Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Syd's Free Mounting Progress

Since her first free mount a month and a half ago, Sydney hadn't really been putting much effort into it, until the past few days.
Today she was free mounting with about a 90% success rate!

I haven't been riding much lately due to a cold. Hopefully it will be totally cleared up for the long weekend!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Unicycling Anniversary

Today was my one year anniversary of first riding a unicycle.
I celebrated by riding my first learner unicycle. I forgot how smooth a street tire is.

Also, over the past few weeks I've been practicing riding backwards.

Here's a little video I made for the occasion:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Webster Park Revisted

At the end of September I rode at Webster Park and I found the trails weren't that great. Many were too rooty and just when I was having fun there would be another hill down to a stream and then a hill back up. Almost all of the little bridges are built with a 6 to 8 inch step up on each side. With my lack of hopping skill, that means a dismount and a step up. I lose momentum and flow.

So this morning I went back in an attempt to map some trails out with GPS and record some additional info. I've got my GPS receiver and I set my camera up to take a picture every 10 seconds. That ended up being nearly 1200 images! I also brought along a recently purchased voice recorder to record any thoughts I had along the way.
I don't yet have a work chain to create a trail map annotated with images of interest and comments, but now I have some data to play with.

For now, here's a map of my trip:

Muni at Webster Park - 2010-06-19

My feelings haven't really changed at this point about Webster Park. Too many trails seem to be maintained poorly. Some have almost impassable mud pits. There are a fair number of fallen trees that should be cut away. There are too many valleys down to little streams that I have to dismount for. And the number of intersecting trails is insane! It's so easy to get lost and turned around. I HAD to use my GPS to get out, despite recognizing I was on trails I had ridden just an hour ago.
Hopefully, I can map out an ideal route to ride and I'll avoid all the annoyances of these trails.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Schlumpf Has Arrived!

Today my Schlumpf KH hub was delivered!
Once I build it into a wheel, it will allow me to have a geared uni (aka guni).
There's a shaft that runs through it. Push it in on one side and it's the usual 1:1 drive like a normal unicycle. Push it in the other side and it's a 1:1.5 ratio.
So for every one rotation of my cranks, the wheel will actually go around 1.5 times.
It should be fun, but it will take some time to build it into a wheel. I still have to buy spokes, and then have a bike shop put it together.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ride at OCP

I took the day off from work today and rode at the Ontario County Park in Naples, NY.
I had never been there before but I heard they had some good mountain biking trails. They probably ARE, but on a muni they're pretty tough. Unlike the other trails I've been to so far, these are super rocky and there are a lot of depressions. This picture doesn't really portray the difficulty, but it gives the idea... rocky. I should have taken more pictures or some video.If these weren't there, the elevation changes wouldn't be too bad. As it is, it's very difficult to climb any inclines. This is partly because of the rocks on the incline itself, but also because by the time I got to the inclines I was spent from navigating obstacles and fighting to keep balanced. Downhill was fine. So the ride was on and off. I probably walked 50% of some trails. It was kind of frustrating to be at trails with slope angles I could definitely handle, but I couldn't ride well because of the surface was crazy.
The trails are designed well, but the trail material just isn't for me.
I probably won't go back there anytime soon, but I'm glad I spent the time to check it out.

There is a lookout deck there with a nice view:

Muni at OCP - 2010-06-11

Monday, June 7, 2010


Tonight I practiced free mounting with my left foot on first. At first it was awkward, kind of like throwing a ball with your non-dominant arm. It's awkward. Not wanting to fall on my back (which happened randomly once when I first learned free mounting), I wimped out and practiced in the grass a few times. Then I did it on the driveway. It only took about five minutes to become successful about 75% of the time! My current skill level and right-foot free mounting ability must help.

Also, over the past week I've been trying to idle with my left foot down. A week ago it felt impossible. But now I think I'm getting the hang of it. I can do five rocks fairly regularly, and my record is seven.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

New Trail in Webster

This morning I helped work on a new trail with the Friends of Webster Trails.
It's at the corner of Phillips Rd and Lake Rd. This is just the first trail of many to be created at this location.

On the map below you can tell which parts of the trail I worked on based on how the cursor lingers in those areas.

FWT Work - 2010-06-05

Tuesday, June 1, 2010