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Old 2017-08-30, 12:48 PM   #1
ScaredOldKid
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SUCCESS! Journey of a Scared Old Kid

Sorry but I just have to share my happiness today. I've been learning for two weeks about an hour a day and today I made 20 pedals.

I'm 57 and this sport scares the heck out of me. I blame You-Tube for tricking me into this. I watch dozens of "How To" vids and everybody struggled but where so happy when they finally had success. The one guy (Mike B) with his "yes yes YES" really hooked me.

Big thanks to the forum and all you folks for great advice.

Last edited by ScaredOldKid; 2017-08-30 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 2017-08-30, 01:09 PM   #2
ScaredOldKid
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The begining

What worked for me was going to local tennis court. I didn't like going along chain link fence so I started at the Tennis net post and worked my way along the net. The net worked because the closer you get to middle the more wobbly it is so you can't relay on it so much. This forced me to balance more.

3 days of this and I could let go of net and ride a few pedals. I fell on my behind a few times and now I got really scared. Going off front was ok but uni flying out in front and me going down almost made me quit.

Bought some elbow pads and stuck a mouse pad in my shorts and with new found courage started to just get up and net post and then push off. I was hooked on this crazy sport from then on. Cheers!

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Old 2017-08-30, 01:24 PM   #3
Quax1974
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Congratulations!

Question remains why you have such a tendency to fall backwards?
Is there a particular situation in which it happens?
Does it happen when you go fast, or when you go slow?
After cycling a few pedals of just after take-off?
When you feel like losing control do you swing your feet of the pedals while you behind stays on the seat
?etc
etc

Perhaps this can give some insight on why / how it happens
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Old 2017-08-30, 01:44 PM   #4
ScaredOldKid
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So far it only happened in the first few days. I'm sure it will happen again but trying hard to put those thoughts out of my mind. It was after a couple of pedals and my guess because I let wheel get out in front to far.

All the advice says to have your back straight up and in line with seat post angle. I keep trying to invision this as I rode however after watching many more videos where people are very successful I found many of them had the seat post angled backward a very little bit compared to their spline.

I want to someday ride off road trails and all those riders seem to not be totally straight up. So are they doing it wrong or is this the reality of the sport??
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Old 2017-08-30, 04:20 PM   #5
dpn81
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(a) When you slow your pedals (and continue to lean) you'll fall off the front.
(b) When you sit up too far (and continue pedaling the same cadence) the wheel will slip out the front.

Falling off the back is unsettling. I've been riding ~18 months and this summer came off the back and clawed an unprotected calf with a metal stud pedal.

"Pain is knowledge rushing in to fill a gap." Jerry Seinfeld

Last edited by dpn81; 2017-08-30 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 2017-08-30, 04:32 PM   #6
Geolojas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaredOldKid View Post
...The net worked because the closer you get to middle the more wobbly it is so you can't relay on it so much. This forced me to balance more...
This is genius. It hits the middle ground between the two camps of "hang on to something till you get it" versus "just launch yourself into space".
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Old 2017-08-30, 05:02 PM   #7
ScaredOldKid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpn81 View Post
(a) "Pain is knowledge rushing in to fill a gap." Jerry Seinfeld
"Knowledge is gained right after you needed it the most"...
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Old 2017-08-31, 09:47 AM   #8
OneTrackMind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaredOldKid View Post
All the advice says to have your back straight up and in line with seat post angle.
That advice is utter nonsense. While riding steadily forwards, the frame is always leaning slightly back.

This orientation stabilises the uni by introducing "trail" to the geometry, placing the tyre's point of contact with the road behind the axis in the same way as the front forks of a bicycle or motorcycle put the contact point behind the steering axis.

Secondly, aligning the frame and back would mean the vertical movements caused by every bump in the road would be transferred straight up into the rider while the horizontal forces would push the uni out from under them without much means to stop it. With the frame leaning, the upward forces tend to rotate the frame while the horizontal forces can be resisted using a component of the rider's weight. This is precisely the way forces are handled in a leading arm suspension system.

Obviously, the centre of mass of the body must be above the point of contact of the wheel with the road or it would not support the rider. Hence the rider must lean slightly forward to compensate for the backwards lean of the frame.

The rougher the terrain the greater the lean to enhance the suspension effects. Greater lean (and hence trail) also helps overcome the tendency for the wheel to autosteer on cross grades.
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Last edited by OneTrackMind; 2017-08-31 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 2017-08-31, 02:56 PM   #9
ScaredOldKid
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Perfect

Thanks for clearing that up for me. I was hoping that my slight angle was ok. I'm now wondering if what your talking about "auto steer" is way went I forced the seat post to be vertical I tend to get a wheel that wants to go left then right then left etc.

So is this also like "caster wheel" effect? Sometimes it feels like I'm riding the shopping cart with the one crazy wheel.
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Old 2017-08-31, 05:04 PM   #10
Unipig
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Just wanted to say Congrats!
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Old 2017-08-31, 07:08 PM   #11
Bradford
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Congrats on your progress!
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Old 2017-09-01, 01:22 AM   #12
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Congrats on your progress. Keep riding, I'm sure as you progress you will stay motivated; all the little bits of progress we make learning to ride is enjoyable. I've been riding just over a year now and still on a steep learning curve. Every little bit of progress is encouraging and unicycling remains a great challenge. =)
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Old 2017-09-01, 04:00 PM   #13
ScaredOldKid
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Turning the corner

Today it is really feeling like I've turned the corner on learning to ride. Now I just need to learn to turn corners. HaHa

The main things I've think help me get here:

1. Buy enough protective gear so that you are not always worrying about falling.

2. Practice everyday for atleast an hour. I've noticed it takes me about 15 minutes to even start to relax and get better.

3. Keep head up and look off into the distance.
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Old 2017-09-02, 05:25 AM   #14
slamdance
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Keep on.

Me thinks your going to break my record of 70hrs before getting it. Most people brag about their 1 minute ramp up time to get it...or claim to do so. The fact that you are still struggling, doing research, but thoroughly obsessed with uni is awesome.

Don't be discouraged that you haven't got it, yet. Don't take "anything" as exact scientific principle that you must do. Yes, try it, change it, do the opposite. Just do it.

Remember your journey, because you "will be" trying to help others get it when you do. The best teachers are the ones who "struggled the most" and thus overcame/learned the most. Not the naturals who got up in 1 hr. How can they teach you how to be a natural?

Seriously, your avatar is a kite surfer. No fear!!! Keep on.

Last edited by slamdance; 2017-09-02 at 05:26 AM. Reason: illiteracy
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Old 2017-09-03, 02:59 PM   #15
Regina Wrecks
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Quote : Sorry but I just have to share my happiness today. I've been learning for two weeks about an hour a day and today I made 20 pedals.

Excellent, I found that having a brag about the gains is balm to the spirit, keep it up, it also helps beginners as well for inspiration..... superb news, well done you. We are all different, but until others reach your age, they can never really offer practical sage advice 100%, it is all down to the individual. If you can stay upright long enough to do what you want to do, then brilliant.... any advance on that is just pure practice...!!!
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