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Old 2008-09-07, 08:41 PM   #1
olduniman
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Calling Mature Unicyclists (age 55+)

It would be great to find out how many mature unicyclists are active these days and to learn something about their challenges and achievements. By mature I am thinking of those age 55 or older. If younger people want to jump in, that would be ok too of course. Here is my story. I hope to read about other aged unipersons soon.

I took up unicycling in 2005 after a two-decade gap. From the Net I found out how the sport had evolved in directions I never could have imagined. I quickly found Darren Bedford and the Toronto Unicyclists. Soon I had a Bedford 24 in and spent quite a few hours recovering old skills. Being out in the country on a gravel road I couldn't ride every day so it took a year to learn to freemount consistently (say 80%). In Sep 2007 I started to track distances with a simple bike computer and in November bought a KH 29 from Darren. I have racked up 275 recorded km so far in too many outings to admit to here. On my moderately hilly route with 2 km of gravel, my best average speed is 12.5 km/hr on the 29 in and 11 km/h on the 24 inch. Idling more than six strokes is is still a distant dream and riding backwards varies randomly from 0 to 90 feet with 10 to15 ft the most common

At the moment the biggest challenge is trying to pedal faster. I have kept track of the average cadence on each of my (mostly) 5 to 6 km runs. On the 24 inch the best average cadence is 89 rpm (with 5 in cranks) and on the 29 in (with 6 in cranks) it was 85 rpm. I bought a set of 5 in cranks for the KH 29 hoping that it would be easier to pedal faster. So far it doesn't help that much because I am much slower up and (especially) down the hills and have a harder time free-mounting and turning so the average is affected somewhat. However pedaling is smoother and there is less wobble. A biking friend suggested taking a spinning class to improve pedaling technique and speed.

I used to have a Coker fantasy, but I don't see the point unless I get a lot better with what I have now. The increase in speed from a 24 in to a 29 in was not significant for what I am doing which is just trying to have a good 30 to 40 minute workout. But the KH 29 is a nice uni to ride and one can hardly ever have too many unicycles. Just think what it costs to play golf, fish from a boat or hunt the mighty wildebeest.
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Old 2008-09-07, 09:11 PM   #2
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Well, I guess I'm still a "youngster" at only 52.9 years, compared to 65, but I plan to keep riding well into my 80's. So as I say, I've really only just begun. Great to hear from you and that you are enjoying the ride, which is what it's all about!

Terry
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Last edited by MuniAddict; 2008-09-07 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 2008-09-07, 09:32 PM   #3
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Oh, also you should have posted this is RSU since it's uni-related. But hopefully you'll still get replies here.
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Old 2008-09-07, 10:55 PM   #4
olduniman
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Oops, perhaps someone can move it to the right location.

I have looked at your videos with amazement unigeezer. Even a sidewalk curb is a challenge to me!
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Old 2008-09-08, 03:12 AM   #5
Panotaker
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I just got back into unicycling after a 25 year break. I have been riding now for a couple of months. I am a little younger than unigeezer at 52.1. I started back when I was 12 years old and rode till my mid 20's. Apperantly muscle memory helped me and I have just about caught up to my skill level from 25 years ago. I don't know if I will ever catch up to unigeezers skill level, but I am going to give it my best shot. He is truly an insperation. Right now I have a Coker and a KH24.

I am now working on my stamina and trying to learn how to hop. Once I get the hopping down, the rest of the tricks should come easier. I wish I had more time to ride, but I try to get out at least once or twice a week and most of that time is spent on the muni.
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Old 2008-09-08, 03:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olduniman
Oops, perhaps someone can move it to the right location.

I have looked at your videos with amazement unigeezer. Even a sidewalk curb is a challenge to me!
Thanks. I can just tell from your determination and enthusiasm, you will be fine! If you ever get a chance, make a little video of your progress and post in the video section! In the meantime, just keep at it an have fun!
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Old 2008-09-09, 11:25 AM   #7
wobbling bear
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The usual challeng is to ride 60km when you turn sixty!
alas it is still a challenge: pat moore had a problem; then I wanted to do that (next month) but broke my wrist (so ending my training).
So the only thing left is sheer happiness of riding (I was back on the muni saddle last sunday with huge wrist protection ).

may be I could try 60.33 km when I turn 60.33 ?
edit: for you may be 66.6 km when you turn 66.6
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Old 2008-09-09, 07:27 PM   #8
IUni
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I learned to "ride" a unicycle about 20 years ago...meaning I could ride around the cul-de-sac a bit without falling off. I did manage to learn how to free mount at that point. I put my old Norco uni aside except for the odd occasion, for that most part of that past 20 years. I happened to see an item on Kris Holm, then looked up some youtube vids, including some of Terry's (MuniAddict).

With a large amount of credit to Terry's Unigeezer vids, I was fired up.

