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  • EmilyGims
    replied
    Originally posted by gwymer View Post
    Finally a slower day and better weather. So, I headed out to find a good fence or handrail--preferably with a smooth slightly downhill slope. Then time to tire myself out straining many muscles trying to find balance.

    It was a pretty successful first day attempt. I was able to make up to 3 full revolutions while holding onto the hand rail. When teaching people to first ride the unicycle, anyone who can make full revolutions on their first day out, I am pretty satisfied.

    With Christmas only days away and more rain in the forecast, not sure how much more practice I will get "this year". I will keep track of total number of days practice till I can "ride" it though. Gaps, I know, will slow the progress.

    Here are 2 pics--one with me practicing just balancing on it and the other was taken while moving "forward"--I use that term loosely!

    (After 20 minutes of saving and spinning and re-saving--NO CLUE why they are coming through sideways???)
    Great job! I would not be able to construct something like that. You are a great fellow! A very good way to save some money and test your opportunities!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • jtrops
    replied
    Originally posted by Eric aus Chemnitz View Post
    While I still have no clue when I might find the time to do the wood work (next to full time job, baby and the unicycle group I train), the metal parts already look fine (disregarding painting).

    I used 9/16"-20 UNF to 1/2"-20 UNF adapters, 1/2"-20 nuts, big washers and two laser cut steel plates, 3 mm each. The one with the slot locks the adapter against twisting.

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    That is a great way of doing it. I have seen inexpensive "universal" pedals that come with the adapters like you are using.

    Leave a comment:


  • Eric aus Chemnitz
    replied
    Pedal mounts

    While I still have no clue when I might find the time to do the wood work (next to full time job, baby and the unicycle group I train), the metal parts already look fine (disregarding painting).

    I used 9/16"-20 UNF to 1/2"-20 UNF adapters, 1/2"-20 nuts, big washers and two laser cut steel plates, 3 mm each. The one with the slot locks the adapter against twisting.

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  • gwymer
    replied
    Day 7 & 8

    Well, the original post was to hold me accountable--and following the time frame--it hasn't done the best job. I am still determined and according to pure days of practice, I am still poised to be basically riding by 2 weeks of "practicing".

    Day 7 & 8 still saw huge gains. Biggest thought:

    If it has been a LONG time since you learned to ride a unicycle and you are teaching others--I STRONGLY suggest trying an ultimate wheel. It is VERY much like starting over and feeling what new unicyclists are feeling.

    Examples: Day 7 saw little gains from letting go of the rail some but on day 8 I had the epiphany of what I do with new riders--if you don't leave the rail, you will stop seeing large improvements.
    Day 8--started with only 3 sections left of the fence--then the open parking lot. Learned much faster how to keep up longer with no rail. I also discovered as I know with new unicyclists--you are so focused on NOT falling, you have NO concept of directionality/steering in a particular direction--I veer heavy right.

    By the end of Day 8 though I had two times where I made it 50-60 feet (20+ revolutions) without the rail though--HUGE improvement. Now, the insides of my legs are raw, but still massive steps forward. I even ended up gathering quite an audience of strangers cheering me on!!

    So close to having it down. No weather excuses and about to be out for the summer, so more time--running out of excuses not to just GET THIS DOWN!!

    Leave a comment:


  • jtrops
    replied
    Originally posted by gwymer View Post
    I used a Dremel tool to notch the plywood so the crank fit inside snugly and flush to the front. It did not go all the way through. You are right, only 1 of the bolts goes through the crank. There is a large fender washer on both sides of the plywood sandwiching the crank and the other 2 bolts help pinch the washers together and keep them from shifting. They are only 1/4 inch diameter bolts. Has been very strong so far. I had to do it that way since I checked several places and could not find a reverse threaded nut or even one right hand threaded that had the same thread count as the pedals. Friend had old cranks and they are aluminum so they weren't hard to cut.
    9/16Ē nuts are hard to find in reverse thread. If you use 1/2Ē pedals the nuts are easy to find at the hardware store. I had this idea for pedal mounts when I stumbled across 1/2x20 left nuts at the local Ace. With tee nuts, and fender washers I donít think I spent more than a few dollars on all of the hardware for both pedals. I already had the pedals in my parts bin (itís a popular BMX size).

