Monday, August 31, 2009

Parallel Bars

Tonight I made some parallel bars to help Sydney practice unicycling. I used some old railings.
They're a bit too flexible, but it seems to be working ok. She was able to pedal around once with no hands. If nothing else, she seems to be gaining confidence.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

26" Nimbus

Here's my new 26" Nimbus:I'm still trying to tell which year it is.

It had a square tapered hub that says " CroMo hub"
Cranks arms are 152mm and say MBX on them.
The rim says 6000 Series alloy 559x27mm SunRims Rhyno Lite.
The tire is a Bontrager Jones ACX-B
The seatpost looks very stock.
The seat is a Kris Holm Fusion Street.
No brake mounts.
The owner removed most of the decals.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bought Another Uni

I saw another unicycle on craiglist and ended up buying it.
It's a 26" Nimbus. It's at least a few years old, but it's in mint condition.

It doesn't have ISIS cranks... but I don't think it will matter for me. It has square tapered cranks.

I rode it around my neighborhood a bit. It's smoother than the Onza and a bit faster... but nothing crazy.
I went around my house in the grass. Again, it felt smoother, but it was harder to crank my way out of sticky situations. The crank arms are 152mm, where as the Onza has 165mm and is a 24" wheel.

When I was done riding the Nimbus, I rode the Onza again, and it felt a little better to me. I'm obviously used to it.
If I'm going to ride trails, I think I'll grab the Onza. For trips around the neighborhood, I'll ride the Nimbus.

I'm feeling kind of indifferent about the purchase.

Another Muni Ride

I took a vacation day and road the entire Hojack Trail this morning. Almost 6 miles!
Here's the map.

Nothing particularly crazy occurred. I saw 4 or 5 people along the way, who nodded or said hi. I didn't UPD very much, and when I did it was for good reason... a root, rock, or road edge.

I was careful to keep my weight on the saddle and not on my legs. I iced my knees when I got home, just to be safe. So far they're feeling fine.

It was a good ride. But I think I'm ready to try another trail. Maybe the Webster Arboretum trails. They're generally flat, but I remember a few hills.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Getting Technical

I thought I'd work harder on idling, but I haven't been practicing that much. I find myself coming to a standstill much more often, and occasionally I do a single small backwards rock. So maybe that will evolve into idling?

In the meantime I started riding over a 2x10 laid flat on the driveway. Usually I try to ride the length of it. It's not particularly impressive, but it seems like a good place to start for riding on things like walls, benches, and railings. Ha!

I've also started hopping. Occasionally when I'm in the mood I just hop several times and try to keep riding. Again, no big deal, but you gotta start somewhere.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Loss For Words

This evening I rode around the the neighborhood the long way. So many people were outside and I heard a lot of comments.

A lot of times people just talk to each other and I catch something about "unicycle!".

But several people said some strange things.
One guy said something close to, "You're missing a bike." I think he meant "wheel" not "bike"!

Later, another guy said something like, "You lost a pair of... bike." Huh? English was clearly a second language for him. Again... doesn't he mean "wheel"? But I'm not missing a pair of wheels. Maybe he remembers seeing me on a tricycle?

One dad had a bunch of kids near him and made up a story about how I crashed my bike up the road and I was just riding what was left over. hahaha!

I might have to bring a little pad and pencil with me from now on. It's hard to remember that strange comments people make.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Crappy Weather

If it isn't hot and humid it's raining!
Despite the call for rain and the dark sky, this morning I prepared for another long trail ride.
I got all ready to go and as soon as I walked out the door it started down pouring.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Long Way

The roads in my neighborhood for two loops, kind of like a squashed figure-8.
Tonight I rode around both loops... what we call "The Long Way" around the block.

I also rode once around the regular block, and up and down the street a few times.

It's probably time to stop posting about simple daily rides around the neighborhood. At this point it's a no brainer. I guess it's time to learn something new.

I think I'm going to focus most of my energy on idling.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Same as yesterday. Another hot one!
Up and down the street and around the block once.

My knees are feeling ok.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Back In The Saddle

It's approaching two weeks since I had stopped riding because of my knee concerns. That's longer than I planned, but I got busy with work stuff.

Tonight I rode up and down the street a few times and then around the block. I didn't feel any problems in my knees, so that's great! Although, I'm icing them to be on the safe side. I supposed only tomorrow will tell.
I've also been starting to take a supplement that's good for joint health. I'm not expecting much from that, but who knows.

