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The Man of Mead

Day 2 for a New Rider and some help needed

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New Inmotion V8 arrived from SpeedyFeet (thank you Speedy Feet) yesterday (Friday 5th January), to great excitement. Unfortunately, the weeather here in Northern UK was terrible so couldn't get out. So day 1 of practice consisted of around 1 hour of standing on it and some wobbly transations across my office (around 3 metres wide). It felt like I was learning a little just getting the feel for balance. Wasn't long before right calve and right ankle in a bit of discomfort(!)

Today (Saturday 6th January), better weather and a trip to a stiff fenced basketball area, identified as ideal for EUC practice. It has paths around the outer area of the basketball enclosed area so scope for doing circuits over an area 'around the outside' of the basketball pitch. Practiced for around an hour, but that was enough as fatigue set in. Really pleased with progress, and was able to ride multiple circuits around the exterior of the basketball court. Please note this was not by any means in a very controlled manner. Two particular areas I want some help/feedback with:

1. Foot position - after a while I placed my feet further back on the foot plates and I thought (but I'm not sure) that this seemd to give me better control and 'feel' for acceleration and braking. Is this issue of foot position important. Quite often, I'm so unsteady mounting that I don't get my feet in the same position on each side!!

2. The wobbles - as I felt I was improving and ventured to try going faster, I found that the wheel seemd to develop the wobbles. Any tips?

3. Ride in a straight line - Often I struggled to go in an entirely straight line, could this simply be a combination of me being a learner and not having enough speed makes me unstable and more prone to deviate off the straight line?

Finally, one other thing I would say is that this thing makes you new friends! Virtually every passer by was stopping to watch or to chat, mostly in awe of this machine noone seemed to have ever seen. Little do they know how bad my riding is compared to you more experienced guys on this forum!

Looking forward to tomorrow and going again :)

 

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Congratulations on your new V8! Awesome choice. You will find yourself or your body rather, getting used to balancing on a moving platform, much like you would keep your balance while standing on the side of a hill. What I mean is that your body will search for the point of most efficient use of energy. In other words, When you stand on the side of a hill, both of your feet arent pressing as hard as they can into the ground. One may be, but the other is more of a spotter leg.

The wobbles and some of that lower leg strain, come from your legs trying too hard and fighting eachother. Much like trying to dial in a hotel shower temperature. A good way to get out of it is just to change the force to front and back by leaning forward and backwards. It breaks the cycle temporarily and lets your legs and brain reset.

You are off to a Fantastic start! You seem to have enough curiosity to see this through and enough talent and drive to be up and gliding in no time. Those are all questions we have all asked either of ourselves or the forum, so you are progressing like a champ. Good for you!

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Agree with Mono, "Relax. Otherwise, just be patient. Wobbles will eventually go away ...". A couple notes:

- as you get better the wobbles will go away at low speed, but may still be present at high speed and/or on less smooth surfaces

- as you get better the wobbles will go away but may return as the legs get tired at the end of a long ride, or even after hard physical labor

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Hey there!

I'm a beginner, too. I have nearly exact the same "problems" that you mentioned.

I already got over the wobbly behavior of the wheel most times just automaticaly - somehow - most times. It's clearly an advantage to have some minor speed. I knew this from several learning videos but as a beginner you are afraid of too much speed on the other hand. Just as a proud brit "Keep calm and carry on!" It's like learning bicycle: Just carry on trying and once you did it it's so natural to you that you are not able to explain how you made it. In general.

With the foot-position I have the same issues: I now know where the best position is and I am able to get my first foot exact there, but the second one will most of the time not arrive in that place. Because I must immediately give weight to it not to fall off I can't move it anymore. Having a wall or fence to lean on while starting helps a lot. I then can figure out to find a secure and comfortable position. Free-hand starts often end up with a weired position.

 

Have Fun! I'm having it, too. I'm far away from perfect after a week on this thingy.

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Thanks for your replies so far everyone. Seems like my problems are common ones, and the key to the progress is really more practice and experience which only comes with ride time. The other recurring theme seems to be to adopt a relaxed posture. 

Problem is I’m impatient to become an accomplished rider. While waiting around a month for my wheel to be delivered I avidly watched many many you tube tuition videos and  expert rider videos so maybe I have become too used to watching riders cruise majestically down the streets and am expecting to be doing the same too soon.

Edited by The Man of Mead

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> Problem is I’m impatient to become an accomplished rider.
Sounds like you're doing well.  Just keep riding.  A few times per day if practical.

And practice different skills: fast, slow, slow stops, abrupt(!) stops, wide fast turns, tight sharp turns, down curbs, etc.

