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Old 2018-06-14, 05:18 AM   #31
OneTrackMind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piece Maker View Post
turns out he was laughing too hard at the thought of being hit by a unicycle

Again she laughed it off and wasn't hurt!
The woman who slung her child into my path thought it was hilarious too.
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Old 2018-06-14, 10:05 AM   #32
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Going way OT, but with the flow of this thread, a couple of days ago I nearly hit somebody on a blind corner (I saw them in time and dismounted). He was very amused by the idea of being knocked over by somebody on a unicycle and we agreed it was a hazard you had to watch out for around here!
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Old 2018-06-14, 10:49 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finnspin View Post
It's just that unless someone is performing, or it's for a very small section inbetween two good to ride paths, I really don't get why you would ride on sidewalks with people on them. It's not very fun (and even if you find it fun, if there is a chance that you hit pedestrians, it's really impolite to do). I just can't imagine a city where those sidewalks are the best place to ride. Just find yourself a nice bike path, and ride there, and use your feet when you want to go to crowded places.
In holland unicycles are toys by law like rollerblades and they should only be used on the road or cyclepaths when there is no pavement. So even with a 36er if there is pavement the law requires me to ride there however dangerous.
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Old 2018-06-14, 03:54 PM   #34
elpuebloUNIdo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vogelfrei80 View Post
So I wish we could build a manual of exercise to develop a unicyclist braking ability.
Freestyle tricks are listed from easy to hard. I suppose the same could be done for braking.

1. Ride with one hand on the grab handle.
2. Practice idling and coming to a complete stop without braking.
3. Remove weight from the seat and ride with one hand on the grab handle.
4. Ride on a flat surface with minimum braking pressure.
5. Ride on a flat surface, increasing the braking pressure gradually while pedaling harder until the maximum pedaling force is balanced by the braking pressure.
6. Practice placing alternately more and less weight in the seat while braking.
7. While riding on grass, practice sudden braking and sudden release of braking.

The list ends with free-wheel braking, which seems impossibly difficult.

The list could go on to include doing everything with the other hand ... and with both hands. I've learned to brake with two fingers of each hand, then remove or replace either hand from the bar ends without affecting the braking pressure. While I preach using both hands, when things get tough/steep/technical, I tend to default to my strong side, holding the brake/handle with the right hand and using the left hand for balance. I need to work on that!

If a rider feels like they need a brake for sudden stopping, I would first suggest they practice stopping quickly without a brake. If that is too difficult, they could try using longer cranks. Or, they could practice coming to a quick stop on a smaller wheel. Learning to get your weight behind a large wheel during a stop might be easier by starting to practice that skill idling on a 20".
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Old 2018-06-15, 11:07 AM   #35
Vogelfrei80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
1. Ride with one hand on the grab handle.
2. Practice idling and coming to a complete stop without braking.
3. Remove weight from the seat and ride with one hand on the grab handle.
4. Ride on a flat surface with minimum braking pressure.
5. Ride on a flat surface, increasing the braking pressure gradually while pedaling harder until the maximum pedaling force is balanced by the braking pressure.
6. Practice placing alternately more and less weight in the seat while braking.
7. While riding on grass, practice sudden braking and sudden release of braking.

The list ends with free-wheel braking, which seems impossibly difficult.
1. OK
2. I'm practicing idling and can come to a complete stop (from slow/average speed) if I'm standing: too fast or completely sitting at avarage speed I'm not able to stop without using only legs... that's why I must use brake
3.Ok
4.Ok
5. Never thought about that... I'll experiment now
6. I'll try tomorrow
7. Hope to try soon!

Maybe I'm not too far! Months or one year I hope will be enough
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Old 2018-06-15, 11:21 AM   #36
finnspin
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As so often, my opinion differs in some places...

Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
Freestyle tricks are listed from easy to hard. I suppose the same could be done for braking.

1. Ride with one hand on the grab handle.
2. Practice idling and coming to a complete stop without braking.
3. Remove weight from the seat and ride with one hand on the grab handle.
4. Ride on a flat surface with minimum braking pressure.
5. Ride on a flat surface, increasing the braking pressure gradually while pedaling harder until the maximum pedaling force is balanced by the braking pressure.
6. Practice placing alternately more and less weight in the seat while braking.
7. While riding on grass, practice sudden braking and sudden release of braking.
I grayed out stuff that I don't really find usefull on this list. There is no reason to get weight of the seat for braking in my eyes, unless you are riding really technical terrain, if you do that, you don't need a list of exercises anymore. Idling is a good skill to have, but certainly no prerequisite for braking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post

