Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Unicycle Take 2

Okay. I stayed off the unicycle for ages. I need my knees. I am going to be working this summer in a job that involves carrying buckets of paint and ladders and bed frames up and down 4-5 flights of stairs. 2 people last year had to stop because of their knees. 2 out of 15. So I am being really careful, and trying to decompress my bones, and only riding for 20 minutes. I am also trying 2 things- my chiropractor said that I might do better wearing more absorbent soled shoes. So I have stopped using my thin soled cycle shoes with gel heel inserts, and have put those inserts and my ball of foot gel inserts that I liberated from some high heels into my Shoes for Crews shoes that I had to buy for El Pollo Loco. They have these little suction embossed crosses on the bottom so I can walk on wet tiles, but that actually does not come up in my life anymore. Thank God. I am probably damaging the non slip sole by walking and falling on asphalt. Oh well. Maybe when they are filed down I will be able to walk on a regular floor with them without going squidge. The second thing I am doing is only riding on level ground. My whole neighborhood and all of Santa Cruz County is on an incline. There is a little patch of the parking lot that is flat, and the neighboring parking lot has a good long flat stretch.

However, I started out on the slanted parking lot near my house, figuring that it would be easier to crawl home from there if neccessary. I was a little worried about whether my body would remember how to unicycle at all. (Do you ever make little deals with yourself? Like if you sleep in, before you look at the clock you assess the latest time you would be okay with, say 10 am, and if it is earlier you refuse to be discouraged? And if it's later you are allowed to be briefly dissapointed? I decided that if I rode like I had never been on a unicycle I was allowed to cry, but if I could get at least 10 feet I would be happy.) I got on and was very encouraged. I traveled about 6 feet: I got on, pedaled, and immediately fell off. 5 minutes later I moved to the flatter, farther away parking lot. I am definitely worse, but it might be the shoes. I have gotten the best result from my cycle shoes, and my other sneakers are just looser or slippier or something. The farthest I could get today was about 30 feet. It is hard to say how far I traveled because I was not trying for a straight line, just for staying upright, so there was a lot of wavering and veering. I think I could also have gone farther if I had pedaled faster. There is a trick for staying on, when if you start to fall you lean forward and carry on pedaling, but this means that when you do fall you are going kind of fast, which I think is bad for my knees/pelvis. Also I have lost 6 lbs. (of thigh muscle. From not unicycling.*) which according to a Kaiser commercial that I saw three years ago relieves 24 lbs. of pressure from my knees.

Tommorow I am going to juggling club, and I am going to work on free mounting. Right now I have to use a post. It is very hard to work on free mounting because it is difficult and not exciting. When you have got a unicycle and a bit of pavement, trying for at least a respectable bit of distance is irresistable.

*This is really true. When I started unicycling I went down a pants size (kind of. I was between sizes, and I moved to fitting best into the smaller size), and when I stopped I went down a pants size again. I can still wear all of my pants though, they are just loose and kind of unflattering.

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