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Old 2014-03-10, 06:54 PM   #1
Nate128
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Does free mounting or starting your first ride ever become 100%?

How's everyone been doing? Hope you're all doing well

I've been riding for over four months now and I'm doing pretty great, especially with my commuting which was my main concentration in terms of which skills to prioritize. On my 26er, I'm on the final steps of learning how to forward hop up the sidewalk whenever I need to, which has been my biggest goal for months now.

I was wondering for those that have unicycled for awhile, does free mounting ever become effortless and 100% successful every time, whenever you want, even after waking up early in the morning and/or starting your first ride? And I'm not talking about just one type of free mount. Like on a bike, you just put a leg over and sit down and just ride off and I can see that being done 99% of the time without issue unless you're drunk or very dizzy. This question goes out for the smaller wheels and the large 36". I just notice that, especially on the 36er, that it will never be as successful as getting on a bike.

I also notice that I have to warm up in order to ride a unicycle well and then there are just days where I don't know where my head is. Like yesterday, before warming up (takes me about 15 minutes) I hopped on the 26er (failed free mount 3 times before I got it) and I had one small UPD (a change in street elevation, guess my head was in the clouds) and I had to dismount 2 or 3 times, which made me feel like a failure and very disappointed. Other days I'd just ride around without ever getting off (I can idle or bunnyhop long enough for the lights to change now). I have to deal with a lot of stop signs and red lights but still. It just feels like no matter how experienced I am (not saying I am, but in the future as well), I don't feel like it'll ever be as easy to ride as a bike.

Like on a bike, I'd just sit down and ride off and unless I'm dizzy or drunk or there's a giant pothole or something, I don't have any issues. With unicycling, it feels like if I have some instability in my concentration, the effects of it is much more apparent.


In my school days, I'd wake up 30 minutes before class, eat a quick meal, still half asleep, I'd hop on my bike and just bike to school (going slowly). Are you able to do that with a unicycle?
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Old 2014-03-10, 07:42 PM   #2
kahunacohen
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With the bigger wheels a lot depends on crank length and if you are going uphill. On my 36 with 127mm cranks I probably hit about 80-90% of my freemounts. If I am on a hill heading up, it's less.

On smaller wheels, 19", 24, 26 it's probably close to 100% unless I'm on some tough trail.

Yes I do find I need to warm up, esp if doing tougher tricks like unispins, walking the wheel etc. For regular riding, not so much.
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Old 2014-03-10, 08:17 PM   #3
LanceB
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I usually find I need to warm up a bit before things "click." I usually fail the first freemount of the day (except the smaller wheels, those I usually get first time).
If you've only been riding 4 months, then you should feel pretty good about where you've gotten thus far. It takes time to train your brain, and after you've been at it a couple years, it will be like walking.
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Old 2014-03-10, 08:22 PM   #4
harper
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I am so good at free mounting that, whenever I ride, not only do I hit 100%, everyone with me does, too.

There is no 100% to any activity like this. I can free mount essentially 100% of the time on all wheel sizes from 6" mini giraffes to 36" (at least, far greater than 99% of the time). Downhill is always easier.
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Old 2014-03-10, 08:31 PM   #5
johnfoss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate128 View Post
...does free mounting ever become effortless and 100% successful every time, whenever you want, even after waking up early in the morning and/or starting your first ride?
As Harper explained, it's more about how you define 100%. I missed some mounts yesterday. But then again, one time I freemounted my 6' Giraffe 120 times in a row.
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I just notice that, especially on the 36er, that it will never be as successful as getting on a bike.
There is temptation to make a joke there, but suffice it to say that it's always going to have only one wheel, which means it's always going to be harder than a bike. If we could do it without error, it would get really boring.
Quote:
In my school days, I'd wake up 30 minutes before class, eat a quick meal, still half asleep, I'd hop on my bike and just bike to school (going slowly). Are you able to do that with a unicycle?
Yes, especially the going slowly part. I didn't ride a unicycle to school much, since I learned in high school and the school was more than 5 km away (as the car flies). And 36" unicycles didn't exist yet.
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Last edited by johnfoss; 2014-03-10 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 2014-03-10, 08:31 PM   #6
coyote29er
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Originally Posted by harper View Post
I am so good at free mounting that, whenever I ride, not only do I hit 100%, everyone with me does, too.
Lol... That's funny.
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Old 2014-03-10, 08:53 PM   #7
Nate128
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If we could do it without error, it would get really boring.
Lol, true. There's also parts of my training on the unicycle where I feared that I would get over the general unicycle skills that I was aiming for and be less enthusiastic about riding. I tend to lose interest in stuff very fast, fortunately, every time I climb on the unicycle I'm reminded why I like it so much.


