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lioku

Riding style: Bumpy roads

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So I've been riding for about a week now on my Glide3/V8. I've gotten fairly comfortable going slow, making tight turns, and riding at speeds up to 15mph on flat surfaces. Recently though I've started to ride on some roads where the asphalt is uneven with slight waves and larger cracks and such. This is unfortunately pretty common in San Francisco where I ride. I've had a few close calls but so far have been able to recover.

I'm curious if you all have some suggestions for how to deal with that type of terrain. Aside from just riding at a slow speed, is this something that will get easier as I build more leg strength? I see people who can ride without touching the wheel, but that still feels a little dicey to me as any slight deviation from perfect balance can kick the wheel to one side or the other. I usually end up with clamping the wheel loosely between my calves. Slow speed tight turns are where I feel the most comfortable since I'm actively moving the wheel around. Also the stakes are a bit lower because everything is in slow motion.

Riding at higher speeds has seemed to become harder since I removed the protective cover due to the thinner profile of the wheel, which makes it harder to hold between my legs. I'll probably put it back on until I'm thoroughly comfortable on a wider range of terrain, or until I can find some padding to thicken the wheel up a bit.

Sorry if that's a lot of different things. Just curious if this begins to feel less dicey with a bit more practice.

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26 minutes ago, Rehab1 said:

Riding for only one week and your already getting comfortable.Excellent!

There is nothing magical about learning to navigate rough patches of road. It just takes time. I like the fact you are realizing the limitations of your wheel as you travel over bumpy terrains.

Yeah! I was surprised that it wasn't more difficult, but then again I'm very aware that I may be a bit "overconfident" since new types of terrain tend to throw me back into noob mode where I'm struggling to regain control.

29 minutes ago, Rehab1 said:

Hopefully your wearing some form of protective gear.

I'm wearing a cycling helmet and the freebie wristguards from ewheels.. Thinking about getting some elbow protection for riding in less comfortable zones, and maybe upgrading to some better wrist protection.

22 minutes ago, stephen said:

don't go fast because you want to try that will come naturally as you ride more and you'll notice that you are gradually getting faster without noticing, always watch the surface i get to relexaed somtimes then i get a reminder to always watch the surface when i hit a bump ??

This feels like good advice. Sometimes when riding in the bike lanes I expect to ride as fast as I would on my bike.. Gotta remember to take it slow >_<.. Definitely easy to get a little complacent. I try to sway a little even when going straight so that my muscles don't go to sleep :P

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i wear these they are very nice to wear as well as my wrist guards and helmet ofc ,I've had a couple of small falls and when i thought that should of hurt it didn't hope it keeps that way??

 

Screenshot_2018-11-01-23-05-21.png

Screenshot_2018-11-01-23-07-57.png

Screenshot_2018-11-01-23-07-05.png

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The contact patch pressure (where the rubber touches the ground) is extremely high, undoubtedly the highest of all terrestrial vehicles, and what that means is that your wheel is prone to digging into soft ground especially if you weigh a lot. Ground that you can float over on, say, a fat tire bike you'll dig in and faceplant with an EUC. And if you try going over wet muddy grass, well, most of us cannot do that.

However, in the city on the hard streets you can and should hit those (reasonable) obstacles at a comfortable speed because it's important to get a very good feel on how an EUC handles under those conditions. If you avoid them then you just have one level of safety (avoidance) but if you practice hitting them then you have two (avoidance and recovery).

Going back and forth over a grassy field, slowly, is invaluable for understanding what to do when your wheel hits a deep hole; you'll get some instinct on when to stay and when to finally bail. I was rarely run over by my own wheel, by the way; it seems stepping off gets easier, not to say it is ever easy or safe, but rather you deal with it much better after a dozen or so tumbles.

 

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5 hours ago, lioku said:

Riding at higher speeds has seemed to become harder since I removed the protective cover due to the thinner profile of the wheel, which makes it harder to hold between my legs. I'll probably put it back on until I'm thoroughly comfortable on a wider range of terrain, or until I can find some padding to thicken the wheel up a bit.

