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Riding skills related to safety


Mono
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This is a good list, and most of these skills are acquired by challenging yourself around a park. See something, try doing it, and by spending quality time with your wheel you'll acquire these skills eventually.

In my opinion, the single biggest danger is vehicles. A vehicle is what will kill or injure you over all other dangers, and you have to be ready to leap out of the way from enraged drivers that don't like you even if you're on a crosswalk. A car doesn't have to stop for you if it doesn't want to, and if it kills or injures you there isn't much, if any, damage to the car, physical, legal, or otherwise.

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3 hours ago, Kudays said:

Should we apply these exercises to both legs (left and right)? Do you think using both legs while riding important?

Yes, both legs. It's not overly important to be able to mount with both legs. But if you can, you are likely to have better control over the wheel in other situations as well. In my experience, practicing the weak side can also improve the abilities on the stronger side. It can also lead to new insights how to do the same move in a different way.

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Riding with hands in jacket pockets is surprisingly difficult (and undoubtedly dangerous), but when the weather turned cold I did so, and am a much better rider from it. You can always brute force changes to the wheel by using your arms, but keeping your arms in your pockets, and depending solely on rotating your hips (and not tipping the wheel) gives a lot of useful insight to how wheels function with minimum effort.

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Right, the safe alternative is to let the hands keep touching each other, or to grap two fingers of one hand with the other hand while riding.

Riding on various loose grounds like this also helps a lot to "understand" and utilise the wheel to its best.

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6 hours ago, LanghamP said:

Riding with hands in jacket pockets is surprisingly difficult (and undoubtedly dangerous), but when the weather turned cold I did so

Yeah, I reluctantly have been putting my hands in my pockets when the temps dropped below freezing because gloves aren't cutting it, but it makes me super nervous. I also pull my hands out when getting close to people in case I need to make sudden evasive maneuvers.

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On 12/12/2017 at 7:30 AM, Mono said:

I started to compile a list of riding skills that I myself found somewhat relevant for safety. I have been practicing all of these (and many more which didn't make it to this list because I do not deem them relevant enough for riding safety).

Excellent advice Mono!

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18 hours ago, EternalEnigma said:

Do we have to jump to get up curbs?

No. You can jump (if you can), but you don't have to. It helps to mentally anticipate the up-path of the wheel and follow this path with the feet. It helps a lot to have a long curb with slowly increasing height for practicing. I also found that it is sufficient to practice heights that I already can climb. Just improving on these steps up the height I can actually go. 

18 hours ago, EternalEnigma said:

The shell of my wheel hits the curb if it's anything more than approximately an inch and a half. 

That means you either have to jump or cut the shell. I cut the front part of the shell of my Gotway to only cover half the wheel diameter including tire (roughly 9" in this case). There is not much of a chance to climb higher curbs than this.

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1 hour ago, Mono said:

That means you either have to jump or cut the shell. I cut the front part of the shell of my Gotway to only cover half the wheel diameter including tire (roughly 9" in this case). There is not much of a chance to climb higher curbs than this.

I have an IPS i5, so it's a magnesium alloy shell. Probably not the easiest thing to cut. :/

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8 hours ago, EternalEnigma said:

I have an IPS i5, so it's a magnesium alloy shell. Probably not the easiest thing to cut. :/

It's probably not much more difficult than cutting a plastic shell. The question is more whether you want to saw your elegant i5 in pieces. I would do it anyways, because for me function trumps form, but that's just me.

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A skill that I use a lot but which may be (actually I know it is) more dangerous to use is the pendulum where you swing back and forth over the same spot (I always end up inching ahead). I find this incredibly useful because it essentially turns EUCs into zero radius vehicles.

It uses an awesome amount of electricity. 

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Instead of putting your hands in your pocket (extremely dangerous if you fall) Why not clasp them together behind you?  I do, and it keeps them out of the cold air stream, which is about the same heat conservation as pockets.  Clasp loosely, so you can release quickly, if needed.  I can do almost all my usual maneuvers without bringing my hands forward.  It also adds to the "How is that possible?" mystique, when you roll by silently, hands relaxed behind your back.

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16 minutes ago, Smoother said:

Instead of putting your hands in your pocket (extremely dangerous if you fall) Why not clasp them together behind you?  I do, and it keeps them out of the cold air stream, which is about the same heat conservation as pockets.  Clasp loosely, so you can release quickly, if needed.  I can do almost all my usual maneuvers without bringing my hands forward.  It also adds to the "How is that possible?" mystique, when you roll by silently, hands relaxed behind your back.

I've taken to carrying a pocket heater instead. 

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1 hour ago, Smoother said:

Instead of putting your hands in your pocket (extremely dangerous if you fall) Why not clasp them together behind you?  I do, and it keeps them out of the cold air stream, which is about the same heat conservation as pockets.  Clasp loosely, so you can release quickly, if needed.  I can do almost all my usual maneuvers without bringing my hands forward.  It also adds to the "How is that possible?" mystique, when you roll by silently, hands relaxed behind your back.

While this is for sure better than hands in pocket...it might be still the missing nanosecond to bring your hands up to the head or in front of you, if you have a cutout.

When i once was riding a defect wheel on a steep hill, i was really totally exspecting the wheel to struggle or to cutout. I did not have my hands, arms behind me, i had them beside me, and i was only going about 10-15 kmh, going up this steep hill. Allready had in my mind thoughts like: "Come on...dont cutout...keep going"!

Nonetheless, then, as the cutout happend, and even as i was exspecting it, and had my hands and arms beside me, i wasnt able to perfom a roll, or a runaway. I smashed on the street, the only good thing was i did not hit my head. Broke one or two rips on this occasion.

My point is: Even just having the arms and hands loosely behind the back might be the one nanosecond to much/late you need for a reaction.

