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How it started, and where it is taking me ...


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Your story hold so many similarities to my EUC adventures that it could almost have been me writing it. I started a little earlier but I had almost pandemic lock down to the sofa or bed due to bad knees and aching pain in many joints due to rheumatism. 

There is something very joyful to read your story. As it brings me back to reflect on mine and what a epic life changing decision this has been for me too. 

And we are not alone about this. We also see more finding their way to find inspiration from stories like yours. And that it the great thing about storytelling. 

I hope you keep enjoying this for years to come @Scottie

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It’s raining now and I’m not out riding, so I think it’s time for this newbie to stop lurking and share a few words:   How it started, and where it is taking me    

The King Song 18XL arrived at the door a couple weeks ago. Like Mike in Sweden says, "a very lovely wheel". It has a natural feel to it, not requiring as much attention as the 16X, yet still quite man

Fateful Encounter And a couple of comments Yesterday I was riding the 16X around the downtown area of my small mid-western town in the USA. I stopped at a street corner for a moment waiting

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15 hours ago, Scottie said:

One year ago (3 months after my 1st 16X sighting) a 16X arrived at my door

and now it has 6 siblings?!:wub: 

Way to go! (I'm just jealous because I want to try all those wheels but don't dare... I have a difficult time resisting the "buy now" button)

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3 minutes ago, Tawpie said:

and now it has 6 siblings?!:wub: 

Way to go! (I'm just jealous because I want to try all those wheels but don't dare... I have a difficult time resisting the "buy now" button)

That sound like a new story is making its way. 

With new siblings 😊

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5 hours ago, Unventor said:

That sound like a new story is making its way. 

With new siblings 😊

@Tawpie You have my respect for being able to resist the "Buy Now" button this long. :efefe00999: But the button does not stop beckoning. How much longer can you hold out? I am weak and get sucked right in.

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On 1/19/2021 at 10:50 PM, Scottie said:

Million-To-One

Last night I rode the 18XL to my local drug store at 11pm to pick up some supplies. A teenager approached me as I was standing outside with the wheel and putting my purchases in my coat pockets, preparing to leave. He was curious about the wheel and wanted to know where to get one, so we spoke a couple minutes about it.

Shortly after the teenager left, a man approached and asked, "Is that a King Song?" EUCs are extremely rare around here in my small town near Indianapolis, so I was surprised that anyone on the street would have an idea what it was, not to mention the brand of the wheel! :efee78d764: It turns out that I met @learnerofskills from the Chicago area. He had his wheel with him in his car, so he got it out. And there we were ... two fellow EUC riders in a small town off the interstate highway standing there in the cold outside a drug store at midnight talking about wheels for 20 minutes or so. 

It was a fantastic million-to-one shot to meet another EUC rider when and where I did. Maybe he thought the same and was compelled to come over and talk to me! :efefd0f676: I was intrigued to learn how he uses his wheel. @winterwheel gave him some spot on advice about which one to buy for that purpose. I think I remember a thread or two that discusses how a wheel can be used on the job. He has a perfect practical use for a wheel.     

Hey Scottie! It was great to run into you the other day! Of course I had to come up and talk to you, since you don't see us EUC riders around that often. You'll never guess what happened after we split ways. I want into the drug store to buy some medicine, and a woman who lived in town chatted me up at the checkout line and invited me to her place for a party! Man that was a wild night! So anyways. Long story short, I have a place to stay in this town now. Hahah! Let me tell you, that night started out really bad but changed around real quick once I saw you. Really good luck that day!

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On 1/22/2021 at 2:12 PM, learnerofskills said:

Hey Scottie! It was great to run into you the other day! Of course I had to come up and talk to you, since you don't see us EUC riders around that often. You'll never guess what happened after we split ways. I want into the drug store to buy some medicine, and a woman who lived in town chatted me up at the checkout line and invited me to her place for a party! Man that was a wild night! So anyways. Long story short, I have a place to stay in this town now. Hahah! Let me tell you, that night started out really bad but changed around real quick once I saw you. Really good luck that day!

It's crazy how we humans are running around life bouncing off each other ... for good or for bad. If you did not come over and talk to me, your timing would have changed and you would have went into the store earlier and not met that woman at the checkout. Or if that teenager did not talk to me, I would have left a little sooner and probably the same thing would have happened. Or had I rode a different route to the drug store, I would not have been there at the time needed for you to see me, and we would not have talked wheels for 20 minutes. I'm glad you got some good from bouncing off me. :cheers:

When this happens from time to time, it reminds me of a scene from the movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", where he explains it very well. Yep, Daisy coulda' ... shoulda' watched where she was going, but the thing about everybody contributing to the timing of events for her holds true, etc. Poor Daisy's luck went the other way from yours. But it is the same effect. Our lives are constantly being influenced one way or another by this phenomena.

