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I am spending roughly half of my time on the EUC with intentionally learning and improving riding skills (which makes it some +500h and +5000km of deliberately practicing). I like to believe that many if not most of these skills are relevant for riding safety. In this context I started to wonder about skills that would (have some chance to) prevent falls and broken bones and are potentially available too many or most riders. In this thread I am not so much interested in discussing any possible or relevant safety measures and their effectiveness (like awareness and attention, underconfidence, reducing speed, learning to fall, wearing safety gear,...), but in riding skills that can prevent falls and broken bones and specifically the following questions: Q1: Are there specific riding skills that prevent falls (and broken bones)? I think the answer is quite obviously yes. Beginners are much more likely to fall and, when put in the same situation as an advanced rider at the same speed, will hurt themselves badly with quite some likelihood. Q2: Which specific riding skills prevent falls (and broken bones)? Q3: Which specific riding skills that prevent falls (and broken bones) do not come naturally with time? Q4: What are the specific riding skills that prevent falls (and broken bones) that many riders would be willing and able to acquire (or to improve)? I am pretty sure that training for half a year every day for half an hour is not an investment that many people are willing or able to make, that is, the path to the skills I am looking for must be somewhat cheaper. For example, training while on a regular trip anyway, or training half an hour for a week or two. One simple example that comes into my mind: managing longitudinal grooves. When I am not in a hurry and at moderate speed, I often try to scan the surface for longitudinal grooves and ride over them in the most vicious way I can think of. Like this, I get more and more acquainted to and relaxed with this particular challenge. I have seen @Mike Sacristan suggest something along these lines in a vid as well. Q5: THE live saving habit is flexible knees. To be effective, a reflex to bent the knees must be much faster than any consciously taken action can be (hence it is called a reflex). What is the shortest path to acquire flexible knees? I have lately started to consciously always keep the knees in front of my (conceived) center of gravity. This looks like a promising recipe, keeps the knees bent and is easy to do in principle (though it does take a bit of continuous muscle work). How could we actually know its effectiveness? When unexpectedly separating from the wheel, to prevent the body to get into a forward rotation may be the single most important aspect to prevent broken bones. Keeping the knees in front of the CoG should make a body rotation (much?) less likely to be initiated? I also find the conception of moving the wheel (back and forth) under the body quite helpful. This makes me better aware of how bent the knees are: with straightened knees it feels quite uneasy and uncomfortable to move the wheel back and forth under the body.
Alright, after a couple years of owning the SoloWheel Xtreme, and many other electric unicycles, I gotta say, by far, that the Solowheel is the most difficult to ride, by a very large margin. There is no doubt in my mind that anyone used to riding hard settings on wheels such as GotWay models and similar would not be able to ride my Solowheel, at all. Why? Well it's simple, the MASSIVE lean. Accelerating/decelerating, my body leans 45 degrees! Compared to my Gotways which have no lean while moving. Or with King Song which has only like a 5 degree lean, no more. My Xtreme is very weak compared to my other wheels, such as the GW Mten3 and the GW Monster, but believe me, riding the Xtreme is SCARY. Oh boy... It leans like a motherfucker! Jumping down curbs with this wheel is just off the table.
It's my first topic in this forum and my English is not very good. Just let me know if anything not described clearly. Most of the skill rides are best illustrated by videos. However because some reason, I cannot upload any video on youtube and the video I uploaded on youku.com seems not viewable here either. I created animated gif files instead. I've learned all the skills described below and all the videos or gif files are performed by myself. Although these skills are selected to keep less dangerous in mind, one must be very careful and ware proper protective gears when practice and learn these skills in your own risk. 1. Slow ride Slow ride is all about gaining more balance skills because the slower the ride, the more difficult. When ride slow, perceive the slightest trend of off balance and correct it immediately. Arm swing and leg twist may be needed in order to keep balance. 2. One foot ride The keyword is gradual. One foot ride is about the skill, the pain endure and proper position of the foot on the pedal and leg on the side. In normal riding, the body weight is distributed between the feet 50% to 50%. I suggest that you start by 60% to 40%(left foot say) distribution or 67% to 33% at first, that is, put more weight on the left foot and less weight on the right foot but without actually lifting. Try to ride this way a longer distance with normal situations (accelerate, slow down, right turn and left turn) and also try to put more and more weight on your left foot until you put most of the weight on you left foot. At this time, the right foot only barely touched the pedal and used only for emergency. When you have ridden this way for about 2km to 5km, you will surely can lift your right foot entirely. The same applies for right foot. I suggest that right foot and left foot practice alternatively. In this way, one foot practice can be done in normal ride. Unfortunately, I don't have a one-foot video, I use one-foot up slope instead. The slope is 20 degrees. 3. One foot small circle One foot inward turn is natural and easy. More turns continuous become a circle and circles can be reduced in diameter by more practice. 4. Sharp 180 degrees turn Again this can be mastered by reducing the diameter of the turning circle gradually. When down to a very sharp turn, it require the coordination of the upper body with lower legs. You have to turn your upper body and arms first and then the turn of your legs. 5. 180 degrees twist The sharpest 180 degrees turn is when the diameter become zero, that is, the wheel will just turn 180 degrees on the spot. After the twist, you continue the route where you come from. When perform the twist, first with your arms open and turn your upper body 90 degrees or slightly more if you can without leg turn, and then make you arms and upper body turn suddenly in the reverse direction and turn your legs(and the EUC) in the right direction at the same time. At first, you may only twist 90 degrees say, but with more practice, you will twist more and finally reach 180 degrees or even more. 6. Reverse ride There are several ways to start the practice. One way is to find a wall and ride alongside of it. It did not agree to me. Rather, I find an open space with no obstacle so that it won't necessary for me to look behind when backward, which is not easy for people barely able to ride backward. The use of strap is recommended since it will avoid the fall of the EUC when off balanced and will re-start practice quick and with ease. Start reverse either by stand still or forward-stop-backward. I use the later. One the EUC start moving backward, try to remain constant speed at about 3 to 5km/h, similar to walking speed. If the speed is too low, it's difficult to balance. If the speed is too high, it's dangerous because you off balanced at high speed, you will fall when backward pace is slow. If you becoming too fast and you cannot make it slow, just jump off at earliest possible moment. When slightly off balanced, twist you legs at the direction to be fall. Learning backward ride is difficult and the best time to learn is after two months of normal ride or you have ridden more than 100km. I cannot find any reverse video of me alone but here is something more including reverse. 7. Forward and backward without interruption This skill requires the conversion from forward to backward and from backward to forward. The backward to forward conversion may be more difficult as there is a moment that the EUC stand still completely. I did not find any video of me riding this way but there is a photo of tracks on the snow: 8. Pendulum Pendulum refers to the short forward and backward without interruption where the head does not move but only the lower body especially the EUC moves back and forth. I looks like a pendulum from sideway. The track on the snow ground showed that I was doing pendulum with shift last winter: 9. Idling There are three idling techniques as far as I know, they are: -- small pendulum -- both feet twist -- one foot stand still balance I can do the first one which is basically small version of the pendulum where only the legs moves in a small range and large part of the body remains relatively still. I can also do the twist idling. Of course, there are slight back and forth movement evolved with the twist. By combination of small pendulum and twist, One can idling in a small place for a very long time. However, I cannot do the one foot stand still balance very well, I'll skip the video. 10. 180 degrees twist reverse This skill is useful when you need to ride in reverse in the same direction taking photo or video of some others. You must master the reverse ride and 180 degrees twist first, and this skill is nothing but the combination of the two.