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John Eucist

How to ride an electric unicycle - understanding the dynamics

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Newbie here! (Few hours))

I can mount unaided, but it is more of a lift second foot into place, stand still for a tenth of a second like a demented pillock, then lean forward to get some movement.

Because of this duff method, the direction I end up going is somewhat arbitrary, but not bad.. in a quiet industrial estate I have been a total of a couple of miles with various wobbly turns, a road hump, up hills downhills and moments!!!

I need to develop a mounting process that is more a case of with one foot in place, launch forward gently and at the same time lift and place the second foot in a nice flowing movement, with me and the all equipment heading off as one in the direction I actually need to go!! 

My question is, relative to the direction you wish to go, where do you "throw" the initial body lean, to get the whole shebang (wheel direction, body launch direction and bloody hell, I've done it, direction to coelesse into the gracefull launches I see you guys doing :o( 

Is it a case of chest facing 5 degrees to the right of intended direction, throw body 2 degrees left of intended direction, then guide wheel right of intent, then left, then stabilise in the direction of travel....

or none of the above!!

Loving it so far.

Rog.

Edited by Silverbrewer
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2 hours ago, Silverbrewer said:

Newbie here! (Few hours))

I can mount unaided, but it is more of a lift second foot into place, stand still for a tenth of a second like a demented pillock, then lean forward to get some movement.

Because of this duff method, the direction I end up going is somewhat arbitrary, but not bad.. in a quiet industrial estate I have been a total of a couple of miles with various wobbly turns, a road hump, up hills downhills and moments!!!

I need to develop a mounting process that is more a case of with one foot in place, launch forward gently and at the same time lift and place the second foot in a nice flowing movement, with me and the all equipment heading off as one in the direction I actually need to go!! 

My question is, relative to the direction you wish to go, where do you "throw" the initial body lean, to get the whole shebang (wheel direction, body launch direction and bloody hell, I've done it, direction to coelesse into the gracefull launches I see you guys doing :o( 

Is it a case of chest facing 5 degrees to the right of intended direction, throw body 2 degrees left of intended direction, then guide wheel right of intent, then left, then stabilise in the direction of travel....

or none of the above!!

Loving it so far.

Rog.

Hi @Silverbrewer.

Two suggestions for you...

1. Always ensure your second foot is beside the pedal (in line with the axle), not behind it. This should ensure your centre of gravity doesn't shift and spin you around. 

2. Practice "walking" - so standing as above, but rather than mounting, roll forward, then step with your second foot. Keep rolling and stepping... As you gain your balance, roll more and step less. 

Finally, with both of these put together, you will be "roll-starting" - pushing off  (skateboard style), and putting your second foot in place while moving!

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I'm with @The Fat Unicyclist, if I didn't see the videos, I'd swear these wheels were impossible to ride.  Nonetheless, I keep trying.  Basically moving back and forward in hallway.  

Can't wait until I can actually ride this thing. But enjoying the learning process thus far.  

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On 10/28/2016 at 9:31 PM, The Fat Unicyclist said:

Hi @Silverbrewer.

Two suggestions for you...

1. Always ensure your second foot is beside the pedal (in line with the axle), not behind it. This should ensure your centre of gravity doesn't shift and spin you around. 

2. Practice "walking" - so standing as above, but rather than mounting, roll forward, then step with your second foot. Keep rolling and stepping... As you gain your balance, roll more and step less. 

Finally, with both of these put together, you will be "roll-starting" - pushing off  (skateboard style), and putting your second foot in place while moving!

Great advice!

I watched a bunch of videos before getting on an euc. I also put  padding under the pedals, where calves will rub against the sides and the top edges. Oh, and I got a luggage strap - another awesome tip from this board.

Basically went from regretting my purchase decision to can't wait to get back on in about 3 hours over 3 days. First day, I spent 15 minutes just standing on the thing beside a desk and getting a feel for the balance point. Then I spent another 15 minutes trying to roll forward and back while beside a wall. Finally, 30 minutes of getting my ankle chewed up by the pedals as I continuously tried to mount, fail, get the beast swinging on the strap and scraping my ankles with the pedals. Ended the day thinking about what to put in the ad to sell the ankle monster.

