Re: Recokeration

Discussion in 'rec.sport.unicycling' started by Mikefule, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. Mikefule

    Mikefule Guest

    Well, after yesterday's disastrous ride... back into the office, and
    another day fighting the combined forces of evil and stupidity. My last
    customer of the day comes through as a "complaint" because one of my
    laziest colleagues can't be bothered to talk to him, and I rapidly
    detect that his claim is not as simple as he would have me believe. He
    finishes the conversation somewhat abruptly, after accusing me of having
    carnal relations with both my hand and my mother.

    So a good vigorous unicycle ride is in order. And am I going to let the
    Coker sit there in the corner and become An Issue, or am I going to give
    it another go?

    I start at my usual place near the skateboard ramps. I mount first
    time, and set off. I hear a kid shout, "Hey, look at that man over
    there, look, he's on a unicycle!" It's not intended for me to hear
    (he's made the common assumption that unicyclists are all deaf) and it's
    an honest expression of surprise and excitement. Fair enough.

    I swerve onto the narrow footpath that leads across the field. This
    path is tricky on the 700c, but the Coker soaks it up at a smooth and
    steady pace. Then I'm on the grit path beside the river, and cruising
    along.

    Something feels wrong: maybe the seat's a bit too low. It feels as if
    it's tilted forwards, too. I've been used to the Miyata all summer, and
    the Viscount feels all wrong. I decide to keep going, and soon I make
    the tight turn into the footpath next to the sailing club. Bump bump
    over the two concrete strips, crunch across the ballast, swoop up the
    little tiny hill that used to be so huge, and I soon pop out onto the
    road.

    Then it's a short ride towards the Water Sports Centre, passing one
    silent jogger on the way. As I'm about ready to move over to the right
    (US readers: we ride on the left over here) I hear a clackity clackity
    thrum noise behind me. Something strange approaches. I make an
    assertive right hand signal, occupy the centre of the road, then turn
    onto the footpath near to the lake. The vehicle clackity thrums past -
    it turns out to be a vintage air cooled V-Dub camper van. Lovely!

    It's an easy ride up the zig zag ballast path, across the rough area of
    deep ballast, then across the tarmac. The 700c treats all these
    sections with caution, but the Coker hardly notices them! Then I surge
    up the mown grassy track opposite, and duck under the low tree branches
    to turn right towards the top of "scoreboard hill" where I once learned
    to grass ski. (Grass skiing did not appeal to me at all, but my brother
    and sister both got into it and were in the GB team for a year or
    two.)

    The very last bit onto the top of the hill is a struggle, and as I pull
    hard on the front of the seat, my foot slips slightly on the pedal.
    Then I'm faced with a tricky descent - tricky because there's a narrow
    ballast path across the bottom, and the change of surface and the very
    slight drop could be enough to trip me if I'm overconfident. I
    plodwaddle down the hill, unable to adjust the position of my foot
    without falling off, and unable to control the speed and direction of
    the uni properly without adjusting my foot.

    (Conclusion: the best way to ride down the hill under control is to fall
    off. Er...)

    From here, I swoop up onto the mown grass "landscaping", ride under the
    arrows sculpture, and then along the skyline. This is all familiar, and
    presents no difficulties except that I'm a bit out of practice. I make
    the short drop down to the path by the canoe slalom course, then climb
    up the tricky gravel path to the top of the hill overlooking the course.
    All of these hills are small - only a few metres of elevation - but
    once a hill is big enough for you to lose your initial momentum, it's
    the trickiness of the surface that matters, at least until you're too
    tired to continue.

    At the top of the hill, I dismount and look at the seat. It's properly
    tilted on the seatpost, but I decide to raise it half an inch or so. I
    remount, and take the steepish descnet with care. Spinning out is not
    an option as at the bottom of the slope is the lake! I ride past a
    courting couple, surprising them mid snog, then up the next grassy
    slope, over the top, and down. Next comes a short bit of embankment,
    and as I approach it, a middle aged bloke on a mountainbike swoops up
    onto the top of the embankment. As I pass him in the opposite
    direction, atop but a single gargantuan wheel, he looks amusedly
    crestfallen.

    After the embankment, the fisherman's track alongside the river. Here
    the Coker is in its element, swooping along the trail ignoring the
    smaller bumps that would stop the 700c, and making more speed than a
    plodding MUni. Soon, I find the cut through to the parallel path. The
    cut through is grown over and would be a struggle on any of my other
    wheels. I make it fairly easily, then turn up the steepish grassy hill,
    surprising four wild rabbits which scatter in alarm.

