Sunday, March 1, 2009

Unicycling Day 6

Yay! Today was a great day! I think I can grow muscles really fast, because I was out for 2 1/2 hours and I'm not too tired. I started learning to unicycle on Feb 20th, which was 9 days ago. But this is only the 6th time I took my unicycle out. I would say the estimate 1 week of learning unicycle for every day you spent learning to bike is quite accurate, as long as Dad is not misremembering how long I took to learn a bike. (he thinks I learned right when I climbed on one)

Today I was dying to unicycle but it was raining out. So I practiced free mounting under the car roof. Then I got bored of that and practiced riding the width of 2 parking spaces, throwing myself off the unicycle when I got to close to the dreaded wet pavement. Then I got bored of that (oh, my spine hurts) and braced myself for riding on the wet. It was quite slippery but I reminded myself that when it dries I will have even better control. Actually I spent an hour not progressing at all, because of the puddles and the slipperiness and everything. But then I got the idea to put a pebble at the farthest place I had gotten previously and just get a little farther, and it worked really well. I still only made it to/past the pebble 1/3 of the time (2/3 of the time I fell before I got the pedals going right) but it helped me break the 25' barrier.

I was so pleased that I went to the nice place to ride (even though it is ugly when it rains), and spent a little while riding there. (I used a short light post to climb on) It was not very good because I can't stay on the path; I still need to swerve aaaall over. So I went back to the parking lot and stayed riding until I could ride nearly the length of the lot. I don't know how far that is but I think it is around 30 yards. I can't ride the whole way because when I throw myself on the ground I need some space to maneuver* without hitting the cars. Then I got too tired and my cycling started to degrade but I wanted to get to where I could ride the lot in the uphill direction** so I carried on until I hurt myself. I can't remember where; I am covered with bruises and all of my fingernails were already broken.

But some of the things I did today that helped were: put my pedals on so that they screw in and not out when I pedal, focus on something distant, flail my arms, and try to beat my previous distance. I am very excited to go out when it is dry and see if I can do even better.

I have been having a contest between unicycling and juggling to see what is easier, and unicycling has won by taking 1/2 as long to learn.

Unfortunately I think I have outgrown the portion of the gym allocated to the juggling club and it will be a while before I am dexterous enough to go in a little circle.

*calling what I do a maneuver is maybe generous.
**It is hard because you t4ravel very slowly uphill whereas downhill momentum makes it easier to carry on straight without tilting left or right.

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