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One Wheel Wheezin'

Old 10-03-09, 08:42 PM
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smorris 
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One Wheel Wheezin'

It all started a week or so ago when Unigeezer posted a link to his web page and videos on here. If you didn't see them, take some time to go to Unigeezer.com and meander around. This guy is 53, looks way under 40, and does things I couldn't do at half his age.

Well Hell! I've got an old unicycle, and I used to ride it all over town when I was a teenager. I can still do that. Famous last words...

First, I had to dig it out from behind my woodworking tools, which have been shoved up against the garage wall since I got the MG in 2001. It is home made from a 26" fork with pillow blocks welded on. The seatpost is the steering tube with a 1/4" plate 1 X 8 welded on top, upon which a 2X4 is screwed on edge. This is wrapped in foam and carpet padding and covered with burlap and a horrible looking upholstery material. It has been like this since I first remember seeing my Dad on in in the fifties. I have no idea how old it is, as it has seemingly forever looked like it does now. The frame has always been a little twisted. It's easier to turn left than right. It still is curved, you just have to remember to ride if in the forward direction. The wheel has a couple of spokes missing, and is rusty all over. Most of the Safety Orange paint that is on the frame is still on the rim, too. The tire's pretty horrible. It is a Wards 26 X 2-1/8 from the '60s or earlier. Hmmm, where's the inner tube? For that matter, where are the cranks, pedals, bearing cap, bolts, and cotters. (Not those fancy cotters with nuts. Just tapered pins driven in with a hammer.)

So a couple of evenings last week I spent a couple hours looking for the missing parts. My garage is a tribute to all the hobbies I've accumulated over the years, so searching is no trivial matter. Today:AHA! There they are on the drill press table, under a pile of stretched out bungee cords that should be thrown out, and under a roll of carpet remnants (that I'll never use but keep anyway.) There's a tube, too! I must have gotten one whenever I took this thing apart.

I wrap about five layers of electrical tape over the inside of the rim, put the Presta valved tube in the Schrader valve hole (nice planning, Steve...) and popped the tire on. Man, is that bead crappy! Then I put the hub in the pillow blocks and clamped the bearings in place, pound on the rusty cranks that once probably were chrome, and gave the Union rubber pedals a spin. Good thing it is a slow unicycle, cause the bearings are pretty crappy, too. I love the total ugliness and disrepair of this ancient, cobweb encrusted unicycle.

So, it is time to go for a ride. Its just like riding a bike; you don't forget. Climb on, and ride away.

Except it doesn't work quite like that. Mounting used to be easy. How come I have to hang onto the fence with two hands just to stay aboard? I'll just rock back and forth a bit getting my balance. Whoa! Time to mount up again. How'd that happen! Eventually I ride off into the sunset; or about two pedal cranks, whichever was shorter. Why is this so hard? I've ridden miles at a time before, and I remember a 10 mile unicycle ride with my friend in Jr High School. Nevermind that that was about 44 years ago.

After many fits and starts, I finally have made progress, and can ride out my driveway, along the road to the neighbor, up her driveway, turn around, and come back home. I'm not particularly graceful, but I make up for it performing dismounts of stunning ineptness.

However, I discovered something I don't recall from my youth. Unicycling is not like bicycle riding. Even though I hadn't ridden my bicycle for 15 years prior to this summer, I could get on and ride some distance without discomfort or stress. However simply riding the unicycle a short few hundred feet had me wheezing to catch my breath, and soaking my shirt in sweat. Did this really used to be this hard!? After two or three short rides, I had to sit down for a rest. Visions of emulating Mr Unigeezer's mountain unicycling in my future suddenly seemed as impossible as me flapping my arms and flying.

Maybe, with repeated tries, I'll be back to riding 1/2 mile or maybe even the mile into town. But I don't think I'll be ordering that fancy mountain unicycle with the 3" wide tire, brake, fancy saddle, etc. for myself for Christmas. Besides, you can't get them with burlap saddles. Thanks, Unigeezer, for encouraging me to expand my reentry into cycling, but for now, I'll just be known as Uniwheezer.
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1992 Bridgestone RB-T
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Xtracycle conversion on 1997 KHS Summit X

Last edited by smorris; 10-03-09 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 10-03-09, 08:52 PM
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Kurt Erlenbach
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Unigeezer is not human.
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Old 10-04-09, 04:38 PM
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I told you it was in horrible shape!









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Old 10-04-09, 06:16 PM
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That's the latest Brooks, isn't it?
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Old 10-04-09, 06:30 PM
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Ha! Closer to Brooks Brothers than Brooks leather.
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Old 10-04-09, 06:39 PM
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I have never attempted to ride a unicycle, knowing full well that doing so requires far better physical coordination than I'll ever have.
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Old 10-04-09, 09:12 PM
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I've been riding a unicycle a mere two weeks, but I've moved beyond the point where I'm drenched with sweat after only a few hundred yards. It's waaaay easier now that I'm not fighting myself so much.

