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Old 2017-11-29, 10:28 AM   #571
Trevwin
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hi!

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Originally Posted by Spinningwoman View Post
Well, I'm still not back to a daily practice but I'm pleased with the continued progress I'm making even on a couple of rides a week. Yesterday I took out the giant (to little 5ft me) muni I bought cheap last year but haven't ridden much at all and was able to freemount a decent number of times, though it is still hard. It is a 24" but the huge tyres make it more like a 26" or mor in comparison with my other 24". My husband has decided to take early retirement and I'm going to be moving to a half-time post in October, so more time but also moving away from all my known practice areas etc and having to get comfortable embarrassing myself in front of a new set of people! Nearer to Bristol and the Severn Wheelers, though.
As another Devon (Exeter) newbie just wanted to say hi. I'm using the walking pole method, though i know of the cons to this it's necessary because of a lack of suitable fences/walls/bars etc where i am. Still, I can now (occasionally) manage 2 revolutions unaided so onwards and upwards!
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Old 2017-11-30, 11:22 PM   #572
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Good work, Trevwin! I had a friend from work learn using the hiking pole method, and it worked for him. If you're at the point of going a couple revolutions unaided, I suggest now is the time to put the poles away and just go for it. Wear gloves and knee pads against the (almost) guaranteed abrasions from falls, and you'll be riding like an ace before you know it.
Cheers!
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Old 2017-12-01, 09:23 AM   #573
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Originally Posted by Trevwin View Post
As another Devon (Exeter) newbie just wanted to say hi. I'm using the walking pole method, though i know of the cons to this it's necessary because of a lack of suitable fences/walls/bars etc where i am.
Welcome here!
Yep the cons are simple: you become a pole rider!
Been there done that, it took a while to convince my brain to ride without them.

Anyone seen spinning woman lately? I miss her updates!
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Old 2017-12-01, 02:41 PM   #574
elpuebloUNIdo
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Yep the cons are simple: you become a pole rider!
Been there done that, it took a while to convince my brain to ride without them.
I never used poles, and I already know how to ride, so I have no intention of using them in the future. However, I can't argue with what works. Thinking about the mechanics of the unicycle and of the poles...I assume when you are falling to the right, you put the right pole down. For unassisted riding, the remedy for falling to the right, same as on a bicycle, is to turn right, to turn into the fall. Is it possible to use the poles to facilitate turning into the fall, rather than just propping yourself back upright? One of the problems with most crutches (walls, fences, etc.) is that they keep you riding in a straight line, inhibiting the learning of left-right balance. It doesn't seem that's necessarily the case with poles.
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Old 2017-12-01, 09:59 PM   #575
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Wear gloves and knee pads against the (almost) guaranteed abrasions from falls
Surely knee pads aren't needed. I've only hurt my knees twice every since I started learning in 2015. The last time half a year ago. Most times you land on your feet. I just bought the KH Shin/Knee pads, coz I wanna put some more time into hopping onto stuff. Im hoping that protection will make me less careful ^_^
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Old 2017-12-02, 12:57 AM   #576
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Surely knee pads aren't needed. I've only hurt my knees twice every since I started learning in 2015. The last time half a year ago. Most times you land on your feet. I just bought the KH Shin/Knee pads, coz I wanna put some more time into hopping onto stuff. Im hoping that protection will make me less careful ^_^
Depends what you are doing but we automatically take less risks without protection. It inhibits pushing the limits, especially on larger wheels. I don't know about you, but I certainly can't run out of a UPD from fool speed , even on my 26.

I have been down the tarmac on my knee, elbow and palm sliders at over 20 kph. I certainly wouldn't want to see the grooves in my sliders on my flesh instead.

It is surprising how the way we fall changes when we know there is protection. I have even slid to a stop in a kneeling position.
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Old 2017-12-05, 12:58 AM   #577
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Quite right. There are numerous variables involved. I almost never fall when riding around the neighborhood, or on the paved bike path. In fact, on occasion I ride those with no protective gear at all. (Although I'm pretty careful on those occasions.)
On the trail I fall all the time. I can't imagine what I would look like if I didn't wear gloves and knee pads. (Pretty scarred up, I can tell you that.)
At any rate, protective gear is cheap insurance. Watch any Kris Holm video and you'll see he wears a full compliment, so it's good to wear even if you're an advanced rider.
Cheers!
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Old 2017-12-19, 04:12 PM   #578
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I am in no real position to advise but perhaps you might like to consider a few points.

Firstly, this is my first post, but I have been reading various threads on this forum in an effort to learn. One of the beliefs I have is that if you want to understand a complex idea – ask an expert. But if you seek to learn a difficult skill - ask someone who has just learnt. The experts have forgotten the basics, or just don’t mention them. So I have often searched for the first few posts from a contributor to see what they were doing at the start of their own learning process. (Left click on the name and drop down to ‘Find more posts…’ Then go back to their first ones.) Often very enlightening and certainly encouraging as you can see their progress over a year or two.

