Unicyclist Community

Go Back   Unicyclist Community > Unicycling Discussion > General Unicycling Discussions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 60 votes, 4.92 average. Display Modes
Old 2010-09-30, 03:28 PM   #16
TheRhino
Unicyclist
 
TheRhino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Flowery Branch, Georgia
Age: 51
Posts: 141
Learning to ride later in life...

It's great to see all you guys (and girls) that first learn to ride after you are out of your teens...especially the 40ish, 50ish, and 60 plus people.

I am out riding my uni 3 to 4 times per week, for a total mileage of 75 to 150 miles per week. I ride in an area with a lot of traffic and stoplights, which usually ends up with 4 to 10 interactions with curious onlookers on every ride, so it gives a lot of opportunity for discussing our sport with people. One of the things I like to share with most people is the fact that you can learn to do this at any age, as evidenced by the accomplishments of people on this forum. Sadly, it seems that most people doubt their own abilities to learn unicycling and never get to experience how fun it can be. I'm also guessing that some people are also concerned with putting themselves out there doing something that seems so unusual and unique to the norm.

Anyway, I try to be an "ambassador" of the sport, because I know how much enjoyment I get out of it, and it is the funnest form of exercise that I have ever participated in.

One of my favorite things to say to people when there is only a brief moment to say something, is that it "feels like you're flying", or,"you wouldn't believe how much fun this is". I don't know, just trying to concisely convey a message that might inspire someone to give it a try and not just disregard the whole idea as unworthy...

Keep up the great work everyone, hope to see you at one of the various uni get-togethers in the future. I still need to make it to one myself...
__________________
www.rideforgary.com Fundraiser to help victims of paralysis. My brother Gary passed-away in May, 2011 from complications due to his paralysis.
TheRhino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-10-01, 01:34 AM   #17
NotSoYoungOne
One wheelin' the Wasatch Front
 
NotSoYoungOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Utah
Age: 55
Posts: 346
Thumbs down Day 7:

I practiced for about 30 minutes but without much success. I think I had one 'decent' ride of 7 pedal strokes. But at least it was straight and felt pretty under control. All other attempts were pretty dismal. It was like I couldn't repeat anything I had learned very well, and I felt kind of out-of-whack.

So, this was my first day that did not include any progress. Rather it was a step backward. Which is why I appreciate the tips and encouragement from everyone. This is truly one of the most difficult things I have ever attempted. The biggest battle (it was yesterday but I am just getting around to logging) last night was with frustration. I felt that I should do better than I did, and that I should have continued on a path of improvement.

But today is a new day and my fire to learn is still bright! I did something to my heel yesterday, though I am not sure what, and it is very sore today. So I will make a short attempt but I want to make sure not to further injure it. If I can't make a good attempt then at least I will do some work in the entryway and hall in the house to keep the 'feel'. My schedule is such that practicing everyday is difficult, though I think that would be the best thing I could do. 2 hours per day will not be possible I only wish I could make the time - though I wonder if I could really practice that long... Very cool to hear that it all just came together one day. It sounds like everyone has a unique experience with their learning pattern.

Good to know there are other 46 year old's who have lost their minds! I am also more cautious than when I was younger, but I hope that my maturity (questionable that I really have any!) will make up for it. At least that is what I am telling myself. Last night was not much fun, so thanks for the reminder to have fun. It is important in this endeavor. I just gotta remind myself that this is not supposed to be easy, which is one of the key reasons I want to do it!!

So, the icon for Day 7 is a 'thumbs down' but that does not equate to a loss of enthusiasm or focus on the part of this stubborn learner. Hope this helps others going through the process.
NotSoYoungOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-10-01, 01:42 AM   #18
NotSoYoungOne
One wheelin' the Wasatch Front
 
NotSoYoungOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Utah
Age: 55
Posts: 346
Quick question;
How do I get to this thread easily after logging in? So far I have used the search feature, but it seems like I should be able to find it another way. Any tips?
NotSoYoungOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-10-01, 04:04 AM   #19
unireed
Reed Breuer
 
unireed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SacTown, CA
Age: 26
Posts: 1,128
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotSoYoungOne View Post
Quick question;
How do I get to this thread easily after logging in? So far I have used the search feature, but it seems like I should be able to find it another way. Any tips?
you can look in just conversation if it is recent enough, or you could on your profile page go to threads started by you
__________________
"I'm probably not advanced enough to have thoroughly tested it while riding, but I'm unadvanced enough to have very thoroughly tested it while falling." -uniShark

I ride for Christ-opher Walken
unireed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-10-01, 10:55 AM   #20
Doc Doo
UPD Specialist
 
Doc Doo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: North West UK
Age: 55
Posts: 194
NotSoYoungOne, you can "Suscribe to thread" in the thread tools at the top of this page. Then when you log in you click User CP and it will be there if there's been activity, if not just click View all suscribed threads.