It's so much more comfortable with it on. I don't need it for balance, but when I brace my legs I appreciate the small amount of padding it adds. I never even considered taking it off after I got it. I never thought of it as a training wheel and have no desire to remove it.

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1 week is nothing. Just keep riding and everything will come naturally. Don't force anything, like fast speeds.

And maybe train a little dealing with braking and evading surprise obstacles. That's often where the beginner overconfidence shows.

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6 minutes ago, meepmeepmayer said:

1 week is nothing. Just keep riding and everything will come naturally. Don't force anything, like fast speeds.

And maybe train a little dealing with braking and evading surprise obstacles. That's often where the beginner overconfidence shows.

Absolutely. One of the ways I satisfy my EUC itch between epic trail rides and errands is just playing around the yard chasing the kids or doing figure 8s, etc. Learning to be loose with the wheel, being able to weight shift with the balls of your feet, is invaluable when navigating challenging terrain. Focused skills practice develops preparedness and confidence faster than merely logging miles.

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14 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

And maybe train a little dealing with braking and evading surprise obstacles. That's often where the beginner overconfidence shows. 

13 hours ago, Hermes said:

Absolutely. One of the ways I satisfy my EUC itch between epic trail rides and errands is just playing around the yard chasing the kids or doing figure 8s, etc. Learning to be loose with the wheel, being able to weight shift with the balls of your feet, is invaluable when navigating challenging terrain. Focused skills practice develops preparedness and confidence faster than merely logging miles.

Yaaa I've been taking breaks from work to skip off to the local park and practice braking / tight turns. I find going slow and turning, starting and stopping is so much more fun than going fast anyway. Still working on my yo-yos..

Definitely agree that the V8 is just way more comfortable after putting the cover back on. Eventually I'll try to find some durable padding to replace it with. Gotta show off them LEDs :efee612b4b:

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19 hours ago, stephen said:

i wear these they are very nice to wear as well as my wrist guards and helmet ofc ,I've had a couple of small falls and when i thought that should of hurt it didn't hope it keeps that way??

 

Screenshot_2018-11-01-23-05-21.png

Screenshot_2018-11-01-23-07-57.png

Screenshot_2018-11-01-23-07-05.png

I wonder if that hoodie is sold in the US. Would mind giving us the brand and name of it possibly?

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When I see a unavoidable bump or patches of rough terrain, I kick my wheel out in front of me before impact. Almost like hard braking, but with minimum weight transfer. That way I sorta "bonk" over it and the force pushes the wheel back under me. With time you'll learn how to move around on the wheel without changing your throttle 

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On 11/1/2018 at 10:48 PM, lioku said:

I'm curious if you all have some suggestions for how to deal with that type of terrain.

Be flexible in the knees, do not keep the legs straight or knees locked. To keep the situation under control acquire the reflex to further bent the knees (that is a long process though, if you don't have the reflex already). If in doubt, stay lower. A rule of thumb is that by extending the leg you could reach the street surface with the heel. That works pretty much for any kind of unpredictable terrain or riding situation.

EDIT: two other points, about as important: keep constantly scanning the road surface for irregularities until you have enough experience to do without (it took me far more than a year). Don't go faster than your skills allow (I know, that's a tough one).

Edited by Mono
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Since I am also new to this I am very familiar with what you are going through. At the fifty mile mark I was starting to relax a bit as I had reached that "beginner overconfidence" point when I took my eye off the sidewalk just long enough to miss a 2 inch high jump from one section of the sidewalk to the next. The wheel stopped dead in it's tracks and I did not. I was wearing protective gear including a good bike helmet but that did not help with the "face plant." Now I am wearing a full face Fox Proframe...;)

Now that I have passed the 100 mile mark I find it is much easier to mange the bumps and breaks in the road, so you do learn how to handle the wheel better as you continue to ride.

By the way, I also wear knee pads and they totally saved my knees, so I never ride without them...

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