    Leave a comment:


  • gwymer
    replied
    I used a Dremel tool to notch the plywood so the crank fit inside snugly and flush to the front. It did not go all the way through. You are right, only 1 of the bolts goes through the crank. There is a large fender washer on both sides of the plywood sandwiching the crank and the other 2 bolts help pinch the washers together and keep them from shifting. They are only 1/4 inch diameter bolts. Has been very strong so far. I had to do it that way since I checked several places and could not find a reverse threaded nut or even one right hand threaded that had the same thread count as the pedals. Friend had old cranks and they are aluminum so they weren't hard to cut.

    Leave a comment:


  • Eric aus Chemnitz
    replied
    Originally posted by gwymer View Post
    ... I get a pair of old cranks and cut them down and find some really strong large fender washers...
    Are the cranks only held in place by one of the three screws or are they kind of clamped between pedal and crank?

    Leave a comment:


  • gwymer
    replied
    Day 6+

    Ok, FINALLY no rain or cold. Maybe spring will come??? I actually went out for a few minutes a couple of days after putting on the new tire. Not really enough time except to see if the tire would work. Today I got in a full practice.

    Good news: LOTS
    *Love the new tire.
    *Size and shape much better than last 2.
    *I even shed my KH leg armor. (Rubs a little on jeans but not enough to stop from riding.)
    *Even with the large gap in practice time. Picked up right where I left off
    *Got about 7 revolutions without touching the fence.

    Great weather, lots of good practice. REALLY hope to have to figure out how to get a video in here before summer of how I am actually riding this thing.

    Long term plan is still to pick up a light aluminum UDC 24 inch and put folding pedals on it so that it is very portable. Then plan to adapt a backpack so I can carry it with me (like and elastic "x" strap system that it will hang on the back of the backpack.

    GOT TO KNOW HOW TO RIDE THE THING FIRST!!

    Leave a comment:


  • gwymer
    replied
    Excuse or needed change?

    Ok, so one time I set out to teach this middle school kid how to ride. Every time I worked with him it was one excuse after another.
    -This road is too bumpy
    -These shoes are slick
    -The tire is a little low
    -I'm just tired today

    He never learned to ride. He "tried" off and on for months and months.

    So, as I let everyone know about my 3rd tire, I am reminded of the story and questioning in my own mind if the tire is an excuse. Or is it like Goldie Locks and one was really too hard, one too soft and this is it. Well, hopefully soon we will know the answer. New Tire installed today!! Looking at it, I am optimistic, but that describes this whole process.
    --First tire--mountain bike Knobby Kenda 26 x 2.10
    --Second tire--street slick (other extreme) 26 x 1
    --Third tire--(hopefully last) Good Year townie 26 x 2.125

    Here are pics of #2 and #3
    Updates to come....
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • gwymer
    replied
    Day 5

    Well, let's start with the positive. The new tire is skinnier than the rim, so leg armor was pretty much optional. No rubbing or dragging or snagging of the armor. That was SWEET! The wheel is also lighter-don't think that really effected learning, but walking back up the path to start down again, and again, carrying it, was easier. That about wraps up the positive.....

    Ok, a tire that skinny is extremely hard to stay balanced on top of!! Huge difference-which equated to a huge step backwards. Now maybe once I have it down, I could handle and appreciate the smaller profile, but for now, it set me way back. It looked much more like circus riding with me teetering back and forth from rubbing one leg to the other. NOT PRETTY!! I also decided to attempt going up hill on the incline to see how that did--pretty much impossible at this juncture. I did take a little air out of the tire and that helped a little--leading me to.....

