Unicyclist Community

Go Back   Unicyclist Community > Unicycling Discussion > General Unicycling Discussions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 2016-01-03, 08:19 PM   #61
Acrorebel
Joggler & unicyclist
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 185
Update:

3 days ago I did 123 cycles while idling with my right foot down, my new all time record(no wall, this is from transitioning from riding). I can often do 30 to 50 cycles, though I still go all over the place. I notice that the more I try to stay in one spot(by not pivoting too much), the more likely I am to fall. My "dead" spot while practicing with my right foot down is when I feel like I am about to fall left but can't pivot in time. While this problem isn't as bad as it used to be, this is responsible for over 50% of my dismounts while idling. I'm slowly getting better at avoiding this "dead" spot or getting out of it by pivoting.

I just started practicing idling with my left foot down, and can only do as much as 2 cycles(I start from a wall). It feels more like I am starting all over again than transferring a skill from one foot to the other, though I really haven't been practicing that much with my left foot. Need to put in more time.

Took a really bad fall yesterday. Was on this trail and there was a street crossing that was raised from the trail. I thought I was going fast enough to go over it, but instead ended up falling on my back and my elbows. Good thing I had my elbow pads on and I also didn't hit my head. I thought I pulled something in my right leg, but it's alright.

Happy New Year, and Happy Unicycling!

Last edited by Acrorebel; 2016-01-03 at 08:25 PM.
Acrorebel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2016-01-08, 08:56 PM   #62
Acrorebel
Joggler & unicyclist
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 185
Update:

I can now juggle while unicycling. Not for very l.ong, usually only for 10 seconds because I drop the balls whenever I have to turn. With enough practice I think I should be able to do this for miles so long as the path isn't too unneven, hilly, or there aren't a lot of turns. I think the fact that I'm a joggler helped tremendously, though it still felt awkward. I think juggling while unicycling will help improve my balance on the unicycle in general since it will force me to be less reliant on my arms for balance.

Idling update: Did 315 consecutive idling cycles on my right foot just yesterday, and did 100+ a bunch of times in a row. I was surprised when this happened, and I had to lie down for a bit after completing the 315 cycles. I can do as much as 6 with left foot. I can't juggle while idling since I use my arms too much. Maybe in another month I will try it out.

Like a lot of unicyclists here, I don't like how some people just assume I'm in the circus because of my chosen sport. The way I see it, juggling and unicycling are sports that were coopted by the circus, and us athletes are simply taking them back. I don't even like the term "circus arts" to describe what we do. I prefer "acro-sports", or "acro-athletics".

Last edited by Acrorebel; 2016-01-08 at 08:59 PM.
Acrorebel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2016-01-11, 07:58 AM   #63
johnfoss
North Shore ridin'
 
johnfoss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: El Dorado Hills, CA
Age: 57
Posts: 17,096
Juggling while riding will help you lean to isolate your upper body from your lower body in controlling the unicycle. This leaves the upper body to focus on the juggling, while your lower body figures out how to control the wheel from your waist down. You can also practice this by riding around with your arms crossed (and immobile), or with your hands in your back pockets, for instance.

Then the real "fun" begins when you start juggling while idling. That's quite a bit more difficult than doing it while riding...
__________________
John Foss
www.unicycling.com

"Who is going to argue with a mom who can ride a unicycle?" -- Forums member "HiMo"
johnfoss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2016-01-12, 03:29 PM   #64
Acrorebel
Joggler & unicyclist
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfoss View Post
Juggling while riding will help you lean to isolate your upper body from your lower body in controlling the unicycle. This leaves the upper body to focus on the juggling, while your lower body figures out how to control the wheel from your waist down. You can also practice this by riding around with your arms crossed (and immobile), or with your hands in your back pockets, for instance.

Then the real "fun" begins when you start juggling while idling. That's quite a bit more difficult than doing it while riding...
That is exactly what I am noticing whenever I juggle while unicycling. I can really feel my core/hip muscles being used for balance whenever I juggle; I don't feel them as much when I unicycle without juggling since I still use my arms for balance. I figured it was time to give the juggling a try since the day before I could keep my arms behind my back for up to 10 seconds while riding.