This spring, 2008, I pulled out the old Norco again to realize that it would not take my cross country with the old lollipops (even with my reinforcing), and could not abide that old saddle.

A bit of homework, and I ended up buying a KH 24x3", then shortly after a KH29".

The first jaunts this spring, it was tough to make it more than a block or two. I progressed pretty quickly. Since I live about 4 blocks from the edge of town, I was soon out and cross country, then trails, and more challenging terrain, determined that I would be riding downhill too.

I can hop up about 8 stairs now, rolling hops off 3 so far, the idling is ok, but a work in progress, and have a number of mounts down. I've spent some time in the skateboard park, usually early in the summer, and now during school hours mostly, but when the kids are around, and I'm doing drops of some of the higher obstacles (for me 2'-3') and rolling jumps off the steps, I do hear the "I gotta see this" type comments. I'm working on the 180 unispin, and have some broken spokes to show for that so far.

I don't feel that 55+ is a huge issue. It's a great workout. There's always another challenge. I love the various aspects from trials to trails to freestyle to touring, and there are parts of all of that I'd like to explore.

I just came in from a break from my session, then out for some more.

Ride hard, stay young, have fun!
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Old 2008-09-09, 09:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olduniman
I used to have a Coker fantasy, but I don't see the point unless I get a lot better with what I have now.
I don't think I would've enjoyed my 36er as much if I'd gotten it six years ago, when I was still fairly new at riding. Now, I love it. The size makes it a completely different ride. Without raving too much, I just want to say that when you feel more comfortable on the wheel the 36er is definitely worth your time. It sounds like you'll be there pretty soon.

You "mature" unicyclists have always been an inspiration to me to keep in (or get back into) shape. Thanks for posting, all.
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Old 2008-09-09, 10:19 PM   #10
florida
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I am 50 in two weeks

Took up uni-riding in Jan 08 bought a nimbus 29er and now ride everyday average 5 miles per day.
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Old 2008-09-10, 06:13 AM   #11
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i think "senior" is the word you are looking for.
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Old 2008-09-11, 12:52 PM   #12
olduniman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catinabag1
i think "senior" is the word you are looking for.
I hesitate to add extraneous comments to this thread, but the word senior bugs me. That is why I used "mature" and "aged unipersons" with whimsical intent. I sometimes refer myself as belonging to the "nearly dead". Why senior is an irritating word is not clear, although I blame the accompanying words and attitudes in sentences issuing from the mouths of politicians and advertisers. I go along with Garrison Keillor in

http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/f...08/01/22.shtml

Q. As a senior citizen, do you feel that the health care system is doing all it can for your health problem?

A. I am not now, and never have been, a senior citizen. I happen to be 65 years old. Not the same thing. I am lively and quick, don't shamble or shuffle, and don't clutch the banister when I go down stairs. The brown spots on the backs of my hands are from experiments with a chemistry set when I was a boy. I have the urinary tract of a young horse. Doctors continue to be astonished. What was the question?

Too bad the man is not a unicyclist. Couldn't someone out there in Minnesota try to convert him?
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Old 2008-09-11, 02:20 PM   #13
reinhart
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Smile Another olduniguy

Olduniman inspired me to take riding up a couple of years ago at 63 and I thoroughly enjoy it. I do find distance riding a bit boring but like playing around on my KH 20. Idling is not elegant, backwards a trial, hops miniscule, but there are improvements everytime I ride for an extensive period. Now that the older grandsons are approaching world competition level in Denmark having started on a 16 inch I bought them when I got started, I feel like a real beginner. But they still want me to join them and its a great generation equalizer. I admire their stunts and they admire that I can ride at all!! :-)
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Old 2008-09-11, 04:15 PM   #14
rem48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panotaker
I just got back into unicycling after a 25 year break. I have been riding now for a couple of months. I am a little younger than unigeezer at 52.1. I started back when I was 12 years old and rode till my mid 20's. Apperantly muscle memory helped me and I have just about caught up to my skill level from 25 years ago. I don't know if I will ever catch up to unigeezers skill level, but I am going to give it my best shot. He is truly an insperation. Right now I have a Coker and a KH24.

I am now working on my stamina and trying to learn how to hop. Once I get the hopping down, the rest of the tricks should come easier. I wish I had more time to ride, but I try to get out at least once or twice a week and most of that time is spent on the muni.
Here's what helped me in hopping..... just think of it as a pogo stick! I know you used one of those. Ha! I will hit the 5.0. in a few months.
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Old 2008-09-11, 04:44 PM   #15
Bondo
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Welcome old dudes!

BTW: here is the official "over 45" thread.
You may wish to read through it too...
http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/sho...9&highlight=45

Some more good inspiration in there.

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Last edited by Bondo; 2008-09-11 at 04:44 PM.
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