Jump to content
svenomous

New rider on giant wheel

Recommended Posts

Sounds like a pretty productive first 45 mins, certainly compared to my own experience.

 

I also took delivery of my 18XL today, but have the agonising wait of a full charge now

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great job today! I started the same way as you (minus the strap and the garage though).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@svenomous Wow dude, It sounds like you more or less have it figured out! Really excellent progress. Probably at this point it's just a process of adding data to muscle memory until it becomes second nature.

It does seem like twisting is the key to regaining your balance (as long as you have some speed). That way it sets the direction of the wheel to the direction you're falling in and the wheel can then do the correcting for you. There are lots of videos of guys trying to lean their way out of imbalance, and it's not fast enough at low speeds to correct for the sideways falling acceleration if you know what I mean.

I can't wait for my wheel to arrive. ;)

Did you use the new "Blue" app?

 

Edited by erk1024

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@erk1024, ha if you saw my drunken parabolas (while trying to go in a straight line), and all the arm-waving and corrective "twists," and me talking to myself and to the wheel, and the look of mixed joy and anxiety on my face, and the sweat, and the bleeding finger, and the death grip on the leash, you probably wouldn't say that I have anything figured out.  Several times today I apologized out loud to the nice KingSong voice, agreeing that indeed I need to decelerate, sorry!  But yes, I can step on and move forward, and even sort of steer.  Progress.  I like that I can do it at 3kmh, 5kmh, 7kmh, which is what I promised myself I'd master before I try to accelerate to any real cruising speeds.

As for app, keep in mind I'm on iOS.  Lots of people talk about the app and its various incarnations and their issues/successes with it, but neglect to mention iOS vs. Android.  I feel like often they're talking about Android, but I'm not always sure.  Anyway, I went to the Apple Store, searched for "kingsong," saw an app named "kingsong_NEW" with a white app tile that has the KS logo on it, and that's what I installed. If I go to "Mine" tab (the English in the app is quite a treat), and then "Setting," it says that the app version is "1.2".  This app has worked fine for me so far, although to get into the speed settings I had to create an account, and the phone-number-based account creation wasn't working, so I had to switch to e-mail-based setup.  One thing that worries me a little is that the manual that came with the wheel states that for iOS the app name is "kingsong-New" (instead of "kingsong_NEW"), and in fact insists that this is "the exact one" (as in, after some translation to real English, "the exact app name to look for").  However, that one doesn't exist in the Store, or at least I can't find it. It connects fast and reliably, and reads out the only thing I've cared about so far: battery percentage (which has gone from 100% to 94% so far) and the odometer (distance it claims the wheel has been ridden).  Btw DarknessBot is also working fine, and I've started using that a little, too.  They don't like to be running at the same time, so I force-quit one before switching to the other.  So far, though, I'm riding with all my stuff (phone, wallet, keys) left behing at the car.  Every foreign object on my body is either something that can dig into me and hurt me during a fall, or something (like my phone) that can get crushed/shattered.  No thanks.  I'm going to have to get one of those bulky Otterbox cases for the phone, if I'm ever to feel comfortable carrying it with me on a ride.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done keep up the good progress, did you even think you'd be this far on ?, I'd watched that many videos i was nearly riding in my head lol , it does help, keep your protection on and keep us updated ,your legs will condition and they'll be no stopping you ,,, don't get to confident to early though 😁😊 eyes on where your going , them suprise pot holes/ bumps  are not good 😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've watched all the videos.  All of them!  EUC porn.  And read many threads.  And yes, I've been "training" in my head for weeks while waiting for the wheel to arrive from China via California.  While reading the long sticky thread about learning to ride, I formed a "curriculum" in my head, and then I re-watched all the "learn to ride" videos.  Today I kept telling myself to look where I'm going instead of down at the wheel, to not hold on to the strap as if I'm on water skis, to keep my body upright, to bend my knees slightly, to get that triangle mount right, to keep those ankles away from hitting the pedals, ... oooh, mental overload.  Head full of preconceived thoughts and notions while trying to lock on to the visceral stuff that only comes from actually doing it.  Tonight the hindbrain gets to internalize, and tomorrow we'll see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, svenomous said:

