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Old 2016-04-25, 09:58 PM   #46
LanceB
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Originally Posted by sukie47 View Post
Do you manage to get out most days, or just weekends?
One good thing about unicycles is that they fit in your car. I bring mine to work and ride most days on my lunch hour. They're short rides (or sometimes just skills practice), but they help keep me making progress. Then I do longer rides on weekends.

Cheers!
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Old 2016-04-26, 01:36 AM   #47
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guess I'm not alone. I keep my unicycle in my truck. I'm hoping that I can fit some rides in at work now that I feel like I might be ok with the terrain. And, yes, I practice idling on rainy days in my hallway. I had planned to paint my hall, but I'm now waiting until I'm done creating more damage.
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Old 2016-04-27, 01:09 AM   #48
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I should be getting the new 26" Oracle tomorrow. I am beyond excited and can hardly stand the wait. This is a short work week for me, so tomorrow at lunch, I hope to come home and assemble it. I'll then load it in the truck and head to Knoxville to check in on my parents and help out a bit on their small farm. I am hoping they don't remember what my Club Uni looks like, and will just think this is the same one. Can you believe I have been accused of being obsessive? I just don't understand what the problem is Anyway, it's a good first run for this Oracle since it's the first place I officially rode off pavement.

Tonight, with just enough light to attempt a little practice in my back yard (first time for that - it's a hill with no place for a warm up). At least I did take the time to gear up, including the helmet. Then I proceeded do a very condensed version of Stop, Drop, and Roll. Knocked the wind out of myself, and tweaked my knee. So, I went up to the house, took 2 Ibuprofen, and decided to call it a rest day.
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Old 2016-04-29, 01:18 AM   #49
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I've been able to spend a little bit of time on this new beast while in Tn. My first five minute spin in the familiar rec park yesterday was hopeful and left me pretty excited. However, it has been a different story today. The word "farm" sounds wonderful, but surprisingly, there are few places for me to ride for extended lengths. And, wherever I do ride, I'm just a few feet from electric fences, which never quite leaves my mind. I can't yet trust that I won't just head off into a wild direction for no reason at all on this uni.

I haven't yet put this unicycle beside the road uni to see how they really compare. My mind tells me that I am a mile higher on this thing. I know in reality, it can only be a half inch difference if that. But, my mind wins out even in the face of facts. My freemounts are again not quite there. I've changed something, but can't quite put my finger on it. If I had to guess, I would say I'm just a little intimidated, and just need some adjustment time. I am looking forward to going back to Bent Creek this weekend. It gives me the best opportunity to put a lot of time in the seat on paths that are challenging for me, but not so much so that I fail more than I succeed.

I'm interested to know what tire pressure others use on these big tires. Coming from the road uni, even when I dropped the pressure for off road, it is totally different. I dropped to just around 20 today and really didn't like that. And boy, was I riding twisted. At that low pressure, I was pointed a good 40 to 45 degrees to the right just to stay straight. After adjusting the pressure up a wee bit, the twist got better, but never totally left. Still learning how to use my hands on seat to help alleviate this.
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Old 2016-04-29, 03:16 AM   #50
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And, wherever I do ride, I'm just a few feet from electric fences, which never quite leaves my mind. I can't yet trust that I won't just head off into a wild direction for no reason at all on this uni.
Me too! I'm terrible on bridges or on a trail next to a steep drop-off. A road near me has a metal guardrail between the sidewalk and traffic, and the steel I-beam supports for the rail have wickedly sharp hacked off edges at the top. There's plenty of room and realistically I'd never get anywhere the supports. But no way can I make myself ride through there.

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My mind tells me that I am a mile higher on this thing. I know in reality, it can only be a half inch difference if that. But, my mind wins out even in the face of facts.
Here I think your mind has it right. When someone says that on this unicycle you're "only" an inch higher than that one, that inch really does make a difference in my experience. Most likely not make-or-break, but noticeable and it changes things enough to need getting used to.

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I dropped to just around 20 today and really didn't like that. And boy, was I riding twisted. At that low pressure, I was pointed a good 40 to 45 degrees to the right just to stay straight.
Easily under 20 psi. And yeah, it handles like hell on pavement when it's set right for dirt. You'll learn to deal with it but I doubt you'll ever like it.

