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Old 2019-08-18, 05:46 PM   #31
Gockie
Gal who started riding at nearly 41
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
OTM, I think what you're saying is correct. However, for beginners, one of the worst possible things that can happen is falling backwards. So, for anyone at the very beginning stages of learning, I think that erring too-far-forward is maybe okay. If someone asked me, when I was a beginner, to think of tilting the frame back, I'm not sure I'd have been able to do it, or worse, it might have caused me to fall backwards. I don't know when an appropriate time is for a beginner to start thinking about leaning the frame back. It's not easy to see when we are riding. Also, I don't know if it's a beginner habit that naturally becomes extinct or if it's a bad habit that follows people into the later stages of learning.
Agree. I think "just try it"... For beginners, I think don't try to analyse it, just try to stay on your uni, and do whatever it takes to make a few revolutions. Let your arms flail. Some people pick it up really quickly (within 2-3 hours). Most people take few hours. Many people give up after a few hours. The rare person never gets it even after trying for years.

The only things I think the adult beginner should need/use to start riding is a 20" unicycle with the seat at right height, helmet, gloves, adequate protective clothing and a fence they can side their hand along on smooth ground. The ability to ride generally will follow.

Last edited by Gockie; 2019-08-18 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 2019-08-19, 08:43 AM   #32
OneTrackMind
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Location: Murwillumbah, NSW, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoLeftFeet View Post


Like this? I notice this in some of the videos on youtube as well.
Yes pretty much like that. The ground doesn't appear to be quite flat so angles are a little deceptive. She may have just come though the lowest point where the driveway crosses the kerb too. We tend to lean the uni back even further to cross such obstacles. Accelerating and decelerating also affect the lean.

See how little she needs to lean forward from the hips and how she is not hunched over. The guy in the video was overdoing the lean.

BTW She has the seat very low. Might have learnt much younger with a cut post then grew taller and that is as high as the seat will go.
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Old 2019-08-19, 09:25 AM   #33
Tinkerbeau
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Location: Glasgow
Age: 50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gockie View Post
The only things I think the adult beginner should need/use to start riding is a 20" unicycle with the seat at right height, helmet, gloves, adequate protective clothing. <> The ability to ride generally will follow.
I am with Gockie on this.
The Uni is a fickle thing, probably more so for those of us who start later in life when bones and connective tissue are less supple, and movements less swift.
You don't need to "ride a 36" wheel down the side of a mountain while wearing a backpack and tons of gear" to have a nasty fall. For me, I was doing only about 12 Km/h on a flat road but something happened and I fell like a log; couldn't get my leg under me to stand or run it out. The most uncoordinated way I have UPDed in the year that I am learning to ride.

So, my point was less about speed and pushing it but - like others have said here - that whilst we will land on our feet 99/100 or even 999/1000 times, when the one time comes, I prefer to be covered.
If I know that I can get out of a catastrophic fall relatively unscathed, then I am not afraid of falling, and then I am more relaxed on the uni ... and so on.
Anyway, that's my thoughts after a year of learning to ride. You constantly keep pushing the boundaries, so being protected is part of being prepared for the inevitable ... in a way that is hopefully less painful.
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Old 2019-08-19, 09:39 AM   #34
OneTrackMind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
However, for beginners, one of the worst possible things that can happen is falling backwards. So, for anyone at the very beginning stages of learning, I think that erring too-far-forward is maybe okay.
Definitely for starting out but they have to work towards the goal or they won't learn to ride. It is a risk-reward trade off. Those totally averse to risk don't tend to contemplate unicycling anyway.

Quote:
If someone asked me, when I was a beginner, to think of tilting the frame back, I'm not sure I'd have been able to do it, or worse, it might have caused me to fall backwards. I don't know when an appropriate time is for a beginner to start thinking about leaning the frame back.
The backwards lean develops automatically as you learn by leaning the body very slightly forwards because the wheel must be under centre of mass or you are forced to dismount. I don't find it increases the tendency to fall backwards at all because the body is still leaning forwards.

This geometry is vital to being able to ride. I demonstrate and explain the dynamics to beginners right after "put the wheel under the fall" before they even get on a uni.

Quote:
It's not easy to see when we are riding.
That is why most riders believe they are far more upright than they really are. This illusionary sensation is encouraged because many riders don't understand the dynamics and assume they must be upright to be riding. Unfortunately it also leads to them giving beginners unhelpful advice about being as vertical as possible.

Quote:
Also, I don't know if it's a beginner habit that naturally becomes extinct or if it's a bad habit that follows people into the later stages of learning.
Neither. It doesn't go extinct and it isn't a bad habit. It is fundamental to riding a unicycle. I suggest you have someone take a photo of you riding past. It will help you get a better perspective on your own geometry.

As skills improve we trade the stability for responsiveness by bringing the frame closer to vertical but some backwards lean remains. Only when reaching insane levels of freestyle skills on very smooth surfaces can the uni reach vertical.

At about this point my detractors often insist that it is common sense that the uni needs to be upright and in line with the body, even that the frame should be "an extension of the spine".

I only ask that they provide a photograph of someone riding a uni in the way they describe and usually never hear from them again. (Or provide a photo of a freestyle performer going into a pirouette.)

