John Eucist

How to ride an electric unicycle - understanding the dynamics

176 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, Starry night said:

I am learning to ride this by myself, and there are few if any supports around, so how else do you get back on once you have fallen off, unless you practise getting on before you try for longer rides? 🤔

I watch Neighbours. I know damn well you have lamp posts and street signs, and garden walls, and fences, in Melbourne, I've seen them 😜

But seriously, there is nothing higher than 2 feet in THE WHOLE area around where you live?

when I got my wheel, I was renting a cabin in the country in France.  Initially I practiced on a 6 foot strip beside a sideboard.  Outside there was, as you say, nothing nearby that was suitable, so I drove across town to a basket ball court I had seen before, that had a 3foot fence all around it.  Next day, when that proved to be too crowded with kids, I found the driveway of an unused stadium, that had loads of railings to hang onto.  The next day I left for Spain.  In this second, "completely new to me" environment, I found a large roped off car park, with THREE pay meters.  And a few poles.  Those payment meters and poles became my best friends for about a week. I must have looked like a dork rolling that thing back to the meters time and time again, but over time i needed them less and less.  After that I promoted myself to the promenade across the street; poles, publics bins, benches, palm trees.  Everything was an EUC assistance device.  Only after about a month and 400km approx did I even think of trying one foot unassisted starts.  And all this was "alone", as you put it.

unless you live in Death Valley, you can find something to lean against.  Nobody had to coax me; I knew I needed them if my ankle monster was to be kept in check, long enough for me to become its master.

but my advice is worth what you paid for it.  Do what suits you best; you know your environment best.

Edited by Smoother
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How does one brake on these darned things?

Evidently braking is harder for me than riding around on a unicycle, as I cannot get comfortable braking.

I feel a fair amount of wobbling, and it feels there is too much forward pressure moving my feet forward. Perhaps a setting to tilt the pedals back? If I move my feet back I wobble going forward but I brake more comfortably.

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Smoother, thanks for your suggestions.  I'm ok now for the starts, yes you are right there are some low walls and fences that you can hang on to and plenty of parks that have perimeter trees etc, but my wrist protectors make it difficult to hang on to anything and to get any clear run at this thing I needed wide open spaces .... hence my preference for trying to get on the thing unassisted.  

I am making very gradual progress but a fellow who watched me yesterday said that my tyre was rather flat and annoyingly enough (but entirely predictable), I have lost the tyre extension gizmo that came with my Ninebot S2. (Yeah yeah, I put it aside for safe keeping, 😒), is that something that I will have to get from ninebot or will bike shops have these things? 

Anyway thanks for all your suggestions 

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Langham I think the wobbling can be fixed by having your feet a little closer to the sides of the euc, and maybe you could hold onto something while you practice rolling forward and backward, the backwards bit is what stops you.  Perhaps you might try leaning back a bit when you want to stop and you should feel a drop in acceleration.  It's hard to remember everything when you are trying to ride these things.

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, LanghamP said:

How does one brake on these darned things?

Evidently braking is harder for me than riding around on a unicycle, as I cannot get comfortable braking.

I feel a fair amount of wobbling, and it feels there is too much forward pressure moving my feet forward. Perhaps a setting to tilt the pedals back? If I move my feet back I wobble going forward but I brake more comfortably.

Unfortunately, without watching you ride I can't guess at the problem.  First, just stand on it, supporting yourself lightly against a wall or something.  Find a natural upright stance and foot location that doesn't make the wheel roll, or require you to apply unnatural pressure; either with toes or heels.  I find that if a foot is too far back I start to feel it in that calf, after a few minutes.  After you have been standing like this for a while, still lightly supported by the wall, roll the wheel gently forwards and backwards, while keeping your body more or less in the same spot.  GENTLY! Aggressively might cause problems.  Note the different pressure sensations as you do this.

its really hard to explain, but essentially, to brake ( not supported by a wall),  you simple lean back.  Try standing on the floor (no wheel) now gently alternate between leaning forward and back, as far as you can, without falling over. This is essentially all you do on a wheel to accelerate or brake.  The harder the lean, the harder the wheel responds.  Lean too hard ( multiple variables) and you get rewarded with a face plant, or butt plant).  When you do your thing the wheel will know what to do.

