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John Eucist

How to ride an electric unicycle - understanding the dynamics

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I just wanted to thank everyone here! I was reading my comments thinking back how do people do this - it came with a lot of time and practice. I'm much better now making a few practical errands with the wheel even instead of riding it around in practice mode! You were all right and gave great advice :) 

I'm shocked to ask this but how do people do this backwards and forwards motion? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0QvExGPRPA&t=8m43s This looks the same as learning how to ride forwards but backwards. 

I'm also now confident enough to accelerate faster but I find my v8 doesn't do that (or at least to me) fast as an electric skateboard. I'm not sure if it's something to do with the settings or something I can be doing. I'm going to make another post... EDIT: another post here

Edited by Bigwheel
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5 hours of practice over more than a week's time, and I finally am starting to feel a little bit in control of this beast, and using some of the balancing skills I previously developed with this home-made balancing board while waiting for my wheel to be repaired.

Till now I was too concerned I would fall over at speed and twist my ankle to properly correct the cycle when it would tilt left or right, so any extreme lean or wobble and I would prepare to bail if in the open, or reach for a wall/fence/pole/rail (whatever was handy). Too freaked out over the forward motion, or lack thereof (my feet were too far back).

Today I lined up the back of my heel with the back of the pedal, outside of my foot with the outside of the pedal, and just kept my upper torso aimed at the target and used the same balancing motions I learned on the balance board to auto-correct. Can now do 4 or 5 meters in a fairly straight line (my limited space today precluded going further) then brake and stop next to the wall for a quick turn around, rinse and repeat.  Tomorrow will try in a more open space.

Can skip along on one foot but still not touch and glide.  Leaning slightly against a wall to steady myself before hopping on.

Finally had some fun today!  Love reading all the history of others who have gone through this process previously.  Has encouraged me to keep practicing even when it was more frustration than pleasure.

 

20181209_155152.jpg

 

Update:  Got in 2 more hours of practice this week in a slightly larger space, and now I can travel about 10 meters (30 feet) before running out of room,  with about a 70% rate of success (still losing steering control/balance some times), so next session will head out to the empty parking lots and try riding in the wide open spaces ...  Definitely seeing and feeling the improvement with each session, today was more fun than frustration, sometimes it was kind of a zen thing... just think "go there" and the wheel and I did.  Guess you can teach an old dog new tricks :D

Edited by Thai-lad
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On 9/6/2018 at 2:32 PM, Elder Meat said:

My progress seems to be going pretty quickly, so I consider myself fortunate.

  • Day 1: 15 minutes spinning in a slow circle around one planted foot.
  • Day 2: Mount and start moving while holding onto a wall. 20 minutes learning to take large circles in a parking lot.
  • Day 3: Mount and start moving while holding onto a wall. 15 minutes learning to take small circles on level and turn around on inclines.
  • Day 4: 30 minutes taking wide circles over slightly bumpy asphalt. 20 minutes learning how to mount from a freestanding start. (Two short hops then step on.)

My challenge now is learning how to dismount and keep control of the wheel with my dominant foot. After that I figure it will be just developing balance and muscle memory to improve overall skill. My one "aha" was to clamp onto the wheel with the sides of my feet rather than the inside of my calf. I feel more stable and in control that way mounting the wheel. Any suggestions for learning the controlled stop?

I am definitely still learning and saw this was a few months old. I'm hoping you're able to stop safely now, however, for me, I know I needed to learn the triangle method for BOTH starting and stopping. If I keep my wheel upright for either, it will run away from me.

When I'm ready to stop, I will lean on my heels to slow down and then push my right inner calf against the wheel, bend my knee inward to create the triangle and when I've stopped, I put my left foot on the ground. 

The triangle method really helps to stop your wheel from pulling away from you for starts and stops. I hope this helps!

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I am just learning and I can only go 10ft and I am wobbling as the EUC leans one way, then I overcorrect and it goes the other way until I have to jump off.  Any suggestions? How tightly are you suppose to hold the EUC next to your calf/knee while you are riding? 

