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Old 2016-05-02, 07:46 AM   #61
Setonix
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Originally Posted by Geolojas View Post
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.
Yesterday I went for another ride with the the 127s and now I have sore shin muscles. With the shorter cranks, it is easier to pedal with just power from my feet, whereas with 150s I mostly felt my thies. The 150s feel more relaxing, but that might also be because ive been riding those for many months. Having pedal cranks with multiple pedal holes does make it easier to play with different lengths so you dont have to screw the whole crank off, which I had to do going from 150 to 127. In what case would you use 110? Surely u can't use that for muni, as it is too heavy.
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Old 2016-05-02, 11:04 AM   #62
sukie47
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That's interesting that it effects which part of your legs get sore. I'm using 150 cranks currently. Though, I do have the 150/127 cranks. I'm waiting to use them when I am riding with someone who is more experienced. Our schedules haven't been in sync lately. I think the 150s are what I will mostly prefer for the trails, and the 127s will suit me for the flat stuff I've been doing. I'm just not ready to make the transition until I'm really comfortable.

My legs have stopped burning so much when I'm riding. I guess my conditioning is getting better. But, after every ride, long or short, my knees are quite sore. Nothing to be concerned about, just sore.

It sounds very nice where you ride even though the trails are too narrow right now. The roads seem more challenging than my logging roads.
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Old 2016-05-02, 12:32 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by sukie47 View Post
My legs have stopped burning so much when I'm riding. I guess my conditioning is getting better. But, after every ride, long or short, my knees are quite sore. Nothing to be concerned about, just sore.
I guess everybody had that at the start, burning legs. It is because ur not yet as comfortable as can be on the uni. The more you ride the more you can relax. Eventually it will just be sore muscles you will have, depending on how much you want to push yourself. Im always disappointed as to in how bad shape I am, even after 10km of riding. This morning I rode more than that and now Im wasted. Just standing up from the couch hurts like hell. I must be getting old
When your knees hurt, you might try putting the saddle a bit higher. It feels a bit strange sitting higher, but it takes away the pressure off ur knees.
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Old 2016-05-02, 08:22 PM   #64
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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.
Sounds like a great ride when it ends too soon. You're doing great, especially for having started so recently. Keep it up!
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Old 2016-05-04, 01:58 AM   #65
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Well, I think I have definitely been bitten by the unicycle bug, if that wasn't already obvious. For the last 3 weeks, I have been keeping an eye on craigslist for a 20" unicycle so that I could start to learn some skills that just seem a bit out of reach right now on my 26" unicycles, the only size I've ever ridden. For the entire 3 weeks, there has been a 29" Nimbus Road unicycle (still there if anyone is interested). I thought about it, but was able to restrain myself, because my end goal is to learn some of these skills that will enable me to ride trails. So, Monday night, I checked craiglist again, and bingo! A 20" Nimbus Trials unicycle. I have tried to upload a picture of it... but I'm not the best with computers. I hope it shows up. This thing is so sweet! I went this evening after work to get it. It was conveniently just minutes from Bent Creek, so off I went on an evening ride again after getting the unicycle.

The ride this evening was fantastic. Things are just feeling good. There's always something that's a little out of phase in the beginning until I warm up. Today it was my balance front to back. I don't mind when I find myself leaning back a bit. I have a pretty good stall when needed. But, the times when I lose balance to the front are a little un-nerving. I just start spinning like mad to keep from falling off. After a few minutes, I seemed to settle down and just enjoy myself. I rode as far as I could without having to dismount, until I came to a gate leading out of the arboretum. So, as I approached, I started a planned dismount, which quickly turned into a nasty accident, ending with me and my unicycle becoming entangled on the ground. I just had to laugh. But, as I continued on, that tiny accident effected my confidence. In the past, I would have avoided anything challenging after even a small incident like this (please keep in mind I'm almost a 50 year old gal), but tonight I got over it and pressed on. During one of my freemounts, I found myself standing a little to stabilize while I peddled forward, while holding on to the seat. It happened without me thinking about it. So, I decided to see what would happen if I actually did try it. It wasn't much, but I had my first experience of standing on purpose while peddling. Way cool.

So, after the ride I pulled out this 20" unicycle and played around in the gravel parking lot. Wow! What fun. I really didn't think I would be able to ride it, but I did. I can tell right away that it will benefit my riding. I'm so much closer to the ground. I think that will go a long way towards trying new things. After I rode it for a while, I got back on my 26" Oracle. Night and day. The 20" feels like I'm riding on the back of a flea. The 26" is more like riding on the back of a Saint Barnard. I'm going to trust that it's good to expand my horizons.
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Old 2016-05-04, 03:50 AM   #66
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A 20" Nimbus Trials unicycle. I have tried to upload a picture of it... but I'm not the best with computers. I hope it shows up.
Sweet new ride! I love that it comes already with character. Also, I am encouraged that you were able to ride it right off the bat. I have obtained most of a 20" uni, and as soon as my new basic hub arrives from Unicycle.com, I plan to build a wheel around it and try to tame the 20" wheel myself. Does yours have 5" cranks? Does it feel really different?