It was great wheeling into you the other day ... I can't run. :whistling: Hit me up on this board if you ever have some time and desire to wheel around the town.

 

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On 1/24/2021 at 2:32 AM, Scottie said:

If you did not come over and talk to me, your timing would have changed and you would have went into the store earlier and not met that woman at the checkout. 

 Hit me up on this board if you ever have some time and desire to wheel around the town.

You know I was thinking the same thing. Thanks! Also I'm off work tomorrow (thursday) if you want to ride.

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2 hours ago, learnerofskills said:

You know I was thinking the same thing. Thanks! Also I'm off work tomorrow (thursday) if you want to ride.

Darn. I work Wednesday through Saturday ... off Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. We'll keep trying, especially when nicer weather rolls around. Sometimes I'll get a 90 minute ride from 10 AM to Noon, if the weather is above freezing, before I have to get ready for work. I work 2 PM to midnite.

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  • 1 month later...

The Thaw

It is finally happening! We have had lots of snow and and really cold temperature these past few weeks. My riding paths were blocked by snow piles from the snow plows at almost all intersections. But this week it warmed up and rained enough to get rid of all that. I am taking advantage and am out and about on the wheel again all around town. The off road riding is not so good now that the ground is muddy, soft and slick in most areas.

Today was about 63F (17C) for today's 1st 2 hour ride. It has been a while and I was on a natural mental high being out and about. Then a large flock of geese flew over, maybe 150 or so over in there fantastic V formation. It had to be a migration flock heading back north, not just local geese goofing around. We have plenty of them on the ground around here. I am glad I was on a wheel and had a clear view and got to take that all in. It was one of those magical life moments when the brain quiets down all its useless thoughts and absorbs the moment, making it all worth it!

I just got back from a 2nd ride a 1 AM. I find these night rides quiet and pleasant since I own the streets at those hours. There is no people watching (me at them or them at me), but that's just fine.

Infrastructure

Speaking of the cold and snow ... that had me limited to riding the Mten3 around in the garage and house ... because winter bicycling is not a priority around here, there was more time for YouTube exploring.

I ran across this interesting one that talks about how the city of Oulu in Finland is all set up for winter bicycle riding and Toronto in Canada - is not so much. Oulu had made considerable investment in there bicycle trail design and maintenance, which includes keeping the trails properly plowed and bicycle friendly all year. Toronto has less priority of keeping bicycling going all year.

EUC riding is fairly dependent on bicycle infrastructure. So, whatever is good for bicycles benefits us too. That goes without saying! Yes we can ride sidewalks and quiet streets, (or very busy streets in NYC :efee8319ab:) but the great bicycle routes are really the best. Even off road, we take advantage of mountain bike trails. Not being in politics, I do not know why one city will spend on bicycle infrastructure when another city of equal size and financial ability will not. My guess is maybe that it boils down to the physical fitness culture of a country or city. But what drives that? Does a culture like that span generations? Or will it change in 10 years? A bit of both? I know almost nothing about people, even though I am one, I think!

But there are people that try to figure this out and do something, as shown in another video that talks about bicycle lanes in a more general sense.

We live where we live. We adapt and do what we can, when we can. But if I had the ability to freely choose where to live, or just visit, where would I go? I would need advise from people like @Mike Sacristan and @NonStopNeal, or other well traveled people who enjoy the wheel! Very often we get situated into our lives due to family concerns, career concerns, geopolitics, etc. But it is fun to think about where to go anyway. :confused1: :rolleyes: I am just a few years away from retirement. It is time to dream.

I am thinking hard about submitting this post or not, because it seems silly. Heck with it! I have done silly before! Here you go.    

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  • 4 weeks later...

What Took Me So Long?

Well, the pads I had sitting around for a few months finally got put on the MSP. The MSP turned out to be the main primary wheel for daytime rides because it is the most capable by a small margin. But occasionally I would have trouble negotiating obstacles that caught me by surprise at low speed due to lack of enough intent/lean. And there were times when I would want to go up a small steep rise and could not quite manage enough pedal force standing on my toes and would nearly stall out at the top.

These were the second type of pads I tried on the MSP. I like them because they are not in the way and still allow that extra little nudge at the right time. And they have their own stiffness which allows putting them higher up on the wheel body, which also helps with mounting since that gives a little more wheel height to help the 1st leg control the wheel better while stepping up with the 2nd.

1982238791_padsresize.thumb.jpg.4c5f761375f005521cf3e60efa85b4be.jpg

 

In the back area of my mind I had been thinking that I would keep improving my skills and not need such things. Also I was not wanting anything to get in the way of tilt steering. Finally, all the YouTube pad reviews persuaded me to put them on. Maybe I did not "need" them. But I am glad I finally gave them a try. My toes could not overcome the laws of physics by themselves. And pads do not overcome the laws either, but they do push them back a little and give a bit more room to play! Now past troublesome hill climbs seem effortless. That opens up some new possibilities.