    There's a nadgery bit between some trees next, but the wheel seems to
    remember the way. Then I burst out onto rough open ground and quickly
    make the short distance to the tarmac lakeside track. Here I pass a
    single bicyclist. Then I go down the ramp, across the grass, and across
    the little wooden slatted bridge. It's not difficult, but it's there
    and it has to be done.

    So, how good am I feeling? Ahead of me is the most difficult hill on my
    old Coker route. It's not steep, but it's rough grass, and long enough
    for balance fatigue to set in. It was at the foot of this hill that I
    fell and chipped a bone in my hand a couple of years ago. I haven't
    tried this section for months, but I decide to go for it, and make it
    most of the way up the hill easily. The last bit is a struggle and
    involves a bit of arm waving, but I stay on, and soon I am on top of the
    grassy hill overlooking the waterski lake. The descent rquires care,
    but I'm soon down, and carefully ridng past the ski lodge, clacking my
    wristguards together as a warning of my presence.

    The next obstacle...

    I don't do skinnies. This obstacle is the nearest thing to a skinny
    I've ever ridden. It's a railway sleeper used as a narrow footbridge
    over a steep sided ditch. Riding for a metre or so across a bridge as
    wide as a railway sleeper should be easy enough, but I'm always a bit
    nervous. From the seat of a Coker, the sleeper looks a long way down,
    and I really don't want to imagine what would happen if the tyre slipped
    off the side of the bridge, and the crank or pedal caught the edge of
    the bridge, and I was pitched sideways, my head falling a total of about
    10 feet into the wet and stony bed of the bridge, my arm taking the
    brunt of the fall, the shoulder dislocating, and me lying helplessly
    paralysed, stunned by the impact and unable to attract attention as the
    rising water from a sudden unseasonal storm sent its icy fingers down
    into my choking lungs.

    So, in this positive frame of mind, I approach the bridge a little too
    cautiously, hit a bump in the grass (prob'ly an earthworm or something)
    and I do a flying dismount. I clear the ditch, but the uni doesn't!

    I retrieve the Coker, remount and make a second approach. Again, the
    bump, the rude word, the clump of feet on grass, the gasp of relief and
    the grinding of metal against timber.

    Closer inspection reveals a cunningly placed wheeltrap - the surface of
    the grass is level, but the roots of the grass are down a cheeky little
    hole, a few inches before the start of the bridge. Armed with this
    knowledge, I try again, and make the crossing, celebrating with my
    trademark Tim Henman clench of the fist and a subvocalised "Yess!"

    By this time, it is starting to get a little dusky. I find myself
    cruising at a gentle pace along the tarmac next to the lake. Algae is
    rotting along the water's edge and the familar riverside smell is
    relaxing. (That should be algae are rotting, but that sounds wrong.) I
    spent much of my childhood cycling and walking by the river or the
    lakes, or canoeing, or just swimming, and I still love those familiar
    smells.

    Cruising on the Coker, I guess I'm doing 10 mph (16 kmh) and a lazy
    seagull keeps pace with me for a while, flying slightly lower than my
    head height. The centre of the lake is filling with ducks and geese
    which congregate there away from any predators there might be on the
    bank.

    I make good speed round to the canoe slalom course, diverting briefly
    beside the main lake to ride down onto one of the mooring pontoons,
    along its length and back up the ramp onto the shore. At the slalom
    course, I ride along the tops of the mown grass landscaping. I hear one
    or two "Look at that"s from the canoeists, but no comments directed at
    me until I hear the dreaded "Dit dit diddle iddle dit dit da da..." I
    respond with a casual bidigital salute and continue on my way.


    --
    Mikefule - Roland Hope School of Unicycling

    So, do you ride with a club?

    No, but I carry a heavy spanner.
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  2. Mikefule

    Mikefule Guest

    The hardest obstacle I've saved until last. It's just another hump (as
    the Bishop explained to his thespian lady friend) but the last bit is
    steep and sudden. At my best, a year or two back, I reached the stage
    where I could rush it to the top more often than not. I aim,
    accelerate, hit the start of the slope and dismount spectacularly. I
    know the canoeists sitting in the eddy below me have been watching, but
    they are too polite to comment. I give a cheesy grin of
    acknowledgement, and a slight theatrical bow to cover my embarrassment,
    then push the uni up the slope. Time to make a phone call, which takes
    20 minutes or so, dring which time the autumnal chill starts to seep
    into my bones a bit.

