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Old 2013-01-18, 05:43 AM   #1
Tharkis
Justin Mercier
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Woonsocket RI
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Hello, I'm new and just got my first uni

Hello, Just posting this to introduce myself. My name is Justin Mercier, sometimes better known online as Tharkis. I was referred over to this website by a fellow on the britishcarforum.com by the name of TexasKnucklehead although I do not know his name here.

This new year, I was talking with friends and we were discussing how no one ever keeps their new year resolutions. So we decided to make whacky new year resolutions that would be more fun to keep... My resolution was, this year I'm going to learn to ride a unicycle =)

I'm not the smallest person, and know I could stand to lose 20 to 25 lbs, so maybe learning this will help me be more active and keep the weight off. At 6'1 210lbs I was recommended by the fellow at the cycle shop to get a heavier duty unicycle, and as a result I ended up with a 2010 Torker Unistar DX 24 Muni. So far the weather in New England has not cooperated this last week since purchasing it, so I've just done a lot of sitting and balancing on it in my kitchen without any real room to roll, but I'm looking forward to getting to move around a bit... and falling a lot !



When I was younger I used to be a very active skateboarder (in fact my photo's in an old issue of Thrasher magazine) mostly doing ramp, but with a fair bit of street. I've always admired some of the vids I've seen of street and trail unicycling because it seems like a combination of the ability to do tricks like you could on a skateboard... but do them over a MUCH larger variety of terrain and locations.

Anyhow, first things first... I've got to learn how to ride ! I have too many hobbies as it is, but this is one that I can see keeping myself in better shape than my blacksmithing and old car restoring =)

Here's the car I'm hoping to have on the road this next summer too.



-Justin "Tharkis" Mercier
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Old 2013-01-18, 07:00 AM   #2
isitafox
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Dude, nice choice to learn on and with a background like you have I'm sure you'll have no problems.
Also, bonus awesomeness points for the NES! How the heck is it still working after all this time? Mine went through god knows how many cartridge slots before I finally gave up with it!
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Old 2013-01-18, 01:40 PM   #3
kahunacohen
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Welcome. It's great exercise, and a lot more fun than running or biking (in my humble opinion).

Nice looking uni, by the way. Good choice.

Let us know how it goes.

Don't give up. It can take some time to learn, but being a skateboarder you already know what it takes.
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Old 2013-01-18, 03:05 PM   #4
Harley
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Welcome.

That uni will serve you for years to come. The tire may be a bit aggressive for learning on, and you might want to swap it out for something with a smoother tread pattern, but over all it shouldn't make too big a difference.

Nice car project. I'm sorry, I'm not that familiar with the make & model. Care to enlighten on it?
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Old 2013-01-18, 03:32 PM   #5
Tharkis
Justin Mercier
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harley View Post
Nice car project. I'm sorry, I'm not that familiar with the make & model. Care to enlighten on it?
I'd be very surprised if anyone knew what it was, they only made about 2 dozen of them. It's a Hathaway Hunter roadster. A custom coach body that sits on top of a Triumph chassis.


@kahunacohen : No fears of my 'giving up on it' When I get into something... i'm notorious for going 'all in' I get very focused. I'm already resigned to banged up shins and a lot of bumps and bruises, but hey, it cant be that much harder than learning to drop in on a vert ramp or to skate a bowl. I'm not as young as I was when I did all that, but I dont hit 31 for another week so I'm not old either =)
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Old 2013-01-18, 04:41 PM   #6
knoxuni
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Hey a dx24 was my first muni!
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Old 2013-01-18, 04:55 PM   #7
Harley
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"I'd be very surprised if anyone knew what it was, they only made about 2 dozen of them. It's a Hathaway Hunter roadster. A custom coach body that sits on top of a Triumph chassis."

Very interesting. The body appears to be in very good shape and obviously quite rare. What year would this body be? and or when or for how long have they been manufactured? Keep us / me informed of your progress on this project.


"but hey, it can't be that much harder than learning to drop in on a vert ramp or to skate a bowl."