3 hours ago, Starry night said:

perimeter trees etc, but my wrist protectors make it difficult to hang on to anything and to get any clear run at this thing I needed wide open spaces .... hence my preference for trying to get o

Yeah, you don't need to hang on, you need to lean against these assistance devices.  If you always put your right foot on first, then the assist is easiest on your left.  The assistant is just to get both feet up and comfortable, in the right place, take your time, don't rush it.  When ready to roll,  DON'T push off! This will destabilise you when you need stability most.  Stand as upright as possible, relaxed, calm, then simply lean forward and let the rolling commence, no drama.  When you've got this down, the transition from stillness to gentle motion is so fluid and seemless that it's almost imperceptible ( but that comes later). For now get some ( comfortable, safe, speed) up, as speed ( on smooth, hard ground), at this stage, is your friend. Its hard to roll slowly if you don't have the muscle memory in place, and that come from hours of riding.

EDIT.  In all my advice I don't think I have mentioned to NOT practice where you could get more injuries than just falling off, or where other people or their property might get damaged,Busy streets, cliff tops, crowded, sidewalks, crowded car parks,etc, etc.  Drive somewhere quiet and safe, if your immediate environ is inadequate.

Edited by Smoother
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Posted (edited)

On 28.2.2017 at 2:35 AM, Mono said:

If you want to learn riding backwards without practicing, here is how I did it: each time when I had to brake to a full stop, I tried to go an inch or two backwards before to step down, increasing the distance after a while when more and more confident... I believe it took about a month or so to get to a confident yard or two with no sweat involved.

That's a really good idea!!!

--

About wobble: I only experienced it once for a few seconds, but I intuitively fixed it by pressing my legs against the wheel so it could physically no longer wobble.

About getting on without walls/poles: get a really empty surface with nothing you could be afraid of to fall on (curbs, anything) and a lot of space ahead of you, and just practice until you stay on. Don't be afraid to go fast right away as this will stabilize you. Forget curves, just try to get on and go straight and fast! Mount, accelerate, you'll stay on longer than you believed you would.

Be extremely picky about putting your first foot on the pedal properly. Readjust until it feels perfect. Only then try to start riding.

About braking: you'll get used to how to brake. For starters, just lean back/put weight on your heels slowly and carefully - or just squat/hunker down, this will automatically shift your center of gravity back.

Compare this to learning to ride a bike. Absolute beginners will also try to brake by sliding their feet along the ground, instead of just using the hand brakes. It's a psychological thing to learn how to brake as you're supposed to.

Edited by meepmeepmayer
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"Cliff tops", oh yeah,  🤔 ,....... yeah! 😂 

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Recently I have seen someone using a broomstick to stay balanced while mounting. I think someone else was mentioning nordic walking poles. That could be an interesting option to be further explored. I found, to my surprise, that trolleying a second EUC makes mounting easier.

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9 hours ago, Mono said:

Recently I have seen someone using a broomstick to stay balanced while mounting. I think someone else was mentioning nordic walking poles. That could be an interesting option to be further explored. I found, to my surprise, that trolleying a second EUC makes mounting easier.

Is this what you had in mind?

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a79db42ee9.jpeg

I DID !!! 😜

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Or this?

a7e2ea03f2.jpeg

 

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Posted (edited)

On 04/03/2017 at 9:27 AM, Smoother said:

Is this what you had in mind?

[...]

I DID !!! 😜

@Smoother, I did not have this in mind and I am quite puzzled by your post, as you were repeatedly complaining about sexualization, female bashing and Asian bride fantasies in this forum, "I think the trend to female bashing EDIT and sexualisation..end edit.. jokes should probably be reigned in a bit". Not that I personally mind much, besides that it seems neither on topic nor relevant, but I can't see how you are leading by example in this.

 

Edited by Mono
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Posted (edited)

Well, I guess you got me there, sort off.  However this is not female bashing, or any particular " fill in the blank " bride fantasy.  Additionally, these are not actual women known to the community, who's images have fueled a weird fantasy; a fantasy that could get back to them and make them uncomfortable, These women are models, unknown to us, who were paid to pose, in full knowledge that the images, specifically, the first one would be viewed and enjoyed by men and other admirers of the female form.

