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Old 2016-04-10, 05:32 AM   #16
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Have a great time on your MUni ride. I hope that you have some body armor. In the least some wrist splints and knee/shin/leg guards. Falls are inevitable and you will be a very happy camper every time you scrape or put a divot into your armor and not yourself.
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Old 2016-04-10, 12:10 PM   #17
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Yep, I am well suited for sure. I'm borrowing some shin/knee guards while I wait for some to arrive. Thanks!

Thanks for all the suggestions...yes, ElpuebloUIdo, it is probably practical, but hard for me to envision just yet. I am guessing like everything else that seemed impossible, it is once you do it over and over again. It still blows my mind every time I get up and ride. Somewhere in my brain it just doesn't make since. I guess I just have to do it until all of my brain gets it.

I'll let you know how it goes today!
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Old 2016-04-10, 10:42 PM   #18
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Well, I am hooked. Went to Bent Creek today with an experienced Muni rider. Wow, what patience. I rode about 40 - 50% of the trails that we went on. I was really pleased with what I was able to ride. Must work on holding onto the seat! In fact, after trail riding, I went back to the park to ride more before going home. Worked on just holding the seat. It will come. I can see that if I can't do something now, I will be able to. The trail riding was exhilarating! I learned so much from watching another rider in person, and not just on a video. And, I saw improvement just in the time that we were out there. Watching his guy stand and power up hills was pretty dang cool. I am really excited to get to that point!
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Old 2016-04-11, 03:26 PM   #19
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Well, I am hooked. Went to Bent Creek today with an experienced Muni rider. Wow, what patience. I rode about 40 - 50% of the trails that we went on. I was really pleased with what I was able to ride. Must work on holding onto the seat! In fact, after trail riding, I went back to the park to ride more before going home. Worked on just holding the seat. It will come. I can see that if I can't do something now, I will be able to. The trail riding was exhilarating! I learned so much from watching another rider in person, and not just on a video. And, I saw improvement just in the time that we were out there. Watching his guy stand and power up hills was pretty dang cool. I am really excited to get to that point!
Cool! I'm jealous! It rained again today, so the trails near me are probably muddy and will be closed for a while. I've got to find another place to ride that's less muddy and dries out faster.

Yeah, holding the seat is sort of a catch-22 for me sometimes as well. I need to hold the seat to get over stuff and/or climb, but sometimes I want to have both my arms free to balance! Just can't win, heh, heh!
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Old 2016-04-11, 06:09 PM   #20
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Well, I am hooked. Went to Bent Creek today with an experienced Muni rider. Wow, what patience. I rode about 40 - 50% of the trails that we went on. I was really pleased with what I was able to ride. Must work on holding onto the seat! In fact, after trail riding, I went back to the park to ride more before going home. Worked on just holding the seat. It will come. I can see that if I can't do something now, I will be able to. The trail riding was exhilarating! I learned so much from watching another rider in person, and not just on a video. And, I saw improvement just in the time that we were out there. Watching his guy stand and power up hills was pretty dang cool. I am really excited to get to that point!
Well, that's one more of us!

Congratulations. Learning to ride off-road was one of the most rewarding things I have done in unicycling. It's a great ongoing experience. I don't think you need any more encouragement
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Old 2016-04-13, 01:08 AM   #21
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Well, I'll still take all the encouragement I can get! After my exciting Sunday of trail riding, I was able to get out after work to spin around today on a flat walking trail. It is as if I had never learned to free mount. And on top of if, I was flailing wildly to keep balanced for a good bit of the ride. Good grief. Based on all the reading I've done of threads over the years, it seems that this apparent loss of skill is somewhat normal. I will be very interested to see what my next outing is like. I sure felt like a failure today, but I guess I'm not if I'm still out there.
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Old 2016-04-13, 01:31 AM   #22
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It is as if I had never learned to free mount. And on top of if, I was flailing wildly to keep balanced for a good bit of the ride. Good grief. Based on all the reading I've done of threads over the years, it seems that this apparent loss of skill is somewhat normal. I will be very interested to see what my next outing is like. I sure felt like a failure today, but I guess I'm not if I'm still out there.
Don't let it bother you a bit. We have good days and we have bad. It was a little to cool to get outside today so I went to the gym to work on skills. Had trouble with transitioning seat in and out. Sunday I was doing it at will. So I snaked through the cones and worked on backwards riding instead. Had a blast!