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7 hours ago, duckylam said:

I am just learning and I can only go 10ft and I am wobbling as the EUC leans one way, then I overcorrect and it goes the other way until I have to jump off.  Any suggestions? How tightly are you suppose to hold the EUC next to your calf/knee while you are riding? 

How long have you been practicing in total?  It takes time.  But each time I get on, I find I do better than I did the day before, which is as much as I can hope for...

As for steering, I'm just a newbie too.  But I'm finding it's easier to steer with my toes than squeezing with my ankles/calves, just as I can write more legibly using my fingers instead of my wrists and elbows.

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13 hours ago, duckylam said:

I am just learning and I can only go 10ft and I am wobbling as the EUC leans one way, then I overcorrect and it goes the other way until I have to jump off.  Any suggestions? How tightly are you suppose to hold the EUC next to your calf/knee while you are riding? 

Check your foot position. The back of your shoe should line up with the back of the pedal OR the front of your shin lines up with or behind the center of the wheel front to back. 

When Riding don’t look down at the wheel. Look to the horizon. Look in the direction you want to go. 

Edited by RockyTop
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8 hours ago, Thai-lad said:

How long have you been practicing in total?  It takes time.  But each time I get on, I find I do better than I did the day before, which is as much as I can hope for...

As for steering, I'm just a newbie too.  But I'm finding it's easier to steer with my toes than squeezing with my ankles/calves, just as I can write more legibly using my fingers instead of my wrists and elbows.

For about 2 weeks or so 15 mins at a time.  It's rainy here in Seattle so I practice on my porch holding on to the porch railing and going 10 feet or so, which I can do quite well, but then when I take it to a parking lot, I get all wobbly.

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16 hours ago, duckylam said:

I am just learning and I can only go 10ft and I am wobbling as the EUC leans one way, then I overcorrect and it goes the other way until I have to jump off.  Any suggestions? How tightly are you suppose to hold the EUC next to your calf/knee while you are riding? 

Do you ride a V8? It's very sensitive because it's so thin.

Don't worry, you just need practice.

Ideally, you don't touch the wheel's sides. To get there, use a wall/pole to step on and just stand on it relaxedly (holding on to the support lightly with one hand) and get your legs off the wheel body (you can even wiggle it a little left-right).

Relaxed stance is important here.

* Step on with the second foot to the side of the wheel. A relaxed stance can happen when the wheel is in neutral during stepping on (first foot on the pedal) and when you're on it (both feet on the pedals), so it doesn't try to go forward or backward on its own any time. Then you can relax, stand straight, look straight forward. You can use a wall to get a good stance and then go from there.

* Don't put your shoes against the wheel, more to the outside of the pedals or overhanging. Better leverage for your legs against the wheel.

* Speed up! Going faster is easier than going slow. Don't be afraid of 15kph or even 20, you're much more stable then. Going slow and free mounting is much harder.

* A wheel always goes where you look. Slightly turn your head and see what happens. Just keep standing straight and looking forward.

* You balance by twisting the wheel like a bicycle tire. Like this (extreme case). Be aware of it (instead of balancing by shifting weight between the legs) and then don't think too much, just keep practicing:efee47c9c8:

 

Edited by meepmeepmayer
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I've been practicing on a clone of those lowest model solowheels, but I just bought a V10 for myself for a X-mas present.

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21 hours ago, duckylam said:

I am just learning and I can only go 10ft and I am wobbling as the EUC leans one way, then I overcorrect and it goes the other way until I have to jump off.  Any suggestions? How tightly are you suppose to hold the EUC next to your calf/knee while you are riding? 

You don't need to even touch the EUC with your calfs, so it doesn't really matter, but relaxing and looking up and forward, not downward, is usually quite helpful. Then try the active swiveling approach. 

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On 12/18/2018 at 4:15 AM, RockyTop said:

Check your foot position. The back of your shoe should line up with the back of the pedal OR the front of your shin lines up with or behind the center of the wheel front to back. 