Stress has really challenged my concentration in unicycling. I've been REALLY out of it for awhile. I'm very thankful on finding out about unicycling because without it, I really wouldn't get any quality exercise. Aside from work and family, nothing else would motivate me enough to be active except this activity. Riding a bike bores me out after 15 minutes and jogging is the same.

I usually find my mental state to affect how well I free mount or start my ride. I can free mount almost 100% of the time as well, but some days, it feels like there's a lot on my mind and the attempted free mounting is just horribly embarrassing to watch. Sometimes I would stop and wonder "okay, what the heck is happening here?" and try to get my nerves back together. I would often think if one day I'll be so good that even on a bad day, I'd be able to get on a unicycle and ride off at around 80-90% of my full potential without having to warm up.


Free mounting while facing up a hill is really fun to do though, great challenge, especially on a 36er. I ride with 127mm cranks.
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Old 2014-03-11, 01:12 AM   #8
Piece Maker
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I can't freemount uphill at all, my success there is maybe 5%

I can however freemount 90% of the time on flat. Even when I'm super-tired, bummed, drunk... This is 29er though not 36.

I've been going maybe... 8-9 months now, but I ride EVERY day. And when I go with my biker friend, the training is rigorous and rough (Lots of road riding, traffic lights, that sort of thing), so that's gotten me to being able to free-mount with a high success rate - Doing it in the middle of the road with cars behind you tends to make you focus
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Old 2014-03-11, 03:37 AM   #9
wilsonov7
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After almost 3 months of unicycling(well 2 months of actually being able to ride and a little over a month of being able to free mount), I've gotten so overconfident with the freemount that when I do mess one up, it usually involves my shins being ripped up, some gravel in my palms, and a mild bit of panicking that I might have fallen on my insulin pump.

Nate, do you unicycle a lot while intoxicated?
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Old 2014-03-11, 03:41 AM   #10
Nate128
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Nate, do you unicycle a lot while intoxicated?
I don't know, but you make it sound fun, very tempting.
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Old 2014-03-11, 11:22 AM   #11
Piece Maker
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Originally Posted by Nate128 View Post
I don't know, but you make it sound fun, very tempting.
I've done it a few times, I highly recommend it [/joke]

Riding drunk is a lot like walking drunk, except you're doing it while also trying to balance on a unicycle. It's possible, just don't do it near anything or anyone because you won't keep even the vaguest of straight lines, and everything that caused a UPD when you were a noob, such as small twigs, bumpy paths and stones, makes you lunge about uncontrollably.

That being said, I don't handle alcohol well, and all of the above applies when walking or even just standing still for me when drunk

Hello everyone, I'm Piece Maker, and I'm a unicycling alcoholic...
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Old 2014-03-11, 03:25 PM   #12
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Small amount of alcohol may help. After two beers some of my friends got much better in their attempts to try unicycling than when they were sober. But after some more the results were disaster and I needed to hide my uni not to make any harm to anybody

If anybody asks me if I can ride drunk on that, I reply that I'm afraid to do it sober

And a bonus from Polish cartoonist:
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Old 2014-03-11, 04:13 PM   #13
wilsonov7
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I don't know, but you make it sound fun, very tempting.
You gotta learn both ways!
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Old 2014-03-11, 04:41 PM   #14
Nate128
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Lol, you guys......such bad influence.


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Small amount of alcohol may help. After two beers some of my friends got much better in their attempts to try unicycling than when they were sober.
I think what happened there was that the beer loosened their nerves and they went into a "I don't give a F anymore" mode and just went with it and it succeeded. And then we got the epic fail videos as well of course

I wonder if being drunk unicycling would be considered similar to being drunk while driving? Since some of you did mention awhile back that if you're going to ride on the road, the laws apply for both cars and unicyclists/bicyclists. Must search this afterwards.

EDIT

@vookash
And as for the cartoon strip that you showed, I think it would have been funnier if the unicycle was not visible in two or three frames. Like if he threw up, reached in the back for something and on the fourth one we see him unicycle, it would have made a better impact, humor-wise. Makes me want to make a comic, I'm bored, I just might.

Edit again I guess we all got it because it's a unicycle forum and naturally we'd already assume it would be a unicycle. A regular person would probably think it's a bike. I see........

Last edited by Nate128; 2014-03-11 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 2014-03-12, 06:14 AM   #15
Mikefule
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I haven't had much chance to ride this year. On Sunday I got out the 36, freemounted first time and rode about 5 or 6 miles including junctions and small hills without a dismount. I expect to be able to freemount any unicycle from 20 to 36 first time every time on the flat. Add an uneven surface or an incline and I may sometimes fail, especially if it's late in a ride and I'm tired.
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