    I remount (second attempt!) and spin dramatically down the steep section
    of hill that foiled my ascent. I hear gasps from a couple of passers
    by. Then I drop down onto the tarmac and approach the footbridge. This
    has a nasty little bevelled kerb at the start of it. It's one of those
    kerbs just high enough to trip you if you catch it wrong. My timing is
    all out and as I try to lift my weight off the wheel, the tyre hits the
    herb so hard that the uni takes off. For a split second, I get "big
    air" and feel like I am hovering, and about to fall. I remain on
    board, though, and maintain most of my dignity.

    From here, a steady poddle back along the riverbank, past the sailing
    club and over the field to the skatepark and back to the car.

    Today, hardly a comment, friendly, hostile or otherwise. The Coker has
    taken me over stuff that I wouldn't even try on the 700c (with the
    current skinny tyre, at any rate) and along sections that would be
    excruciatingly boring on the 26. This is what the Coker's for.

    And the bits I missed out:

    I passed two attractive lady bicyclists. One was demurely dressed. The
    other had her goods on display. I could have said, "If you're selling
    those puppies, I'll have the one with the pink nose." I didn't.

    I passed several canoeists. I could have said, "Let's see you do an
    Eskimo roll." I didn't.

    I passed someone in a C1 canoe. I could have said, "Where's your other
    paddle?" I didn't.

    I passed a few joggers. I could have said, "That looks like hard work."
    I didn't.

    I passed a very fat man, jogging. I could have said, "I bet you're
    regretting all those pies now." I didn't.

    I saw several anglers and didn't ask any of them if they'd drowned any
    good maggots recently.

    You see, you can't always help what thoughts come into your mind, but
    you don't have to say them out loud. Is that so difficult?

    Anyway, the Coker stays, for now.


    --
    Mikefule - Roland Hope School of Unicycling

    So, do you ride with a club?

    No, but I carry a heavy spanner.
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  3. cathwood

    cathwood Guest

    :D :D :D

    I'm so sad that by the time I can get out on the uni in the evening it's
    too dark to ride along the prom.

    the 29er is religated to the weekends and I'm practicing my hopping on
    the street outside my house. Perhaps by the time it's summer again, I'll
    have actually plucked up the currage to actually hop up the curb.

    At least I can ride vicariously via your posts Mikefule.

    Cathy


    --
    cathwood - Lunicyclist

    A thought is just a thought.

    http://www.chuckingandtwirling.co.uk
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  4. s7ev0

    s7ev0 Guest

  5. tomblackwood

    tomblackwood Guest

    Mikefule wrote:
    > *Anyway, the Coker stays, for now. *


    Nice Mike! Glad to see the adjustment to your meds is kicking in :).

    Coker on!


    --
    tomblackwood - Registered Nurtz

    Tailgate at your own risk.....

    "By George! The man's a genius!"
    Murde Mental

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  6. Mikefule

    Mikefule Guest

    cathwood wrote:
    > *At least I can ride vicariously via your posts Mikefule.
    > *



    No one can call us unicyclists an ill educated bunch. We take words
    like vicariously and misanthropic and just casually drop them into the
    conversation. Bet you don't get that on Recreational Sport
    Abuse-Shouting.com;)


    --
    Mikefule - Roland Hope School of Unicycling

    So, do you ride with a club?

    No, but I carry a heavy spanner.
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  7. Mikefule wrote:
    > *what would happen if the tyre slipped off the side of the bridge, and
    > the crank or pedal caught the edge of the bridge, and I was pitched
    > sideways, my head falling a total of about 10 feet into the wet and
    > stony bed of the bridge, my arm taking the brunt of the fall, the
    > shoulder dislocating, and me lying helplessly paralysed, stunned by
    > the impact and unable to attract attention as the rising water from a
    > sudden unseasonal storm sent its icy fingers down into my choking
    > lungs.*


    And people call -me- a pessimist!


    --
    rob.northcott - Speed Freak (apparently)

    You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to
    skydive twice
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  8. S_Wallis

    S_Wallis Guest

    That was a great one, Mike. There are so many good lines in there it
    should provide everyone with sig line quotes for quite some time.

    Scott


    --
    S_Wallis - Old Guys Rule!

    "I passed someone in a C1 canoe. I could have said, "Where's your other
    paddle?" I didn't. " -Mikefule

    "I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn
    how to do it." Pablo Picasso
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  9. abbabibble

    abbabibble Guest

    just a question.

    the "bidigital salute" refers to the finger?
    am i correct?

    but ah, good job. happy recokeration DAY!!!


    --
    abbabibble - uhh...

    Cheers,
    Mat.
    -----------------------
    "1% of the people on the planet can ride a uni. The other 99% can only
    wonder why we would do it."

    -someone on this forum, and onewheeljoe. (unknown person, please PM me
    if you said this, so you can get credit for this great quote.)