That seat looks extremely uncomfortable!
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Old 10-05-09, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by smorris View Post
It all started a week or so ago when Unigeezer posted a link to his web page and videos on here. If you didn't see them, take some time to go to Unigeezer.com and meander around. This guy is 53, looks way under 40, and does things I couldn't do at half his age.

Well Hell! I've got an old unicycle, and I used to ride it all over town when I was a teenager. I can still do that. Famous last words...

First, I had to dig it out from behind my woodworking tools, which have been shoved up against the garage wall since I got the MG in 2001. It is home made from a 26" fork with pillow blocks welded on. The seatpost is the steering tube with a 1/4" plate 1 X 8 welded on top, upon which a 2X4 is screwed on edge. This is wrapped in foam and carpet padding and covered with burlap and a horrible looking upholstery material. It has been like this since I first remember seeing my Dad on in in the fifties. I have no idea how old it is, as it has seemingly forever looked like it does now. The frame has always been a little twisted. It's easier to turn left than right. It still is curved, you just have to remember to ride if in the forward direction. The wheel has a couple of spokes missing, and is rusty all over. Most of the Safety Orange paint that is on the frame is still on the rim, too. The tire's pretty horrible. It is a Wards 26 X 2-1/8 from the '60s or earlier. Hmmm, where's the inner tube? For that matter, where are the cranks, pedals, bearing cap, bolts, and cotters. (Not those fancy cotters with nuts. Just tapered pins driven in with a hammer.)

So a couple of evenings last week I spent a couple hours looking for the missing parts. My garage is a tribute to all the hobbies I've accumulated over the years, so searching is no trivial matter. Today:AHA! There they are on the drill press table, under a pile of stretched out bungee cords that should be thrown out, and under a roll of carpet remnants (that I'll never use but keep anyway.) There's a tube, too! I must have gotten one whenever I took this thing apart.

I wrap about five layers of electrical tape over the inside of the rim, put the Presta valved tube in the Schrader valve hole (nice planning, Steve...) and popped the tire on. Man, is that bead crappy! Then I put the hub in the pillow blocks and clamped the bearings in place, pound on the rusty cranks that once probably were chrome, and gave the Union rubber pedals a spin. Good thing it is a slow unicycle, cause the bearings are pretty crappy, too. I love the total ugliness and disrepair of this ancient, cobweb encrusted unicycle.

So, it is time to go for a ride. Its just like riding a bike; you don't forget. Climb on, and ride away.

Except it doesn't work quite like that. Mounting used to be easy. How come I have to hang onto the fence with two hands just to stay aboard? I'll just rock back and forth a bit getting my balance. Whoa! Time to mount up again. How'd that happen! Eventually I ride off into the sunset; or about two pedal cranks, whichever was shorter. Why is this so hard? I've ridden miles at a time before, and I remember a 10 mile unicycle ride with my friend in Jr High School. Nevermind that that was about 44 years ago.

After many fits and starts, I finally have made progress, and can ride out my driveway, along the road to the neighbor, up her driveway, turn around, and come back home. I'm not particularly graceful, but I make up for it performing dismounts of stunning ineptness.

However, I discovered something I don't recall from my youth. Unicycling is not like bicycle riding. Even though I hadn't ridden my bicycle for 15 years prior to this summer, I could get on and ride some distance without discomfort or stress. However simply riding the unicycle a short few hundred feet had me wheezing to catch my breath, and soaking my shirt in sweat. Did this really used to be this hard!? After two or three short rides, I had to sit down for a rest. Visions of emulating Mr Unigeezer's mountain unicycling in my future suddenly seemed as impossible as me flapping my arms and flying.

Maybe, with repeated tries, I'll be back to riding 1/2 mile or maybe even the mile into town. But I don't think I'll be ordering that fancy mountain unicycle with the 3" wide tire, brake, fancy saddle, etc. for myself for Christmas. Besides, you can't get them with burlap saddles. Thanks, Unigeezer, for encouraging me to expand my reentry into cycling, but for now, I'll just be known as Uniwheezer.
Wow, what a great story Steve! Great job on making that uni too! Not sure how "trail-worthy" it may be, but I bet yo had a blast making it! Thanks also for your kind comments. Cheers!
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Old 10-05-09, 08:15 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
Unigeezer is not human.
Haha, yeah, I'm "Robo-Uni!" Hey that could be a movie...not!
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Old 10-05-09, 08:22 PM
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Thanks Terry!
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Old 10-11-09, 11:59 AM
  #11  
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Making progress!

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Old 10-11-09, 12:04 PM
  #12  
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Flip the stem!

Oh wait...no stem.

Thanks for posting the story - your unicycle looks like a medieval torture device to me. I'll just stand over here and watch.
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Old 10-25-09, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by smorris View Post
Thanks Terry!
No problem.

Originally Posted by smorris View Post
Making progress!

Very good! Looks like a fun ride.
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Old 10-25-09, 07:27 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by smorris View Post
I told you it was in horrible shape!

That's an interesting-looking hub.
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Old 10-25-09, 07:53 PM
  #15  
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Where is your helmet**********
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