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Remember: All these guys that made great videos of their skills once were beginners and most of them made no vids of this stage - for a reason ;-)

I found few vids on U-Tube where people filmed themselves during their first tries and that helped not a bit for myself but it was fun to watch and reminded me that those guys were not better than me. All tipps are the same: Find a wall, fence or (better) a supporting person and just try! Once you did some meters (or yards) just not give up. Take a break, but carry on! The thing is, you will not learn this like maths nor chemistry, but you must train your brain to manage the movements intuitively, like a child learns to stand and walk upright. I'm not a "pro" (yet) but this I've experienced. And trust me, after a week I can say, it's getting better and better every minute I try. 
But since zooming around is possible and a great fun I must remind myself of that what duaner mentioned: Training of stops, starts, different curves and combinations... Maybe I would ad "following a line at different speeds" to the practice schedule. I am still affraid of those Bike-gates and anti-parking pillars that stand on walkways and bike-lanes very often.

Edited by Matahalii

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@duaner is so spot on! Practice the little moves like mounts, dismounts, tight turns around parkinglot poles, its all totally beneficial once you get the urge to start the journeys to the store and back.

on another note, you may want to check put the video thread for some  vintage @Marty Backe beginner videos. Very encouraging!

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8 hours ago, Matahalii said:

Remember: All these guys that made great videos of their skills once were beginners and most of them made no vids of this stage - for a reason ;-)

Actually, just recently. starting about here on our video thread a number of our veterens have released some of their "lost footage" showing just tat...

I recommend checking some or them out - it will show you where we all began and what you can will one day achieve!

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Hello Gents, quick update for day 4. I have just returned from a quick 2.4km  bout of practice. Had to stop as my feet and my back are aching. Yesterday I went out 3 times including one trip of 3.8km. However, on that trip I found myself repeatedly having to stop because my feet and my back were aching so much. Probably had to stop at least 4 times for little breathers to wait for the worst of the aching to go away. Is this normal for a beginner? Right now I'm wondering how I will ever get up to riding 10-20+ miles in a day (which is the ultimate goal). Right now I can't really hack more than 1/2 hour at a time.

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If you use muscles you don't normally use, they may ache while getting used to riding. Pretty sure that's normal, more or less, if it does not get too bad. You have to know your health state and if that's a possibility for you. Does the pain go away quite quickly after you step off the wheel?

I didn't have any muscle pains, but on flat pavement my soles were getting flat and began hurting after some time, due to unrelaxed riding/trying to grip the pedals with my feet. Went away with practice (and stable shoes).

So things like this can happen. The important thing is riding in a relaxed position, which just comes automatically with practice and by stepping on/off for a moment or repositioning the feet regularly on the wheel. Wobbles and pains should eventually go away on their own.

Also, as with learning, in doubt just take a break for a day. No need to push anything:efee47c9c8:

Edited by meepmeepmayer

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Foot pain is very usual for beginners. Back pain I think is less common but not unusual. I don't think there is any way to make a reliable prediction from your experience of day 4 where you will end up at day, say, 100. Having passed day 500 some time ago, I still don't like to ride straight ahead or over on-road distances for more than 1/2 hour. For me there are clearly more comfortable ways to do this than standing on kind-of smallish pedals waiting for the next bump to come. But then, in play mode, I can go for 2 hours up into physical exhaustion without to get uncomfortable. I think one reason is that holding a fixed position becomes uncomfortable within a few minutes, whereas in play mode I constantly change and adjust the entire body.

Edited by Mono

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7 minutes ago, Mono said:

Foot pain is very usual for beginners. Back pain I think is less common but not unusual. I don't think there is any way to make a reliable prediction from your experience of day 4 where you will end up at day, say, 100. Having passed day 500 some time ago, I still don't like to ride straight ahead or over on-road distances for more than 1/2 hour. For me there are clearly more comfortable ways to do this than standing on kind-of smallish pedals waiting for the next bump to come. But then, in play mode, I can go for 2 hours up into physical exhaustion without to get uncomfortable. I think one reason is that holding a fixed position becomes uncomfortable within a few minutes, whereas in play mode I constantly change and adjust the entire body.

I see what you mean about keeping one fixed position or constantly changing position. I agree its more likely to be comfortable in 'constantly changing' positions.

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1 hour ago, The Man of Mead said:

Hello Gents, quick update for day 4. I have just returned from a quick 2.4km  bout of practice. Had to stop as my feet and my back are aching. Yesterday I went out 3 times including one trip of 3.8km. However, on that trip I found myself repeatedly having to stop because my feet and my back were aching so much. Probably had to stop at least 4 times for little breathers to wait for the worst of the aching to go away. Is this normal for a beginner? Right now I'm wondering how I will ever get up to riding 10-20+ miles in a day (which is the ultimate goal). Right now I can't really hack more than 1/2 hour at a time.

Those aches are because thats where you are holding most of your tension. Those two parts of your body are learning a new skill. I found that these are cramp like responses and if I stand up straight or adjust my feet these usually go away. 