A big breakthrough happened 2 days ago when I was able to idle for the first time ever while waiting for traffic. As I approached this intersection a car was coming and so I idled for a few seconds while waiting for it to pass. Though I was a little nervous, it was flawless. I think I did 4 or 5 cycles while I waited, then quickly transitioned back to riding. I was ecstatic over this. No breakthroughs though with the number of cycles I can do while idling. I still go all over the place with right-footed idling, mostly going to the right and sometimes in circles; I can cover over 25 feet at least if I do 100+ cycles idling. I am slowly starting to feel more control, though I still sometimes go into the same dead spot. Reminding myself to keep my weight on the seat and to look ahead helps tremendously.

Another breakthrough happened yesterday when I was able to climb this steep hill in the park for the first time. I've tried unicycling up this thing countless times before, but did it 3 out of 4 attempts yesterday. During the failed attempt, the unicycle started to wobble due to the high winds. I used to be able to go up 50% of the way, then 75% before a UPD, but now it's all the way. I think my idling ability has improved my hill-climbing ability.

In my admittedly limited experience, knowing how to idle with my right foot has done very little to nothing to help me idle with my left foot. I can do as much as 10 cycles with my left foot some of the time, though usually doing 3 or 4 cycles(as much as 315 with right foot). I tend to practice idling for an hour a day, 30 minutes on right foot, 30 on left, besides 20 to 30 minutes of riding(an hour or more on weekends). I usually end up practicing idling at night since this is when I have time. The darkness makes it harder to balance; on the rare occasion that I practice idling during the day, it feels more natural and I often stay on longer and make breakthroughs, like the 315 cycles done on a sunny afternoon.

I can't wait to juggle while idling!

Thanks for the advice as usual John, and Happy Unicycling!
Acrorebel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2016-01-18, 02:57 PM   #65
Acrorebel
Joggler & unicyclist
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 185
Update:

Changed tires last week. Did my first, very short ride ever in snow last night, which was about 1/4 inch deep but took a minute to get used to. Idling was also difficult at first.

Here's the pattern I made last night when I idled in the snow:
Name:  Screenshot from 2016-01-18 09:52:39.png
Views: 311
Size:  401.7 KB

Just about all of this was continuous idling for about 64 cycles before dismounting. I usually idle in this pattern, moving around a lot, though it was kind of exaggerated due to the snow. I don't have anyone to take a video of me idling so I thought this was the next best thing.

Last edited by Acrorebel; 2016-01-18 at 03:21 PM.
Acrorebel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2016-01-19, 07:56 PM   #66
Acrorebel
Joggler & unicyclist
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 185
Update:

I finally got my first "If you come on these trails again with that bicycle I'm calling the police" from one of the staff when I cycled on the trails of this nature preserve yesterday. I was wondering when that was going to happen. I was going to point out that I was on a unicycle, not a bicycle, but I was so cold I just wanted to get back to my car rather than argue. How often does this happen to you?

Other than this, not much else to report, except that I don't ride that much when it's so cold and windy. Cold I can usually handle, but that wind has really been ruining things lately. I just hope I can ride through the several inches of snow expected this weekend.

Finally took some nice photos:
Name:  Screenshot from 2016-01-18 18:09:42.png
Views: 291
Size:  1.14 MB
Acrorebel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2016-01-19, 11:52 PM   #67
tholub
Totally Doable
 
tholub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Berkeley, CA
Age: 51
Posts: 3,687
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrorebel View Post
Update:

I finally got my first "If you come on these trails again with that bicycle I'm calling the police" from one of the staff when I cycled on the trails of this nature preserve yesterday. I was wondering when that was going to happen. I was going to point out that I was on a unicycle, not a bicycle, but I was so cold I just wanted to get back to my car rather than argue. How often does this happen to you?
If someone wants to give you a hard time, the argument that it's not a bike will not change their minds. (Or the ticket you get, if it's a cop).

I mostly restrict off-road riding to bike-legal trails. When I ride non-bike-legal trails, I do it at times when there are less likely to be conflicts, and if I see anyone, I dismount and stay out of their way. Be respectful when you're skirting the edges of transgression.
tholub is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2016-01-23, 03:12 AM   #68
Acrorebel
Joggler & unicyclist
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by tholub View Post
If someone wants to give you a hard time, the argument that it's not a bike will not change their minds. (Or the ticket you get, if it's a cop).