    --Conclusion: I need a "townie" style tire. Wider than my rim but without all the "mud knobs". That would offer enough of a surface to balance on, without grabbing my armor or legs.

    Still loving the process and the chance to learn something new. I can't wait for a decent day to get back out and continue practicing!!

    Leave a comment:


  • gwymer
    replied
    Tire Change

    Been really cold, BUT a friend hooked me up with a new tire that he had for a mountain bike trainer setup. Excited to see if it moves the learning curve along faster.

    Will let you know

    Before and after pic below--Yes, flipped sides--One side black and white, other side colored--that way I know which is right and left.
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • gwymer
    replied
    Day 4

    Well, today was 2 extremes. I started out feeling like I had regressed--shorter distances and lots of mistakes. After a few tries though, I started focusing on trying to get off the rail. After 30 minutes, my best ride was 5 revolutions without touching the rail.

    Referring back in my mind to teaching others to ride unicycle--I am at the pivotal point of getting it. I have the concept but not the control and consistency. That is still VERY exciting. This looks like it is doable and in a reasonable amount of time.

    I did have my first Superman UPD though, while setting my 5 revolution record. Not exactly the way I wanted to end it. Next time, I think I am ready to get out my gloves. Little bit of road rash on my palms today.

    Leave a comment:


  • elpuebloUNIdo
    replied
    Originally posted by gwymer View Post
    Does practicing daily without missing days, or practicing with gaps help or hurt the process???
    I can't speak for UW riding in particular, but in general, my experience is that learning a new skill requires as-close-to-daily-as-possible practice (and a lot of it). Once a skill is learned well, I find sometimes when I return to the unicycle after a week hiatus, I have better finesse at it. One footed riding is an example of a skill I only learned moderately well, and as a result, I slip back on the learning curve. I'm guessing that with the UW, some muscles get tired, so I suppose a break can be helpful.

    Leave a comment:


  • gwymer
    replied
    Day 3

    Ok, You have to understand, I am one of those who learned to ride unicycle when I was 10, then 6 months later I took it apart to customize it, and didn't put it back together for 30 years. It was, however, like riding a bike, and in less than 30 minutes I was riding again like I was 10. Sooooo, I have taught lots of other people and improved my skills, but I haven't had to "learn to ride a new thing" in over 40 years now (if you are doing the math, yes, I turned 50 this year) I was very curious if my brain would adapt quickly, slowly, or not at all???

    All that to say, any improvement each day would make me happy. I have been PLEASANTLY surprised. Each day (though only 3) has shown marked improvement. Today I made it the full length of the rail (see pic from last post) without stopping, only holding on with one hand, and did it 5 times. (not necessarily consecutively)

    My newest reflection and pondering is: Does practicing daily without missing days, or practicing with gaps help or hurt the process???
    -part of me thinks daily muscle memory would be better
    -another part of me thinks, like working out, gaps give muscles time to heal and remember.

    Thoughts????

    Leave a comment:


  • jtrops
    replied
    Originally posted by gwymer View Post
    Question: for your 1/2" birch build, what size screws did you use in the spoke holes to keep from splitting the plywood? Also, did you use a single or double walled rim? I even had a little trouble with splitting near the hand notches with the 3/4. Yes, I even predrilled. I used 1 1/4" sheetrock screws.
    I used 1" sheet rock screws. I did drill pilot holes first. That wheel was built with a double wall (box section) rim. I don't remember off hand, but I think I used every third hole. The rim I used didn't have any offset for the spoke holes. I don't think I could have used a 1/2" sheet of wood if they had been offset. As it is I put the disc in the rim, and marked the holes, and the valve position. Then I removed the disc, and drilled the pilot holes down at each mark, but in the middle, so that the disc would be centered in the final build. I also cut out the space for the valve before I reassembled it, and screwed it together.

    The first wheel I built was with a single wall rim. I had to use two rim strips on that one for fear of having a screw go into my tube.

    Leave a comment:

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