For instance, yesterday after about 3 hours on the KS18s my feet began to cramp up in the arch. I attributed it to the larger wheel and my feet getting tired from the new strain. After stopping and stretching my feet for a couple of mins, it went away. I also sometimes get a little knee strain as well with heavier EUCs.

point is, it usually goes away as my body gets used to the equivalent of new boots after wearing flip flops all summer. It does show you alot about your body and where you carry your weight as you travel upright. We take so much of the incredible feat of balancing on two legs for granted. Its also incredible how the body uses the path of least resistance for such upright acrobatics like standing on an incline. It takes a unicycle to remind us how magnificent our bodies really are at balance.

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2 hours ago, The Man of Mead said:

I see what you mean about keeping one fixed position or constantly changing position. I agree its more likely to be comfortable in 'constantly changing' positions.

You should come down to London sometime. The Serpentine road in Hyde park is great for practicing and hitting decent speed once you know what you're doing. Am just waiting for the weather to get past 7 celsius so I can get back out there lol

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Was nearly the same for me. Feet and lower legs were hurting.

Especially the inner side of lower legs. Parts of the pain were aching, parts were from rubbing against the wheel whilst holding it very strong and tight. After a few days my style changed a bit to a looser position with less of jamming the wheel between my shanks. My upper body was OK, but I'm used to spend a whole working day upright but without beeing the sportiest person ...

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On 1/8/2018 at 6:52 AM, The Man of Mead said:

Hello Gents, quick update for day 4. I have just returned from a quick 2.4km  bout of practice. Had to stop as my feet and my back are aching. Yesterday I went out 3 times including one trip of 3.8km. However, on that trip I found myself repeatedly having to stop because my feet and my back were aching so much. Probably had to stop at least 4 times for little breathers to wait for the worst of the aching to go away. Is this normal for a beginner? Right now I'm wondering how I will ever get up to riding 10-20+ miles in a day (which is the ultimate goal). Right now I can't really hack more than 1/2 hour at a time.

Your on day 4. Let that sink in. Yes, this is totally normal. My first attempt at a two mile ride ended with a break at about 1.7 miles. My legs were shot (and sore). 

I remeber those early days. The wife would ask “Did you have fun?” And I told her “Yes.. but I would describe it as seconds long packs of fun distributed thru 20 minutes of sheer terror.” ?

By the time you get 100 miles on your wheel, the pain will be gone, you will outlast your battery, and it will be pure joy. 

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Unlike most but not all of the experienced riders here my foot pain never went away or even diminished much from when I first started, and I ended up using various techniques to cope with foot pain.

First of all, I think foot pain is a good thing; it's a great way of your body telling you to be mindful of getting a pressure sore from poor circulation. Solve the poor circulation and you solve foot pain.

Here's some techniques I use:

Just riding one-footed and then switching to the other foot every mile or so.

Ride in a cotra-posta position, with the heel near the front of the pedal. If I know I'm going to drone along a flat and not go so fast, this is my preferred method. One might even nod off if one isn't careful.

Lift the front then rear of each foot every few minutes.

Walk the wheel across a crosswalk every once in a while. I'd say this is hands-down the most effective method.

Idling (going back and forth) for just a few seconds works pretty well.

Wearing boots laced tight at the top. This allows you to lean into the top of the boot, and the whole boot instead of just the toes area of a normal shoe can be used to drive the EUC forward.

If you combine all the above methods then you won't get foot pain but it isn't from your body getting acclimitized. I actually don't think your body can harden itself against lack of circulation; the literature out there on pressure sores indicates movement as the best method of prevention.

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5 hours ago, LanghamP said:

Lift the front then rear of each foot every few minutes.

I use this method sometimes.  Lift the heel of one foot and the toe of the other foot, at the same time, so the overall forward lean on the wheel remains the same.  You can practice it at home; just stand up and try it (you'll need to bend the knee on the heel-up side.  I also roll my feet outwards, occasionally, so I'm only standing on the outermost edge.  As @LanghamP said, it's about getting the blood circulating in those stationary feet.  There may be other forces at work, but these techniques will help with the circulation.

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Thanks for your replies gents, really appreciating all the tips, advice and your own personal stories of your own learning experiences. ??✅

Laughed out loud at the “seconds long packs of fun distributed thru 20 minutes of sheer terror”. Goinpostal.

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1 minute ago, The Man of Mead said:

and your own personal stories of your own learning experiences

Speaking of, I learned on a fenced basketball court that doubled as a 5 a side football field.  When the local boys showed up ( I was in France at the time) they politely asked if they could play football. Of course I said yes, it was their town and I was a tourist.  Nothing sharpens your turning skills like dodging head high footballs zinging around.

One last thing.  Check your tire pressure; too high and you're riding on a rubber knife edge.  Makes for a very wobbly experience.  Get a bit of squish in that tire.

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9 hours ago, Smoother said:

One last thing.  Check your tire pressure; too high and you're riding on a rubber knife edge.  Makes for a very wobbly experience.  Get a bit of squish in that tire.

But too low will be just as bad as well! 

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