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radial
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Hi folks,

I've posted in a couple of threads, but I'm basically a newbie to unicycling.  I bought a Ninebot starter wheel from another forum member last weekend, and I've been riding it up and down the hallway at home for the past week.  Today, I took it outdoors on the asphalt for the first time.  What a great experience!

One thing that worked for me today, was using soccer shin guards to protect my inner ankles.  I got so bruised up during my indoor excursions that I had to take a couple of days off.  I ordered a cheap pair of soccer shin pads off Amazon hoping I could turn them sideways to protect the bruised areas.  It worked perfectly, so if you are just starting out in this pastime, I would suggest you run down to the local sporting goods store and get yourself a pair of shin protectors. The ones I'm using are plastic shells that slip into an elastic sleeve which makes them easy to wear sideways.  

The venue for me today was a nearby elementary school which has a small fenced in area where I could ride without ever being too far from the fence.  At first, I had to grab the fence a lot to keep my balance, but my unassisted runs got longer and longer until I could go the entire length of the fence.  I dumped the wheel a few times during the process, but there was no real damage, just some scratches.  There is still a lot to learn, so I think I'll be hanging out at the elementary school for a while longer, but I definitely made progress today.  Maybe tomorrow I'll figure out how to turn :)

Rich

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Today I was back at it for a couple of hours.  Shin guards continue to save my flesh from any further damage.  But I'm also making sure that my foot position is a little further outboard now.  That means I'm not hugging the machine between my legs quite so much.  I suspect there will come a time when leg contact is minimal.  I'm looking forward to that time!  The soccer shin guards were cheap and I won't be shedding any tears when I can put them on the shelf.

I'm pretty good on straight runs now, but the turning reliably part still eludes me.  I think I probably know how to turn because I'm doing a pretty good job of turning towards my center of gravity to keep going straight.  But what's the trick to turning smoothly to the left or right?  

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Sounds like a good way to keep your confidence up while you learn.

It's cool that you can even go to a school to practice something like that.  When I was a teenager we used to go to a nearby elementary school to practice judo on the grass after dark, but today there are all kinds of laws restricting access to schools and such.  Back in the day, if you were quiet and weren't drinking or doing drugs, nobody cared much if you walked through a school on the way to somewhere else, or whatever for the most part.

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16 minutes ago, Dingfelder said:

Sounds like a good way to keep your confidence up while you learn.

It's cool that you can even go to a school to practice something like that.  When I was a teenager we used to go to a nearby elementary school to practice judo on the grass after dark, but today there are all kinds of laws restricting access to schools and such.  Back in the day, if you were quiet and weren't drinking or doing drugs, nobody cared much if you walked through a school on the way to somewhere else, or whatever for the most part.

 

Speaking of martial arts, I'm struck by the parallels.  No matter how competent you are in a particular style that you have studied for a while, your skills aren't necessarily going to transfer seamlessly to the next adventure.  You have to embrace your newbie status whenever you set out to learn something different.  I hate being a baby but I know it's a necessary evil.  

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5 hours ago, radial said:

Speaking of martial arts, I'm struck by the parallels.  No matter how competent you are in a particular style that you have studied for a while, your skills aren't necessarily going to transfer seamlessly to the next adventure.  You have to embrace your newbie status whenever you set out to learn something different.  I hate being a baby but I know it's a necessary evil.  

TLDR:  At bottom ...

The long version:  Yeah very much so.  A lot of mental and movement patterns set in in martial arts, and they can make it hard to adapt to something new.  You see it in sparring a lot too; a guy with much less skill can win if he knows something different because his opponent will have no idea what's coming at him or what to do about it.  Way way back in the day Chuck Norris was famous for beating Japanese stylists with spinning back kicks, which many of them had never seen before or had any experience with.  Or in boxing, someone like Naseem Hammed comes along taking all kinds of chances with a flying uppercut, but his opponents were simply not used to seeing anything like that and got caught out again and again.

I started off in a throwing style and never developed very good hand skills, then joined a hands-based style and was completely out of my depth and had to drop a lot of old habits.  Then after a few years I finally had the hand skills to apply a lot of the joint locks I had learned in the throwing style.  So it can all come around in the end if you keep an open mind, but everything you learn tends to be a way of closing off your mind in one direction or another.

TLDR:  Yup, I agree.  Fear freeze the mind, but I'm going to try to be very clear-headed and open-minded when learning an EUC, which I hope to buy in a couple of months.  It seems to be the best way to learn anything.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
4 minutes ago, radial said:

Had a blast today riding the Ninebot 1e+ and the V8 all over the backyard.  For a while there I was beginning to wonder if I would get the hang of this, but today swept away all the doubts.  I don't know why I didn't think of riding on grass earlier.  It's more challenging with all the surface irregularities, but when you screw up, it's a lot more forgiving.  

 

Looking good! Whats your tire pressure at? Never underestimate how differences in the psi can totally affect your interaction with the wheel. Especially if you're a relative newbie.

Defo worth investing in a proper track-pump with psi gauge (if you don't have one) ?

Edited by Paddylaz
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21 minutes ago, radial said:

Had a blast today riding the Ninebot 1e+ and the V8 all over the backyard.  For a while there I was beginning to wonder if I would get the hang of this, but today swept away all the doubts.  I don't know why I didn't think of riding on grass earlier.  It's more challenging with all the surface irregularities, but when you screw up, it's a lot more forgiving.  

 

Looks like you're having fun!

I'd be scared to break my glasses or cut my face, if those are your regular glasses, though ...

And it looks like you dumped your shin guards!. I guess you must be getting more confident. :)

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33 minutes ago, Paddylaz said:
15 minutes ago, Dingfelder said:

Looks like you're having fun!

I'd be scared to break my glasses or cut my face, if those are your regular glasses, though ...

And it looks like you dumped your shin guards!. I guess you must be getting more confident. :)

Yeah, I usually keep the glasses in my pocket, but I needed them to get the camera set up and forgot they were on my face.  Doh!  I don't think I'll need the shin guards now.  They were great while I was squeezing the machine between my legs, but I'm a little more confident now and standing a little more outboard now so it's not an issue.  

33 minutes ago, Paddylaz said:

Looking good! Whats your tire pressure at? Never underestimate how differences in the psi can totally affect your interaction with the wheel. Especially if you're a relative newbie.

Defo worth investing in a proper track-pump with psi gauge (if you don't have one) ?

I have both wheels at 45 psi.  Does that seem about right for my stage proficiency?  I'll experiment with higher pressure after I get a little better at this.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

I wouldn't wait.  If you get the chance you can park at DCA airport  and cross the 14th street bridge which puts at the Jefferson Memorial.  It's about 3.5 miles one way from airport to Smithsonian. You still have plenty of miles to zip around the mall.

I use Geotracker to monitor my distance and make sure I have battery to get back.

I find parking at Tidal Basin every time also.

I haven't had the time to ride around Hanes point.

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