    "maxis:
    STOP. GRAMMAR TIME!" ---fcwegnm0b
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  10. lleberg

    lleberg Guest

    Very nice reading! And it's nice to hear you're still riding your
    monster!

    I put my 102mm cranks on my 29er an hour ago, and it's a real blast
    riding it! I got a pair of 92mm fro unicycle.se for free, wounder when
    they'll come in handy! :)


    --
    lleberg - Can you ride that.. thing?

    I <3 my unicycle!
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  11. GILD

    GILD Guest

    Mikefule wrote:
    > *...The vehicle clackity thrums past...
    >
    > ...I plodwaddle down the hill...
    >
    > ...a steady poddle back...
    >
    > *


    forget about -using- the big words
    it's the new ones that are created as we go that really excite me

    Mikefule wrote:
    > *It's not difficult, but it's there and it has to be done.*


    words to live by


    --
    GILD - Waffle-Tosser, Time-bider and JCTK

    if you can't say anything good about someone, sit right here by me.--
    'alice' (http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/custom.html?) 'roosevelt'
    (http://tinyurl.com/963jr) 'longworth' (http://tinyurl.com/78ybd)

    I feel like a 'fugitive' (http://gallery.unicyclist.com/Daves-Tattoos)
    from the law of averages.-- 'william h mauldin'
    (http://www.johnconyers.com/)

    ...using nietzsche's metaphysics to escape from
    christianity...-'metro_tramp on the value of metaphysics'
    (http://tinyurl.com/4sjw6)-
    it's hard to be sure, and good to be paranoid...john childs on life on
    the internet
    'harper' (http://tinyurl.com/c9epx)
    'NAMASTE!' (http://tinyurl.com/4qcxw)
    'Dave' (http://www.lyricsdir.com/d/deep-purple/child-in-time.php)
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  12. DarkTom

    DarkTom Guest

    Mikefule wrote:
    > * I really don't want to imagine what would happen if the tyre slipped
    > off the side of the bridge, and the crank or pedal caught the edge of
    > the bridge, and I was pitched etc etc etc.*



    For something you don't want to imagine you go into lots of unnecessary
    detail! (I mean in your head, not in your write-up!)

    When I'm approaching a skinnie or ramp or something that looks as if it
    might throw me off, I look at the obstacle, then the tyre below me and
    say "You're going up/over/along that". Nine times out of ten it
    works.

    Might help you. Might not. Great write up anyway! Cokers rule!

    T.


    --
    DarkTom - Livin under cloud of Stone Elephant

    -\"just eat less pies, and then the loads on your seatpost will be
    less.\" - johnhimsworth

    \"i am a girl\" - amanda.gallacher

    \"mud is the ink we use for bodypainting our homage to the muni sport.\"
    - goldenchickenii
    -
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  13. Mikefule

    Mikefule Guest

    abbabibble wrote:
    > *just a question.
    >
    > the "bidigital salute" refers to the finger?
    > am i correct?
    > *



    Bidigital, not unidigital.

    In Old English Vernacular Sign Language, the forefinger and middle
    finger of the same hand presented in a V sign, with the back of the hand
    facing the person thus addressed.

    The American Standard Sign language equivalent is, I believe, the middle
    finger only.

    The history goes back to Agincourt.


    --
    Mikefule - Roland Hope School of Unicycling

    So, do you ride with a club?

    No, but I carry a heavy spanner.
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  14. Mikefule

    Mikefule Guest

    GILD wrote:
    > *forget about -using- the big words
    > it's the new ones that are created as we go that really excite me
    > *



    Of the list you quoted, "poddle" is fairly standard local dialect.
    Poddle, verb: to travel in a carefree and relaxed manner at no great
    speed.

    Contrasts with bimble:
    Bimble, verb: to travel in a carefree manner, making reasonable speed.

    (Plodwaddle was created specially for the occasion.)


    --
    Mikefule - Roland Hope School of Unicycling

    So, do you ride with a club?

    No, but I carry a heavy spanner.
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  15. abbabibble

    abbabibble Guest

    and mikefule, you are now quotenated in my signature for those two
    quotes
    ("It's not difficult, but it is there and has to be done," and "respond
    with the casual bidigital salute") i always did like foriegn
    profanity...

    oh, and when you're riding a coker, you can just run over the poor
    bugger.


    --
    abbabibble - uhh...

    Cheers,
    Mat.
    -----------------------
    "1% of the people on the planet can ride a uni. The other 99% can only
    wonder why we would do it."

    -someone on this forum, and onewheeljoe. (unknown person, please PM me
    if you said this, so you can get credit for this great quote.)