Tomorrow I have a training bike ride in the morning, 50 miles

10 hours ago, svenomous said:

I'll go check it out tomorrow after my bike ride

Does that scream to the high heavens to anyone else?:w00t2:

You're a fast learner apparently, so why don't you disable all speed limits etc. (they're just distractions, you can control your speed yourself), and just go for this ride with your 18XL? It will take however long it takes. Nothing more fun than challenging yourself to stuff like this. This glorious opportunity doesn't come again (I'm dead serious)! Unless your intuition strongly tells you "No!", do it. If you're simply unsure, you'll love you've done it afterwards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, svenomous said:

if you saw my drunken parabolas (while trying to go in a straight line), and all the arm-waving and corrective "twists," and me talking to myself and to the wheel

LOL! :laughbounce2:  I'm sure I'll be doing the exact same thing next week! 

8 hours ago, svenomous said:

Anyway, I went to the Apple Store, searched for "kingsong," saw an app named "kingsong_NEW"

I'm also talking about iOS (that's what you said in your original post). It looks like you are on the NEW app. On the app store there were two apps listed. One was labeled "Kingsong-new" (white background inside the app) and one was "Kingsong_NEW" (blue background in the app) or something like that--not confusing at all. I have both of them at the moment, but it would be great to simplify things and just use the new, new one.

Edited by erk1024
fixed typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, svenomous said:

I've watched all the videos.  All of them!  EUC porn.  And read many threads.  And yes, I've been "training" in my head for weeks while waiting for the wheel to arrive from China via California.  While reading the long sticky thread about learning to ride, I formed a "curriculum" in my head, and then I re-watched all the "learn to ride" videos.  Today I kept telling myself to look where I'm going instead of down at the wheel, to not hold on to the strap as if I'm on water skis, to keep my body upright, to bend my knees slightly, to get that triangle mount right, to keep those ankles away from hitting the pedals, ... oooh, mental overload.  Head full of preconceived thoughts and notions while trying to lock on to the visceral stuff that only comes from actually doing it.  Tonight the hindbrain gets to internalize, and tomorrow we'll see.

This is an uncomfortably accurate description of what I've been doing and thinking. Nervous Laugh. 

Edited by erk1024

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, svenomous said:

I've watched all the videos.  All of them!  EUC porn.  And read many threads.  And yes, I've been "training" in my head for weeks while waiting for the wheel to arrive from China via California.  While reading the long sticky thread about learning to ride, I formed a "curriculum" in my head, and then I re-watched all the "learn to ride" videos.  Today I kept telling myself to look where I'm going instead of down at the wheel, to not hold on to the strap as if I'm on water skis, to keep my body upright, to bend my knees slightly, to get that triangle mount right, to keep those ankles away from hitting the pedals, ... oooh, mental overload.  Head full of preconceived thoughts and notions while trying to lock on to the visceral stuff that only comes from actually doing it.  Tonight the hindbrain gets to internalize, and tomorrow we'll see.

That’s exactly what I did, too! I got my first wheel in January and self-taught just as you are doing, and it worked for me. After some very tiring (and occasionally frustrating) days, the progress starts to quicken and every day is more fun. So don’t give up if you feel like the videos made it look easier than it is.

Also, if you can get video of yourself practicing, it might help. My videos helped me realize that I was bending forward at the waist way too much, on the first couple of days... once I learned to stand up straighter (better upper body posture) and with very slightly bent knees, it got better so much faster.

Best of luck! And have fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You’re doing a fantastic job of learning on your own.  I also learned on my own but didn’t have the forethought to plan.  My pigheadedness just jumped on and tried to ride until my ankles were too sore and bloody, then rinse and repeat.   

Enjoy the ride!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went out for a ride on my new XL today.

