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Old 2015-07-29, 08:33 PM   #16
aracer
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Originally Posted by Engineer on a Unicycle View Post
Just discovered there has been a thread on this before: Proper Non Pushing Leg Weight When Pedaling??
Of course - we did tell you it's a common problem! There are probably at least 10 old threads - though clearly we're getting more polite as nobody's told you to just do a search!

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Originally Posted by Engineer on a Unicycle View Post
Thanks for the encouragement. I haven't given up on the idea of practicing "smarter"
don't, it's worth keeping thinking about what you're doing - but also don't get discouraged when being smart doesn't make things happen faster and you have a while with no progress. I also prefer to work constructively, but have come to understand that with unicycling, keeping trying and failing at something also often results in progress.
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Old 2015-07-30, 09:59 AM   #17
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I also prefer to work constructively, but have come to understand that with unicycling, keeping trying and failing at something also often results in progress.
Like so many adages of uncycling there are trade-offs. Repetition is important but ....

For a frreemounting I have a rule to not attempt it more than three times in a row without at least walking for a while or riding from an assisted mount before trying the freemount again.

I made this rule when I was learning because I felt that with the repetition, failure would be in danger of becoming the most practised movement. There are so many aspects to learning uni that it can be better use of time to try something else for a while then come back to the challenge you are primarily focussed on.
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Old 2015-07-31, 07:23 AM   #18
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All the advice in this thread seems spot on to my experience. When I first started riding, I kept expecting everything to 'click' at some point, but every gain was achieved with 'baby steps'. Also, every practice session was an incredible workout because of the inefficiency. However! there is light at the end of the tunnel! Today I did a lap around the Rosebowl (Calif.) and I almost made it around the whole thing without stopping. The last time I did the loop was months ago, and at that time I was struggling, flailing, UPDing, etc. Today I was relaxed, not breathing hard, and wondering why I had so much trouble before. I could clearly see how my riding has improved, but it has been a gradual improvement so I didn't notice from day to day.

From OTM: "For a freemounting I have a rule to not attempt it more than three times in a row without at least walking for a while or riding from an assisted mount before trying the freemount again."

I would say that goes for any new skill--if you keep consistently failing you start expecting to fail. Take a break, do something else, then visualize what you are trying to do and come back to it. One of my mantras (when I start consistently failing) is "fail differently". If you keep failing in the same way, then you are not correcting the problem.

Good luck! So far it sounds like you are right on track!

P.S. The 26" is a good, all-around size. When you get it, jump on it and ride! Don't think you "have to be ready for it". Some people start out on a bigger wheel. You'll have to make the switch from 20" to 26" at some point--the earlier, the better.
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Old 2015-07-31, 10:23 AM   #19
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"fail differently". If you keep failing in the same way, then you are not correcting the problem.
Well put.

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The 26" is a good, all-around size. When you get it, jump on it and ride! Don't think you "have to be ready for it". Some people start out on a bigger wheel. You'll have to make the switch from 20" to 26" at some point--the earlier, the better.
Yes. The 26 is a practical all round. It is fast enough to move quickly and efficiently but rarely so fast you can't run out of a fall.

There are many tyres to choose from too.
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Old 2015-08-02, 02:46 AM   #20
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Personally I'd hold off on the 26 til you can ride for a half hour w/o scary UPDs or getting exhausted. Also learning most skills will be easier on the 20", so I'd briefly (at least) go back to the 20 for learning hopping, idling, riding backwards, etc.

I only skimmed the posts but the advice all sounded really good.
To recap: weight on the seat, focus on something straight ahead, w/ a straight back lean forward a few degrees (keeping a straight line from the axle to your sholders), and pedal w/ your feet in smooth circles.

Keep at it. W/ regular practice (preferably ~a hour/ day) you WILL get it. Some take longer than others. You can only get so much help online, so It could really help to seek out a local club. Check out the map for riders near you.
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Old 2015-08-03, 01:38 AM   #21
Engineer on a Unicycle
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Took the CX 20 out to Connecticut on the train for the weekend and had my first experience riding up hills, seeing if I could make it to the crest of the one my brother in law's van was parked halfway up - finally got it once this morning.

Interestingly, I almost feel like the resistance of the different grades of the hill was itself a useful lesson - where it got really steep, I had no choice but to put all my effort into turning the wheel (I'd almost say walking up the stairs), rather than working legs against each other.

Came home to my 26er in the package room. But no pump at hand, and the bike shops within a few blocks seem to roll up their air hoses when they roll down the window grates, so will have to see if I can lug that into work (where there is a pump and practice space) somehow tomorrow. The 27.5" dimension of my improvised cardboard unicycle suitcase went through the revolving door cleanly, so I'm hoping the new wheel will as well.
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Old 2015-08-03, 01:36 PM   #22
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Got into the office early, put the 26er together, inflated the tire and got up on it at my usual pillar. Yeah, this feels just a little bigger.

Took a few tries before I was willing to really go for it, but then it rides like, well, a unicycle.

Only faster.

Bailed after the first corner though, when I realized steering around office obstacles in my usual circuit may be a bit more tricky.

Looking forward to the bike path after work!

Alas the idea of free mounting now feels a lot further in the future... though maybe riding the big wheel outside will make the 20" seem easier once I haul that back into the office and put a better saddle on it.
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Old 2015-08-04, 01:02 AM   #23
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Rode maybe... 8 percent? of my commute home on the 26er.