Quote:
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During one of my freemounts, I found myself standing a little to stabilize while I peddled forward, while holding on to the seat. It happened without me thinking about it. So, I decided to see what would happen if I actually did try it. It wasn't much, but I had my first experience of standing on purpose while peddling.
When you surprise yourself with a new skill, these are the best moments! I think we are a lot more capable than we give ourselves credit for, because it seem to me that when we're not overanalyzing an action, it can happen almost by accident.
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Old 2016-05-04, 04:26 AM   #67
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So, after the ride I pulled out this 20" unicycle and played around in the gravel parking lot. Wow! What fun.
What a beaut! Congratulation on the new addition to the family.
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Old 2016-05-04, 10:24 AM   #68
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Thanks guys. Yes, it is really full of character. I'm not sure what size cranks yet. I'm going to take a closer look today after work. I'm not very familiar with the trial unis, so the cranks were not at all recognizable to me. Very stout, and unlike the other unis I have.

A neighbor sold me a "Jitterbug" uni that I gave to my nephew about 6 weeks ago. Before giving it to him, I tried to ride it, and had absolutely no luck, so I really expected a learning curve. But, It was surprisingly easy. Or natural. That's a better description. The freemount was tricky at first because everything happens so much faster than on the 26". I am really excited! I always take my unicycle to work, but it feels a little intimidating to try to ride it. The terrain is really uneven, and considering that I always need time to warm up, it never seems like I have enough time. But, I think I can pull this out and dink around even just on the tiny concrete loading pad.

These ARE the best moments. How often as adults do people take the time to do something so fun, and so challenging? You said, Geolojas, in your thread "Moments of Success" that unicycling came along at just the right time in your life, that it's just what your body and mind needed. I totally agree. As I have been nearing my 50's, I have been feeling a bit like a horse out to pasture. That's a little dramatic, I know, but my aging as of late has been playing tricks with me. This has been exactly what I've needed too. I am reminded just by the simple act of learning to unicycle that I can do anything I put my mind to. It has really been a life changer for me. We seem to be on very parallel learning curves. I hope you'll keep posting your progress. It's nice to have something to shoot for, and right now, I'm trying to keep up with you
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Old 2016-05-05, 01:54 PM   #69
elpuebloUNIdo
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Finally, I can stop nagging you to get a 20"! I liked what you said about unicycling happening at the right time in your life.
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Old 2016-05-05, 09:11 PM   #70
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It wasn't that I wasn't looking. I was just waiting for the right one. And don't worry, handlebars are next on the list!
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Old 2016-05-07, 01:53 AM   #71
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This week has been a bit full. After work, I've been working in my own shop trying to get a commission out the door. Between that and the weather, I have had little time or energy for serious riding. But, I have still managed to spend at least 10 minutes or so practicing on the new (to me) 20" uni. All I have done is idle practice... 25 to 50 reps per side, and repeated as much as I can stand it. Then today, I decided to pull out my 26 road uni and ride up and down my street for the first time in maybe 3 weeks. Most of my riding in the last couple of weeks has been in Bent Creek on the logging/gravel roads. Holy Cow! 3 weeks ago, I was still not able to climb the 2 hills that flank my house. One is a slight to moderate hill, the other is a monster. I blew up the first hill, smashing my previous record, then turned around, came down the hill (a first) and started up the monster hill. The only thing that stopped me was that a neighbor came out and started talking to me. So, I dismounted and yacked for a bit. She and her husband were flabbergasted, as was I, to be honest. I was giddy with excitement. I think I might just be able to get up the entire thing within the next couple of weeks! When I started unicycling, I honestly wasn't sure if I would ever have the ability to climb that hill.

So, even though I haven't been able to spend the time I prefer on the unicycles, the skill level just keeps improving. I cannot wait to get out tomorrow in Bent Creek. I'm hoping to increase my mileage a bit, as well as make it further up a hill that is just calling my name.
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Old 2016-05-08, 01:05 AM   #72
sukie47
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A question of conditioning

Today I went back out to Bent Creek. all in all it was a good ride. A few highlights stick out. First, and my dad did warn me about this... I almost rode over a copper head that was crossing the path in front of me. It was not quite in my path, and if I hadn't seen it, I would have been just fine. But, as soon as I saw the snake, my muscles forgot how to ride, causing me to dismount beside the snake, mouth end. I wasn't happy about this, and was spooked for a while afterwards. Every stick and twig, a potential snake waiting to attack me. On a good note, I am starting to challenge myself by riding things that up until now, I would dismount and walk through or around. As I cross this one gravel road to enter a gated gravel and dirt path, I have always dismounted to walk around the gate. The path around the gate is well worn, and as a result a few rocks and roots have been exposed. It doesn't seem like much, but it is different enough, and enough of a short turn and dip to intimidate me. Today, after dismounting to walk the path, I said, "hold on just a minute. There is no reason why you can't ride this." So, after 2 failed attempts, I made it. Next time, I should go back and do it again just reinforce the skill. This happened today a couple of times. That's kind of huge for me. It takes a while for me to gather the courage to try new things when I know the result will most likely be failure at first, especially when that might mean falling.