Alternatively you go to your profile and click on statistics and "All threads started by...." eta ^ as unireed suggested above.

Simples!

Sorry to hear you had a not so productive session with your uni, I've had more than one or two of those and although it's a little disheartening it's still positive in that at least you were 'playing' with your uni.

Like you I don't have 2hrs a day to practice so it's 'as and when' which suits me and my life. I envy those who do have a lack of responsibilities that can practice as much as they like.

Last edited by Doc Doo; 2010-10-01 at 11:01 AM.
Doc Doo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-10-03, 06:48 AM   #21
NotSoYoungOne
One wheelin' the Wasatch Front
 
NotSoYoungOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Utah
Age: 55
Posts: 346
Thumbs up Days 8 & 9

Thanks Doc Doo and Unireed for the tips. I just needed to look closer at the User CP (Control Panel?). Since I started this thread I am already registered on it - duh!

So, day 8 did not go so well either. Day 9 was today, Saturday Oct 2nd (I think it is past midnight, but close enough)

I practiced 3 times today; 20 minutes morning, 40 minutes early afternoon, 60 minutes late afternoon. My 16 year old daughter and I went to lunch and she recommended I try practicing on a pedestrian bridge that was just completed near our home over a busy street. I had not thought of it, but it sounded like a possibility. My challenge has been finding somewhere with plenty of space, free of traffic, and lots of 'wall' for supported practicing.

I had already practiced twice today, along a wall mentioned in an earlier post, and using my pickup parked out on the street. But I was not really making much progress. My concern about the pedestrian bridge was the sloped ramps, but I decided to give it a try. After a few minutes of experimentation I found the the ramps were long enough and the slope shallow enough that I could use them, and that this was actually a pretty ideal place to practice. I will try to get a couple photo's to include in my next post.

I went up and down numerous times, and used the flat switch-backs as opportunities to let go of the railing and 'sprint' across some short open distances. At first these attempts were miserable failures but as the time wore on I began to get more and more confidence and ended up with many comfortable 'sprints'. I also found that the slope, both directions, was quite helpful in forcing me to position myself well, keep most of my weight in the saddle, and use my legs a lot to control things. It is hard to describe, or even identify, all the things I learned. Short to say, this is an ideal training area and I feel that I will progress much more going forward using it.

Key Learnings:
1. The quick release on the seat post has been bothering me all along so I removed it and replaced it with a bolt that I cinched down very tightly. Having the saddle move back and forth horizontally was probably a factor in my lack of progress. I did this in the third session, so the last hour it was nice to have it not move around!
2. Squeezing my knees together seemed to help a lot. It did not necessarily help me go straight every time I attempted an unsupported ride, but it just kept me on the uni much better so even if I turned I did not immediately fall off.
3. There is an interesting balance of weight on the saddle to pushing with legs. Whenever I got it out of whack bad things happened. As I grew tired at the end of the third, and hour-long, session my foot slipped off the pedal several times, which forced me to focus on this. Though I was getting tired I was able to get it back together finish the hour with good success.

All in all day 9 was a big success. Not based on having a great unsupported ride, but in discovering an excellent training area, and making steady progress during the hour that I was there. I will not have a lot of days when I can spend a full hour, much less two, but I feel that I will make good progress on the pedestrian bridge each day going forward. Thanks to my daughter, Chelsea, for thinking of it!!

Good luck to others that are learning. Doc Doo, my fellow 46-year-old-learner, keep me (us) posted on your progress.
NotSoYoungOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-10-03, 12:14 PM   #22
Doc Doo
UPD Specialist
 
Doc Doo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: North West UK
Age: 55
Posts: 194
Keep plugging at it NotSoYoungOne, you will get there and I bet it's not too long before you do. I have found that sort of squeezing my knees together and pointing my toes in a bit has helped. At least it stops me catching my heel on the cranks.

