Friday, July 31, 2009

Around the Block, Around the House

Tonight I rode three times around the block, with long breaks in between. I think I'm getting less tired. Mostly my legs start burning. Unlike a bicycle, I can never coast and I'm always controlling my speed. Sometimes my weight is more on my feet and not enough on the seat. I gather that with practice I'll become more efficient at doing all this and will be able to do longer rides.

I also tried riding through the grass around the house. One time I got all the way around but fell short about six other times. There is greater resistance in the grass than on the street, which means I'm pushing harder and constantly stalling. And of course there are little hills and valleys in the lawn that catch me by surprise.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Can Syd Unicycle?

My 5 year old coach has been begging me to get her a unicycle for the past few weeks.
Well I finally broke down and ordered a 16" uni from ebay. $50.
It's cheap, but I'm hoping that doesn't matter a whole lot for a little kid.

Of course, she'll be wear full body armor as she learns. Will she stick with it? We shall see.

Positive Comments

I rode my new Onza a bit at home.
Riding around the block, I came across a couple of buff guys standing by a pickup truck.

guy: is that hard to ride?
I hopped off.
me: well.. it took me a month to get this far

They thought it looked so cool and I told them it's a mountain unicycle, etc.

guy: could i just get on and start riding?
me: nahh... you have to hold onto something for awhile. I joked: The hardest part is not sitting on your nuts.

I suggested he could lean on his truck and I let him try. He tried for a few seconds and of course was all wobbly and ready to fall.
He gave it back and was still saying how cool it was.
He wanted to see me get on.
I freemounted first try and rode off.

If I was on the learner I'm not sure I would have had the same experience.
That big knobby tire has cool written all over it! haha

Bought a Muni!

Tonight I bought a muni!
It's an Onza 24".

I got it from my one stop shop for used unicycles. Thanks Mj!

Here it is:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I've started learning how to idle.
So far I've been practicing by holding on to two chair backs.

Yesterday I started and today I practiced more and felt more comfortable.
My longest idle was probably only forward-back-forward-back... but it's a start.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Longest Ride Yet... Again!

I guess I spoke too soon. Kyle was bored so I asked him if he wanted to go around the block.

I rode my uni the whole way with no dismounts!

Longest Ride Yet

I went around the block today, stopping only once. I just kind of lost my balance out of nowhere.

According to google maps, the total distance was 0.6 miles. My UPD (unplanned dismount) was at 0.4 miles.

I was definitely fatigued towards the end. Getting up the driveway seemed like going up a mountain. And it's hardly inclined.

Another good accomplishment. I'm kind of glad I didn't make it all the way without stopping. Now I have a good reason to try again!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Does This Count?

Level 1

I'm ready to say I'm a Level 1 rider.
I self administered the test and passed. I free mounted on my second try, rode about 50 meters and then gracefully dismounted off the back.

This doesn't mean a whole lot, just that I'm making progress.

More Free Mounting

Today I really focused on free mounting.
I got frustrated during the first dozen attempts because once I get up, my crank arms ended up straight up and down. I'm up there for a second, but the cranks aren't in a good position to get me moving.

So I looked to youtube for advice again and saw people doing what I was, except their cranks were in a perfect position to get moving.

I tried a few more times and realized the only way to keep my cranks in good position was to spring off my grounded foot way more than I was, and put very little weight on the other. With that in mind I instantly began making progress.

With an hour or so, I went from succeeding a 5% success to about 50% success!

It felt a little bit like American Idol, as I had a panel of judges.
My coach kept score for me:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dismount Off Back

Just about every dismount I do is either unplanned or unwanted. I might suddenly loose my balance or fail to get over some small obstacle, like the road gutter.
In all of these cases I have forward momentum and so I dismount off the front.
And normally I just keep riding until this happens.

I'm finding that dismounting off the back only happens when it's planned. I basically have to slow down to a stop, tilt backwards and put a foot down.
I also find that holding onto the front of the saddle with my left hand is helpful, if not required, when dismounting off the back.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Longest Run

I accomplished my longest run ever today. I went up the street to the corner, turned around came back past my house, down a few houses and back.

Using google maps, it looks like about 1000 feet or about 300 meters.

I usually have Sydney trailing me by bike or scooter when I head down the street like this. Thanks coach!

Monday, July 13, 2009

IUF Skill Levels

I should probably start practicing the IUF Achievment Skills.

I'm not even Level 1 yet:
* mount unicycle unassisted
* ride 50 meters
* dismount gracefully with unicycle in front

I've never even dismounted off the back.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Still Going

I'm still working on my unicycling, but at a slower pace.
Sometimes it's wet out. Sometimes too hot. Sometimes I'm busy or tired or lazy.

I haven't learned anything new really, but I think I'm still getting better.
I've noticed I seem to be riding slower and more controlled. And I think my turns are more controlled.

Muni Or Busted

Thanks for the vote of confidence Joel!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Turns, Lines, and a Fall

I continue to practice daily, as long as the weather and obligations allow.

I'm practicing turning a lot. I've done a few figure eights, which obviously require left turning and right turning in one run.

I've also drawn a chalk line on the driveway to represent a trail. I try to follow it without falling or straying too far from it.

I still can't free mount well. I think I might be successful about 1 in every 20 attempts. Today I actually had my first fall while attempting a free mount.
As soon as I stepped up, I fell backwards and landed on my butt/lower back and elbow. Ouch! I still don't know what happened. My driveway is an incline, so maybe that caused it.
Thankfully I'm not injured. My elbow hurt for a few minutes, and bothered me a tiny bit playing basketball, but feels fine now.