Second day, it was back to the drawing board. I setup my sawhorses in a series and used that to get upright and as a launching point. I also got an email from Jason with some tips including grip tape on the pedals. That trick definitely helped keep my foot planted. Before the grip tape, my foot would slide on the metal pedals as soon as I use my calf to leverage against the side of the euc. Anyway, back to the sawhorses. As soon as I leave the last sawhorse, I would get anywhere from zero to 5-6 feet. More ankle bashing, some toe slamming, some ankle twisting - nothing serious. No face plants. After an hour, I was tired, my lower back needed some Advil, my calf has a bruise and my ankles were bleeding through my socks. I retreated back to my garage with my tail between my legs.

Third day (today). I watched more videos, read up on more tips - especially @Silverbrewer's advice. I bandaged up my ankle and went out early morning to give it another go. With the saw horses to the opposite side from where I was pushing off on, I practiced my skateboard-like launches. When i started doing the scoot and push, I also started to zero in on where my first leg was most stable. If it's not in the right place, I wouldn't be able to push off on a straight line. When it was, I had a good takeoff. Then it all clicked together and I was 100+ feet from where I started! Pretty soon, the wobbles, which had to have been from a defective euc ;), went away and I was actually enjoying it. I rode up & down my cul-de-sac a few times and even ventured around the block a couple of times. I decided to call it a win when I made a complete round without falling off.

My next adventure - LEFT TURNS!

Anyway, thank you to everyone for the advice and tips. This forum rocks!

For those, still struggling, keep reading and keep trying different techniques. Something someone has said will be the one thing that will give you the "Aha!" moment. It's probably different for everyone, but it's all here, just waiting for you to try it.

One last note, thank you @Jason McNeil for shipping my kids' IPS a130s first. I was able to practice and trash theirs while getting to this stage. Now, I think I'm ready for my v5F+, which is getting here on Wednesday.

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On 11 February 2017 at 4:55 PM, flvraptor said:

Ended the day thinking about what to put in the ad to sell the ankle monster.

"Ankle monster" Priceless! ??

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59 minutes ago, LanghamP said:

It's remarkable how the human mind works; something so difficult becomes, after a while, not so bad as the human mind adjusts.

I used training wheels in the beginning with a strap, then got rid off the strap, then got rid off the training wheels. I practiced in a tennis court, hanging to the fence wall for balance with all the safety gear. That is helmet, wrist guards, shin pads, knee pads. 

When putting your foot on the pedal, think of putting your foot on a foam cup without crushing it. Someone here said this, not me, but that was a good analogy. At some point in the beginning you want to give up because it is too hard to balance no matter how much you put effort in it. but DON'T. If we all can do it, you can do it. It's like learning to ride the bicycle all over again. It's hard at first then it's a second nature.

 

 

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Dispair in the early days was normal for me.  Two years into this thing of ours, I barely give it any thought at all while riding effortlessly.  That came much sooner than 2 years, but riding with some confidence did take me close to 2 months.  I was a slow learner. 

PS. It is worth the effort.

 

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On 20/01/2016 at 3:10 PM, gmusser said:

I'm exactly the same, the learning curve is huge and I'm still limping along.  Humiliatingly enough I was at a park yesterday and all the cool skater dudes cheered when I stayed on the thing for 3 yards before falling off and hopping, skipping and lurching after it as it spun out of control - beeping like crazy.

As another poster said it is one hell of a work out esp. if your aren't fit.  I had to find a bench to sit on, had plenty of water (maybe Something stronger would have helped).  Then I would kick the instrument of torture to the side and try and gather strength for another effort. 

The position of your leg as it rests against the side of the wheel I found really important, too far back and the wheel goes outwards and too far forward and it spins inwards.  Also these things are really really heavy, so when you are trying to control it with one leg, and it's motorised,  it runs away and there are lots of small movements that you have to do in quick succession in order to retreive the wheel and avoid lacerating your ankles on the pedals. 