Side Note: MSP just turned 1000 miles (1609 km). Fortunately that is not many miles for a wheel when looking at some of the mileage found on this thread. Expecting many more fun rides.

     

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Negativity Factor ...

... is generally very, very small. Comments that I have heard from the public 99% of the time have to do with amazement, bewilderment, etc. But there are a few "one-percenters" out there that make themself known by going the other way. 

As noted by @Tazarinho in this post:

On 11/12/2019 at 5:11 AM, Tazarinho said:

Most people react with a smile, some with instant dislike.

I just felt some of that "instant dislike". On a daytime ride yesterday, a young male "one-percenter" drove by me on the far side of the street in the same direction I was going as I was riding on a sidewalk along a major neighborhood street. I heard him shout, "Don't fall off that thing" as he went by. That may sound like an innocent thing to say, but it had a negative tone. And after all, he saw me riding the wheel like I owned it! ... not a hint of looking like I was going to fall. So, I did what I normally do ... kept on moving about my business as if I heard nothing, just to remove myself from any possible situation that could start to go bad. I got a little ahead of him because he was approaching an intersection and had to stop and wait his turn. I made the intersection before him and turned left, staying on the sidewalk. He then made his left turn and as he passed me once again and made another comment that I did not hear well, but the general tone sounded negative.  I did not see him, but he sounded like an older teenager or young 20 something.

I usually dismiss this kind of stuff as hormones getting the better of the young guy. Hormones are nice to have, but they also have their down-side. I had some 'back in the day', so I know. :rolleyes: Low-T is a much more peaceful way to go than the raging hormones of a young man. But even when I had all that raging High-T, I don't remember calling out a random person on the street and giving him a hassle for nothing, especially on older guy minding his business trying to do something. So, for me, it takes a bit of hoodlum tendency to want to start up something over nothing with an unknown person. :efef36327c:

But ... was it nothing? Maybe the young guy saw the old guy doing this amazing thing, and then felt for some reason he had to take him down a notch, rather than give a nice wave or thumbs up.  

The big city riders probably get this kind of thing a lot and are just deaf to it, because as they say, "that's life in the big city"! I live and ride in a small town. This is maybe the 3rd time I have heard this same comment in the year that I have been riding. Maybe the 1st time I heard it was in my early days of riding, and maybe I did look like I was going to fall ... but I doubt it. I think they all had the same meaning, and it is not concern for my safety, but a passive aggressive shot across the bow because for some reason in their mind they did not want to see an old dude doing something relatively cool and outclassing them in any way.

By some strange coincidence, this ride was just a day after I watched @Mike Sacristan commenting very similarly to what I was feeling. I replayed the scene a few times trying to see the guys Mike just passed by, bit I could not tell what it was about. But Mike's narrative sounded like he just went through a similar encounter with those several guys at the car that I had with my young cat. Or maybe those guys reminded him of previous encounters. The little things that we can key in on and remember are amazing. So why can't I remember where I just put my keys? :confused1:  This section of Mike's video stuck with me and so did that comment from my detractor. My young cat only 'harshed my buzz' for a few minutes. I still had a great ride afterwards. Even though I am a person (I think), one of the people (I think), I still can't figure people out! So, even being an insider does not help. Rant over. I did not want to reinvent the wheel (pun intended :facepalm:), so I looked up a couple of older threads to try to figure it out, this one and this one.

Mike, if you read this post, you can tell I am totally with you on this and the way you were feeling. I hope you are okay drilling into this a little more for the benefit of the community. Mike's fun fellas start at about time index 23:23 of this video and goes to about 26:00. I'll start it for you at 23:15 so you can get ready. Mike, it was hard to see. Can you share a little more about what they did that bothered you?

For good or for bad, EUC riding can provoke some strange politics, whether we are viewed as heroes, or aliens, or nerds!

Side Note: I also remember a couple of Chooch videos where he happened upon some negative people while riding his EUC on the trail, and he had to deal with those people that hated their life for some reason, and they aimed some of that negativity at Chooch because he was obviously enjoying his! I am paraphrasing a lot here. Sorry Chooch!        