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Old 2016-04-29, 06:47 PM   #51
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Hey Sukie47! I've been off the board for a while, but I just got caught up on your posts. Wow! You've really been at it, and color me green with envy over your new 26" Oracle! That's awesome! Yes, you are hopelessly obsessed, but there ain't nuthin' wrong with dat! You mentioned feeling like you're really high up in the air on that Oracle, and I know what you mean. It's really weird at first.

I'm also envious that you have someone to ride with. That's a real gift!

Being pretty new to the whole muni thing myself, it's interesting reading your posts, especially about having to hold onto the saddle going up and down hills. Before recently, I never had a handle on my saddle. When I wanted to hop, I just grabbed the front of the saddle, and otherwise, my hands were just free to flail or "swim" in the air as needed, and since I was riding on concrete, there wasn't much need for one.

Of course, like you, I immediately found that holding the saddle was crucial going uphill, downhill, or over obstacles on the muni. Since I've been riding unis for so long, I didn't have too much trouble grabbing the seat with one hand, leaving the other free for balance, but like you, I've had trouble deciding which hand to use. I read that you're ambidextrous. You must be hell on wheels in that cabinet shop! That's bad-ass! I'm fairly ambidextrous, but I don't write so well with my left hand. I do hammer, saw, paint, etc, with both hands, but my right one is the better, dominant one. I find that I mostly grab the saddle handle with my right hand, but that serves a dual purpose. Since I tend to twist to the right and/or pull my right shoulder back, I grab the saddle handle with my right hand, and that makes it harder for my torso to twist to the right or for my right shoulder to go back. That said, I still grab with my left hand sometimes. I'd like to have the flexibility to use either hand. It seems that when I'm going downhill at an angle (in other words, not going directly down the slope but traversing it somewhat), I may prefer one hand over the other depending on which way I'm traversing the hill.

When going uphill, I found exactly what you wrote about. You can pull up on the saddle handle and get leverage to push down with your feet to climb uphill. When I run into obstacles uphill, I just pull really hard to ride over them (if I can't go around them), and that seems to work most of the time. It seems, for me anyways, that my reflexes just learned to do it automatically after a short while.

One thing that I had to battle was giving up too easily. I noticed that when I would encounter an obstacle going uphill, or if it just seemed too steep, I would just bail. I think between getting more leg strength and mentally "hanging on" I was able to do much more. Sometimes, when I was on a steep incline that would go on for a bit, I would think "there's no way I'll have the stamina to go up that" and I would bail. Lately, I decided that I could make it, and most of the time, I do! I've been really surprised lately at how steep an include I can ride up for longer periods of time, and I'm doing it slower as well. Before, I tended to speed through things trying to get it over with sooner, or use my speed and momentum to get over things, but I'm backing away from that and slowing down, which seems to help, but in some situations, I still prefer to have some speed.

I think part of the challenge is trying to remember that we're getting stronger and better skills as we progress, so we have to remind ourselves that what we might not have been able to do a week ago, we might be able to do today.

I also found that going downhill over bumps and obstacles was fairly easy for me after a few attempts. I lean my seat back (which causes my torso to go forward), and when I encounter obstacles, bumps, etc, going downhill, I just use my weight to carry me over them. Since I'm leaned back a bit, I don't fall when the obstacle causes the muni to want to tip forward. I have room to correct, and the bounciness and mushiness of the fat muni tire also absorbs some of the resistance (or something like that, it's hard to describe). In my mind, it's like I'm trying to use my weight and gravity to get me over the obstacle while leaning back a bit on the saddle.

I think it's good that you're playing with different tire pressures as well. Since I'm mostly riding concrete lately (yuck!), I tend to have a little more pressure, but when riding off road, I prefer things to be a little softer. Since it's been so wet here with most of the off road trails being closed, I have to ride concrete and take the occasional detour for off road practice, so I try to find a middle of the road pressure that's OK for both conditions but not ideal for either.

BTW, I'm not sure any of my techniques would work or should be attempted by anyone else. We have a saying around my house, "Never do what Brad does," as it usually ends with other people getting hurt. Apparently I'm really weird and do things in a weird way that isn't safe for most people. I'm talking about things like pulling a knife towards your body when cutting, etc. I have weird ways of making things safe for me that don't work for most people, so please take everything I say with a grain of salt. I'd feel bad if anyone got hurt doing anything like I do!
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Old 2016-04-30, 01:27 AM   #52
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[QUOTE=LargeEddie;1667884]Me too! I'm terrible on bridges or on a trail next to a steep drop-off. A road near me has a metal guardrail between the sidewalk and traffic, and the steel I-beam supports for the rail have wickedly sharp hacked off edges at the top. There's plenty of room and realistically I'd never get anywhere the supports. But no way can I make myself ride through there.

