Zero details/description. Very useful, right? I know in the near future I will probably get injured again. So, I will probably have to re-learn everything from scratch again. This will help me. Keep on.

          Last edited by slamdance; 2020-03-21, 05:10 AM.

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          • congrats on making the connection to riding backwards. nice post and good description on your observations of riding backwards. I found it interesting that you mention pointing knees inward to reduce wobble, I will have to try that on my next ride to see if it will help me, I'm still struggling with wobble when I try to ride with both hands on the handlebars.
            24" Torker LX
            29" UDC Trainer
            32" UDC trainer

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            • congrats on making the connection to riding backwards. nice post and good description on your observations of riding backwards. I found it interesting that you mention pointing knees inward to reduce wobble, I will have to try that on my next ride to see if it will help me, I'm still struggling with wobble when I try to ride with both hands on the handlebars.
              24" Torker LX
              29" UDC Trainer
              32" UDC trainer

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              • - 5 meters back cycling
                the hardest thing now is "where" i have to look at. I keep looking at the same point until is too far, if i change reference i loose balance :-(
                - jumping a small manhole in the garage.
                I just do not understand why the hand I use to grab the saddle has to be the same of the front pedal when hopping. practice probably will make it...

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                • Not a big boast, but I haven't posted anything in a while. Today I rode 20km without getting numb on my seat, after the trick I took from here to regularly ride while standing, to let the blood flow. I took the 32" for a spin and gave me a nice ride. Now that this works I can also take longer trips.

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                  • My 100 mile day

                    I don’t know of any septuagenarians that have done a 100 mile ride but I’d bet there are a few that could if they wanted to. After being able to ride as a kid, I starting to ride a 36” unicycle nearly 3 years ago. One of my goals was longer distance road rides. I just completed my fist 100 mile day ride.

                    With the idea that a smoother and flatter route requires considerably less effort on a unicycle, I had originally thought about finding a location that was as flat and smooth as possible for a 100 mile attempt. However with the current restrictions on travel, lodging and such, the logistics just did not work out. I did my 100 mile ride on country roads right at home. During my ride I never got more then a few miles from home and just rode back and forth all day long. The dead end road I live on has very low traffic and as paved roads go, it is quite bumpy. The average road grade is about 1.25% with short sections up to 10%. Over my 100 mile day I figure I gained and lost about 3300 ft of elevation.

                    I used the entire period of daylight by starting at the beginning of civil twilight and riding till the end of civil twilight. That gave me about 14 hrs of riding time and I used ever minute of that. I rode my 36” Nimbus with a UDC trainer saddle and cranks set at 109mm. With very soft boxer briefs and lightweight flexible fabric pants (with lots of handy pockets) I had absolutely no problem with the saddle and was quite comfortable the whole day. I rode no more then 15 or 20 minutes between short one or two minute “butt” breaks. The 109mm crank setting was fine most of the day but I did think that a little longer length would be nice when I got to about 90 miles. By that time I was getting slower and slower but did not want to take the time to change the pedals and adjust the saddle height. Because I was close to home I packed no water or tools on the unicycle.

                    The weather was good with temperatures ranging from 34 to 62 F. I ate a big breakfast (oatmeal mush) before I started and had snacks and a P&J sandwich during the day. Overall I drank about a gallon and half of sports drinks or water with electrolytes during the day. My muscles were tired at the end of the day but I had no muscle cramping or burning.

                    My moving average speed for the day was 9.1mph and overall average with breaks included was 6.9 mph. I started at with a moving average of over 10 mph and by the end of the day I was down to below 8 mph with longer breaks between riding sessions. I was pretty well spent at the end of the day.

                    Other then a little muscle soreness I had no adverse effects from the ride and am ready for the next one. (A video is in the works)

                    Click image for larger version  Name:	170614035.3q7TruQA.Z99A8864a3.jpg Views:	0 Size:	118.5 KB ID:	2803130

                    Click image for larger version  Name:	170614034.lTKfo4Pw.Z99A8838a2.jpg Views:	0 Size:	170.8 KB ID:	2803131
                    Last edited by JimT; 2020-04-13, 04:04 AM.

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                    • To Jim T:
                      Congrats you ironman. You should give Ed Pratt a call for your next ride. I'm scared to get on a 36", what's the worst UPD you've had recently?

                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Now My Latest Update on Backwards Riding:
                      I am getting quite proficient and have developed some "feel" like it's a more "simpler motion".
                      I just read my previous post, and I think those elements that I described still apply but now my body speaks a different language...if that makes sense.
                      The "feedback/control" that I am focusing on when going backwards is simply this:
                      1.) Stay "tight" at the 3 and 9 o'clock position.
                      2.) Drive both feet with "equal" tension.

                      That's actually all I need to concentrate when going backwards at this point of my progression.
                      I am not obsoleting my "previous tips", but rather my body has been able to combine those elements.
                      So, that's all I think when going backwards.

                      It makes sense, right. If you can be stable between each down pedal (6 and 12 o'clock position) then you can keep going, because it's just another 1/4 revolution to another stable point.

                      One great practice to get better at the 3 & 9 o'clock holding skill is to do simple idle, but with your butt off the seat.
                      Yes, that's right. You will be virtually standing on the unicycle and doing idles. Every pound of body weight is on the pedals.
                      Of course, only try this if you have already mastered the idle. My legs get stronger and so does my backwards riding skill.

                      Stay Safe from Corona. Always Ride away from public.
                      Last edited by slamdance; 2020-04-13, 03:50 AM. Reason: Reasonably: Reasonable: Reasonablation: Reasonality

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                      • Jim all I can say is Wow I am impressed. you continue to be an inspiration to me and I'm sure many others out there. I can only hope at this point I'm still able to ride a uni at 70
                        Good job on your 100 mile day
                        Last edited by aj1500; 2020-04-13, 05:56 PM.
                        24" Torker LX
                        29" UDC Trainer
                        32" UDC trainer

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                        • Nice going Jim! I hope to follow in your footsteps some day. I did promise my wife that I would outlive her...
                          Unicycling is the fountain of youth.

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                          • JimT Congratulations!

                            An thanks for the nice report.
                            It deserves its own topic, it should not be hidden in here.

                            Absolutely stunning!

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                            • Well, at "only" 57, I can't possibly compete with JimT but I was quite proud of my ride until I saw his! I don't get to ride much these days, but just did 22 miles/2 hours on the KH36 without a dismount. I climbed our biggest local hill without ever having to stand on the pedals (I normally have to stand up and mash for the last 1/3 of the climb).
                              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

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