I mostly restrict off-road riding to bike-legal trails. When I ride non-bike-legal trails, I do it at times when there are less likely to be conflicts, and if I see anyone, I dismount and stay out of their way. Be respectful when you're skirting the edges of transgression.
Thanks for the advice. I won't be going back to that place with my uni any time soon. I can't wait to get a 36er and ride the dedicated bike trails in the area. One of them is 50 miles long, and the other 15. The local parkway has a special "bicycle Sunday" in which no cars are allowed during the summer which I also look forward to doing.

Update:

330 cycles idling on my right foot. Also I felt so rusty yesterday when I went for a ride on the dedicated bike path after several days of very little riding. I felt so awkward I kept having to dismount at first. I was so busy with work, running, and idling practice, I couldn't do more than 1/2 a mile of riding per day. By the end of the 5 mile ride yesterday I felt normal and I felt great riding around for a few miles today as well.

If I don't have that much free time, I think it's better to sacrifice riding time to focus on skill development since I'm probably more likely to forget how to do a complex skill than riding.
Acrorebel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2016-02-04, 03:49 AM   #69
Acrorebel
Joggler & unicyclist
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 185
Update:

Due to the weather, I haven't been riding that much until 2 days ago when I rode for 13 miles, my longest ride so far. I felt a little rusty, even struggling to go up some steep hills that I've been up before. I will increase my mileage soon, weather permitting. I tried riding in the snow the day after the blizzard nearly 2 weeks ago, but couldn't go more than a few feet.

Fortunately, the snow and heavy rain hasn't interfered that much with my idling practice, and most of the snow has melted recently. I am almost at the point where I can idle indefinitely with my right foot. I often don't even bother counting anymore since it's pointless and I want to focus more on staying in the same spot.

My highest ever was about 925 cycles with my right foot just a few days ago. It's possible I've surpassed this a few times during practice sessions when I don't bother counting. Even though I can often stay on seemingly forever, I still keep shifting too much to the right(even if I don't pivot that much), and I am not sure why. I sometimes try to shift left to compensate, but I am seldom able to do this. I should try recording myself or doing it in front of a mirror to see if my form is off.

As far as left-foot idling goes, I've made some progress over the past few weeks and no longer use the wall. I can do up to 74 cycles, though usually do around 20 IF I make the transition. I still struggle with that transition from riding to initiate left foot idling, but not right foot idling. It's funny how different left foot idling feels compared to right foot idling, almost like it's a different unicycle.

I'm a little better with backwards, sometimes doing as much as 8 feet(rough estimate); just need to break free from that fence. I will use the super idle method. I just hope I don't fall on my back, though I have the necessary safety gear. I've fallen on my back or butt a bunch of times, it was really scary! I was lucky I didn't injure myself.

Within the next 2 to 3 weeks, I will purchase a 36er, most likely the KH. There's a dedicated bike path near me that I plan to try it out on.
Acrorebel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2016-02-04, 03:26 PM   #70
Djphelan01
Unicyclist
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Watertown CT
Posts: 123
Congrats ! It sounds like your pretty much on target for your goal.
Djphelan01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2016-02-05, 02:32 AM   #71
Acrorebel
Joggler & unicyclist
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Djphelan01 View Post
Congrats ! It sounds like your pretty much on target for your goal.
Thanks Djphelan! Almost there, just need to work on my idling, backwards and hopping some more.
Acrorebel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2016-02-07, 04:00 PM   #72
elpuebloUNIdo
Viva la revolucion!
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Aliso Viejo, California
Age: 51
Posts: 1,321
Advice: I'm full of it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrorebel View Post
Thanks Djphelan! Almost there, just need to work on my idling, backwards and hopping some more.
You're still working with the 24" unicycle, right? All three of the above skills are, IMHO, more easily learned on a 20" unicycle. In fact, those were the three specific skills which I improved greatly at, after getting my first 20" (it was a cheap Torker).

Idling: Congrats on your progress left-foot idling. Regarding the turning and pivoting you're experiencing, my suggestion is to practice keeping the idles straight AND practice pivoting (increasing the twisting in your idling). For me, the pivot-point in idling tends to be the pedal which is in the 6:00 position. I think the twisting motion will come in handy, later on, when you're learning to ride backwards in a circle (right now you're already riding a small arc of the backwards circle).

Backwards riding: Super-idling seems like a good idea. Also, I suggest making your idles as large as possible. When I started practicing idling, my idles were very shallow. If you can idle from the 3:00/9:00 to the 9:00/3:00 position, you'll be more likely to super-idle.