I'm glad I am not alone. I just thought I was being wimpy I think it's just wise.


[QUOTE=Bradford;1667924]

One thing that I had to battle was giving up too easily. I noticed that when I would encounter an obstacle going uphill, or if it just seemed too steep, I would just bail. I think between getting more leg strength and mentally "hanging on" I was able to do much more. Sometimes, when I was on a steep incline that would go on for a bit, I would think "there's no way I'll have the stamina to go up that" and I would bail. Lately, I decided that I could make it, and most of the time, I do!

Well Bradford, there you are. I was beginning to wonder where you went. A very long muni ride I hope! Yes, I have to battle giving up too easily too. I find myself doing the same thing... getting off before a steep incline because I just assume it's too steep for me. I'm trying to get over that.

Tomorrow I'm going out I hope for a good long ride. I got so intimidated on the Oracle the last couple of days, that I almost talked myself into using my road uni a bit longer. But, I'll be back on familiar ground and need to work through my fears. I wasn't able to ride at all today, so I'm hoping that a day off will let my brain reset and things will seem easier as a result. At least that's what I tell myself.
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Old 2016-05-01, 12:10 AM   #53
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Alrighty. I finally got the chance to get out on the familiar logging road in Bent Creek today to give this new uni a real whirl. It was my longest ride to date off road at 6 miles. I don't really know if you can count logging/gravel roads as offroad or not, but I am. I forgot my small pump so that I could really play around with PSI, so I started over what I knew my target pressure would be, and stopped to adjust several times until I felt right. I'm going to guess I'm somewhere around 18psi or even less. Tomorrow, I'll have the pump with me, so I'll really get a chance to experiment.

Twisting was a real issue for me today. It got better the longer I was on the uni, so I don't know if it was related to tire pressure, or my warm up time. Probably a little of both. I was still able to climb the same tame "hills" that I recently climbed for the first time. I wasn't sure what to expect with this new unicycle, so that was nice. And since I rode farther, I was able to tackle a few more spots I hadn't encountered on previous rides. One was a short and steep (for me right now) climb up to the lake. After I passed the spot where I kind of expected to come off, I got excited. In part because I passed that mental block, and in part because I was really leaned forward while holding onto my saddle. As I've said before, that is a skill I am working on. It's something I'm getting pretty good at when on flat and easy terrain, so this was fantastic. So, the more excited I got, the faster I started peddling. I got a bit too excited and launched myself off the unicycle and into the red dirt. I should have gone back down the hill and tried again. That's what I'll do next time. I expect this one section to be one of those places that will send me to the moon and back the first time I conquer it. That day IS coming.

On the way back to the parking lot, probably around mile 4, I started getting a little tired. The first half to 2/3 of the ride was pretty clean and free of UPDs with the exception of the hill launch. But, starting around mile 4 I began to have some issues with balance and kept having to step off the unicycle. I kept finding myself falling to the left, and instead of steering in the direction of the fall, I just kept falling. No real falls, I just had to step off and begin again. Good opportunity for lots of freemount practice. All in all, it was a good day. Some things get better, some things stay the same or even regress a bit. But, I'm learning that this is just the way it is.

Now, speaking to the level of obsession that I am observing in myself... this morning I forced myself to get out and take care of a very neglected yard and garden BEFORE my unicycle ride (It shouldn't surprise anyone that I have been a very bad home owner recently). In the process of transplanting some perennials, I thought I nearly broke my left middle finger when a root ball that I was banging on the ground bounced into my finger. My first thought was not whether I would be able to work with a broken finger in the shop. No, instead my only concern was whether this injury would prevent me from riding my unicycle later in the day, or on any day for that matter. Thankfully, the finger isn't broken, just jammed. It will be pretty tomorrow. I only hope my glove will fit over it

