Friday, July 7, 2017

Learning to ride a freewheel Unicycle: Session #3

This was my first, at-work, training session on White Widow. So, over lunch, I drove over to a good spot on a dead end road and set up shop.  At first my goal was just the same as the previous two session, to prop-assist mounting the freewheel unicycle then try and ride as far as I could, in control.

However, after a few minutes of practice (which was going pretty well due to the slight uphill grade of the road) I realized that I was missing the point of the freewheel unicycle.  The point is simply this: coasting.  Up until now I honestly have been afraid to coast, I'd only been focusing on trying to ride as far as I could like a would a conventional unicycle.  That's the wrong approach.  Instead, I need to embrace "the coast" and focus on that aspect in these sessions.  In particular I need to practice what I now know is the fundamental freewheel unicycling skill: pedal-coast-pedal.

Without being able to comfortably, in control, and on demand pedal-coast-pedal I'd never be able to ride White Widow. So that's how I spend the remainder of the 40 minute practice session.  Riding about 10 feet or so then attempting to briefly coast with cranks vertical and resume pedaling and repeat.

At first I was abysmal. I could not convince myself to pedal after starting to coast!  I even got to the point at yelling at myself: "PEDAL!" It will definitely take time to train my brain.  It's like as soon as I'm coasting I think I'm done for and try and dismount.

Near the end of the session however, I was successful with at least a few pedal-coast-pedal trials.

Now that I know what skill set to focus on I think I should see much more rapid improvement.  Once I can comfortably pedal-coast-pedal it should then only be a matter of linking these segments together with regular riding to extend how far I can ride.

Total session time was around 40 minutes and just over a mile of GPS recorded mileage.