Anyway, I have been learning on a 24” uni for some time and have reached a modicum of control. Currently trying to stay on whilst steering – or at least my version of steering. Up to 150-200 feet before running out of space.

So these are my points, based on my very limited experience.

• There are, very definitely, two balancing acts that need to be managed together: front/back and left/right. If either fails whilst riding you fall off. These are at 90 degrees so totally independent of each other (basic physics). When I do get it together and cycle I am fully aware of both happening together. I think it is mastering this that takes the time. Our brains cannot consciously multitask and both balancing tasks have to be fed into the ‘almost subconscious’. That’s my guess anyway.

• I learnt after watching some videos based on getting front/back sorted first, by grabbing at a mast hanging horizontally under the ceiling of my garage whilst pedalling/stuttering. Next step was progressing outdoors and going along a fence repeatedly. Not caring about left/right. Until I had some sort of forward control and could sit on the damn thing. This was crucial. To me there didn't seem much point moving on until this was under some sort of control.

• Then trying to move away from the fence. It is a chain link one around 3 tennis courts. So I could both push away from it and pull myself back onto it whilst moving forward. However this didn’t really solve the L/R balance thing because it needs a little speed, and, more importantly, your body needs to take over that bit of the balancing skill. What it did, though, was get my confidence up, allowing me to step off whilst plucking up courage to move away. And help with the F/B balancing and control.

• After that, it was simply time until I finally got the L/R balance. Even now it goes and I struggle often.

• I find that the slightest distraction makes me lose concentration and it all goes. I can’t understand how you can count revolutions whilst riding. I have tried and it stops me focusing on balancing.

• I think better riders forget the level of concentration it takes us beginners to manage both sets of balance planes at once. Which is why it is so tiring.

• Another thing I have found is that when it really flows, all the action is below the waist. It’s the duck situation. Front/back is managed by a slight tilt at the waist and rate of pedalling. L/R is managed by subtle hip movements. Steering is by groin pressure. Any wild flailing of arms is for correction – or like me whilst learning. Youtube videos of good riders on flat ground show this well. So I try to emulate it.

• Something I found myself doing, which may be what you are doing on your video, is always stepping off at the same pedal position – fear of falling over etc. But that meant that it made it harder to commit to the next ‘unsafe’ pedal turn. So I would either go to one side or slow down or stop. Either way that ends the run.

I’m afraid I ignored all the suggestions about ‘don’t use a fence’, ‘just launch and pedal like mad’, ‘just aim into free space and go for it.’ On the basis that things will sort themselves out in time. I did the simple thing – broke it down and concentrated on one aspect at a time. It may not be, and probably isn’t the best approach but it seems to have worked up to this point. But I am still a beginner and not really in control. Maybe one day.

That’s my perspective. Maybe something in there will be of use. The forum and peoples’ videos helped me. I would like to put something back.
I really like this thread seeing how people go through this learning process, and otheres describe their observations of it.

When I started out trying to learn unicycling, I had a big long list of all the things to do right so far as mounting body position cadence weight on the seat looking forward etc. etc. As soon as I got onto the unicycle, all those things were instantly forgotten, as the brain goes into overload just trying to deal with staying on top of the wheel of doom.

As I get more used to it I am more and more able to consciously think about the details and make additional corrections and travel further without touching the rail or wall. The more it becomes internalized, the easier it is to do. In the beginning it is a huge amount of new stimulus and tasks for the brain, nervous system and muscles to all adapt to.

I think that once it becomes internalized, it becomes harder to describe to people how to get there.

The beginning stages of this reminds me of a few things. One is starting out in certain businesses, all the things you have to know was very overwhelming when just starting out, and a lot easier in the future. Another thing is when you coach a shy person to ask out that girl he has a crush on, all the things memorized to say and do and screws it up when he approaches. I suppose in martial arts, you learn all the moves and then in a fight under pressure you forget and can't appy anything. After a lot of hands on experience in matches and street fighting plus the training, it becomes possible to apply more and more of it relaxed. Probably the same with playing poker for play money is one thing, but when you put up significant amounts of real cash on the line, it is another matter entirely.

So I guess to challenge and push the brain once many unicycle skills are mastered, would be to take up other balance arts and juggling. I remember seeing a video of someone who solved rubiks cubes while unicycling.

Is mastership is the ability to do a challenging task skillfully while relaxed?
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Old 2017-12-20, 03:29 AM   #579
elpuebloUNIdo
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Originally Posted by Up Rite View Post
Is mastership is the ability to do a challenging task skillfully while relaxed?
If you're relaxed, maybe it's not challenging enough. In my experience, the more challenging the skill, the less relaxed I feel. However, after struggling with with hard techniques, I am able to relax on the easier stuff.

BTW, solving a Rubik's Cube while unicycling does not impress me (any more than unicycling or solving a Rubik's Cube), and could, I think, be done by a near beginner. Juggling and unicycling, on the other hand...

There is something to be said for beginners giving the best advice. However, for the sake of argument, we're all beginners to the extent that we learn new skills. I am in the humbling process of learning wheel walking. I remind myself that part of my best technique right now is to flail my arms madly for balance. This reminds me a lot of learning to ride in the first place, when my arms were also flailing madly. Trying to relax is not going to help right now.