Tomorrow I'll be back out there, barring no injuries in my home. My friend will be joining me tomorrow. She won't get on this forum, so I'll just say that she informed me today that she ordered her new 24" Mountain Uni. So, we have one more of us! Yahoo!
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Old 2016-05-01, 06:14 AM   #54
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Hi Sukie, 18 psi, dont you think that is very low. I always ride with about 30. Whether on dirt/gravel roads or on asphalt. With a harder tire it feels like less friction, so quicker rolling and passing obstacles. I also find it easier to steer, though Im still hopeless at that.
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Old 2016-05-01, 11:40 AM   #55
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Hey Setonix, I thought so too. Look a few posts earlier to Large Eddie's post. I stink at getting the quotes in here, but he says easily under 20. So, I am playing around with what is going to work for me. When I was riding my 26 Club Uni, I put a mildly knobby tire on it, can't remember the size. I put it at a pretty high pressure, around 60 or so for the riding I was doing on pavement. Then when I started riding on grass and gravel, I lowered it, but nothing like this. I don't really like how squishy it feels, and how sluggish it makes it feel on hard compacted surfaces. But, when it comes to uneven surfaces or smaller branches and rocks, it just swallows everything in it's path, like it's not even there. But, when I am spinning pretty fast on the logging road, I feel like I'm bobbing down the trail, as I bounce with each peddle stroke. I think that is more to do with needing to learn how to peddle more evenly than the pressure, but it was entertaining. Today, I plan to really play around with the pressure. I'll have my small pump with a pressure gauge on it, so I'll know exactly where I am.

What are you riding? You say that you have switched over to the 127 cranks. Are you still riding that length, or do you switch back and forth depending on the ride. You've been riding almost a year and it sounds like you're doing fantastic. Are you on trails yet? I've been thinking that I want to give the 127 holes a try, but am a little hesitant. I have been having a problem with going too fast at times, and don't want to get going so fast that I can't run it out if I come off. Not that I'm going THAT fast, but my legs are THAT tired.
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Old 2016-05-01, 03:10 PM   #56
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What are you riding? You say that you have switched over to the 127 cranks. Are you still riding that length, or do you switch back and forth depending on the ride. You've been riding almost a year and it sounds like you're doing fantastic. Are you on trails yet? I've been thinking that I want to give the 127 holes a try, but am a little hesitant. I have been having a problem with going too fast at times, and don't want to get going so fast that I can't run it out if I come off. Not that I'm going THAT fast, but my legs are THAT tired.
Last week i got the new 2015 KH29 with the schlumpf hub, it because it rides very different from what im used to i decided to take my nimbus 29" with me to The Netherlands where im staying at my mum's for the week. I still ride the 127mm, but i havent yet tried that in the forest. It is somewhat harder than 150mm. I havent been able too ride so fast, i couldnt catch myself when UPD-ing. On the other hand I havent lost my balance while riding fast. The only 2 times i landed on my knees was when riding in snow and once in tbe forest where my wheel locked up. Forests here are for recreation with clear paths. Once I tried a single track mountainbike trail, but it is too narrow for me to freemount. For now i want to stick to the 127mm cranks as they give a good workout. In Denmark the dirtroads are good training because of the pits everywhere and the bumps and it is more hilly terrain.
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Old 2016-05-01, 05:30 PM   #57
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I don't really like how squishy it feels, and how sluggish it makes it feel on hard compacted surfaces. But, when it comes to uneven surfaces or smaller branches and rocks, it just swallows everything in it's path, like it's not even there.
As you improve, you'll be able to ride over stuff with higher tire pressure. For the time being, you might consider keeping it a bit lower, and avoid riding on pavement whenever possible. My own transition from the heavy Duro tire at lower pressure ... to the lighter, narrower Ardent at higher pressure, coincided with getting both hands on the bar ends. When both of the hands/feet/butt-cheeks are engaged in stabilizing the mUni, it's a lot easier to plow over things with higher tire pressure, without having the uni kicked-out from under you.
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Old 2016-05-01, 07:43 PM   #58
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Look a few posts earlier to Large Eddie's post. I stink at getting the quotes in here, but he says easily under 20.
Well I'm hardly a master of muni, so take it with a grain of salt and go with what works for you. That's what seems good to me.

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I don't really like how squishy it feels, and how sluggish it makes it feel on hard compacted surfaces. But, when it comes to uneven surfaces or smaller branches and rocks, it just swallows everything in it's path, like it's not even there. But, when I am spinning pretty fast on the logging road, I feel like I'm bobbing down the trail, as I bounce with each peddle stroke.
Yeah, that's where I'm at at, and I don't even have the logging roads. Muni around here is just rugged trails with lots of rocks and tree roots (the fun stuff imho) and I'd be exhausted in 100 yards if I tried to hump it over all that stuff with 30 psi in the tire. Low pressure that rolls over the lumps is the only way I know of to keep up momentum and make it up any kind of hill.