I am overjoyed to report a real break through yesterday after a spare couple of hours of consistent effort - the best workout I've had in a long time and I was totally shattered by the end of the couple of hours. I had been 'training in private' in the alley behind my house which is a little lumpy and bumpy and on a slope so I decided to take the plunge and use the better surface on the street infront of the house. I managed further and further until I got half way up my street for the first time ever and then repeated it several times. There is a certain smugness today despite the heeeuge bruise on my inner thigh from 'catching' the uni between my thighs when I upd. I'm waiting for the rain to stop today so that I can get out on the street again.

At least I was the street's entertainment for a couple of hours. Most folks smiled and had a word of encouragement.
Doc Doo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-10-05, 04:43 AM   #23
NotSoYoungOne
One wheelin' the Wasatch Front
 
NotSoYoungOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Utah
Age: 55
Posts: 346
Thumbs up Day 10:

Way to go DocDoo! Thanks for the tips. Kinda cool to have this kind of teamwork with someone I have never met that lives on another continent! The internet is an amazing tool.

So, the big lesson from today is;
Patience, patience, patience, Persistence, persistence, persistence!!

I went to the pedestrian bridge (PB for short) for about 30 minutes this evening. Though it was pretty dark I could see well enough. I did warm up here in the house by doing 100 mini-rocking exercises with each foot forward for a total of 200, then a couple 'rides' in the entryway and hallway. It is only about a 3 minute walk over to the PB. I had some pretty good training, and remembered to keep squeezing with my knees and keeping my feet straight on the pedals. After a while I noticed that I was not using my arms to balance very much so I added this to my focus, which helped quite a bit.

I finished on the downslope and made two attempts at letting go of the support and riding down as far as I could. My second attempt was great and I went 35 feet. Too bad I ran out of sidewalk (it drops off several inches into the dirt) or I may have just kept going! I was really surprised I went that far as I have not had a long unsupported attempt for several days. And this one was the straightest and most under-control ever. As long as the downslope is not too steep it is actually easy to ride on, and I think this contributed to the ease of that final ride. This new training area of the PB is really excellent.
NotSoYoungOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-10-06, 12:51 AM   #24
unireed
Reed Breuer
 
unireed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SacTown, CA
Age: 26
Posts: 1,128
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotSoYoungOne View Post
Way to go DocDoo! It is only about a 3 minute walk over to the PB.
only one or two minutes on a unicycle once you can ride.
__________________
"I'm probably not advanced enough to have thoroughly tested it while riding, but I'm unadvanced enough to have very thoroughly tested it while falling." -uniShark

I ride for Christ-opher Walken
unireed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-10-06, 05:37 AM   #25
NotSoYoungOne
One wheelin' the Wasatch Front
 
NotSoYoungOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Utah
Age: 55
Posts: 346
Thumbs up Day 11:

Back at the PB for about 30 minutes. I finished up on the downslope for several runs and had a great time. At the bottom of the ramp there is a flat open area and I rode down the ramp almost all the way and out onto the flat a couple times. I am sure that these good rides were due in part to the slope (I will guess that it is 5 - 6 degrees). But I felt really in control and really started to 'feel it' for the first time.

So my next challenge is to get back onto flat ground and get the same 'feel'. I am pretty elated at the success of today though, so I will relish it!

Response to Unireed: Yep, it will only be a minute or two riding - so that is now a goal.
NotSoYoungOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-10-06, 01:23 PM   #26
Doc Doo
UPD Specialist
 
Doc Doo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: North West UK
Age: 55
Posts: 194
Go you NotSoYoungOne! You're almost there.

It is kinda cool that the internet brings us old, slightly mad folks together in a our mutual aim of learning to ride a unicycle.

I have an addition to my learning curve in that I now have a 24" wheel with much longer cranks. It feels weird in comparison to the 20" but I don't think it will take too long to get used to it.

