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Old 2005-11-28, 10:56 PM   #16
Tim Morin
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Supports

Something I remember doing was using the back of my car as a support, just to get on and seated. Then I would let go and start pedalling. After a couple of days, I stopped using a support all together. Has anyone told you how to mount without support? If not, put your strongest foot on the pedal, with the pedal all the way down. Put the seat under your crotch, and hop up....put your other foot on the pedal, and start pedalling right away. You'll find that the sooner you start mounting without support, the better. Hope this helps. Good luck.
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Old 2005-11-28, 11:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Morin
... mount without support? If not, put your strongest foot on the pedal, with the pedal all the way down. ...
Actually, I think the pedals are supposed to be horizontal with the dominant foot back. It's hard to ride away from a mount with the pedals vertical, and starting horizontal teaches you to have more control over the wheel.
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Old 2005-11-28, 11:07 PM   #18
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???

Isn't that harder for new riders to do? The forward pedal will tend to come back at him as soon as he puts pressure on the back one. With the pedal down, then the pedals will not move until he is on and away. ??????
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Old 2005-11-28, 11:13 PM   #19
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I taught both of my brothers to mount that way and I don't think either of them ever hit their shins. They had each only been riding for several days and could go about 50 feet, though.

Learning with the pedal down may form a bad habit, so I just thought I'd mention it.
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Old 2005-11-28, 11:58 PM   #20
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I always figured you should learn to ride at least 50 yards or so before learning to freemount.

And like Spudman already advised, I'm going to first learn the roll-back mount, since that's what I do every time I mount with the support.
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Old 2005-11-29, 12:01 AM   #21
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If you start with your pedal down, you will have a problem starting going, because you will have all your weight on that pedal, and be unable to get out of the "dead spot". Pedals vertical is not a happy place, for MUni, standard riding, or whatever.
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Old 2005-11-29, 12:39 AM   #22
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Learning to Unicycle: Day 5

After yesterday's new discoveries but slow progress, I was excited to get out today and work on improving on the tips I had learned. I think today was one of my greatest days of growth on my unicycle thus far.

I spent my entire ~2 hours of practice today at area 'B', as that is the smoothest, straightest, and longest stretch I have available to me that is also accompanied by a support.

I used the metaphysical approach at the beginning (which was suggested by podzol). I mounted, closed my eyes, breathed deeply a few times, then opened my eyes and center my vision straight ahead at a house across the street. I found my balance, put my weight on the seat, and started pedaling, trying to be aware of each revolution. Surprisingly, I managed about 5 feet before UPDing.

I repeated this process many times, trying to quicken the whole process. Before each try, I would imagine myself pedaling straight down the sidewalk to the object I had chosen to center my vision on. It actually felt a bit surreal after a while, as I was slowly starting to become more "one" with the unicycle, though now I realize it was just my body starting to conform the strange physical demands.

I kept this up for about an hour until I managed to make it about 10-12 feet. I got really excited at this point, so I ran inside, grabbed a tape measure, and actually measured out the lengths of the sidewalk squares; about 4' 1/2'. I rode for another hour, just repeating the Zen-like process over and over again, eventually going inside because I was starving to death. I think my longest run was about 20 feet.

There was no non-uni'er responses worth mentioning today, just a lot of weird stares.

A few important tips from today:
1. Keep your view centered on something ahead of you. Not only will this keep you from looking at the ground, but it will give you some sort of a goal for you ride towards, and keep you riding in a straighter line.
2. It might help to keep tabs on how far you're riding with each attempt. This will tell you if the techniques you're using to practice are really helping, and can speed up the overall learning process, as well as keep you motivated.
3. Stay calm before and during each run. Just imagine yourself doing it perfectly, breathe deeply a few times, and go for it. Don't forget to breathe while you're actually riding, too!
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Old 2005-11-29, 12:51 AM   #23
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Tomarrow you will come upon that dreaded "turn in the sidewalk". :P

Congrats!
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Old 2005-11-29, 12:57 AM   #24
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Something else that helped me when learning to mount without support was to start on a slight downhill. The gravity will get the unicycle rolling for you, and you just pedal along with it. It helped me.
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Old 2005-11-29, 04:56 AM   #25
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Yeah Tim, I've actually already planned ahead for that. My rear driveway in front of my garage is nice and smooth, albeit short, and it also has a nice little slope to it.
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Old 2005-11-29, 06:39 AM   #26
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Quote:
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Learning to Unicycle: Day 5
I think my longest run was about 20 feet.
Stick around. It gets better.
Much better.

Last edited by GILD; 2005-11-29 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 2005-11-29, 02:42 PM   #27
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Stick around. It gets better.
Much better.
God, I can't wait for that day.
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Old 2005-11-29, 02:51 PM   #28
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It is closer now than it's ever been.
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Old 2005-11-29, 02:54 PM   #29
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Heh, word. I'm already feeling myself approach it.

God, it's only first period still! I want school to be over so I can practice! :'(
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Old 2005-11-29, 11:58 PM   #30
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Learning to Unicycle: Day 6

Today, like day 4, did not fulfill my wishes of riding longer distances. I did gain some newfound control over my unicycle, though, and am slowly starting to ride those short distances with a bit more frequency and a higher success rate.

So I went out to area 'B' and started with my usual routine, going for the whole "visualize, breathe, and go" pattern. I immediately started off realizing something was going wrong...I wasn't doing nearly as well as yesterday. I kept on, though, wondering if maybe I just needed to get my legs warmed up a little more, but after 20 minutes or so of unsuccessful attempts, I began to realize what my problem was. Apparently, every time I would start to get going, I would veer off to the right just a little, and that would cause me to increase my angle exponentially as I rode until I ultimately UPDed into the strip of grass on my right just about every time. This would even happen when I focused all of my attention on my distant object, so I figured I would need to change something else.

First, I tried a short experiment. I simply turned around, mounted the other way, and tried to ride that direction, but that didn't help any.

Then I tried something that seems quite stupid to me now, but I thought it might work at the time. I loosened my quick release clamp and rotated my saddle a little so it pointed to the left. Unfortunately, that just made me even more unsuccessful in that I would zig-zag all over the place and fall very quickly.

I scratched my head for a moment trying to think of something, and decided to ride a few runs and try and carefully examine just what was happening. After doing this, I noticed that my legs couldn't seem to stay balanced on the pedals. (that sounds weird, but I can't think of another way to type it). The pedals just seemed sort off uneven. At first, I tried raising the seat, and I thought that would help a great deal, but it really didn't affect much. So then, of course, I lowered the seat. I rode this for about 5 runs, and I actually seemed to have much more control over the pedals and the direction I was going, but then I was forced to go inside because of a phone call and had to end my practice.

A couple tips from today:
1. If you find yourself not making any progress, try to look at every solution to your problem instead of just riding it out. In some cases, there is just something wrong with the unicycle itself (i.e. a loose screw, uneven seat), and if you fix the problem, it might help your progress.
2. When learning, try shortening the saddlepost a little more than seems necessary. I'm not sure if this will apply to every situation, but it helped me quite a lot.
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Quote:
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