Learning to ride a uni doesn't need to be anywhere near as difficult as it would appear. The learner definitely still needs the practice and persistence but the right advice makes a big difference. Most of us learnt in isolation and that also makes it hard.

Unfortunately it is very rare learners get good advice because of very common instructions like being too upright. Between that and prematurely putting all their weight on the seat and far too long holding onto fences, it is no wonder that most beginners give up.
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Old 2019-08-19, 12:02 PM   #35
TwoLeftFeet
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I need to sit and relax on the saddle . Next thing is to remember to pedal. Right now I'm like someone just learning to drive stick shift. Jerky and engine keeps dying . I don't think I can tell my body to lean the seatpost at an angle. I guess thats the "click" moment. Either my brain/body gets it or it don't.
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Old 2019-08-19, 01:41 PM   #36
TwoLeftFeet
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I re-read post #19 #26 and #31. I haven't tried the uni on grass so maybe that is what I will try next time. There is a football field nearby, but no gentle incline. Also as per your advice, I will ditch the wall and just go for broke. Ha ha ha ... may the unicycle gods have mercy on me.
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Old 2019-08-19, 01:53 PM   #37
Gockie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoLeftFeet View Post
I re-read post #19 #26 and #31. I haven't tried the uni on grass so maybe that is what I will try next time. There is a football field nearby, but no gentle incline. Also as per your advice, I will ditch the wall and just go for broke. Ha ha ha ... may the unicycle gods have mercy on me.
Personally, I'd stick to a smooth surface. Grass is a difficult surface to ride on because there are bumps everywhere that you cannot see. But feel free to try it!
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Old 2019-08-19, 11:01 PM   #38
OneTrackMind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoLeftFeet View Post
I haven't tried the uni on grass so maybe that is what I will try next time.
The main thing with grass is low impact while getting used to falling. If you are comfortable with emergency dismounts then stay on the hard surface but wear wrist protection.

Quote:
There is a football field nearby, but no gentle incline.
It needs to be really smooth thick grass without any potholes. Otherwise it will drive you crazy every time you encounter one. I know because I learnt on rough grass. It isn't all bad in the long term though because it teaches how to deal with the rough but definitely slows down the time to the first ride.

The downhill slope is to overcome the rolling resistance of the thick grass.

Quote:
Also as per your advice, I will ditch the wall and just go for broke. Ha ha ha ... may the unicycle gods have mercy on me.
Remember, it is about steering under the fall. Put the wheel where you would put your leading foot if walking.
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Old 2019-08-23, 11:45 AM   #39
TwoLeftFeet
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I skipped the grass and went to a parking lot as per Gockie's advice. Just did it, no walls.

My progress so far. I manage to unicycle 5-6 ft maybe 4 times out of 40 tries. When it happens I am just amazed and smiled myself silly . However, it is not repeatable. Have no idea what I did to make it happen .

Also, my safety gear finally arrived. I will wear the wrist guards but skip the knee/elbow pads.
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Old 2019-08-23, 01:55 PM   #40
Richard C
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoLeftFeet View Post
I skipped the grass and went to a parking lot as per Gockie's advice. Just did it, no walls.

My progress so far. I manage to unicycle 5-6 ft maybe 4 times out of 40 tries. When it happens I am just amazed and smiled myself silly . However, it is not repeatable. Have no idea what I did to make it happen .

Also, my safety gear finally arrived. I will wear the wrist guards but skip the knee/elbow pads.
Congratulations! I'm not much further on than you, but I can ride around. I still have no idea how I make it happen! My body knows, which is the main thing.
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Old 2019-08-23, 02:33 PM   #41
TwoLeftFeet
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Thank you. I can't ride yet.
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Old 2019-08-24, 02:00 AM   #42
elpuebloUNIdo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoLeftFeet View Post
However, it is not repeatable. Have no idea what I did to make it happen .
You don't know what you did to make it happen, but you do know what it felt like. Just try to relive the feeling!
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Old 2019-08-24, 02:45 AM   #43
OneTrackMind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoLeftFeet View Post
My progress so far. I manage to unicycle 5-6 ft maybe 4 times out of 40 tries. When it happens I am just amazed and smiled myself silly . However, it is not repeatable. Have no idea what I did to make it happen .
Four times is repeating it. Forty attempts is just a start. You have proven you can do it, now.

It happened because all the factors needed to ride came together on those occasions. Just keep trying and smiling when it works.
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Old 2019-08-24, 07:12 AM   #44
TwoLeftFeet
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Thank you for all the encouragements. I will plod along. Hopefully one day, it "clicks".
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Old 2019-08-24, 02:48 PM   #45
elpuebloUNIdo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoLeftFeet View Post
Hopefully one day, it "clicks".
My favorite unicycling analogy: A guy lives near a tall mountain. He decides he wants to climb the mountain. He gets in shape, buys the right gear, goes on practice hikes. One day he's ready. He climbs the mountain, and when he reaches the summit and looks around, he notices, on the horizon, an even taller mountain.

Love the process, and you will do fine, TLF. We're all rooting for you!
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