Hopping: When I started hopping, I was very inefficient, and I clutched the seat handle with one hand. As a result, I stressed-out the tendons in my arm (they're okay, now). I started out hopping up curbs; I would recommend for others to start with very small hops, just to get accustomed to the timing. Don't worry about the size of the hops.

If I understand you correctly, hopping and idling serve the purpose of keeping you on the unicycle during your planned, long ride. At some point, your free-mount is going to improve (even on a large wheel) to the point where getting off the unicycle at an intersection, walking across the intersection, then re-mounting ... is not a big deal. I think it's safer to walk across intersections, as well. Too many drivers on cell phones in my neighborhood. And, I'm not so good at looking behind me while I'm riding. Be safe!
elpuebloUNIdo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2016-02-11, 03:50 AM   #73
Acrorebel
Joggler & unicyclist
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
You're still working with the 24" unicycle, right? All three of the above skills are, IMHO, more easily learned on a 20" unicycle. In fact, those were the three specific skills which I improved greatly at, after getting my first 20" (it was a cheap Torker).

Idling: Congrats on your progress left-foot idling. Regarding the turning and pivoting you're experiencing, my suggestion is to practice keeping the idles straight AND practice pivoting (increasing the twisting in your idling). For me, the pivot-point in idling tends to be the pedal which is in the 6:00 position. I think the twisting motion will come in handy, later on, when you're learning to ride backwards in a circle (right now you're already riding a small arc of the backwards circle).

Backwards riding: Super-idling seems like a good idea. Also, I suggest making your idles as large as possible. When I started practicing idling, my idles were very shallow. If you can idle from the 3:00/9:00 to the 9:00/3:00 position, you'll be more likely to super-idle.

Hopping: When I started hopping, I was very inefficient, and I clutched the seat handle with one hand. As a result, I stressed-out the tendons in my arm (they're okay, now). I started out hopping up curbs; I would recommend for others to start with very small hops, just to get accustomed to the timing. Don't worry about the size of the hops.

If I understand you correctly, hopping and idling serve the purpose of keeping you on the unicycle during your planned, long ride. At some point, your free-mount is going to improve (even on a large wheel) to the point where getting off the unicycle at an intersection, walking across the intersection, then re-mounting ... is not a big deal. I think it's safer to walk across intersections, as well. Too many drivers on cell phones in my neighborhood. And, I'm not so good at looking behind me while I'm riding. Be safe!
Still riding the 24 inch, don't have any other uni yet. Most likely, a 36er will be my next one. I think I will start wearing wrist guards again once I start riding a 36 inch unicycle. I already wear everything else: helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, shin guards, gloves. The wrist guards always felt so uncomfortable.

When I was struggling with idling on my 24, I briefly considered getting a 20 inch uni, but that no longer seems necessary because of all the progress I've made. Are you saying that if I get a 20 inch unicycle, it will help me improve my idling(and backwards) in general, and that this improved idling ability will easily transfer right back to my 24 inch and larger wheels? Or that it's just easier to idle on the 20 inch?

Idling is useful for so many different reasons though the main reason I want to get better at it is so that I don't have to dismount at intersections. I can sometimes idle while waiting for traffic lights to turn or for cars to pass, but sometimes I mess up and I just dismount or UPD. I think my idling ability has improved my hill climbing ability. A recent breakthrough the other day was finding it much easier to use my smart-phone while riding. I was able to unlock the phone using the secret pattern code to access some programs; I remember when this was next to impossible not too long ago.

Just so everyone knows, I won't be doing the 40 mile bike tour this year. Registration is full and I wasn't sure if I was going to be ready for it anyway. I may do some other bike tours in the area though. I'm not sad about this, there's always next year and I'm also a marathon joggler.

I appreciate all your helpful advice, elpuebloUNIdo, especially the super idling/backwards advice. I plan to try this out next time, making my idles bigger. Once again, bad weather has prevented me from doing any backwards practice. I have enough space, but I can't do it when there's snow and ice around; even forward riding can be difficult because of this. I hope your hand is all better, elpueblo.

A big thanks to everyone for your helpful suggestions.