Absolute joy of a ride, the large wheel and the XL pedals make it so insanely smooth. I didn't think i'd be pushing the 40km/h lock on the wheel but i'm regularly getting the alarm already, it's just that smooth.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@erk1024, for some reason I can't see the "old new" app on the iOS Store.  I search for "kingsong" and all I get is the "new new" app, and DarknessBot.  But, as the "new new" one is working, I'm not going to complain too much.

@meepmeepmayer, I get what you're saying, but trying to join a group bike ride on an EUC requires ride leader permission (they make exceptions for eBikes and such, but I'm not sure what they would say to one of these contraptions).  Also, I think I'd be crazy to go out in traffic and among pedestrians, not to mention about 20 bikes in my pace group, at this point.  I can barely stay on the machine for a few minutes at a time, with questionable control of where it's going.  I'll up the alarms but won't push it all the way to the current limit (is it 40kmh right now until the full unlock later?), as I like the feedback as I get a little too enthusiastic.  I might even leave the voice on so I can keep a friendly dialogue going.

@Dzlchef, what I see from videos and posts is that everyone does things slightly differently, and ultimately everyone converges in the same place.

Well, I'm back from my ride, and tired.  But, I'm also excited to play with my new toy some more.  Waiting for a bunch of rain showers to finish passing over and I'll be off to find that big parking lot I mentioned yesterday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't mean you should ride with your bike friends. Just the same route as a challenge, however slowly or carefully. Didn't expect a bike training route to have serious traffic and pedestrians (?), guess that idea makes less sense then.

The settings reset might be due to Darknessbot. Third party apps may have default settings and configure the wheel without your notice. Or maybe it's a buggy KS app? There's no other reasons why settings should change if not for an interfering app.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, svenomous said:

I'm back from my 3rd session with the wheel.  The EUC was wearing its EUC Bodyguard cover, and I was wearing: hiking boots high enough to cover the ankles, Giro Switchblade full-face MTB helmet (am reserving the heavier motorcycle helmet for when things gets more serious B)), double-sided Flexmeter wristguards, and G-Form Elite knee and elbow guards.  Upped the speed setting on the wheel to alarm and tilt back at 13kmh (a slight bump up from yesterday).  Strangely, all its speed alarms and tiltback had reset to what looked like default values overnight.  Weird, but it accepted my new values of 0, 0, 13, 13.  Some of the lights settings had gone back to Auto, too, which I believe I've read about and is normal for this wheel (but annoying).

One big takeaway is that I'm far less tired after today's session.  No sweating, less foot and leg soreness.  It was almost pleasant, physically.  This is good, as I started already a little tired (leg muscles are a little weak after a bike ride this morning), and with a stiff back.

As for the venue, boy did I pick the wrong place for privacy!  It's a huge lot that serves a large commercial office building and a church.  The lot is probably a quarter mile long.  I picked the end as far from the church as I could be, and wondered why there were so many recreational vehicles and trucks with recreational trailers scattered around this area.  Found a relatively empty area and got going.  Well, within minutes a steady stream of cars started driving by in the nearby lane, toward the main road from the direction of the church.  For about an hour, cars were leaving, and leaving, and leaving, and I could see everyone turning their heads and staring at me.  And then came whole families walking toward the back part of the lot where I was, and started getting into their RV's and trucks, and they were also ogling at me.  I felt very exposed!  I think I've served today as an advertisement, a beacon for EUC awkwardness, to many hundreds of people.  Not going there again, especially tomorrow, Sunday, when there are multiple services advertised to happen at the church.  On the way home I found a nice big deserted commercial loading dock area that looks perfect for tomorrow's practice, though!

One guy came walking over and said hi, and wanted to know what this thing was.  "Cool," was the reaction, and he walked away.  Later a car slowed, a window rolled down, and again, "what's that?"  I told him, he wished me good luck with the learning process, and then he stayed there idling and watching me for a while.  This was of course when I was at my most awkward!