Unfortunately, there are really only 3 spots on the east river bike path, totalling maybe 5 city blocks, that are nice riding between work and home, and to get to it it I have to take a huge detour out to the east on 20th street across where the river has been filled in to create Stuyvesant Town. The rest of it is parking lots and heliports and mix with traffic. So I think it's going to be a long time before commuting becomes practical, but those nice stretches are worth hiking to for practice (or doing a few back and forth laps of, in the case of this evening)

As for the riding the 26" unicycle itself, the nimbus gel seat and higher "gearing" are definitely a welcome change from the 20" torker. But it is a bit more intimidating to be perched up there and flying along. After getting up by a lamp post and riding a block without issue, by the time I'd walked to the next low-stress section my "what the heck did I just do" sense had caught up with me, and it took a number of tries before I again managed to launch with stability.

I'm definitely still self-regulating with opposing pressure - opening up the throttle on the big wheel and little cranks isn't quite comfortable especially with joggers around - but that fatigue limit is much slower to appear, and I was generally riding to the point where I was uncomfortable with proximity to objects or people rather than fatigue, then doing a running forward dismount. Taped the seat but managed to catch it the majority of the time.

Maybe I should have gotten a 24" instead of a 26", given that it seems like I'll be carrying it to riding locations for a while. But the flip side is that I have something fun for wide open spaces, and I still have an excuse to get a better little one for fun in the future. In the meantime, I'll probably transfer the nimbus saddle to the torker and play with that at the office tomorrow.
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Old 2015-08-04, 04:15 AM   #24
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Having to constantly get on and off during your commute...should create the circumstances for you to learn to self-mount. Sorry if we've been through this already, but I think the tire-grab could be a nice, reliable mount on a 26" with 127mm cranks.

Hopefully, as you improve, your estimation of how much of the commute is rideable...will increase. Don't take any chances with traffic, however. It's best to get off and walk across an intersection, then live to ride another day. When your mounting improves, riding short sections will not seem so impractical, and mounting will not be so strenuous.

You might, at some point, consider trying longer ISIS cranks on the 26". I know they give you excess, unneeded leverage for flat riding...however, you complained about being nervous riding around other people. If dodging pedestrians is going to be a normal part of your ride, then I think longer cranks will help with maneuvering...maybe I'm wrong about that, and I'd be curious to get input from other riders about how crank length affects right/left maneuverability.

Reading your posts reminds me that we all learn under different geographic conditions. Whatever advice you receive needs to be put through the filter of you knowing your own landscape better than anyone else. NYC seems like a challenging place to learn. Good luck!
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Old 2015-08-04, 04:33 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
Having to constantly get on and off during your commute...should create the circumstances for you to learn to self-mount. Sorry if we've been through this already, but I think the tire-grab could be a nice, reliable mount on a 26" with 127mm cranks.
I've never tried the tire grab, but will have to give it a go next time I have that wheel in a suitable area.

It's true that available geography is a limit - but then next Saturday morning we get 7 miles of closed streets as a playground. And if I get a better carry rig figured out and a little more confidence I'll head over and try the much nicer path on the Hudson River side.

Not that a deserted parking lot wouldn't be extremely welcome!
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Old 2015-08-04, 02:51 PM   #26
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The tire grab is a learners' mount. Later on, you'll learn a roll-back or static mount, even with the shorter cranks. Some riders said they didn't like having to point their torso toward the ground while performing the tire grab. It is apparently disorienting for some riders. I liked the tire grab, most of all, because, with a little practice, the mount could be performed very slowly, not rushed. Good luck!
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Old 2015-08-04, 11:32 PM   #27
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Temporarily moving the Nimbus's gel saddle to the 20" Torker for today's indoor practice made a huge difference, both in the padding and the handle, which meant I just managed my first couple of luck-out free-mounts - obviously within a much larger number of less successful attempts. These were supposed to be the static version, but tended to still have a bit of rollback from putting weight on the pedal I shouldn't. Tire grab will presumably have to wait until I can take the 26er out again.

I probably need to work on learning to ride with a hand on the handle - at the moment I'm releasing it as I mount to resume my usual arms out at sides ready to flail.

I also discovered that I can balance while hopping. Yeah, I know everyone else can, but it was the first time I did.

This just got a lot more fun.
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Old 2015-08-05, 12:50 AM   #28
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These were supposed to be the static version, but tended to still have a bit of rollback from putting weight on the pedal I shouldn't.
Not putting weight on the back pedal is one way but IMHO not the best. You might as well avoid that pedal entirely and do a jump mount if there is no weight on it.

Push down and forward harder on the seat so that it balances the backwards moment on the back pedal. Then you can put as much weight on the back pedal as you like and use it as a step to get up.
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Old 2015-08-06, 05:40 PM   #29
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next Saturday morning we get 7 miles of closed streets as a playground.
I'm in NYC for the week... with my unicycle. Thanks for mentioning the Summer Streets scheme, I forgot about that. Might go then. Will you be there? Other NYC'er's?
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Old 2015-08-06, 06:02 PM   #30
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I'm in NYC for the week... with my unicycle. Thanks for mentioning the Summer Streets scheme, I forgot about that. Might go then. Will you be there? Other NYC'er's?
Great to hear that! I'm planning to try to take advantage of it - starting around grand central / 42nd street (have to think a bit about what the tunnel and overpass do in terms of access and crowding) then heading either north or south from there.

Had been meaning to post something about it on the NYUC facebook page anyway, so just did that. I don't really know much of the local crowd yet, having only made it to one of their meetings a few weeks back (a few hours before purchasing my unicycle) though I did have a great conversation with Ken who was instrumental in helping me get started in the right direction.

I'm still undecided if I'll bring the 26" out on Saturday and try to get more comfortable riding a few blocks at a time on that, or the 20" and see if there are areas wide and quiet enough to ride in circles and work on currently elusive transitions between travel and hopping. May have to see here in a bit if any of that which I've been trying on the 20" seems transferrable yet.
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