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Forests here are for recreation with clear paths. Once I tried a single track mountainbike trail, but it is too narrow for me to freemount. For now i want to stick to the 127mm cranks as they give a good workout. In Denmark the dirtroads are good training because of the pits everywhere and the bumps and it is more hilly terrain.
Sometimes comparing our setups and riding experiences reminds me of the old parable about the blind men describing the elephant. We're all riding in different places on different surfaces and have different levels of experience, natural gifts, fitness, etc, and maybe are trying to do different things. I might love your setup on your trails but hate it on mine!

I do like the challenge of riding my road uni on fairly smooth, well graded walking and jogging paths, with 60 psi in a 40x700c tire and 127 mm cranks, trying to keep the wheel spinning and pick lines to miss the hazards. But I think of them as unpaved roads. Off-road is something else.

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My own transition from the heavy Duro tire at lower pressure ... to the lighter, narrower Ardent at higher pressure, coincided with getting both hands on the bar ends.
I'm also riding an Ardent, no handlebar on my muni yet though. The difference I noticed between the tires was that the Ardent rolled a lot better on level ground while the Duro felt pretty dead and needed a lot of energy input to keep it turning--which make sense I guess for an extreme downhill tire. I gather that's what folks who like it like about it: that it absorbs energy and doesn't bounce, which you wouldn't want when doing big descents and landing big drops.
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Old 2016-05-02, 01:25 AM   #59
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Exciting!

This is all very exciting! I am living vicariously through your experience Sukie47. When you do get to that point, I'll be interested to know how different the 127 cranks feel relative to the 150s you're used to. I've only ridden 127s.
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Old 2016-05-02, 02:34 AM   #60
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Thanks Geolojas, I appreciate that. When I was first learning and I found this forum, I was so excited to read other people's experiences as they learned. I bet I read every learning journal from start to finish more than once. I had not intended to do the same, but I'm enjoying documenting my own process. Glad you're enjoying it too.

Don't worry Large Eddie, I realize that what works for one doesn't work for all...that goes for people and situations. However, I am so new to this, I will try what any of y'all suggest. If it works, then I'll use it. In this case, even though I thought you were crazy, turns out you were spot on! 15 psi on these logging/gravel roads is perfect. Thanks.

We started from a different parking lot today. This meant that we had a long downhill from the cars to the logging road, on pavement then gravel. Being that neither of us was warmed up, we walked to the gravel. Then being that I wasn't warmed up on the unicycle, getting down this first gravel hill was a tad frustrating. I am still working on that freemount. Grrrr. Atleast I know pretty much what I'm doing, or not doing as the case may be. In short, I'm not giving it enough umph... Gotta jump a little higher and lean a little more forward. When I do those two things, I'm up and going most of the time.

The twisting was tons better today. In fact, I felt like I just rode better today in general. I was a little tired from yesterday, so I rode kind of conservatively. Part of that was d/t a creaking that developed early in the ride. After several stops to tighten one thing or another, I finally tightened the pedals and the creak went away. But, that slow and conservative start to the ride was probably a good reason why it was such a good one. Must remember this in the future. Start slow.

I went back to the hill leading to the lake, and made it much farther today. the last little steep push up the lake may take another week or so. But, maybe I won't dismount at the base of that hill next time.

When we got back to the last intersection, I exclaimed, "We're already done!? But I'm not ready to quit!" I was so disappointed. Part of my disappointment was due to the knowledge that we had such a climb back to the parking lot, and I honestly didn't expect to climb much of any of it. However, I was wrong. I decided to do what I could, which was almost all of it. I had to dismount 2x on the way up the gravel road. But, each time I got back up, thanks to a very kind tree and a fence. I don't think I could have freemounted at this point. I made a hard right turn onto the pavement and then climbed the rest of the way on a hill that I'm pretty sure is the steepest pavement I have ridden.

Every once in a while I have this strange sensation that I actually know how to ride this thing. I know I can ride it, but... how do I say it? When I mountain biked, I often felt that there was no separation from me and my bike. It was just so fluid and natural. Once in a while for a brief moment, I feel like that on my unicycle. I have to say, there just is no better feeling. I love this unicycle!
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