The list could go on to include doing everything with the other hand ... and with both hands. I've learned to brake with two fingers of each hand, then remove or replace either hand from the bar ends without affecting the braking pressure. While I preach using both hands, when things get tough/steep/technical, I tend to default to my strong side, holding the brake/handle with the right hand and using the left hand for balance. I need to work on that!
Listen to your body man. I have no clue why you have that two handed stuff stuck in your head, just get it out of there. Riding two handed is great for long distance, but for tough/steep/technical terrain, one handed is great. 90% of long distance riders take one hand of for corners, because it's great at fine adjustments. Every single good muni rider I've seen (and I dare saying I've watched most of the worlds best) has one hand on the saddle for anything but fast cross country trails, all trials riders use one hand. I think Muni is old enough by now that we can assume that the technique top riders use can be considered the best. Sorry for the rougher words, but I can't leave advice that goes against what everyone uses succesfully uncommented.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
If a rider feels like they need a brake for sudden stopping, I would first suggest they practice stopping quickly without a brake. If that is too difficult, they could try using longer cranks. Or, they could practice coming to a quick stop on a smaller wheel. Learning to get your weight behind a large wheel during a stop might be easier by starting to practice that skill idling on a 20".
This I agree with. Not sure if idling is really necessary for it, but coming to a quick stop without using the brake is definitely critical. Especially when you are running longer cranks, the difference in braking distance between using just your feet, and using a brake is not massive, since a good part of your "braking distance" is getting your weight backwards to even be able to stop. On my 26" with 140mm cranks, the difference is only half a meter, coming from a relatively quick cross country pace. (On the 36" with 100mm cranks is rode recently I was wishing for a brake though, it would have probably taking 2/3 away from my ridiculously long braking)
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Old 2018-06-15, 04:51 PM   #37
elpuebloUNIdo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finnspin View Post
Listen to your body man. I have no clue why you have that two handed stuff stuck in your head, just get it out of there. Riding two handed is great for long distance, but for tough/steep/technical terrain, one handed is great. 90% of long distance riders take one hand of for corners, because it's great at fine adjustments. Every single good muni rider I've seen (and I dare saying I've watched most of the worlds best) has one hand on the saddle for anything but fast cross country trails, all trials riders use one hand. I think Muni is old enough by now that we can assume that the technique top riders use can be considered the best. Sorry for the rougher words, but I can't leave advice that goes against what everyone uses succesfully uncommented.
Let me clarify. I am not a top rider. I am not young. I don't do particularly dangerous stuff. I don't ride that fast. The technique I'm describing is what has allowed a middle-aged person to continue improving. When conditions get tough, I revert to the more conventional, one-arm-flailing-in-the-air technique you described above. I am not arguing with the techniques used by the best riders. Nevertheless, the more I practice riding two handed, the better I get at it on uneven terrain. I'm not going to get big side hops or vertical clearance hopping two-handed, but I don't need that kind of clearance for hopping things the size of a stair. Riding two-handed, whenever possible, reduces the stress on my arms. I would like to be riding muni when I'm 65, and I'm going to practice the techniques that will make this possible.

You wrote:"we can assume that the technique top riders use can be considered the best." I sort of agree; they are using the best techniques under the circumstances, which are different than my circumstances. For example, if I were doing the kind of downhill you do, finnspin, I might remove the somewhat-long bar-ends on my muni and reinstall my DH tire. I'm not trying to argue about "best technique", but I do think there is the "right tool for the right job." Not everyone on the forum is trying to compete with the best riders (greater speed, larger drops, higher hops). My posts on two-handed riding are for the consideration of those people.

finnspin, it sounds like you know a lot about unicycling. You have spent more time around other unicyclists, as well, and you've seen a lot of good riding. I appreciate your comments!
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Old 2018-06-15, 05:13 PM   #38
JohnIb
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The law in my country states a bicycle must have a brake on front and rear wheel. Thus a unicycle is not a bike, but a toy. Toys belong on the sidewalk/pavement.
I don't mind riding my 24" muni on the sidewalk, it's quite agile, but my 36"er I ride as if I were riding a bike. Cycle path or the side of the road
I have not yet been stopped by the police
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Old 2018-06-15, 06:00 PM   #39
Vogelfrei80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
1. Ride with one hand on the grab handle.
2. Practice idling and coming to a complete stop without braking.
3. Remove weight from the seat and ride with one hand on the grab handle.
4. Ride on a flat surface with minimum braking pressure.
5. Ride on a flat surface, increasing the braking pressure gradually while pedaling harder until the maximum pedaling force is balanced by the braking pressure.
6. Practice placing alternately more and less weight in the seat while braking.
7. While riding on grass, practice sudden braking and sudden release of braking.

