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How the hell do you do this? [Day 2 learning to ride - Video]


Alex_from_NZ
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While I enjoyed seeing you roll around on the ground in agony, you're crashing too much. And hitting the ground, and spending useless time in one spot with a broom. Until you let your wheel spin up to get that gryro working, you won't get anywhere.

Instead of going five meters then falling off, wouldn't it be better if you went five meters, started falling, got corrected, and went on another five meters, and so on until everything stabilized as you sync everything up?

Can you find a person who rides a bicycle, and have them ride next to you? You simply hold underneath their seat in a non-gay way, and your instabilities get transferred to them, and they deal with them. And in a very short time, with little danger, you're riding well enough.

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14 minutes ago, LanghamP said:

While I enjoyed seeing you roll around on the ground in agony

I am glad. 

14 minutes ago, LanghamP said:

you're crashing too much.

Agreed. 

14 minutes ago, LanghamP said:

And hitting the ground

Part of the crashing I suppose.. 

14 minutes ago, LanghamP said:

and spending useless time in one spot with a broom.

Just on and go First Tryyy, Braille Skateboard style?

I like it. I will go "balls to the wall" next time.  I think literally, next to a wall on pavement as I think the AstroTurf was not the best to twist about on to keep from falling. 

14 minutes ago, LanghamP said:

Until you let your wheel spin up to get that gryro working, you won't get anywhere.

Understood. 

14 minutes ago, LanghamP said:

Instead of going five meters then falling off, wouldn't it be better if you went five meters, started falling, got corrected, and went on another five meters, and so on until everything stabilized as you sync everything up?

That is the plan. 

14 minutes ago, LanghamP said:

Can you find a person who rides a bicycle, and have them ride next to you? You simply hold underneath their seat in a non-gay way, and your instabilities get transferred to them, and they deal with them. And in a very short time, with little danger, you're riding well enough.

This sounds like a fantastic idea, I was too eager to get on and try it out in the daytime I didn't wait for someone to help me balance. I will definitely try this next time. 

Cheers, 

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If you insist in going at it alone, then just practice getting off the wheel. Hop on the wheel using your broomstick then hop off, and catch your wheel by the handle if you can. On and off, maybe a hundred times, until you can step off the wheel in a graceful manner, from the front and the back, and without bashing legs, firmly with both feet hitting the ground at the same time.

Dismounting involuntarily from a crash is likely to result in injury, and indeed that's what I did initially on my first day. A few falls made me rethink my EUC riding.

Bonus: pull the trolley out while dismounting. With the MSuper (I think that's what you have) you'll reach down between your legs to grasp the trolley handle, then hop backwards while standing up. When you finally learn, of course your backwards hop translates into the wheel continuing forward while you end up in one spot. You should be able to do this with the broom.

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Work on your starts. Put your dominant foot on the pedal (like you were doing in the beginning with your exercises) but let the wheel lean into your shin in order to stay in a straight line with your line of sight. It will hurt like hell. Get your momentum going forward as you kick away from the ground with your left foot, bring it to the pedal, and continue to lean forward. People describe it as sort of a skateboard kick. This is IMHO an essential skill. Trying to just hop on a stationary wheel and take off is needlessly difficult and, as you can see now, potentially dangerous. I personally was never one to use a object to assist mounting, except the day I bought my first wheel and I “surfed” around our minivan. Look for control and meaningful trials.

Edited by Hermes
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That was amusing (and slightly hair-raising) to watch. I also enjoyed seeing you roll around on the ground in agony:efee8319ab:

  • Get rid of the leash (on the wheel, it's fine on the dog:efeebb3acc:). You're on grass, what's going to happen? It just distracts you mentally. And stops you from standing straight and relaxed. And it's dangerous: the leash is why the wheel hit your knee. TWICE! Otherwise you'd just have taken a zippy, easy step forward and that would have been it. This video is essentially an anti-leash PSA.
    (I'm against grass and leashes on principle, leashes are unsafe and grass makes it harder to learn, especially on a Z10 where any imbalance deflects the tire to God knows where. Half of your wobbles is the grass adding extra wobble to an already wobbly learner. You're learning on malicious jello instead of firm ground. And it makes really no sense to have both grass and a leash, that's like masochism:efeff54d4a::efee612b4b:)
  • SPEED! You wouldn't learn to ride a bicycle by standing still and balancing on it. Step on your Z and GO! Speed stabilizes you. If it's too slow for a bike to be stable enough, it's too slow for a EUC to be stable enough.
  • 2 steps to learn:
    1) Hold on to a wall/pole and stand on the thing, still. Move it back and forth below you to get an idea of how you move it with toe and heel pressure. Essentially what you did with the broom, but something fixed (where you can stand straight and relaxed) is better. The grass did make that part harder due to the initial resistance to rolling.
    2) Once you can do that, just start in the open and step on (or step on while holding on to something) and GOOOO (SPEEEEED!). The grass also clearly made gaining speed harder for you when you started from your broom position (in addition to constantly deflecting you at speed).
    Only thing to know is to step on with the ground/second foot next to the wheel, not in front or behind it, so you're balanced and won't instantly wipe out because the wheel accelerates due to the uneven pressure. And then, just go for speed.
    If you don't know how to brake, just bend our knees/squat and you will brake. Don't worry about that. Worry about getting to speed. (Not that you could keep it on uneven grass and with the wide Z10 tire:efeebb3acc: Riding forecast: wobble time, forced step-off.)
  • The @LanghamP "gay mehod" is ideal because it skips the harder part (stepping on and getting going) and goes right to the easier and important part of just riding (AT DECENT, STABILIZING SPEED!). Naturally, that's the fastest way to learn.

I say: leash=EVIL, grass=EVIL, SPEED SPEED SPEED, WRIST GUARDS whenever you're not on grass, wheel=protected/taped up like crazy because the first fall on pavement will bang it up the most (don't forget the underside of the pedals and pedal brackets).

But in the end, whatever works for you, feels the right thing to do, and is fun is the right thing to do. Enjoy the process, you only get it once. I'm just arguing that leash and grass are not your friends, they're backstabbing saboteurs pretending to be your soft, forgiving, safe, cushy friends (they're not, and the grass has it in for your Z10 extra badly). Need a second opinion to confirm this? Ask your knee lol:efee8319ab:

LEASH? NOT EVEN ONCE! WINNERS DON'T DO GRASS!

Edited by meepmeepmayer
more hatred towards grass and leash added :-)
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Fun fact: Z10 is called ZlO (Evil) in Russian.

I was learning on Z10 from zero, couple month ago. Pointers from my side: Don't try to stay static. If you going to dismount, jump back and let the wheel roll forward (be prepared to run after it, Z10 is quite stable and it rides quite well with no humans on it). This way it won't hit you. Z10 is quite tough. It won't break, crashing on a grass. It's ok to keep learning sessions short. There are muscles, used for EUC riding, they need to gain strength. It will happen, while you sleep. Watch this: 

 

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7 hours ago, Hermes said:

Work on your starts. Put your dominant foot on the pedal (like you were doing in the beginning with your exercises) but let the wheel lean into your shin in order to stay in a straight line with your line of sight. It will hurt like hell. Get your momentum going forward as you kick away from the ground with your left foot, bring it to the pedal, and continue to lean forward. People describe it as sort of a skateboard kick. This is IMHO an essential skill. Trying to just hop on a stationary wheel and take off is needlessly difficult and, as you can see now, potentially dangerous. I personally was never one to use a object to assist mounting, except the day I bought my first wheel and I “surfed” around our minivan. Look for control and meaningful trials.

As someone whose first wheel was the Z10 I got in late October, I agree 100% with this quoted post. No leashes or holding anything for support. You just have to go for it on that heavy wheel. Forward foot placement and a "kick or skateboard start" made my learning the Z10 light years easier, and I too learned on grass cause I couldn't bring myself to constantly beat it on pavement. The move from grass to hard-packed dirt (a baseball field in my instance) did ease the curve of riding the Z10. My first day was extremely similar to the video above. Second day was so much better with forward foot placement and the kick to get it going. The torque of the wheel took over once I had my feet placed correctly.

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My suggestion is read the other thread about EUC dynamics and tips for beginners.

It's very helpful.  There's a whole bunch of beginner EUC videos - you should do those exercises (spin in place with one foot, get on and off, moving forward with one foot on EUC and other "hopping" along ground - only takes like 20mins).

The "hard" part for me was just trying to go straight for the first time - the actual balancing part.  For me, I had to learn not to "balance" by shifting my weight left and right (the "natural" thing to do).  I had to learn to turn the EUC left and right like many others have said - think of the bicycle wheel.  You don't need to go full tilt, just fast enough to get some forward momentum and maintain it.  I dropped it maybe once during this process as I was careful with it, dismounting was simply getting one foot off to the side.

I spent one hour not getting anywhere before revisiting the forums and some videos, that tip got me going and then finally I could go forward (not very far at first).