    "maxis: STOP. GRAMMAR TIME!" ---fcwegnm0b

    --"It's not difficult, but it is there and has to be done"

    --"[just]respond with a casual bidigital salute[!]"

    --Mikefule
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  16. GILD

    GILD Guest

    Mikefule wrote:
    > *Poddle, verb: to travel in a carefree and relaxed manner at no great
    > speed.
    >
    > Contrasts with bimble:
    > Bimble, verb: to travel in a carefree manner, making reasonable
    > speed.*

    so where does 'lollygag' fit in?

    Mikefule wrote:
    > *The history goes back to Agincourt. *


    as does the phrase 'Pluck Yew!'
    (http://www.snopes.com/language/apocryph/pluckyew.htm)

    'It was the equivalent of \"two world wars and one world cup\" sung to
    Germans at football matches - a defiant gesture based upon past glory.'
    (http://tinyurl.com/8q5gv)

    and whie i wsa searching, i found this handy 'guide'
    (http://www.ooze.com/finger/html/foriegn.html)
    as a race, we may not be putting all our creative energy into sorting
    out world hunger, but we sure do in figuring out new ways to use our
    fingers in rude and offensive 'ways'
    (http://www.lcdf.org/~eddietwo/xwrits/GESTURES)


    --
    GILD - Waffle-Tosser, Time-bider and JCTK

    if you can't say anything good about someone, sit right here by me.--
    'alice' (http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/custom.html?) 'roosevelt'
    (http://tinyurl.com/963jr) 'longworth' (http://tinyurl.com/78ybd)

    I feel like a 'fugitive' (http://gallery.unicyclist.com/Daves-Tattoos)
    from the law of averages.-- 'william h mauldin'
    (http://www.johnconyers.com/)

    ...using nietzsche's metaphysics to escape from
    christianity...-'metro_tramp on the value of metaphysics'
    (http://tinyurl.com/4sjw6)-
    it's hard to be sure, and good to be paranoid...john childs on life on
    the internet
    'harper' (http://tinyurl.com/c9epx)
    'NAMASTE!' (http://tinyurl.com/4qcxw)
    'Dave' (http://www.lyricsdir.com/d/deep-purple/child-in-time.php)
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  17. mikepenton

    mikepenton Guest

    Mikefule wrote:
    > *You see, you can't always help what thoughts come into your mind, but
    > you don't have to say them out loud. Is that so difficult?
    > *


    some have greater self control than others!

    please check your pm's! (gramattically incorrect I know but reduces
    potential confusion)


    --
    mikepenton - sometimes level
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  18. mikepenton

    mikepenton Guest

    Mikefule wrote:
    > *You see, you can't always help what thoughts come into your mind, but
    > you don't have to say them out loud. Is that so difficult?
    > *


    some have greater self control than others!

    please check your pm's! (gramattically incorrect I know but reduces
    potential confusion)


    --
    mikepenton - sometimes level
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  19. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Mikefule wrote:
    > Algae is
    > rotting along the water's edge and the familar riverside smell is
    > relaxing. (That should be algae are rotting, but that sounds wrong.)


    No, it really doesn't. "Algae is rotting" sounds very, very wrong. I
    could hardly believe I was seeing such a mistake in a Mikefule essay,
    until I read the bracketed bit (slightly delayed by the mental
    perturbation caused by reading "Algae is...").

    It's really no different to someone talking about "a bacteria", a common
    mistake that irks me.

    --
    Danny Colyer (my reply address is valid but checked infrequently)
    <URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/>
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  20. unicus

    unicus Guest

    Danny Colyer wrote:
    > *Mikefule wrote:
    > > Algae is
    > > rotting along the water's edge and the familar riverside smell is
    > > relaxing. (That should be algae are rotting, but that sounds

    > wrong.)
    >
    > No, it really doesn't. "Algae is rotting" sounds very, very wrong.
    > I
    > could hardly believe I was seeing such a mistake in a Mikefule
    > essay,
    > until I read the bracketed bit (slightly delayed by the mental
    > perturbation caused by reading "Algae is...").
    >
    > It's really no different to someone talking about "a bacteria", a
    > common
    > mistake that irks me.
    >
    > --
    > Danny Colyer (my reply address is valid but checked infrequently)
    > <URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/>
    > "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine *


    I’ve noticed the use of ‘is’ in speech where it ought not to be but it
    can sound right. I’ve also heard it used where it shouldn’t be and it
    sounds wrong but this may be intentional, take the lyrics to Jamelia’s
    DJ (had to look that up) “The speakers is rumbling”. Every time I heard
    this on the radio it made me cringe, well the whole song does actually.


    --
    unicus - EMUnicyclist

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