 I can't defend the sexualisation aspect, I would say the imagery is light and not adult rated in any way. It was intended as light humour; a play on your use of the word broomstick, with no group singled out as the victim, or target.  EDIT. as for the sexualisation humour in picture one, the model is clearly in on the joke, and not the butt of it. (No pun intended).

When ever the word broomstick is used in English, without reference to the broom as a whole or the act of sweeping , a witch riding it is often conjured up.  When I went to look for actual " witch riding broomsticks " images, I found this one and thought it was more pleasing to the eye, and I thought our 97% male members might agree.  After that a similar search for Nordic walking sticks followed the same theme.

having said all that, your point is well taken, leading by example, I am not.

 

Edited by Smoother
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3 hours ago, Smoother said:

Well, I guess you got me there, sort off.  However this is not female bashing, or any particular " fill in the blank " bride fantasy.  Additionally, these are not actual women known to the community, who's images have fueled a weird fantasy; a fantasy that could get back to them and make them uncomfortable, These women are models, unknown to us, who were paid to pose, in full knowledge that the images, specifically, the first one would be viewed and enjoyed by men and other admirers of the female form.

 I can't defend the sexualisation aspect, I would say the imagery is light and not adult rated in any way. It was intended as light humour; a play on your use of the word broomstick, with no group singled out as the victim, or target.  EDIT. as for the sexualisation humour in picture one, the model is clearly in on the joke, and not the butt of it. (No pun intended).

When ever the word broomstick is used in English, without reference to the broom as a whole or the act of sweeping , a witch riding it is often conjured up.  When I went to look for actual " witch riding broomsticks " images, I found this one and thought it was more pleasing to the eye, and I thought our 97% male members might agree.  After that a similar search for Nordic walking sticks followed the same theme.

having said all that, your point is well taken, leading by example, I am not.

 

Me like pictures.

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In your experience how long does it take to feel reasonably secure on these things.  I can stay on, go up and do a bit of shopping, but there is always this feeling that I might come off at any time and the wheel will spin off on to the road and possibly hurt someone.  And I still mash up my ankles horribly.  I have taken to riding with sheepskin boots to protect them.

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Took me around 100 km. But I was up an riding around after 15 mins, never hurt my ankles (and never protected them). But still, even after doing 200km I was still improving. Getting routine takes some time, some are faster, others need more time.

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I was up and wobbling on the 4th try whereby I realized I needed to rotate the wheel in the direction that I needed to fall towards. Never hit my ankle but I did have some weird situations dismounting whereby the wheel round rotate 180 then attack me. Vicious brute.

The weak foot muscles from even short distances has been a concern though less now.

I've thought about the out of control wheel. My solution is that if that wheel gets away from you then yell at the person to catch it.

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Lol, get them to catch it!  I will see what I can do.  

 

Oh oh well at least it may come with continued practise.  Thanks for your reply's

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On 23/03/2017 at 7:00 AM, Starry night said:

In your experience how long does it take to feel reasonably secure on these things.

I got rid of the leash after a few thousand km. While, for example, going backwards has by now become pretty natural, I can definitely say that I feel still more confident on a bicycle and I don't think this will change within the next couple of thousand km.

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56 minutes ago, Starry night said:

at least it may come with continued practise

It will! The best way to improve is to keep riding! After riding for a year and a half, I am still noticing improvements in my riding!

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In my experience the shacking wobbling is due to muscle fatigue.  When I was learning I had that issue. Then after three weeks it went away, but it would come back when I went in long rides.  So it is just a matter to training your muscles. shifting the hip and leg length is not the normal way we walk so you need to just keep riding. 

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I believe if your feet are too much forward in the platform, it is more unstable.  Try setting your feet farther back like on or two inches until you find the sweet spot.

 

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Today was my first day. Wow, I'm beat. I went to a school and leaned up against walls until I could go maybe 100 feet or so, falling down and sweating a lot to get there.

 

After that I went to the school track and was able to do 8 laps by starting holding a football tackle dummy who ended up being a pal. I fell once on the 8 laps but had some real sketchy moments. 

 

I did gun it pretty good on a straight away and my 14c speed limit. I was so proud and the one guy jogging was encouraging me. Nice random guy.

 

Gonna try again tomorrow!

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Second day and I'm bruised pretty good on my inner leg. Practicing mount and dismount in my living room since it's pretty rainy. Ouch 

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Omfg! I can turn! This is amazing!

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