Last edited by Acrorebel; 2016-02-11 at 03:52 AM.
Acrorebel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2016-02-11, 05:36 AM   #74
elpuebloUNIdo
Viva la revolucion!
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Aliso Viejo, California
Age: 51
Posts: 1,321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrorebel View Post
Are you saying that if I get a 20 inch unicycle, it will help me improve my idling(and backwards) in general, and that this improved idling ability will easily transfer right back to my 24 inch and larger wheels? Or that it's just easier to idle on the 20 inch?
I love my 20" and want other people to feel the same.

My way of learning practically every unicycle technique has been to start out with a crappy, inefficient, erratic technique. Easier done on a small wheel. Once I refine the technique on a small wheel, I can do it, albeit in a more controlled, conservative fashion, on a larger wheel.

Learning a technique on a larger wheel means that one must practice a more refined way of doing that trick, from the beginning, or one must physically struggle more with the trick. I strained my lower back (nothing serious) when I first tried to learn idling (it was on a 26 mUni).

You seem to be doing a good enough job learning to idle on the 24", so I'm not suggesting you get a 20" just for idling-sake. What works for you...that's what's important. You are focused on riding the 36" a long distance. Practicing on a 20", right now, isn't necessarily going to help you achieve that goal. I hope you, at some point, discover some of the joys of 20", however.

I look forward to more updates on your progress. Keep riding!
elpuebloUNIdo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2016-02-19, 03:16 AM   #75
Acrorebel
Joggler & unicyclist
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
I love my 20" and want other people to feel the same.

My way of learning practically every unicycle technique has been to start out with a crappy, inefficient, erratic technique. Easier done on a small wheel. Once I refine the technique on a small wheel, I can do it, albeit in a more controlled, conservative fashion, on a larger wheel.

Learning a technique on a larger wheel means that one must practice a more refined way of doing that trick, from the beginning, or one must physically struggle more with the trick. I strained my lower back (nothing serious) when I first tried to learn idling (it was on a 26 mUni).

You seem to be doing a good enough job learning to idle on the 24", so I'm not suggesting you get a 20" just for idling-sake. What works for you...that's what's important. You are focused on riding the 36" a long distance. Practicing on a 20", right now, isn't necessarily going to help you achieve that goal. I hope you, at some point, discover some of the joys of 20", however.

I look forward to more updates on your progress. Keep riding!
Thanks for all the advice Elpueblo.

There's been a few days off here and there due to horrible weather, but I'm back to regular riding and idling practice since my practice area and the local roads are finally free of ice and snow. I think I'm plateauing with right foot idling, though it could also be a little rustiness. I can almost do it indefinitely, but I still keep shifting to the right. My efforts at reversing this movement are pretty much the only reason I lose balance and end up dismounting. Otherwise I can often do hundreds of cycles pretty easily now.

My left foot is catching up, since I can do over 100, but my technique still isn't that great. Interestingly enough, I'm finding I shift to the right while doing left foot idling too. If I try to keep myself as straight as possible, I tend to minimize this rightward shift. If I try to shift to the left, I often lose balance and can't always pivot out of it. I've tried doing larger idles like you said, but this doesn't seem to help that much.

The only "breakthrough" recently was being able to take my smartphone out of my pocket today to look at the time while right foot idling, and then put it back in my pocket. I almost lost balance and went all over the place, but I continued idling during and after this. A week or 2 ago this would have been impossible. It shows I don't rely on my arms as much for balance while idling.

Not much progress with backwards practice since I took so many days off due to not having anywhere to safely practice. It's still a struggle; I was better at it a few weeks ago before the snowstorms. If I can find a very cheap 20 inch, maybe I'll buy it.

Was ready to order the KH 36 but they were out of stock at Unicycle.com. Anyone know when they will be back in stock?

Last edited by Acrorebel; 2016-02-19 at 03:18 AM.
Acrorebel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
beginners, bike, hill unicycling, mile, months, novice, nyc, street unicycling, tour


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
26.2 mile Long Beach Marathon, 10/17/10 (Bike tour) MuniAddict General Unicycling Discussions 24 2013-10-13 02:25 PM
Black Bear Rampage 40 Mile XC Race MuniSano General Unicycling Discussions 28 2011-09-17 03:36 PM
Black Bear Rampage 40 Mile XC Race MuniSano Submit Unicycling News! 0 2011-06-14 03:50 PM
rotary 100 bike tour (24 mile option) Organic General Unicycling Discussions 5 2010-05-17 01:38 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2001-2019 Gilby
Page generated in 0.11115 seconds with 12 queries