As for the actual learning process:  Took a couple of minutes to get back to what I had achieved in the park & ride lot yesterday.  A little initial hesitation with mounts and balancing as the wheel speeds up.  Soon I was moving past where I was at yesterday, though.  My main achievement today was to learn that you don't move the upper body at all.  You move the EUC to lean it and balance it, while the upper body remains motionless relative to the ground (more or less).  I knew this already, of course, intellectually, but today I learned it viscerally.  Essentially, the tightness of a turn is a function of how far I can twist/tilt my hips and bend my knees without my upper body following suit.  After an hour I reached the point where I could reliably pass over a point I picked, get onto and follow a straight line (using the lines drawn on the asphalt for car stalls), and make pretty wide turns.  My biggest problem right now is that turns get a little out of control sometimes (over-steep), and that my speed control isn't very good while in the turn (so my forward/backward balance shifts a little while leaned into the turn).  I'm also hesitant to do brute-force torso-twisting turns, and I think that's because it feels less controlled and it's hard to predict exactly how many degrees of rotation each "twist" is going to achieve.  Getting better, though.  Lots of circles, slowly tightening in radius, and then a bunch of figure-8's.  I was using a storm drain cover as my reference point for these maneuvers, passing over the cover for the figure-8's (to add a little intentional roughness to the ride as well).  No falls today, by the way, which figures since I was wearing the gear.  As soon as I take it off I'll fall for sure.  Experienced tilt-back for the first time today (several times), since the tilt-back was set to the same speed as the speed warning, so it was actually happening before the warning most times.  It was good to get a feel for what that's like.

One other challenge is the step-on itself.  I can carefully position the first foot, which I prefer to keep a little bit outward on the pedal to give my leg more room to tilt the wheel back and forth without hitting, but when I step up the other foot I don't always land it where I intended on the pedal, and then it's hard for me to shift it to where I want it without wobbling and destabilizing the whole ride.  I'll have to do some exercises where I intentionally lift a foot while riding in a straight line, and properly shift my body to make the wheel lean against the other leg and to keep the whole system in balance and moving forward.  If I can achieve this, I'll be able to move a foot deliberately without dismounting first.

I'd say I could now follow a path (like a trail or sidewalk), and maybe deal with very sporadic pedestrians/bikes...given enough time to see them and plan my path.  However, I'm nowhere near being able to make sudden unexpected maneuvers, or tight turns, or even precision curved paths in general, which means I'm not ready to be safely in public yet.

The wheel's now at 92% charge, same original 100% charge I started with yesterday.

Tomorrow I'll just build on today, try to increase tightness of turns, precision of turns (they don't always go the way I plan them), precision paths over pre-picked points, and that foot-lifting exercise I mentioned above to allow me to shift my foot positions at will.  If I feel really good about my progress tomorrow, I might venture onto a sidewalk in my residential neighborhood, and actually go somewhere (somewhere close, and slow, and possibly with dismounts at the first sight of a pedestrian).

Here's a video of me at about the 1-hour mark today (right after the long procession of churchgoers on their way home had ended), doing a couple of figure-8's and a couple of circles.  The angle is not very good (need to get a tripod), and the camera isn't centered on my "arena" very well, sorry.  The beeping is the wheel indicating a BLE connection to DarknessBot every time I get near the camera (which is my iPhone).  There are a couple of "please decelerate" warnings, because of course I kept hitting the 13kmh tiltback.  Arms are a-flailing, wheels are a-weaving, and precision is a-lacking, but I'm proud of it anyway.  If you look closely at the very end you can see how chewed up the bottoms of the pedals are already.  The Bodyglove unfortunately can't protect that area.  It's doing a great job for the wheel in general, though, except a couple of times a two of the bottom tuck-under tabs have come loose and had to be re-tucked.  All that pedal-bottom damage comes from the first few minutes in the garage and parking lot yesterday, including during the face-plant where I couldn't use the strap to keep the wheel from truly falling down.  Battle scars!

