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ColinOldAndCranky

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About ColinOldAndCranky

  • Rank
    Newbie
  • Birthday 03/22/1952

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  • Location
    East Perth, WA, Australia (the west coast)
  • EUC
    (Not electric) Nimbus 24"
  1. A fundamental difference with a giraffe is the slowness at which things happen as the wheel below shifts back and forth relative to the rider on top. As a result they are far easier to ride than a normal unicycle. Totally forgiving in fact. My first thought on your project is whether or not the software will still work. It is possible that for given angle of lean (forward for example) may be sensed as the rider being only so far forward of the contact point of the wheel when the rider will be, in fact, a lot further forward. Will the wheel's smarts be fooled into only responding as if the distance is shorter? Or will kit cope. (My uninformed bet is it will.) Maybe the software will need a bit of tweeking. (I am only surmising as I have no idea of the algorithms involved other than that they derive from the physics of pendulums.) Of course, the real problem is going to be "how the hell do I mount it!" There are a few methods of free mounting a giraffe but I can't see any of them being appropriate to something without peddles. After all, when you come off accidentally, a remount using ladders and walls look SOOOO uncool. :/ I personally know only two people who can free-mount a manual giraffe. So if you manage it on an electric then you will be a rare person indeed. BTW congrats and good luck in your efforts on a REAL unicycle.
  2. Clearly the sorts of devices that you list could not be accommodated in over head cabin lockers. So they would need to be placed in the hold. However the batteries will be LiOn and they are not permitted to be carried in the hold. They have to go on as accompanied cabin luggage. If the battery can be removed the devices will be allowed in the hold. However the IATA limits LiOn batteries to a maximum capacity of any single battery to 100Watt Hours. I doubt than any of those devices listed would run on such a low energy. However if the required energy is provided by several physically separable batteries, each complying with the IATA energy limts and sealed and insulated appropriately, they will probably pass muster at check in. Clearly what we need are devices being powered by multiple batteries instead of one big battery. BTW I have, at least a couple of times, carried batteries totalling in excess of 600 watt hours on QANTAS in the cabin without any hassle.
  3. The most necessary requirement to my mind is not to do with the hardware at all. EPT's fill a solid niche that deserves to be bigger than just a niche. They should be mainstream. One of the things that significantly reduces the chance of EPT's becoming mainstream is legal status. Governments need to accept EPT's as a valid and socially desirable option. Now it could be argued that, in the absence of policing those restrictions by police, people can and do ride them and so the legal restriction have no effect on whether or not EPT's enter into mainstream. However, those restrictions, though not enforced, DO stop active marketing of the products by manufacturers and retailers. And THAT is a substantial brake on whether or not they become ubiquitous. So my "enhancement"? To change laws. (In Western Australia for example, the use of EPT's is restricted to doing so only with machines supplied by a "commercial operator" under the supervision of that operator in one of that operator's organised tours.)
  4. (Preface - I DON'T ride a UEC. I DO have a extraordinary number of kms on unicycles under my belt. I HAVE got many dedicated people onto unicycles.) So...How difficult? Think of a unicycle as a seat on top of a broom stick on top of a ball bearing. I'd suggest that it is more or less as difficult as it would be if you have NEVER ridden a UEC. Bikes, skateboards, even walking, is fairly easy to learn. There is only one thing about a unicycle that makes it difficult to learn. How to keep the wheel from running away from under you, back or forward. On a unicycle you have to constantly adjust the pedal pressure to accelerate and decelerate the wheel that is (approximately) under you to remain (approximately) under you. Because you are constantly in a state of falling either backwards or forwards, the wheel has to hasten back or forward to prevent that. All the time having to also manage the relatively easy task of not falling left or right. This constant adjustment is done over every portion of a rotation of the wheel and has to be both instant and precise. THAT is the reason why a unicycle is difficult to master. On SBU's (self balancing unicycles), Segways, and EUCs the firmware does that for you. After mounting, all that remains for the rider to manage is to direct it and to not fall left of right, a relatively easy task on a body traveling forward. Riders will not have developed engrams ("muscle memory") to manage the forward-aft imbalance. ============================================== For those trying to learn don't give up in hopeless however. Riding a unicycle is a skill, not a talent. Talent you have to be blessed with. But skills can be learned and, with the right instructor, the right unicycle and the right physical environment a person of normal abilities can learn to ride a unicycle. Pretty much every baby ever born learned to walk. It's just that baby never saw walking as optional and kept at it.