Don't sweat the days you are "off" and enjoy the days you are "on".
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Old 2016-04-13, 01:50 AM   #23
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Well, I'll still take all the encouragement I can get! After my exciting Sunday of trail riding, I was able to get out after work to spin around today on a flat walking trail. It is as if I had never learned to free mount. And on top of if, I was flailing wildly to keep balanced for a good bit of the ride. Good grief. Based on all the reading I've done of threads over the years, it seems that this apparent loss of skill is somewhat normal. I will be very interested to see what my next outing is like. I sure felt like a failure today, but I guess I'm not if I'm still out there.
I guess we really are on parallel courses, and it IS nice to see that I'm not alone with some of these experiences. I went through almost the same thing you did today.

I was able to freemount my 24" muni on the very attempt when I got it two weeks ago, but today I was having all kinds of problems. I too went for a ride on a flat area (concrete trails), and I had some difficulty. I had gotten to where I could ride backwards for a ways, but today it was all but impossible. I don't know what was going on, but I wasn't firing on all cylinders, that's for sure.

Regardless, I was undeterred! In fact, I went on a little "munithon" today and stayed out from about 1pm until 6pm and covered 10-12 miles. I didn't ride the whole time, and I rested here and there and chatted with a lot of folks and made some new friends. I'm paying for it, though! My legs are gone and for some reason, I can barely type my hands are so tired!

I did find, however, a lot of opportunities to work on some of my off-road skills. I rode on a multi-use trail by the flood zone of a major creek that runs through my town, and there's a park the entire way for almost 4 and half miles (that's about 7 and quarter kilometers). There was lots of grassy hills and obstacles to practice on, and I greatly improved in one area I used to be pretty good at, and that's hopping to get up and over things.

I used to be able to hop up on curbs, but as I got older, out of practice, fatter, etc., I lost the ability to hop very high, and while I have gotten much better over the past few months on flat ground, I haven't been at all confident about it, and even though I attempted to hop over or on stuff, I would just fall. It's a mental thing.

Well, today, I finally overcame that. In a lot of places on this concrete trail, the grass is below the height of the trail, or there's a gap. Sometimes I can ride over it when trying to get from the grass back on the trail, but sometimes I fall. Well, today, I was able to just hop over it! Even though I was having issues with basic stuff like freemounting, at least I greatly improved at something that was really important to me, so I'm super-happy I didn't give up today! Whatever mental thing was keeping me from doing this has either disappeared or has greatly diminished. Any time I can see improvement like this, I'm really happy, so NEVER give up, even on a off day!
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Old 2016-04-13, 03:05 AM   #24
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Yeah, sometimes an off day is just a matter of warming up and getting into rhythm....sometimes it takes me 2 hours
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Old 2016-04-14, 03:04 AM   #25
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Hmmm, maybe I just don't ride long enough each time to work out the bugs... not enough hours in the day. <sigh>

Today was much different than yesterday. I almost didn't go out at all. I am still nursing a sprained big toe from the day of trail riding. I just can't help myself, so out I went. I typically go to a small recreational park close to my house. The flat paved path glides along a small river for about a half mile. The path then follows the street, which completes the loop (clearly a very short path). After graduating from the tennis courts and quarter mile track at the nearby high school, I turned my attention to this path. As I have mentioned before, I struggle on this path. The camber leaves me twisted one way, then the other when I switch directions. So, today instead of fighting the camber, I pointed my unicycle into the grass. There's plenty of it. I have tried this before, but made it only a few short feet before dismounting each time. But, today something clicked and I leaned forward and kept my momentum. My first try took me about 15 feet, my longest to date. My second try took me almost all the way across the field. Then I just kept at it, and even was able to free mount some in the grass, also a first for me. There was one point at which I managed to grab my seat to brace for some tire ruts that would have thrown me just a few days ago. Oddly, and to my surprise, I would prefer the grass to the tilted paved path.

Any day on a unicycle is a good one. But, I do have to admit that the small steps forward feel better.
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Old 2016-04-14, 05:06 PM   #26
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Hmmm, maybe I just don't ride long enough each time to work out the bugs... not enough hours in the day. <sigh>

Today was much different than yesterday. I almost didn't go out at all. I am still nursing a sprained big toe from the day of trail riding. I just can't help myself, so out I went. I typically go to a small recreational park close to my house. The flat paved path glides along a small river for about a half mile. The path then follows the street, which completes the loop (clearly a very short path). After graduating from the tennis courts and quarter mile track at the nearby high school, I turned my attention to this path. As I have mentioned before, I struggle on this path. The camber leaves me twisted one way, then the other when I switch directions. So, today instead of fighting the camber, I pointed my unicycle into the grass. There's plenty of it. I have tried this before, but made it only a few short feet before dismounting each time. But, today something clicked and I leaned forward and kept my momentum. My first try took me about 15 feet, my longest to date. My second try took me almost all the way across the field. Then I just kept at it, and even was able to free mount some in the grass, also a first for me. There was one point at which I managed to grab my seat to brace for some tire ruts that would have thrown me just a few days ago. Oddly, and to my surprise, I would prefer the grass to the tilted paved path.