 

Good ! Congrats ! Remembers me an myself 5 years ago !!! Lot of fun since, and I just can't imagine how was my life before EUC !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You’re doing good! I think now would be a good time to lose the strap, so your turns will get symmetrical, and you’ll have your upper torso free to balance as you start to learn tighter turns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost 2 hours this morning.  Did stop using the strap.  Upped speed limit to 15kmh.  Switched from the Giro Switchblade MTB full-face I was using yesterday to the Bell MX-9 Adventure motorcycle helmet (with the visor up).  The Bell is slightly heavier as one would expect, but nice and tight.  I think I bought the Giro one size too large, it moves around too much even with the adjustment ratchet tightened down and the strap nice and tight.

Commercial area, loading docks behind a building.  Nobody around == perfect.  Slaloms, figure-8's, circles.  No falls, but a couple of single-leg-skating dismounts as my balance got out of whack.  Lost the wheel once, and it just went on its merry way without me, but luckily in a slight lean so it made a big wide circle and found its way right back to me like a boomerang.  The pedal never even scraped.  I find I'm doing best in terms of precision path control when not thinking about my posture and movements, but then I can't make my turns as tight.  More upright posture is more comfortable, but turns are harder to make tight.  Knees-bent posture gets hard on legs and back, but allows for better "leaning" into the turns.  Left the parking lot and went up and down the sidewalk (pavement) a few times, and down a foot trail.  Rough-uneven asphalt/concrete, with cracks, uneven slabs, and some roots, which was good to experience.  Some gentle up and down slopes as well.  Getting more confident, but still less so on turns, especially to the left...this needs more work.

Abour 20 miles on the wheel so far, all in parking lots and loading docks and a garage.  It's at 89% on its first charge.  I think the charge is so high because of the low speed and nearly always level grade, but battery performance seems to be great.

Later this afternoon after a haircut and grocery shopping I plan to leave directly from my house and go explore my residential neighborhood on the sidewalks (no bike lanes yet).  Not venturing out to the main road, just the sleepy quiet condo/townhouse/house complexes around here, and a smattering of joggers and pedestrians, with light vehicle traffic.  Seems about right for my next step.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I think I'm done with my inaugural weekend.  Went out into the neighborhood and rolled down some sidewalks and paved trails around my neighborhood.  First time crossing streets and dealing with oncoming pedestrians and bicyclists (mostly by riding very steadily and slowly past on my side of the path).  A couple of walkers/joggers were going my way, and I successfully slowed and stayed behind them, all the way down to walking pace.  Doing pretty well at low-speed straight-ahead handling.  Also more bumps, curb lips, street-to-curb-to-street transitions, and other unexpected roughness to help me learn to deal with holding leaning angle (and speed) and doing shock absorption with my knees.  One oncoming kid stopped his bicycle while I was still a few hundred feet ahead of him, and stared, wide-eyed, as I rode past.  This is not an activity for people who like anonymity.  Another new experience was trying to keep balance while raising an arm (to scratch my nose, or to wave) and turning my head sideways to look for crossing traffic. Had a couple of wobbles with arm/head movements, but got better at it over time. I can look 90 degrees left and right, for a moment, without going into a bush or ditch.  Yay.  Looking overy my shoulder will have to wait, and I haven't had the brain CPU cycles available to try out my wrist mirror yet, even though I was wearing it today.  I've mostly stopped waving my arms about, they just hang limp at my sides...except during turns, when they suddenly start pendulum swings to assist in CG shifts, I guess.  It's unconscious and I'm just going to leave it to sort itself out.  Stopped wearing the hiking boots this morning, as I've only hit my ankles on the pedals a total of 3 times since Friday, and none of the hits was hard enough to warrant extra protection.  Was just wearing normal walking shoes this morning and afternoon, and no hits or damage was incurred.  No falls today.