Doc Doo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-10-07, 04:11 AM   #27
NotSoYoungOne
One wheelin' the Wasatch Front
 
NotSoYoungOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Utah
Age: 55
Posts: 346
Old, and slightly mad

So Doc Doo, are you at a point where you feel that you 'can ride a unicycle' or are you still somewhere short of that? I don't know exactly what the definition of that is, but for me it will probably be when I can free mount and ride consistently without too-frequent UPD's.

I also have a 24" uni that has longer crank arms. It is what I started trying to learn on earlier this year, but gave up. I am going to stick with the 20" for a while more until have made more progress. But I may switch to the 24" pretty quickly as it is what I plan to ride. I really want to move to a 29" as soon as possible, but since I don't own one that will be a problem . I think the 29er will be a good size for me. I want to ride longer distances than just around in front of the house or in a parking lot. My work is about 7 miles (11K) from home and I want to be able to commute that distance. I also want to be able to ride on packed dirt roads, and over various kinds of surfaces and I think the bigger wheel will work great. Maybe down the road I will be interested in a 36er for more serious distances, but from everything I have read the 29er is a great all-around uni.

For now it is time to stay focused on the 20", then move to the 24" until I can afford/justify another purchase! I think my wife and kids agree with your assessment of "older and slightly mad". I have to agree myself!

Keep up the training mad pedlar and keep me posted on your progress and anything you learn on the 24.
NotSoYoungOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-10-07, 06:30 AM   #28
NotSoYoungOne
One wheelin' the Wasatch Front
 
NotSoYoungOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Utah
Age: 55
Posts: 346
Thumbs up Day 12: Two new records!

After a fairly long practice session I was ready to call it an evening when I achieved an unsupported ride of 45 feet (15 meters) - a new record by quite a bit! So I returned and started at the same place and immediately rode 65 feet (21 meters)!!

So I not only had my longest ride, then had an even longer one to set a new personal record, this is also the first time that I had two really good rides back to back. Woohoo!!

Sot today definitely gets a big "Thumbs up"
NotSoYoungOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-10-07, 07:30 AM   #29
wobbling bear
GranPa goes-a-wobblin'
 
wobbling bear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: European Union (S-W)
Age: 70
Posts: 2,483
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotSoYoungOne View Post
", then move to the 24" until I can afford/justify another purchase! I think my wife and kids agree with your assessment of "older and slightly mad".
ah the Gear Aquisition Syndrome!
I started at 53 and now I am the proud owner of a stable of 7 unis! .... and still considering buying a 26" ....
I was slightly mad before so wife and kids (and grand-kids!) just smile .... (I already own 10 brass saxhorns! so they consider it's cheaper than buying new fancy cars -or going out with a fancy blonde -!)
__________________
One Wheel : bear necessity
(Abuello RodoMancat)
wobbling bear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2010-10-07, 10:44 AM   #30
Doc Doo
UPD Specialist
 
Doc Doo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: North West UK
Age: 55
Posts: 194
Congrats on your new personal best NotSoYoungOne.

Ahhhh therein lies the rub, no I don't consider that I 'can ride a unicycle' yet, not by any stretch of imagination. I still haven't made any 'real' distance but I decided to get the 24 whilst I had the sum of money spare (well as spare as cash can be), also because I'm impatient and as wobbling bear rightly points out there's a certain type of old, slightly mad person that suffers from G.A.S - unicycles are less costly than quality guitars thankfully!

I'm happy to keep plugging away at learning, no matter how long it takes to develop the skills.

As a rather short person I think I need to put slightly shorter cranks on the 24 because I've got the seat post quite low my knees are bashing my chin - well not quite but that's how it feels. I'm interested in trying out cranks that are a centimeter or two shorter than the 150(2?) that are on there.

I need to put in another good session like I did last weekend to push my skill level up another notch.
Doc Doo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
journal, learning


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
Training journal while learning to unicycle lillestr°m_uni General Unicycling Discussions 209 2010-06-06 01:28 PM
learning to free-mount while learning to ride brujja Just Conversation & Introduce Yourself 21 2009-07-29 09:33 AM
journal of a bc wheeler faketaoist Just Conversation & Introduce Yourself 8 2005-12-16 05:41 PM
MUni in Men's Journal Kris Holm General Unicycling Discussions 1 2001-07-25 08:54 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2001-2016 Gilby
You Rated this Thread:
Page generated in 2.22544 seconds with 12 queries