The list ends with free-wheel braking, which seems impossibly difficult.
Update today:
I can do well: 1. - 2. (practice idling, not really idling) - 3. - 4. - 5. - 6.
Tried 7. and have an overlean backfall just before coming back to office... need lot of practice.

Can exercise #5 resemble like using a freewheel? I own a spare 29" no one seems to be interested in buying so I'm thinking about converting it to a freewheel...
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Old 2018-06-15, 06:00 PM   #40
mowcius
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An interesting thread. I'd never even thought about how to practice using a brake, I've just encouraged everyone I know to get one!
A disk brake is a better place to start than a rim brake as the modulation is better and they're therefore easier to get the hang of.

My learning tips would be:
- Use the brake all the time; However slight the downhill, if your legs would be pushing backwards, use the brake instead.
- Keep riding.

You'll very quickly get to the point where you know the exact bite point of the brake and you can rely on it to stop you whenever, however fast you're going.
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Last edited by mowcius; 2018-06-15 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 2018-06-15, 09:55 PM   #41
Vogelfrei80
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Originally Posted by mowcius View Post
An interesting thread. I'd never even thought about how to practice using a brake, I've just encouraged everyone I know to get one!
A disk brake is a better place to start than a rim brake as the modulation is better and they're therefore easier to get the hang of.

My learning tips would be:
- Use the brake all the time; However slight the downhill, if your legs would be pushing backwards, use the brake instead.
- Keep riding.

You'll very quickly get to the point where you know the exact bite point of the brake and you can rely on it to stop you whenever, however fast you're going.
Do you mean that I should always be gently braking like a freewheel uni if I want to master braking skill?
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Old 2018-06-15, 10:16 PM   #42
elpuebloUNIdo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vogelfrei80 View Post
Can exercise #5 resemble like using a freewheel? I own a spare 29" no one seems to be interested in buying so I'm thinking about converting it to a freewheel...
I guess anything that keeps you pedaling forward (and not using any back pressure), such as hard braking, could help getting you started on a freewheel unicycle. UniMyra made a couple interesting videos showing his progression on a freewheel unicycle. Since falling is a part of the learning process (particularly falling backwards), I would personally want to be closer to the ground, on a smaller wheel, while learning to freewheel. If you move forward with your 29" freewheel plans, I suggest you wear tailbone protection and a helmet while practicing freewheeling.

In response to finnspin's greying out of parts of my braking-practice-list: Idling involves the repetition of coming to a stop with the wheel in front of you. So, it seems reasonable that someone might learn to idle prior to learning fast stopping. Not necessary, though. And regarding braking with little or no weight on the seat, my rationale for that was to isolate the hand, so the rider learns how to tug/push the seat around in response to variations in braking pressure, which move the frame around and need to be counteracted with the arm holding the seat. Yes, it's ideal to have the seat stabilized with weight-in-the-seat, but that is not always happening during riding.

The best general advice, which has been repeated over and over, is to practice braking before you really need it, such as on a flat surface, or by starting to brake well before getting to a hill.
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Old 2018-06-15, 10:36 PM   #43
mowcius
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Quote:
Do you mean that I should always be gently braking like a freewheel uni if I want to master braking skill?
Not entirely, but if you live somewhere that's not totally flat, then you should be using the brake whenever you're going downhill, however slight the slope downwards is.


Quote:
Since falling is a part of the learning process (particularly falling backwards)
As a freewheeler, I've only fallen over backwards off the thing once, and I only have 29" freewheels so far.

A painless freewheel learning experience, and being good at using a disk brake do seem to go hand in hand.
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Old 2018-06-16, 04:55 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by mowcius View Post
I only have 29" freewheels so far.

A painless freewheel learning experience, and being good at using a disk brake do seem to go hand in hand.
Thank you!!! I'll become a freewheeler too!
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Old 2018-06-16, 08:42 PM   #45
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Did lots of exercises today.I feel like slightly continuous braking is less tiring than micro backward balance adjustments! It also makes really easy to approch very slow a crossroad having more time to wait for cars to cross and than release the brake to regain speed.

It was a great improvement day... thinking seriously to stop counterbalancing and use only brake and acceleration to keep balance.
Bad news is that I wasn't able to ride down a steep garage ramp... I started braking, I kept pedalling, I lean forward... I did fly like superman! Two attempts, 2 bad falls...
My brain and legs keep me lean forward while braking... but when riding down a steep descent do I have to lean backward?
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