Afterwards came learning to shift left and right on the wheel, but in the beginning you need to train your muscle memory to turn it left and right to balance.

At first it's pretty hard, but after your muscles learn it, you can't even think about it anymore you just do it.

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13 hours ago, LanghamP said:

If you insist in going at it alone

1

More i just don't have many people who can help, my wife thinks im crazy and my friends think this is all a bit strange lol.  And to be honest i was too eager to start learning how to ride and didn't want to wait :D 

Quote

then just practice getting off the wheel. Hop on the wheel using your broomstick then hop off, and catch your wheel by the handle if you can. On and off, maybe a hundred times, until you can step off the wheel in a graceful manner, from the front and the back, and without bashing legs, firmly with both feet hitting the ground at the same time.

 

This is excellent advice and i will do just that, thank you.

Quote

Dismounting involuntarily from a crash is likely to result in injury, and indeed that's what I did initially on my first day. A few falls made me rethink my EUC riding.

 

Mine too :D Its funny, you can read as much as you want, watch as much youtube as possible, go over it mentally again and again, but at the end of the day it all means nothing until you know what it feels like under your feet.  Now i feel i have a much better understanding to put to practice many of the lessons on offer.

Quote

Bonus: pull the trolley out while dismounting. With the MSuper (I think that's what you have)

 

No, i have the z10.  I have not installed the trolly handle or mudguard yet as dont want to damage them while learning.

Quote

you'll reach down between your legs to grasp the trolley handle, then hop backwards while standing up. When you finally learn, of course your backwards hop translates into the wheel continuing forward while you end up in one spot. You should be able to do this with the broom.

 

12 hours ago, Hermes said:

Work on your starts. Put your dominant foot on the pedal (like you were doing in the beginning with your exercises) but let the wheel lean into your shin in order to stay in a straight line with your line of sight. It will hurt like hell. Get your momentum going forward as you kick away from the ground with your left foot, bring it to the pedal, and continue to lean forward. People describe it as sort of a skateboard kick. This is IMHO an essential skill. Trying to just hop on a stationary wheel and take off is needlessly difficult and, as you can see now, potentially dangerous. I personally was never one to use a object to assist mounting, except the day I bought my first wheel and I “surfed” around our minivan. Look for control and meaningful trials.

I think you are both correct.  I will put more practice into mounting and dismounting next.  Doing the circle turns on the spot and the hop on, and hop off both feet at once as you advise.  Its funny, the Mini Pro was similar in that everything became a lot easier, more fluid, smoother etc once i mastered getting on and off the unit in movement rather than at a standstill.

8 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

That was amusing (and slightly hair-raising) to watch. I also enjoyed seeing you roll around on the ground in agony:efee8319ab:

 

You are welcome :D :lol: 

Quote
  • Get rid of the leash (on the wheel, it's fine on the dog:efeebb3acc:). You're on grass, what's going to happen?
 

You are 100% correct, in the end, i found it was hampering me and ended up stuffing it into my pocket so my hands were free.  I should of just taken it off though. 

Quote
  • It just distracts you mentally. And stops you from standing straight and relaxed. And it's dangerous: the leash is why the wheel hit your knee. TWICE!

 

 

I agree, but just to be clear the wheel didn't hit my knee.  I landed on my left foot at a weird angle trying not to step on the wheel as i came off.  When i did so i either twisted it or bent it back the way it isn't meant to bend.  I should have stopped there as i could still walk, but I'm a fool and think I'm still 17 so persisted until i landed funny on that leg again and realized I'm now old. :lol: 

Quote
  • Otherwise you'd just have taken a zippy, easy step forward and that would have been it. This video is essentially an anti-leash PSA.
    (I'm against grass and leashes on principle, leashes are unsafe and grass makes it harder to learn, especially on a Z10 where any imbalance deflects the tire to God knows where. Half of your wobbles is the grass adding extra wobble to an already wobbly learner. You're learning on malicious jello instead of firm ground. And it makes really no sense to have both grass and a leash, that's like masochism:efeff54d4a::efee612b4b:)
1

Yeah, fair call.  Next time i will be on pavement i think and next to a wall and with more padding on the z10 so im not afraid of dropping it :D 

Quote
  • SPEED! You wouldn't learn to ride a bicycle by standing still and balancing on it. Step on your Z and GO! Speed stabilizes you. If it's too slow for a bike to be stable enough, it's too slow for a EUC to be stable enough.
1

I didnt feel like i was going THAT slow.  But maybe you are right and i need to get up to 10kph before i can find my stability, and then bring speed back down.