Syd as been trying her unicycle a bit, with Amy's help. Amy holds the unicycle while Syd pedals slowly.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Seat Fix

Tonight I took a closer look at the quick release on Syd's new uni. I figured out why I can't get it tight enough. The rod in the quick release lever has threads on both ends. The end that the nut goes on has few threads. So I run out of threads before it gets tight enough. The lever side has more threads, but for no good reason! Ahh haa!! The problem is the rod was assembled backwards.In my attempt to remove the rod to flip it over, I twisted it to the breaking point. I then drilled out what I needed to and created my own threaded rod from a screw. Now it tightens properly.

Then I worked on the seat post itself. I cut about two and a half inches off the bottom. This allowed the seat to be fully lowered without the post hitting the tire. Syd can now reach the pedals, but it still may be a bit too high.
I may end up cutting about an inch off the frame.

Maybe I should have gotten her a 12" wheel unicycle. But she'll grow into it.
Of course now my son Kyle wants to ride it. Maybe he can ride my learner if I lower that seat?

In any case, no one is riding anything at the moment. It's rainy and disgustingly humid outside.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Syd's New Ride

We got Sydney's new unicycle today.

It generally seems nice: 3-piece crank, sealed bearings, knobby tire, padded seat.

But there are a few small problems.
There is some chipped paint, but Sydney seems cool with it. We plan to put a sticker over it, or maybe some touch up paint.

The quick-release seat post clamp isn't threaded enough to allow proper tightening. So the seat post turns in the frame easily.

But the biggest problem is the size. At its lowest seat height Syd can't reach the pedal at the lowest point.
The seat post can't be lowered any more without coming through the frame and hitting the tire.
But at that point there is still about 3 inches or seat post still under the seat.
So I can cut the seat post to get the seat post down about 3 inches. That may be enough. If not, I could cut the frame some.

Poor Syd has to have a lot of patience waiting for her unicycle to be ready!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


The lump on my knee went away seemingly within minutes of resting and icing.
But my knees have continued to be sore and achy at times.

I keep icing them when convenient. And I'm taking ibuprofen to reduce inflammation.
And I'm avoiding any kind of exertion that my make things worse. No running, jumping, cycling.

It sounds like other unicyclists have had knee problems. It might be related to seat height being too low. Or it might be that I'm not relaxing enough and still putting too much weight on my legs and not my butt. This is common for beginner unicyclists. I've definitely improved in this area, but I'm probably still not quite relaxed enough.

I probably just pushed myself too hard once I started going longer distances.
Hopefully I will be 100% soon!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Water On The Knee?

I've been sensing a bit of an achy feeling in my knees lately. Nothing I'd call pain, just a small aching occasionally.

Tonight after riding around the block and around the house in the grass I noticed a lump on the side of my left knee. I pushed on it and it was soft and depressed easily, sort of like pushing on a puffed out cheek.

I used the google and I think it's "water on the knee". It sounds like overuse can cause this. I'll have to read more about it, but icing can help, so I started with that. Of course, giving my knees a rest is a good idea.

So I'm hanging up my unicycle for about a week.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hojack Trail Again

This morning I repeated yesterday's ride. The forecast called for 100% chance of rain. I like those odds! When I left it wasn't yet raining, but about 10 minutes into my ride it started.

I recorded most of my ride. I UPD'ed once towards the beginning and the shock turned my camera off ungracefully. I was able to turn it back on, but the video up until that point was lost.

I trimmed down and spliced portions of the footage I took on the ride back. I tried to show the variety of terrain. You can hardly really tell it's raining, or the difficulty of some parts. I wanted to take some still photos, but it's hard to stop to take pictures when my goal is to stay on and moving. I didn't see a single person on the trail. I guess I'm the only one weird enough to be riding in the rain. Oh yeah, on a unicycle.

Without further ado:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Smile! You're on Uni-camera!

Tonight I built a camera mount for my unicycle:

The results are imperfect mostly because of my imperfect riding. On the trail this morning I noticed my trail in the mud looked like a snake. I don't always ride straight. Maybe that'll get better with time.

Here's a test video:

First Real Muni Ride!

This morning I rode a stretch of the Hojack Trail here in Webster.
I made a google map to figure my distance. 3.3 miles!
The whole trip took about an hour. I walked a only a tiny amount, to get around mud or across some roads.
It was hard work but a lot of fun! The trail surface varies quite a bit: gravel/dirt, smooth dirt, crushed rock, mud, grass, road crossings. Some of it is 6 feet wide and other parts are single track about 8 inches wide. Though any vegetation is typically cut back about 6 feet. It's a well maintained trail. If I'm not sore tomorrow, I might go again, and take some pictures. The Hojack Trail page doesn't really show all the terrain.

The crushed rock and mud were definitely a challenge. There were a few dozen mud zones, usually about a meter long. One must have been about six meters long. On my way back I got all the way through it but then I UPD'ed at the very end. At least I was left standing past the mud!