Mounts are still too uncertain, with a lot of stepping off and trying again, either to get the foot in just the right spot on the pedal, or because the initial motion is too unstable (like the wheel ending up in a hard lean that I can't correct out of as I speed up).  I need to practice starting on one foot and bringing the other foot up more slowly and deliberately instead of quickly popping it up onto the pedal.  Just generally I need to practice for confident mounts that lead consistently to predictable initial forward motion.  Once mounted, although I can very slightly shift a foot via incremental nudges that invariably induce a wobble, I haven't quite mastered how to lean the wheel against the other leg and put all my weight on that side so I can freely move the opposite foot around on its pedal.  Btw my feet get upset with me after a few minutes, especially the balls of the feet which actually get numb after a while, along with the toes.  It's better the farther forward I stand on the pedals, but there's a point where I feel precariously perched.  Also, I'm more comfortable the further outboard my feet are on the pedals, with part of the shoe overhanging to the side, as otherwise I feel like I'm clenching my legs against the body of the machine, and I feel restricted in my turning ability.  I prefer the wheel chassis to be barely touching my calves, more of a light hug than a clench, and if my feet are centered ont he pedals that isn't possible.  Maybe my calves are just too fat.

My turns are still not assured enough to feel truly safe among obstacles (pedestrians).  This morning at the loading dock there was a ramp that let me practice going up a light grade (5ft vertical over 20 ft horizontal) and making a tight U-turn at the top (within the available width of the ramp), and I got to about 50% success rate of making the turn in either direction without either losing too much speed and dismounting due to low-speed wobble, or having too wide a turning radius and dismounting for fear of hitting the edge of the ramp.  More practice needed.  I'm going on a trip this week, but before I go I have a couple more opportunities for evening rides, and plan to go back out to the loading dock or the park & ride for practice, and some more neighborhood cruising.  Next weekend I'll be on a hiking trip, but the weekend after that my plan is to drive down to the local park (Marymoor Park) and take the wheel onto the Sammamish River trail, which is paved and travels north along a river for several miles from the park, and which on a weekend will be clogged with people and dogs and bicycles.  I have 2 weeks to get ready for this acid test.  Btw for my neighborhood ride I upped the speed limit to 20kmh, which felt plenty fast enough for my current confidence level.  I turned all the lights off in the garage before I left (the LEDs and the headlight), but when I got home I noticed the headlight was on, and the app confirmed that all the LED spectrum and whatever modes were back on automatic.  Didn't even use the app during the ride, so I don't understand why those settings keep changing (back).  Wheel total mileage (per the wheel, don't know true GPS mileage) is 27 miles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you're going to finish learning to ride before my wheel shows up. It's making it's way across the country to Ft. Lauderdale, FL...

 

WheelAsOfMonday.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nah, the weekend was the honeymoon phase, and the initial "click" to be able to balance on the machine.  Now I have to juggle work and other distractions, and progress will slow a lot.  At best I'll get in a couple of evening rides this week, and nothing next weekend as I'll be out of town (I'm already preemptively sad!).  I think that gaining confidence and being able to mount confidently (and consistently), and being able to move the thing around somewhat "nimbly" is going to take a quite a bit of time.  I can ride it down a sidewalk at up to 20kmh, sure, but I feel stiff and on the edge of disaster most of the time while doing it.  Still, this is a fun toy!  Definitely have a little bit of time tonight, maybe 90 minutes after I bike home from work and before the sun sets, and it's nice weather, so will get some more practice in today.  The focus will be on going back to a parking lot and practicing, vs. actually riding somewhere, as the latter involves a lot of straight-ahead and I need mounts/dismounts and lots and lots of maneuvering.

@erk1024, I look forward to reading about your learning experience soon!  It's almost there, just a couple more days!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, erk1024 said:

I think you're going to finish learning to ride before my wheel shows up. It's making it's way across the country to Ft. Lauderdale, FL...

Holy **** that image is just plain cruel:efee96588e: How long have you been tracking this US map? Hoping you get your wheel soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, meepmeepmayer said:

Holy **** that image is just plain cruel:efee96588e: How long have you been tracking this US map?

Since Thursday night. Thanks! I ordered it March 20, knowing it was out of stock and I'd have to wait for a new shipment. But then the ship was a day late, and there was a big delay in customs, and now I get to watch it crawl across the country at around 800 miles per day. It's getting here. Should arrive on Wednesday. But I am excited to ride it, so waiting sux. 

You have to laugh though. Modern problems: "my computerized self balancing lithium ion wheel is taking too long on it's journey from China" is not a thought I would have had a couple months ago. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...