Edited by Alex_from_NZ
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8 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

1) Hold on to a wall/pole and stand on the thing, still. Move it back and forth below you to get an idea of how you move it with toe and heel pressure. Essentially what you did with the broom, but something fixed (where you can stand straight and relaxed) is better. The grass did make that part harder due to the initial resistance to rolling.

Agreed, i will be finding a wall and pavement next time.

8 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:


2) Once you can do that, just start in the open and step on (or step on while holding on to something) and GOOOO (SPEEEEED!). The grass also clearly made gaining speed harder for you when you started from your broom position (in addition to constantly deflecting you at speed).

Yeah, once i dropped the broom as i went it left a lot easier.  Same with the leech.  I think you are right, once I'm comfortable on the wheel, and once I'm comfortable getting on and off, then i need to just get on and go. 

8 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

 

LEASH? NOT EVEN ONCE! WINNERS DON'T DO GRASS!

I agree with everything you said, but right now the grass is helping with the pain :D 

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6 hours ago, Sergei Dubovsky said:

Fun fact: Z10 is called ZlO (Evil) in Russian.

I was learning on Z10 from zero, couple month ago. Pointers from my side: Don't try to stay static. If you going to dismount, jump back and let the wheel roll forward (be prepared to run after it, Z10 is quite stable and it rides quite well with no humans on it). This way it won't hit you. Z10 is quite tough. It won't break, crashing on a grass. It's ok to keep learning sessions short. There are muscles, used for EUC riding, they need to gain strength. It will happen, while you sleep. Watch this: 

 

Great video, thank you for sharing this!

I find it still rather difficult to control the wheel with my leg, doing the arcs and turning it - it seems quite heavy (obviously it is).  I wonder if my foot placement is having an effect.  Can i ask, do you have your dominant foot right in on the peddle, so your ankle is touching the unit?  Is your foot perpendicular to the unit, or are you toe or heel angled in?

Thanks again!

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I learned on a Solowheel original and I gotta strongly throw my hat in for the "Skateboard Kick" learning method!

I'm a righty, but I always start with my left foot on the pedal, the inner pad leaning into my left shin makes 2 points of contact (foot + shin) to balance with. Then pushing/kicking forward to get moving. I always start with my non-dominant leg/foot on the pedal and push, then step up with my dominant foot.

Keep it up!

Edited by Snack
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5 hours ago, Girth Brooks said:

As someone whose first wheel was the Z10 I got in late October, I agree 100% with this quoted post. No leashes or holding anything for support. You just have to go for it on that heavy wheel. Forward foot placement and a "kick or skateboard start" made my learning the Z10 light years easier, and I too learned on grass cause I couldn't bring myself to constantly beat it on pavement. The move from grass to hard-packed dirt (a baseball field in my instance) did ease the curve of riding the Z10. My first day was extremely similar to the video above. Second day was so much better with forward foot placement and the kick to get it going. The torque of the wheel took over once I had my feet placed correctly.

Thank you for your comments.  Its encouraging to note im not by myself or my experience on day 1 was not dissimilar to others.  Gives me hope for myself still!

Once i can walk on my knee again i will do as you suggest.  Im watching allt he videos again at the moment :) 

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12 minutes ago, Snack said:

I learned on a Solowheel original and I gotta strongly throw my hat in for the "Skateboard Kick" learning method!

I'm a righty, but I always start with my left foot on the pedal, the inner pad leaning into my left shin makes 2 points of contact (foot + shin) to balance with. Then pushing/kicking forward to get moving. I always start with my non-dominant leg/foot on the pedal and push, then step up with my dominant foot.

Keep it up!

I gotta say, once i learned this on the MiniPro it became a lot easier to ride overall.  I imagine you are correct and the same thing applies here as well.  I will def be practising this.

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52 minutes ago, Alex_from_NZ said:

I agree, but just to be clear the wheel didn't hit my knee.  I landed on my left foot at a weird angle trying not to step on the wheel as i came off.  When i did so i either twisted it or bent it back the way it isn't meant to bend.  I should have stopped there as i could still walk, but I'm a fool and think I'm still 17 so persisted until i landed funny on that leg again and realized I'm now old. :lol:

Whatever it was, it wouldn't have happened without the leash. Both times. It seems obvious you had some hesitation/distraction from the leash. Bad leash!:efee47c9c8:

53 minutes ago, Alex_from_NZ said:

I didnt feel like i was going THAT slow.  But maybe you are right and i need to get up to 10kph before i can find my stability, and then bring speed back down.