One of the many mistakes I made was to stand on one pedal and then the thing would tip over and spin out.  Didnt realise that the foot on the ground was to take all my weight.  Its a constant process of bending over and picking up the really really heavy thing.  Getting on the wheel lightly and smoothly is a trick in itself.   That clip of the "triangle" approach is great and the smoother you can manage getting the second foot on the better as you don't have to compensate so much for the wobbles.   At first I kind of jumped on and that was awful;  it bounced and shot out from under me in surprising directions.  Then I tried holding it steady by clamping my hands on the handle, one foot on a pedal and trying to inch the other foot on - that didn't work. 

Then I tried to grab the thing following unintended dismounts - big mistake.   Everything spills into one awkward movement;  twist, fall off, jam ankle bone onto side of pedal, bend, lurch for handle, hop for balance, skin the other ankle on spinning tyre, heft it upright, mangle fingers in a grab for the handle (jabbing at the off switch for the screaming beeps).   Rinse and repeat.

Now I just try and get out of its way when I come off, wait until it's spun out and then go pick it up.  

Taking a bit of time off to let the lacerations, scrapes and bruises on my ankles to get better.  Yes I was wearing socks and padding but my natural athleticism ?, took a toll.

I have ordered some ankle protectors, the wrist guards that I have hurt my hands if I'm trying to use a wall for support.  Grass is good, gravel not so good. 

Been doing it for just over a week, so very slow progress here.  ? Good luck

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Starry night
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On 17/03/2016 at 6:46 PM, mich said:

You are correct sir,  triangle method is important for all the reasons you stated. Only the tutorial videos for beginners explaining triangle method are useless and very much unhelpful. They make it seem like the difficult part is how to put your feet on pedals. In reality that's easy, difficult part comes after, that is how to keep the balance and not to fall immediately.

I've received my EUC last week, and I've the same experience as tjcooper above. After about an hour of practice on parking place, it was impossible for me to hop on EUC without support.

I guess getting on the wheel was a priority for me to learn because I knew I would be coming off it so often.

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On 2/26/2017 at 4:23 AM, Smoother said:

Try to practice in a secluded place.  On lookers are not good for your practice karma.

Good point, but riding on grass (like in a park) is also helpful, because you're not as scared of injury if you fall.  Concrete or asphalt hurts way more.:pooping:  But you are right, with a decent quality wheel that won't cut off, pavement is easier to ride on.  I wish I had gotten a good wheel to start with.

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24 minutes ago, Starry night said:

 

I like the idea of  "riding impossibly slowly"  - my aim!  

 

Me too. and then riding backwards.  I can ride almost impossibly slowly, not quite there yet.

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On 2/26/2017 at 5:23 AM, Smoother said:

What's the point of mastering getting on if you can't ride more than 3 feet? Get riding down first, then add the launching unassisted

Getting on without support was one of the last things I learned. I tried and tried, and it seemed impossible. The only reason I continued trying was that I could see on YouTube it is possible! Meanwhile, while failing in my attempts to mount the wheel unsupported, I continued to work on riding. Then one day, suddenly I was able to get on!

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11 minutes ago, steve454 said:

Good point, but riding on grass (like in a park) is also helpful, because you're not as scared of injury if you fall.  Concrete or asphalt hurts way more.:pooping:  But you are right, with a decent quality wheel that won't cut off, pavement is easier to ride on.  I wish I had gotten a good wheel to start with.

I prefer unpaved level grounds without gravel for practicing. They are more forgiving when going down and they are always a little heterogeneous which is good to remain flexible to the unpredictable.

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1 minute ago, Mono said:

here is how I did it: each time when I had to brake to a full stop, I tried to go a little bit backwards before to step down, starting from only an inch or two...

Excellent idea, I will try that.  Continue the braking movement a little past full stop.  I have tried something similar, but tried to force it too much.  Starting from only an inch or two makes a lot of sense, thanks for the tip.^_^

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6 hours ago, Mono said:

If you want to learn riding backwards without practicing, here is how I did it: each time when I had to brake to a full stop, I tried to go an inch or two backwards before to step down, increasing the distance after a while when more and more confident... I believe it took about a month or so to get to a confident yard or two with no sweat involved.

Yet another @Mono suggestion im going to have to try.

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I am learning to ride this by myself, and there are few if any supports around, so how else do you get back on once you have fallen off, unless you practise getting on before you try for longer rides? ?

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