Seatless mount

Ahaha, I just figured out the mount used in the unispin tutorial video, eg. at 1m10s. It looks like Jason puts his foot on the pedal at 6 o’clock, rolls the unicycle forward so that the pedal is at 9 o’clock, then jumps onto it. But that doesn’t work – I tried it! Rather, you gradually transfer your weight onto the lower pedal at the same time as rolling it from 6 to 9. The momentum of the “roll” acts to oppose the increasing weight you’re putting on the pedal, giving you time to get your body up and over the centre of the wheel before the weighted pedal finally defeats the momentum of the roll.

I’ve not mastered it yet. I can get onto the pedals, but usually end up in the dead 6-12 position. I once managed to roll into a seat-out hop though, so I can see where I’m going. Just more practise required. Seat-out hopping, which felt completely mental the first time I tried it, is starting to get better too.

Practical unicycling

I used my unicycle as pure transport for the first time today – a short trip to Tesco to buy some pizzas. I locked up the ‘wheel’ part to the cycle racks and put the seat part into my bag. The effect on my balance of carrying two pizzas and a D-lock was pretty minimal. Going down the steep path felt substantially harder though. Both pizzas survived the journey intact.

Earlier today, I was out under blue skies at Portobello esplanade. I tried three jump mounts, and landed them all. I tried three suicide mounts too, and whilst I landed on the pedals fine, the seat tipped away before I could sit down. I also did about half a mile along the esplanade, with a few cobbles and kerbs thrown in to keep me on my toes. It’s incredible how tiring it is compared to a bicycle. Your legs are spinning much faster, against less resistance, but you’re also constantly adjusting your pedalling rate – pausing a bit, then pedalling like crazy.

My main aim was to practise turns. I got really good at turning left – doing tight turns around some park benches. But I totally suck at turning right .. as in, I can barely do it. I guess I’m not an ambi-turner. Going left, I can pause mid-turn and change direction easily. Turning right, my pedalling speeds up, my positioning feels all wrong, and it feels like my body just doesn’t tilt that way. I need to just stick at it .. stop ‘practising’ the direction I can do and force myself to learn the other direction. Same with freemounts too. I can freemount with either foot, but I waay prefer starting with my right foot. Actually, same with idling too. I spot a pattern here.

Until I master turning right, I’ll just need to do 270° left turns instead …