One issue that I'm having as I am increasing my mileage is regarding conditioning. My legs are still getting in shape for the riding that I'm doing. Fortunately, much of my life was lived as a road and mountain biker. Then, my life went in a different direction than my bikes, and here I am several years later out of shape. I know my muscles are better off than if I had never ridden, but they're still struggling to meet the demands I'm placing upon them. And, about the time I hit mile 5, I start to have severe problems with balance. Today, I had one of my episodes of losing balance to the front. I got going way too fast and couldn't run it out when I fell. I hit the gravel hard on my left side and slid for a couple of feet. Strawberries on left hip and shoulder. So, my question is about how to improve my conditioning. I'm wondering if I should just continue to ride the 5-7 mile distances, and increase that distance as I am stronger. Or do I head out on the mountain bike as well to get more miles under my belt. I would really like to know how any of you guys have dealt with this, or are dealing with it currently. thanks!
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Old 2016-05-08, 01:09 AM   #73
elpuebloUNIdo
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So, even though I haven't been able to spend the time I prefer on the unicycles, the skill level just keeps improving.
I am not sure the above improvement would have happened without the periods of more dedicated practice you've had since beginning to unicycle. Doing something with ease may not be possible without being preceded by a period of struggle. Furthermore, the fact that you're definitely "into" unicycling (i.e. thinking about it) may cause the "think method" to work for you. Based solely on the contents of your most recent post, I wonder if the practice idling on the 20" helped you apply power to the pedals near the weak 12/6 o'clock position, and that in turn helped you blast up the hill on the 26". Keep practicing on your 20"!
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Old 2016-05-08, 07:26 PM   #74
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Today, after dismounting to walk the path, I said, "hold on just a minute. There is no reason why you can't ride this." So, after 2 failed attempts, I made it. Next time, I should go back and do it again just reinforce the skill. This happened today a couple of times. That's kind of huge for me.
That's one of the best things, isn't it? Seeing that kind of progress from ride to ride... You're doing great.

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I know my muscles are better off than if I had never ridden, but they're still struggling to meet the demands I'm placing upon them. And, about the time I hit mile 5, I start to have severe problems with balance.
Training is specific as they say, so there's no better training for unicycling than unicycling. You make a good point though, that riding skills are the first thing to go when we get fatigued, so there's a limit to how deep we can go that way. I don't remember any discussions of this but I'd guess that cross-training might help in some amount, with the usual limitation that it isn't unicycle-specific; also that your uni skills might take a hit due to fatigue left over from another activity. Bicycling might be the closest but doesn't really duplicate key features of unicycling like the core twisting and the forward-backward pedal pressure changes. Long trail hikes might be as good. Or boxer-style gym training, if you're a fan of Rocky films.

But I think you'll find as you keep unicycling that you'll get less tired doing it because you're wasting less energy and more relaxed. Over time you'll start making a single correction instead of over-correcting, counter-correcting, then correcting again because you over-corrected the counter-correction--as we all do. You'll also have less unneeded muscle tension because it's more familiar and you're less anxious about what you're doing, which also makes riding a lot less tiring. So patience and practice might be the answer here too.

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I am not sure the above improvement would have happened without the periods of more dedicated practice you've had since beginning to unicycle. Doing something with ease may not be possible without being preceded by a period of struggle.
I think that's a really important point. Skill comes from physical adaptation, which needs a training stimulus plus time and rest and recovery to develop. Visualization exercises have been shown to work too in some cases as training stimuli for learning complicated skills. But it's a complicated business, and the training wisdom of a given sport or art seems to be well ahead of any general theory.
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Old 2016-05-09, 03:38 PM   #75
Setonix
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I almost rode over a copper head that was crossing the path in front of me.
Maybe next time, just ride over the snake. Ur uni is heavier than the snake. That will teach it.

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...about the time I hit mile 5, I start to have severe problems with balance.
I reckon everybody has that problem. Mostly when I am tired, it becomes difficult free-mounting as that takes more energy than just riding. On long trips when I get tired, I sometimes walk for a bit, but other times, I pay attention to my speed. It turns out that I keep a good speed, so when I get tired, I try to ride as slow as I can without UPD-ing. That really helps in getting back some energy. Last week I rode a little over 10 miles and that gave me 2 days of sore muscles. As with any sport, you have to keep at it and get better and stronger along the way.

I am jealous of you though in how fast you pick things up. It seems like everything took me much more time.
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