Any day on a unicycle is a good one. But, I do have to admit that the small steps forward feel better.
Awesome! And I agree that any progress that you can see is exciting, especially when it surprises you when things just seem to magically start working right.

I have found grass very hard to ride through unless the ground under it is very smooth and the grass is something like bermuda that's well maintained. For most of the grass in parks around here, that's hardly ever the case. Not only does the grass add resistance, it hides the ground under it, so if there's a dip, bump, or clump of grass, you don't know it's there until you're riding over it.

I'm new to this off-road stuff, but I think it's been good training to ride through grass. I'm doing a lot of it up and down hills that are pretty steep as well. Since it hides things, I UPD frequently in areas that are exceptionally uneven, especially going uphill, but to date, I haven't gotten hurt (I'd much rather fall on grass than most other surfaces I fall on), and I've found that slowly my body is learning what to do, and a lot of it is developing the stronger muscles needed to crank up and over those bumps and uneven parts.

Sounds like you're doing good! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 2016-04-15, 01:25 AM   #27
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Thanks Bradford. You keep sharing too. I had to laugh out loud when I read about your 6 hour Munithon the other day. I think you have surpassed my level of obsession and enthusiasm. I'm not sure my friends would believe such a person existed

Looking forward to hearing what you do over the weekend on your wheel.
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Old 2016-04-15, 03:25 PM   #28
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Thanks Bradford. You keep sharing too. I had to laugh out loud when I read about your 6 hour Munithon the other day. I think you have surpassed my level of obsession and enthusiasm. I'm not sure my friends would believe such a person existed

Looking forward to hearing what you do over the weekend on your wheel.
I really only rode for about 5 of those, and I took a lot of breaks and socialized along the way. One guy with a drone and a GoPro camera took aerial video of me riding and let me download it to my phone, which was really cool! To be honest, I think I over did it, though. I was terribly sore afterwards (and not just my legs, ouch!), and the next day I did absolutely nothing.

After a day off, I rode again yesterday for a couple of hours, and it took a little while to get warmed up. My legs were really sore until they got warmed up, about 30-40 minutes. During that time, I was practicing my hops and had a spectacular UPD. I was trying to hop up on a low (it's maybe 2-3 inches off the ground) concrete pillar with a manhole cover on the top. I did make it up there and then UPD'ed and landed hard, flat on my back on the manhole cover. I thought I would be toast, but it actually popped my back and felt really good. How funny is that? I feel like I went to the chiropractor, and even a day later, my back feels great and is straighter than in has been in a while! There's no bruises or abrasions either. How weird is that? (Disclaimer: Don't try this at home, lol!)
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Old 2016-04-15, 11:36 PM   #29
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5 hours is still impressive. I have to say my legs are fried at the end of an hour. I'm hoping this gets better. I actually am going to start mountain biking
(2 wheeled) once a week with some friends just to help get my legs back into cycling shape.

Good for you practicing the hopping. I'm too scared to try that yet.
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Old 2016-04-17, 08:45 PM   #30
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I went out today for my second Muni ride. However, I did choose a really benign trail that follows the Davidson River in the Pisgah Nat'l Forest. It is a combination of dirt, loose rocks, and finely crushed gravel. I figured I would have some tree roots and larger rocks to navigate, but as I said, it was pretty benign. However, that being said, it was perfect for me today. Since my first trail ride last Sunday, my freemounts have taken quite a hit. I had become pretty comfortable with them. This last week, though, I have reverted back to freemounting with dismal results. Somewhere in a recent thread, I read that when we start working on more skills, the ones that we have newly formed might suffer a bit. I'm hoping that is what's going on. Plus, while out last Sunday, I injured my left foot. Though not a serious injury, it has been tender and I think I try to protect it, resulting in a drop in successful freemounts.

One aspect of today's ride included a number of "bridges" or platforms on the trail. The transitions from the bridges to the trail were small ramps, around 18"-20" long. Initially, I dismounted in order to walk onto and off of the bridges and re-mount. However, I started to realize the missed opportunity of challenging myself. So, once I felt sufficiently warmed up, I started to attempt riding through these transitions. Initially, I only did this when there was a hand rail for the "just in case" moments. After a few failed attempts, I started to get a better sense of the mechanics required for this kind of obstacle. Speed is a huge factor. I tend to slow down when I get tentative. That, I found out doesn't work so well. And, I learned to start bending a little bit at the hips in order to lean forward slightly. That also helped. All in all, it was a good day on the "trail."

This week, now that I have found a pair of catcher's baseball shin/knee guards that will work, I plan to really attack the grass, and to start introducing a bit of climbing into the mix. We'll see how this goes.
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