10kph isn't that fast, that's 1.5 times walking speed. More speed would stabilize you more. Don't be afraid (that's why you and the wheel should be protected well). But the grass most likely ruined any chances of stability at this speed anyways, it's like little gremlins poking the tire at random times and in random places, so whether 10kph is fast enough or not is moot. Bad grass!:efee47c9c8:

I think you'll find it much easier on pavement. Hoping your knee doesn't hurt for too long. Taking enough breaks is great for learning because your brain needs the time, too, but a forced break is another thing:efee8c29ce:

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Just wanted to say, trying the skateboard kick can lead to a nice wipeout. Happened to me on the first day with the wheel, where I stood on it (inside) along a wall to try it and then thought "ok let's try stepping on in the open". Didn't work - I wasn't centered, so as soon as my foot left the floor and I put weight on the first pedal, the wheel sped up and I flew backwards. If it weren't for the carpet, my elbows might have had a bigger problem than a little carpet burn. So be careful not to force this too early.

That's why I advocate starting to ride (at speed) from a wall/pole for the first few attempts, so you're a bit more sure you're centered when you try free mounting. That's where the circle excercises etc help, too. It also gives you a nice sense of achievement because riding is easier than free mounting and then riding.

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I remember my first days i thought I'd never do it but 4 hours later i was going ,,not good but i was going lol,, just keep practicing something will just kick in and youll think thats it! I've got it ,then  just keep getting on it day by day getting better and better, keep in there mate prove your wife and mate wrong it wasnt a waste of money after all it was the best thing you ever bought .

I like watch my first learning vids back 😀 and what i do now..heres one

 

 

Edited by stephen
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3 minutes ago, stephen said:

I remember my first days i thought I'd never do it but 4 hours later i was going ,,not good but i was going lol,, just keep practicing something will just kick in and youll think thats it! I've got it ,then  just keep getting on it day by day getting better and better, keep in there mate prove your wife and mate wrong it wasnt a waste of money after all it was the best thing you ever bought .

Bloody oath to this mate. :eff00eab1e:

3 minutes ago, stephen said:

I like watch my first learning vids back 😀 and what i do now..heres one

 

Sweeeeeeet, thats some inspirational progress alright  :thumbup:

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3 hours ago, Alex_from_NZ said:

Great video, thank you for sharing this!

I find it still rather difficult to control the wheel with my leg, doing the arcs and turning it - it seems quite heavy (obviously it is).  I wonder if my foot placement is having an effect.  Can i ask, do you have your dominant foot right in on the peddle, so your ankle is touching the unit?  Is your foot perpendicular to the unit, or are you toe or heel angled in?

Thanks again!

That's the part, I am still trying to figure out. Sometimes, parallel feels better, sometimes, slight angle is preferred. Idea is to keep most comfortable stance. About the control - it should not feel heavy. If you are dragging the wheel forward - it will be heavy. Let it roll by pressing toes slightly forward. I was trying to place heels slightly forward on pedals, it felt weird with my size 13 shoes. I swear, my toes were sticking from the front of the wheel.

Try to start with wheel at angle, as Simon demo on YouTube. Find an angle, where wheel's weight is compensated by your weight. Kick with the foot on the ground and you will end-up on the wheel almost magically.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not wanting to hijack anyone's thread, but being at a similar stage of learning, I thought I'd contribute my level of progress as an over 60 year old guy also trying to master this beast. 

Day 1, spent an hour hanging onto sidewalk railings and grabbing onto tennis court chain link fences.  2 meters was about all I could get without crashing. The railings and fences were somewhat counterproductive, I kept reaching for them from too far away instead of rebalancing.

Day 2, an hour of pole to pole under covered parking.  Pendulum swinging works ok, 6 meters before falling, whoo hoo!

Day 3 and 4.  An hour each day in a smaller cement patio region at home.  Worked on one foot techniques like pivoting in a circle, and bunny hopping/skipping. Worked up from a couple inches per hop to eventually a couple feet.   

Ah-hah moment came when I realized I could not steer the EUC with my single foot and ankle, the foot pads were too slippery and my ankle muscles too weak.  Twisting my body to steer wasn't working either; wheel kept stubbornly turning the other direction. Then it dawned on me that the wheel was just going where my knee was pointed.  Aim my kneecap where I wanted to go and the rest followed. Obvious in hindsight, right?

Area was too small to practice much riding, but did manage to go about 4 meters and feel like I was mostly in control.

I'm learning on a KS14C. So far haven't fallen, have full protection including shin protectors so my calves and ankles aren't too sore.

For you experienced riders, does this bring back any memories?

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