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Old 2018-05-06, 08:45 PM   #16
LargeEddie
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Originally Posted by OneTrackMind View Post
Using fences inhibits learning by teaching how to cling instead of how to ride. It prevents the rider turning toward the fence to save a fall in that direction and inhibits them turning away from the fence to save the opposite fall. It stops the main skill that needs to be learnt.
Begging to differ. Riding along my practice wall let me practice front-back balance, starting off and stopping, and speeding up and slowing down, without the complicating factor of side-to-side balance. Even after I was able to ride 50-100 yards without help, it remained a refuge for several weeks where I warmed up at the start of practice, or retreated to at the frustrating times when I seemed to have forgotten everything about unicycling.

Did I learn more slowly because of my dependence on that wall? Maybe, but 5 years down the road it honestly makes zero difference to me how long it took.

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The fastest way to learn is to ride out into the open. It also teaches how to bail out at the same time.
My experience was that the wall was a **GREAT** place to work on planned, controlled dismounts. Dismounts out in open space were usually sudden, panicked, and chaotic. With support I could anticipate it and think about how I needed to prepare to do it smoothly and safely.
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Old 2018-05-06, 11:16 PM   #17
Scoox
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I'm happy to learn without a wall or fence, but not without a helmet, shin and wrist protection.

What would be a great help for learners is a flexible ceiling tether to catch falls, akin to a safety net or a foam pit. Anyway, that's the kind of thing I would expect a unicycle training facility to be equipped with, if that sort of place even exists.
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Old 2018-05-07, 05:52 AM   #18
johnfoss
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What would be a great help for learners is a flexible ceiling tether to catch falls, akin to a safety net or a foam pit.
It would if it were designed to move with you. In other words, unless you like doing rigging, and setting up something that will provide you support while following you in whatever direction you ride, it could be super-useful. But I've never seen one. Even a setup that only allows you to go in a straight line is pretty limiting. Better to learn how to dismount in every direction, and then get a lot of experience doing it while you learn to ride.
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Old 2018-08-10, 05:44 PM   #19
Dingfelder
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I would love the chance to learn on something like that. Part of the trouble with learning balance activities is how you can freeze up both mentally and physically when things go wrong -- or when you even suspect they're about to go wrong! -- and how that alone can make you lose your balance. If a tether could catch me, I would be much more likely to to move and think in a calm, normal fashion instead of messing myself up, and learn not to panic instead of being put in the position of having to un-learn it.

Plus not getting hurt counts for something, especially at my age. As I'm heading toward my 60s, it isn't even the pain I'm thinking about so much as my chances of recovery. And how long that would take, if I even can recover. I got a knee injury in my early 50s that took years to heal.
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Old 2018-08-11, 12:37 PM   #20
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I got a knee injury in my early 50s that took years to heal.
Unicycling builds up the leg muscles to stabilise the knee which is otherwise completely dependent on ligaments. Ligaments are easily strained and cause pain. I had years of knee problems before I became a unicyclist but not any more. Similarly my lower back.

The best defence against the consequences an ageing body is exercise and uncycling is one of the most effective at building all round fitness.
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Old 2018-08-11, 12:54 PM   #21
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The best defence against the consequences an ageing body is exercise and uncycling is one of the most effective at building all round fitness.
I read this as I lay here, a mere 55 years old, resting my inflamed facet joint which can cause excruciating lower back pain at any random moment!

However, yes, unicycling, or any other "whole body activity" is good for overall fitness and core stability. On the other hand, all forms of cycling can cause tightness in the hamstrings which can then have a knock on effect on your lower back. It depends how far and how hard you ride, how much variety there is in your riding, and how much you warm up, cool down and stretch.
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