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Dealing with negative comments...Ignore, verbal fights, physical fights.. Which is the best way? Physical fights won't solve the problem, only exacerbate and complicate! I tried ignoring...that didn't work either. Verbal fights worked well, but it took several times. Case in time: Everyday I use my KS18S to commute back and forth work. On my way home, I encountered this 60 years old guy. He would tell me to get off the sidewalk. In the beginning, I just ignored him. Then he got aggressive by stretching his arm out attempting to block my way. So finally I stopped, trying to reason with him. He didn't want to hear what I had to say. So I said what he could understand... You m...f... fu... many expletives exchanged! After that, no more shit from him! Wonderful! That's how some people will give you respect! From then on is back to ignoring :):ph34r:

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I thought about making up business cards to hand out that say:

This is an EPAMD

State code 55-53-105 

It is NOT classified as a motorized vehicle per state code. For all practical purposes it is a non motorized bicycle. It is illegal to discriminate against it in any way that a bicycle would not also be discriminated against.  ..... Have a nice Day :D

Edited by RockyTop
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9 hours ago, scubadragosan said:

Dealing with negative comments...Ignore, verbal fights, physical fights.. Which is the best way? Physical fights won't solve the problem, only exacerbate and complicate! I tried ignoring...that didn't work either. Verbal fights worked well, but it took several times. Case in time: Everyday I use my KS18S to commute back and forth work. On my way home, I encountered this 60 years old guy. He would tell me to get off the sidewalk. In the beginning, I just ignored him. Then he got aggressive by stretching his arm out attempting to block my way. So finally I stopped, trying to reason with him. He didn't want to hear what I had to say. So I said what he could understand... You m...f... fu... many expletives exchanged! After that, no more shit from him! Wonderful! That's how some people will give you respect! From then on is back to ignoring :):ph34r:

I have a different policy. Since I pass many people on my rides, I made it a point from day #1 to say hello to everyone. The result: now and when I ride, more than half the people of all ages, say hello to me before I do... really funny how human behavior can be influenced with a simple hello. Not one person has picked on me. And many when they see me simply walking, they ask: "Aren't you riding today?". Really great to see there reactions.

@scubadragosan, btw...I'm a 61 year old EUC rider. It's not about age, it's about inner happiness. Ride well my friend :clap3:

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On 1/20/2021 at 5:20 AM, Unventor said:

Yep EUCs seem to break down the barrier of talking to strangers. Either by people being amazed or sharing same interest. 

I've had so may people asking about the wheel, prices, etc. Actually in my area I'm the only guy with an EUC. and it's quite populated and demographically diversified. Old timers in their mid 70's and up laugh when I pass. They find it hilarious that a guy is standing and riding a wheel....

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8 hours ago, OldFartRides said:

I too am the first euc rider in the town where I live. I take my ambassador role  seriously.

I make sure I give peds the right of way. I don’t sneak up them, or pass from behind. If they are taking up the whole path, I’ll either stop, or go off road. And take the time to talk if they are interested.

Best,

That's also what I do. Actually, I have a rear view mirror on the left side of my helmet, and I also signal to all the cars coming up behind me to overtake me and many drivers have back thanking me. You see, technically in Portugal, like in many European countries, these EUC's are illegal due to a legal "hole" in the law. So, to avoid problems I stick to the road and only climb on the occasional sidewalk when I know that no one's there. 

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1610212733_Monstercrop.thumb.jpg.41ed996e24cbb8079f4088c0058a0486.jpg

You might think these pads are not installed correctly, but they work for my legs that way.

Tamed A Monster

I was pad resistant ...

I had put the Monster away for a few months while I enjoyed it's little brother, the MSP, which I finally put pads on.  And as my riding skills improved over those months, I could not help but want to try some more difficult terrain. The pads worked out so well for me on the MSP, really opening up it's abilities. So I thought, "why not circle back to the resting Monster and put some on it". The Monster needed pads just to make it more ride-able, not so much for off road fun, but just to help me over everyday sticky spots.

And during those months while the Monster was on vacation, my EUC calves got in better shape along with the rest of me improving skills and reflexes. Riding the Monster was a whole new experience. I was able to enjoy that bigger gyro of a wheel and also got the sense that it does roll over stuff with less fuss and blunts the bumps more. It is not suspension by any means, but I can feel that it turns a bump into a smaller bump. The pads now allow me to easily nudge the big wheel over things that used to give me some issues when trying to get by on toe power alone!  :efee47c9c8: The pads are out of the way for the most part, but just in range enough for my legs to get to them when I want them. I find that I am also using the pads to persuade the wheel to come around in a turn ... you have to ask a Monster for things; politely.

I just got back from a ride and was enjoying the Monster's newly discovered abilities. The high school kids had just been let out for the day and the jocks were out on the field getting ready for football practice, and I was on a wide sidewalk as I rolled by them about 50 meters away, like I owned the Monster ... it used to feel like somebody else's wheel. I heard them take notice but could not make out what they were saying, so I don't know if it was another negative thing with hormone crazed young cats or not. I just enjoyed the fact that they were noticing something odd happening rather that head down in the cell phones!

... but now I am not!  :smartass:

Edited by Scottie
typo
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