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Old 2002-10-02, 11:43 PM   #10
Klaas Bil
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Re: How do you turn corners?

On Mon, 30 Sep 2002 03:25:18 -0500, mike.hinson
<mike.hinson.bsb8m@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>An academic question:
>Where does the rotational force come from to make the wheel turn a
>corner please?


I read this question as: from what does a rider derive a reaction
force (moment) to turn the unicycle (and wheel) around its vertical
axis. I'm not sure that Mike meant it this way, but anyway this
question was not addressed yet. Countersteering is not an answer.
Whether we do initial countersteering or not, there must be a first
vertical twist but against what does a rider push or pull to bring it
about? This question can be so puzzling that some people are tempted
to say that unicycling is theoretically impossible.

I think Mikefule may be closest to an answer by pointing at the
pedals. If a rider rides relaxed and not in a corner/curved
trajectory, the tyre contact point will actually describe a wiggly
line. Every wiggle corresponds to one pedal stroke. On average, the
contact point is below our centre of gravity. If then the rider would
push one pedal a little harder, the corresponding wiggle will be
larger (or maybe smaller but at least different), hence the tyre will
deviate from the position under the centre of gravity, and here we
have the initial lean that will drive the rider automatically into
riding a curve.

Klaas Bil

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