Balancing on one wheel
Thursday evening; I joined the "Juggling and Unicycling Stockton-on-Tees
" club at Northfield School in Billingham for their club night to find out more about unicycling and whether I could come along and practice. I was made really welcome by the group and met Richard, Andrew and another first-timer, Phillipe. Richard took time to shown me how to get onto a unicycle and where to balance my feet - it is completely unlike cycling, it isn't even like riding no-hands, or like riding a manual (that's "pulling a wheelie" for older readers).
Firstly I have to understand that I need to keep a pressure with both feet to maintain balance, I have to learn to rock backwards and forward to find a resting point. After this, using the wall, I was trying to do half-turns of the cranks to move comfortably forwards and backwards. After that I was encouraged to try a full pedal stroke.
During the next 45 minutes I never fully escaped the support of the wall, I did manage to take a couple of rotations but then used the wall to lean against again. Falling off is easy! I usually landed on my feet, but on one occasion I loudly bumped onto my derriere and I think I've sprained my wrist slightly.
It was a tremendous workout though - I was sodden with sweat after half an hour, using muscles I didn't know I had, or perhaps don't have. The most obvious was the core stomach muscles, and mine are not particularly strong.
The JUST group were a mix of all ages and even though I'm clearly on the old side to be trying to learn a new skill I was comfortable in the hall surrounded by proficient unicyclists and jugglers. I'm definitely going to return and continue to try and learn to ride a unicycle, I'm sure it will take time and practice. Clearly I'm going to have to buy a unicycle though because one hour a week will not be enough to learn.
Labels: Billingham, Juggling Unicycling Stockton Tees, JUST, one wheel, practice, unicycle