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Old 2018-08-12, 08:22 PM   #16
Viva la revolucion!
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Aliso Viejo, California
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Originally Posted by Setonix View Post
Yesterday morning was the first time I tried figure 8s, since I learned to ride. First on the 26" and then on 36". I totally suck at it. And I can definitely ride a smaller circle to the right than to the left.
I found the transition from clockwise to counterclockwise and visa versa to be the most challenging part of the figure eights. And I'm better turning to the left than to the right. Maybe because I'm more comfortable pedaling faster while turning to the left. It's easier to be objective when comparing techniques on either side of our body ... than it is to assess how good we are, in general, at a particular skill. Figure eights force the rider to use both sides equally, whereas, if left to our own devices, we might too often rely on our strong side.
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Old 2018-08-12, 10:54 PM   #17
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Southern Oregon
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Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
It's the experimentation that really counts, at least in my experience. You've got to experiment to find out what works for you. Particularly, you need to figure out how to be safe in the process. I was concerned after reading about your backward falls. I don't want you to get psyche out about falling, but you are going to have to consider the reasons why you fell in the first place, then find a way to avoid that.
I'm not really sure how to think about it, because it's so brand new to me. I can't easily cast a critical eye when I am so close to the situation and unfamiliar with it. But perhaps thinking about tire pressure is a start?

Perhaps I should lower the pressure at first to make the wheel less skittish? I read a rule of thumb that 1 PSI per pound of body weight was good. So at a bit under 220, I took the tire, rated at 15-35 PSI, to 22 PSI. It feels quite firm to the fingers.

I've also wondered if I should lower the seat post some more. I cut like an inch and a half off the seatpost because even when down as far as it could go, the seat was still almost bellybutton high, and that made me have to leap just to get seated. I have seen bellybutton height recommended, but it felt excessively high for a raw beginner.

Does that make sense?
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Old 2018-08-12, 11:14 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Setonix View Post
Should I stick with just one wheel size and feel 100% comfortable or should I keep riding all my wheel sizes every month.
Depends on your end goal. If you are learning for fun, and riding for fun, definitely mix up the wheel sizes. Each rides differently. The more you mix them up, the better you will be at making the mental transition from one to the next, until it's hardly noticeable.

However, if your goal is to race in a big event on your 36" pretty soon, I'd definitely recommend concentrating on riding just that, and working on the various aspects of things you would need to be successful in that event. Then, after that's over, you can go back to screwing around on different sizes.
quote=Setonix]My aim is to make riding a uni as "easy" as riding a bike and I have some ways to go.[/quote]So do it. Don't expect it to get to a point of being completely equal. It will always be easier to hop on a bike with poor foot positioning. Though I do this on unicycles all the time also, it's not as easy to correct on bumpy surfaces. It will always be easier to "space out" while riding a bike, and paying a lot less attention.
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
Your two comments, above, do not reflect my personal experience learning to unicycle. For me, struggling to learn a harder skill improved my mastery of the easier skill.
Absolutely. Get a taste of that harder skill. You may need to continue working on that easier skill before you can do the harder skill, but in many cases, one skill reinforces another. Also I believe, if you aren't in a focused hurry to learn something specific, that mixing things up will make learning unicycle tricks more fun, and presumably easier as well.

That said, I also agree with the idea of mastering the basics. The better you can do basic things, such as figure 8s, riding slowly, idling without rotating, but better you can apply those skills to more advanced things.
John Foss

"The miracle is this: the more we share, the more we have." -- Leonard Nimoy
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Old 2018-08-13, 01:53 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
Your two comments, above, do not reflect my personal experience learning to unicycle. For me, struggling to learn a harder skill improved my mastery of the easier skill. Some of the tools necessary to really master the basic skill did not become evident until I practiced the harder skill. Some riders have commented on the forum that improvement comes from "more saddle time". My belief is that "more saddle time" only produces improvement to the extent that we are challenging ourselves to do things we haven't mastered. Instead of the harder skill flowing organically from the easier one, my sense is that for unicycling the opposite applies: The tools for the basic skill exist within the harder skill. This attitude doesn't apply to all types of learning, but my own sense is that it applies to unicycling.
This has been my experience as well. I am sucky at some advanced things, but all the time I spend being sucky at these advanced skills helps me tremendously with the more basic versions of those advanced skills. One of many examples is how learning to juggle while idling helped my idling while not juggling. While I was "good enough" at idling before I learned how to juggle while doing it, I don't believe I mastered it(I still used my arms a lot for balance). Now I believe I've finally mastered it, and idling is almost as mindless as riding forward now. In fact, after learning how to juggle while idling I learned one-footed idling practically overnight, one of those skills that "pops up" after learning another.

Also, learning to do backwards figure 8's has also helped with idling and backwards and my general riding ability, even though I'm pretty sucky at the backwards figure 8s while juggling.

As far as interleaving goes, maybe it would be helpful to interleave something basic with something slightly more advanced to help master the basic skill. Would also be cool if you experimented with interleaving with your music students.
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Old 2018-08-13, 07:13 PM   #20
Join Date: Jul 2015
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I don't ever see myself ride competitions. They are too stressing. I just like to ride at my own speed exploring the surroundings. Even though I don't think I will really need to idle, I do think it will make me more in control of the uni, so at some time I will prolly learn.

Even though riding a bike is easier and will always be easier, I like the feeling of a unicycle much more and if I have the choice, will always take the uni. I also noticed that because I'd been riding my 36" a while again, it made it a lot easier to mount the 29", that I hadn't touched for me month. That one is still my favourite uni.

I agree with yous that focusing on a harder skill will make it easier to perfect the easier skills, which then comes more naturally.
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focusing, interleaving, mixed, practice, practicing, skill

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