You're probably right, if nothing else you won't be travelling at as high a rate of speed when you do crash.
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Last edited by Harley; 2013-01-18 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 2013-01-19, 11:34 PM   #8
Tharkis
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The body was designed and built by Mark Goyette (more famously known for creating the replica Ferrari spider's used in the movie Ferris Bueler's day off, and then getting sued by Ferrari because his replicas were so darned good they couldn't tell them from the real thing) in 1975, and the body was built in 1979 or 1980. not nearly as old as you'd think, but it's gorgeous. I found this original body over seas in Germany and spent all of last winter and spring getting it imported into the states so that I could use it. There were 5 or 6 bodies made by Mark Goyette and then another dozen or so created Chuck Hunter, owner of Vintage Motor Works, of which 5 are still known in existence, including my own.

Anyhow, enough car talk =D

This morning the set of 661 Rampage shin/knee pads I ordered arrived. Today was my first day of seriously trying to go 'forward' as it got above freezing and I was able to get in the driveway for a little bit. I'm sad to say I only made it a few revolutions around at best today, but... it's a start =)

I also treated myself to a birthday present and... now despite not knowing how to unicycle ... will own two nice unicycles, as I bought the KH20 Trials and accessories that was for sale in the trading post forum here.

But now I've got all the safety equipment that I want, and just need to find good enough weather to flop around on my unicycle =D I'm a firm believer in safety equipment, when I was a younger man 16 years ago or so a helmet saved my life when I had a shoelace get caught around a wheel on a skateboard. Those older fiberglass shell skateboarding helmets were indestructible, not like biking helmets designed to break apart, and I shattered one apart. Better the helm than my skull.
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Old 2013-01-20, 12:26 AM   #9
knoxuni
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Hope it goes well! just dont get mad at it :P
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Old 2013-01-20, 12:36 AM   #10
UniTographer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tharkis View Post
I'm already resigned to banged up shins and a lot of bumps and bruises, but hey, it cant be that much harder than learning to drop in on a vert ramp or to skate a bowl. I'm not as young as I was when I did all that, but I dont hit 31 for another week so I'm not old either =)
I skated back in the 80s (loved it but was pretty terrible), and picked up Uni in early 2012. You'll probably figure it out quickly.

I was out today teaching my 7-year-old some beginner freestyle skateboarding (bought him a deck over the summer and he's hooked) while I was working on uni leg wrap side mounts and trying to idle. Hopping on his deck to show him how to do some simple tricks felt pretty damn good, and I think it helped my unicycling a lot to be able to draw the physical parallel directly between the two. Right after hopping off of his deck I was doing very solid rolling mounts while moving at a near-run; much faster than I've done before.

-- UniT
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Old 2013-01-20, 12:41 AM   #11
Nakedbabytoes
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Welcome!
I just took up the sport in October. It is good fun! I can ride several miles at a time now, if only winter didn't cause it to get dark so darn early now, I could ride more than just on weekends!
Best tip for riding I ever got was "think butt in the seat", it really does help with balance and not getting so tired so quickly if you let the uni carry your weight and just use your legs to pedal and arms to balance.
I have the same pad set but so far, it hasn't gotten much use. I tend not to fall but have a weak ankle, dispite running marathons currently(old adolescent injury when a horse stepped on my foot & ankle). So my main necessary padding is ankle braces, along with usual helmet and wrist guards. You'll find out what you truely use and what you don't tend to use.
Do you think it is your skateboarding background that made you choose the 20, even though you've yet to ride much on the 24? I have a 24 and before I rode it much, I had also thought smaller. But riding my conundrum makes me want to go bigger(36) or put a geared hub on my 24. But perhaps that is my roadie bike background influencing my ride choice.
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Old 2013-01-20, 03:22 AM   #12
Tharkis
Justin Mercier
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nakedbabytoes View Post
Do you think it is your skateboarding background that made you choose the 20, even though you've yet to ride much on the 24?
Yes, it's the skateboarding i did half of my life ago that has me wanting to be able to do some street riding and tricks eventually, and from what I've seen and read, I'll need a real sturdy 20 inch for that. The KH20 looked like it'd be what I want eventually, and the price was right now.
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