Ok, this helped me more than anything I've read so far.  Shin position relative to wheel is critical.  Finally able to ride 50 ft or so.

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12 minutes ago, duckylam said:

Ok, this helped me more than anything I've read so far.  Shin position relative to wheel is critical.  Finally able to ride 50 ft or so.

Awesome!!!! Soon you will be one of us. :efef77eaf5:

Now it is just time on the wheel. You will continue to improve over the next few months. :thumbup:

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1 hour ago, duckylam said:

Ok, this helped me more than anything I've read so far.  Shin position relative to wheel is critical.  Finally able to ride 50 ft or so.

Same advice worked for me. It's doubly important on hilly terrain where you REALLY have to dig your heels in on steep downhills. After a while, you'll just end up hopping straight on without even noticing your foot positioning (I tend to have one foot slightly more in front of the other, and the other one aligned with...Jupiter?) :efefa6edcf:

Next step will be to align my left foot with passing spandex-clad cyclists' asses... :efee612b4b:

Edited by travsformation
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3 hours ago, travsformation said:

Next step will be to align my left foot with passing spandex-clad cyclists' asses... :efee612b4b:

What’s a ”passing cyclist”? I can’t grasp the concept.

 

:roflmao:

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6 hours ago, mrelwood said:

What’s a ”passing cyclist”? I can’t grasp the concept.

Hahaha You have a point about my wording: by passing I meant nearby, not cyclists who are overtaking you ;)

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I had to jump off when riding because I was about to fall over, but the unicycle righted itself and kept going.  I had to chase after it and knock it over.  This is probably fine in an empty parking lot, but is probably dangerous if there are pedestrians or on the street.  How do you deal with this?  Do you use a tether of some sort?

Edited by duckylam

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14 minutes ago, duckylam said:

I had to jump off when riding because I was about to fall over, but the unicycle righted itself and kept going.  I had to chase after it and knock it over.  This is probably fine in an empty parking lot, but is probably dangerous if there are pedestrians or on the street.  How do you deal with this?  Do you use a tether of some sort?

  This is something that seems to happen more with new riders. It is less likely to happen as you get better at riding. New riders tend to jump off earlier in the crash while more experienced riders stay on until the wheel is much less likely to continue.  I keep the possibility in mind when exiting my wheel. You can direct the wheel when jumping off. A tether could be very dangerous to the rider.  My suggestion is to be careful when going down hill and try to turn the wheel in a safe direction before jumping off. 

 This is a subject that has been talked about quite a bit though. This is a link to the 4th page. The subject starts at the end of the 3rd. 

https://forum.electricunicycle.org/topic/7973-how-long-did-you-keep-on-using-the-belt/?page=4

  

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To all the beginners on this current page.  There is more than one way to turn.  In fact there are many ways to turn.  You have to get out there and actively practice.  Once you can ride in a straight line for as long as you want, it's time to experiment.  Try twisting  various parts of your body from your head to your feet. You will find that every twist can result in a turn.  Lead with your eyes or shoulders/arms or hips or knees or ankles.  Then, with the wheel NOT gripped by your calves, try pushing one pedal down, then the other, to see what happens.  You should find that leaning the wheel this way, produces a turn due to a physical act called gyroscopic precession. You need to try ALL these things because until they are completely automatic to you, you won't be one with your wheel.  Being one with your wheel allows your body to seamlessly integrate two or more of the techniques to achieve the desired result. When you are one with your wheel you can ride along and go where ever you want (within physical reason) and not even thinking about how your body (and I do mean your body) is controlling the wheel; it just happens.  Even avoiding a sudden obstacle in your way comes automatically.  Don't worry, this "Jedi" stuff is not difficult to learn, it takes, time, miles, and experimentation, but it is all fun, so it's not like learning piano or a foreign language.  Without experimentation you won't know what inputs your wheel responds to or how.

Watch any of Chooch's YouTube off road videos to see what "one with your wheel" looks like. I can't be arsed to make videos so Chooch will have to do ;)

And WEAR YOUR PROTECTION.

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