  5. Let's assume the argument is not trolling or a parody. For the hell of it. Firstly, I prefer something like "less selfish". So my reaction? I object. I object to the ranking of one good choice over all others. Space is used as a tie breaker between EUCs and another equally valid choice of Electric scooters. On what basis? On the basis of space. I'd suggest that the tiny space that either occupies is insignificant in the grand scheme of ALL the space every person, in a sense, "occupies" (that needed for transport, agricultural space, living space, processing-your-toilet-waste space and the list goes on). But if you need to use a tie breaker then so be it. Reluctantly I'll give EUC's over Electric Scooters by a nose. In the arguments I note that we have left out the significant costs of battery manufacture and eventual disposal. Those are SERIOUS footprints. I'd rank non-electric bikes and skateboards - both very efficient transport options - well in front then. But the kicker is ranking walking and riding as less desirable on the basis that in so doing we have to then replace the energy the body uses that is sourced from agriculture etc. We are conveniently ignoring quality of life things like health and longevity. (We have also failed to account for the environmental and energy costs of the resulting extra health services required btw.) So on THAT rationale the most "ethical" choice is to ditch the EUC*** , sit at home all day and die at an early age with thebody, organs and physical abilities of Jabba the Hutt! The arguments have been crammed into a desired result. This is the lot of our politicians and should be left to them.They are far better at it anyway. Why bother trying to exclude other valid choices? It's not a contest in which we need to finish on top. Just get outside and ride your EUC while being happy that we (well not me, I don't ride an EUC) are doing less damage than if you were driving your car. Interesting subject for a school debating team anyway. ***(don't forget to dispose of the batteries and all other materials in an environmentally responsible fashion while using no energy in doing so)
  6. The yike bike suffers a fundamental flaw, the same flaw that saw penny farthings never very popular and rapidly overtaken as soon as the safety bike was developed. There are lot of other issues with it but basically it's geometry and the centre o fbalance is a deal breaker. It is hard to believe that it escaped the attention of a professional designer. It was recently put up for sale for any takers - the production tools, the design, the patents. I expect it'll go for a fire sale price if at all. Before it was released in 2010 gave it an assessment in the Bicycle Networks Australia which detail the many obvious deficiencies, most of which have probably been identified already in this thread.
  7. I'm interested more is where in Perth they are. Sorry, I should have made my clearer. With the amount of riding I do with a few kms of the CBD I would expect heaps as a form of getting to and from work along Mts Bay Road, the east west railway path, RIverside Drive etc as well as around the Perth Central and Elizabeth Quay train stations, path along the south side of the river from WIndan Bridge to The Narrows. Add to that recreational - I have seen one at Optus Stadium more than once but, offhand, I can't think of another. Maybe it's just that not many have been bought. That would also suprise me, they are not majorly expensive.
  8. Introducing me: No I don't have an EUC but I favour their presence and they are a useful answer to many of the transport issues in a cramped city. I have ridden a unicycle for recreation and genuine transport. While not as universally applicable to filling transport needs as an EUC, for the last six years of my working life (I'm retired) the unicycle was my daily commute - rain or shine - the 18 kms into Perth for every working day bar 4 days off for injury. I'm retired now, arthritis and other issues are catching up and I've moved to the inner city. As a result I do about half the distance each year as I was doing when I retired. But that is still a satisfying amount. I meter my distances and my hope is that I will get to 100,000km before I finally drop off the perch. So far I am 62,000. I hope that I will see a few more EUC's and that if anyone here spots me around Perth, you might stop for a chat and to show me your ride. I'm easy to spot - I'm old, and anyone on a unicycle in Perth who is not performing is probably going to me. Just in case, the the pic below, though I am never that formal, usually just a singlet and black riding knicks. My question - Where are all the EUCs? In my many MANY hours riding around Perth I seldom see an EUC. Which is a pity. Because I have been following the development of them since way back (when the term was SBU - Self Balancing Unicycle - and they were all hand built) with interest. I believe they are, along with the current range of electric skateboards, electric scooters and the like, as close to an ideal form of serious day to day urban transport. They are an answer to many of the problems of congestion, cars, high infrastructure costs and environment. They are light enough that they can be carried if the batteries fail (try carrying a Segway!), you can carry them into shops, the office etc, no need for a lock, they can easily be put in the car boot, they can be taken on public transport. Other than legalities (that'll eventually be sorted out), about the only shortcoming I see is that the batteries are, I assume, to large to take on a commercial passenger aircraft (IATA regulations limit to 100Watt-Hours). Hardly a significant issue for most people. So, where are all your EUCs? Where do people ride? Apparently not where I do.
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