I would never advice to have hands/arms in pockets or behind the body, at least not for longer than needed or for a short second.

But thats just me :-)

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1 hour ago, KingSong69 said:

While this is for sure better than hands in pocket...it might be still the missing nanosecond to bring your hands up to the head or in front of you, if you have a cutout.

When i once was riding a defect wheel on a steep hill, i was really totally exspecting the wheel to struggle or to cutout. I did not have my hands, arms behind me, i had them beside me, and i was only going about 10-15 kmh, going up this steep hill. Allready had in my mind thoughts like: "Come on...dont cutout...keep going"!

Nonetheless, then, as the cutout happend, and even as i was exspecting it, and had my hands and arms beside me, i wasnt able to perfom a roll, or a runaway. I smashed on the street, the only good thing was i did not hit my head. Broke one or two rips on this occasion.

My point is: Even just having the arms and hands loosely behind the back might be the one nanosecond to much/late you need for a reaction.

I would never advice to have hands/arms in pockets or behind the body, at least not for longer than needed or for a short second.

But thats just me :-)

I agree. Although I probably don't look very 'cool', I tend to ride with my hands/arms slightly in front of me, like I'm anticipating grabbing hold of a tree.

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7 hours ago, KingSong69 said:

While this is for sure better than hands in pocket...it might be still the missing nanosecond to bring your hands up to the head or in front of you, if you have a cutout.

When i once was riding a defect wheel on a steep hill, i was really totally exspecting the wheel to struggle or to cutout. I did not have my hands, arms behind me, i had them beside me, and i was only going about 10-15 kmh, going up this steep hill. Allready had in my mind thoughts like: "Come on...dont cutout...keep going"!

Nonetheless, then, as the cutout happend, and even as i was exspecting it, and had my hands and arms beside me, i wasnt able to perfom a roll, or a runaway. I smashed on the street, the only good thing was i did not hit my head. Broke one or two rips on this occasion.

My point is: Even just having the arms and hands loosely behind the back might be the one nanosecond to much/late you need for a reaction.

I would never advice to have hands/arms in pockets or behind the body, at least not for longer than needed or for a short second.

But thats just me :-)

22

I have wondered if the extra 30cm distance from "down by my side"  might cause a problem, But I'm riding on very smooth, level surfaces, below 20 kph.

I wonder if your missing nanosecond was caused by you climbing a very steep hill, EDIT... which by definition shortens the distance from your face to the ground, ...END EDITand the fact that climbing a very steep hill requires all your weight on the balls of your feet;  which, when the wheel lets go, accentuated the acceleration forwards.  Sorry to hear about your ribs.  They are always painful.

Edited by Smoother
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48 minutes ago, The Fat Unicyclist said:

l ride with my arms wrapped around my head, while screaming like a 12 year old girl (so 100% ready for a fall). 

Thankfully Marty edited that out of our group ride! 

Damn, if we had a video competition running he would have had to leave it in as THAT would have won hands down.

P.S. I did wonder why we saw so little of you in the video (if that isn’t a contradiction in terms ?)

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13 hours ago, KingSong69 said:

While this is for sure better than hands in pocket...it might be still the missing nanosecond to bring your hands up to the head or in front of you, if you have a cutout.

When i once was riding a defect wheel on a steep hill, i was really totally exspecting the wheel to struggle or to cutout. I did not have my hands, arms behind me, i had them beside me, and i was only going about 10-15 kmh, going up this steep hill. Allready had in my mind thoughts like: "Come on...dont cutout...keep going"!

Nonetheless, then, as the cutout happend, and even as i was exspecting it, and had my hands and arms beside me, i wasnt able to perfom a roll, or a runaway. I smashed on the street, the only good thing was i did not hit my head. Broke one or two rips on this occasion.

My point is: Even just having the arms and hands loosely behind the back might be the one nanosecond to much/late you need for a reaction.

I would never advice to have hands/arms in pockets or behind the body, at least not for longer than needed or for a short second.

But thats just me :-)

When I had an overcharge cutout I managed to get my arms up. So the few degrees of difference in angle between uphill and downhill probably made all the difference in that department...

Going up, you're starting out closer to the ground. Reading what you wrote, I'm going to swallow my coolness-pride and keep my arms up when going up steeply.

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On 12/18/2017 at 5:48 PM, LanghamP said:

A skill that I use a lot but which may be (actually I know it is) more dangerous to use is the pendulum where you swing back and forth over the same spot (I always end up inching ahead). I find this incredibly useful because it essentially turns EUCs into zero radius vehicles.

The (more controlled) alternative to turn the EUC into a "zero radius vehicle" is to have one foot on the ground (falling under the dismount effortlessly and smoothly point). On the other hand, idling is for sure worth while learning and a lot of fun too. I do spent quite a lot of my time on the EUC idling half-turns.

Edited by Mono
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2 hours ago, Mono said:

The (more controlled) alternative to turn the EUC into a "zero radius vehicle" is to have one foot on the ground (falling under the dismount effortlessly and smoothly point). On the other hand, idling is for sure worth while learning and a lot of fun to do. I do spent quite a lot of my time on the EUC idling half-turns.

I'm not very good at mounting as sometimes I'll make a little stagger or twist right when I get on. Mounting is the only skill that I need to devote a few minutes each week, doing like 20 or them. It always feels I'm brute forcing this skill instead of all the other skills which came easily and naturally to me.

Amusingly, I notice I am awkward when grabbing poles to stay upright. This is because I had a big crash when the bottom of the <insert pole like item here> caught my foot pad and dumped me on my back.

Not getting your foot pad caught on something is a tremendously important skill. The half dozen or so times I've caught my foot pad have just knocked the hell out of me.

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