My advice is: Don't worry about being relaxed. Just keep practicing hard stuff, and the easier stuff will get easier.
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Old 2017-12-20, 03:54 AM   #580
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I think mastership is the ability to do a challenging task skillfully while looking relaxed.
Otherwise known as making it "look easy".
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Old 2017-12-20, 06:43 AM   #581
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Originally Posted by Up Rite View Post
Is mastership is the ability to do a challenging task skillfully while relaxed?
That's a good question. In Freestyle competition, Mastery is a component of your score.
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I think mastership is the ability to do a challenging task skillfully while looking relaxed. Otherwise known as making it "look easy".
Not a bad way to define it. When you watch (the majority of) professional unicycle performers, you will typically see a lot lack of mastery. Not because the performer is a crappy rider, but because they do want to make it look hard. This makes it look more dramatic, or more amazing that they are staying on.

In my own shows I would usually start with some sort of a parody of how to get going on the thing, followed by some out-of-control riding. But then I would usually snap into a relaxed, smooth-flowing series of swoopy moves, and go on from there. After all, I was generally billed as a unicycle expert, so I couldn't fake it too much...

In Freestyle competition, Mastery is defined along with some other scorable qualities, into a pretty long and detailed description:

--------------
7D.2.2 Mastery And Quality of Execution
Mastery is the amount of control shown by the rider(s) during their execution of the skills and transitions. The body form should demonstrate good control and Mastery of the unicycle. If a rider is showing good style during difficult skills, the Mastery score should be high. Mastery of the unicycling skills is also required to perform the “additional non-unicycling skills”, such as juggling, dancing, and acrobatics.

There are several viewpoints to check the Quality of Execution, such as Stability, Duration, Speed, Synchronization, and Fluidity of Transition. These viewpoints don’t have to be evenly weighted, but required to check.

Duration: Holding a skill for a longer amount of time and distance also indicates a higher level of mastery and difficulty for that skill.

Stability: High scores should not be given if unintentional jerky body movement, or a wandering spin or pirouette is shown occasionally.
Speed: High score is given when the rider controls the speed (faster or slower) of turns, spins, and transitions excellently.

Synchronization: Being synchronized with the rhythm of the music and timing accuracy should be judged. High scores are awarded for a routine if timing of the skills is well planned and accurate.

Fluidity of Transition: High scores are given for transitions when the rider performs a skill straight into another skill quickly. Low scores are given for transitions if several revolutions, idles, hops (or other setup-type skill) need to be performed before performing the more difficult skill - unless it is obvious that these are used to increase the overall choreography and timing of the routine.

-----------------

So there is a lot to it, but in general, it's performing a skill neatly, in "proper" form (which can depend on many factors in Freestyle), in a way that indicates you are comfortable performing it. Duration shows mastery; 10 revolutions of coasting is a lot harder than half a revolution. It's quite a lot to explain!
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Old 2017-12-20, 11:53 AM   #582
Setonix
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In Freestyle competition, Mastery is defined along with some other scorable qualities, into a pretty long and detailed description:
Mastery makes riding uni waaay too stressful. Competitions are not for me and I ride only for fun and the nice feeling it gives to ride. Along the journey I will focus on different abilities so I can ride in a more relaxed way.
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Old 2017-12-20, 01:40 PM   #583
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making it "look easy".
Totally!
If you're not a performer, as John pointed out with a very valid point, and you're riding for yourself, then it's some kind of ultimate goal. Because it means you're soooo in control... that you don't have to be in control anymore! In other words, it's second nature.

It still can have an effect on your audience. I can make riding look easy when I'm just circling on the square behind our block. Sometimes some of the kids playing there ask me if they can try. And after a few fails at even mounting the thing, I always get that comment from them "but it looked so easy when we were watching you!!!".

Side note, what happened to Spinning Woman? Still riding? Mastering so well that she doesn't feel the need to visit us here?
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Old 2017-12-20, 08:26 PM   #584
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Making it look difficult comes too close to being a clown for me. I prefer to see mastery. But all entertainers must judge their audience. If you are looking to make them laugh a bit then why not?

It does bring to mind something in a similar vein that I find really annoying. Guitarists who pull agonising faces in complex pieces completely distract from the music. There is no entertainment in a grimace.

I once had a conversation with an acrobatic performer about such matters. Despite highly challenging physical poses, it was expected that they smile through it. The obvious physicality speaks for itself. The smile adds to the incredulity.
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Old 2017-12-21, 12:49 AM   #585
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Totally!
Side note, what happened to Spinning Woman? Still riding? Mastering so well that she doesn't feel the need to visit us here?
Here I am! My husband decided to take an early retirement and so now I have a new job, half time instead of full-time, which involved a move to a different area. So life has been busy and unicycling has been pushed out for a while. I haven’t yet found a comfortable place to practice locally, but I am now a lot nearer Bristol so the Severn Wheelers becomes a possibility. I’m not really sure I will ever get into hockey though!
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