1st Coker Ride!!

Discussion in 'rec.sport.unicycling' started by unidaddy, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. unidaddy

    unidaddy Guest

    Just a shout from the rooftop to express the fun that was had on the
    Montour Trial today by me and Billham. I got a fantastic new Coker for
    Christmas (inspired gift of my wife), and today was the first day to
    really get on it and see what it was all about. Beautiful day,
    mid-40's, overcast and low wind. Very comfortable riding weather. The
    trail is converted rail lines from the steel era here in SW
    Pennsylvania....actually coal lines which moved the stuff from the
    Pittsburgh coal seam to the furnaces along the Monongehela, and
    Youghigheny Rivers.......I still have no idea how to pronounce those.

    We set out on a paved section, smooth dry and lightly populated with
    couples, families, and other groups that had no apparent connection,
    mostly encouraging......we didn't get by anybody without saying "hi" to
    them. I learned quickly what a false sense of security you can have
    when the nice smooth pavement suddenly has a less than graceful pavement
    joint as we crossed a bridge.....no biggie....just a typical UPD without
    incident, followed by a freemount and a return to our pace. I've ridden
    this trail many times on my bike with my family and have wanted to be
    able to keep up on a uni, and now I'm confident I can. We established
    an 8.7mph average speed with a spike at 14.7mph over the course of 6.9
    miles....the halfway point of our ride. In the middle of the ride there
    is a beautiful horse farm, and then a quick ascent to a grade crossing
    with a road which I assume must have been a filled in tunnel, as the
    trains would never have been scaling that hill in either direction.
    This was my location for my higher speed UPD that came when I started to
    lose speed going up the grade only to lean forward to accellerate and
    not be able to recover from my lean.....I gained some speed alright, it
    was just wasted by me taking the palms of my gloves off and grinding
    into my wrist guards for a few feet. I snagged my left kneecap on the
    pavement for a minor strawberry (but one I'm no less proud of).
    Unfortunately this UPD happened in front of the biggest group of people
    we had seen on the trail so far in the ride, so there was no hiding the
    fact and quickly remounting with the "meant to do that" look on my face.
    Since the hill was fairly steep, I decided to walk the last 20 meters
    or so to the top.

    The second half of this ride was over finely crushed limestone which can
    squish out this time of year, but was remarkably firm with only a few
    areas that gave us the clay stripe up our backs. Another badge of honor
    in my book. The highlight of the trip for me was passing a nice lady on
    a bike who reacted with great surprise to two unicyclists speeding by on
    her left. We stopped to take a few pictures up the trail, and she
    showered the praise for our bravery on our little quest. The last stop
    for us was at a farm house which has a rooster that my family
    traditionally stops to hear "cock-a-doodle-doo" from. This time there
    was only a goose who was feeling rather shy.

    The beautiful thing about old rail lines is that they are at nearly
    imperceptible grades and we had been going uphill slightly the whole
    time to the turnaround point, so we started picking up the pace on the
    way back to the cars. We ended up with a 12.8 mile ride, 9.2mph average
    speed, and a blistering (for me) 15mph high speed.........I'm actually
    taking credit for Bill's computer readout. I near his pace but lagged
    behind a few yard a couple of times.

    So far, this is the kind of riding I've always wanted to do on a
    unicycle......I'm in heaven having one under my belt and all the next
    ones to look forward to. Hope everybody out there is having a great
    winter and experiencing the joy that zipping along on one wheel can
    bring.

    Sincerely,

    Bob Lauver (unidaddy)


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  2. Congratulations on your first Coker ride, Bob, and welcome to the
    wonderful world of Coker riding! Obviously, your wife is an extremely
    intelligent woman to have bought you such a wonderful gift for
    Christmas... you are a very lucky man! From your words and the look on
    your face in that picture... you certainly seem to be enjoying yourself!
    That's what Coker riding is all about :D ... and it only gets better! I
    wish you the best of luck on your new machine. Now that you 've joined
    the ranks, I look forward to hearing more about your adventures riding
    your Coker on those converted rail lines. Happy (and safe) riding!


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  3. nathan

    nathan Guest

    Sounds like you're converted completely. I like how you say "I'm in
    heaven". Those annoying UPDs will pretty much cease with a little more
    practice which will make it even more fun. I hope you gave your wife
    something half as cool as what she gave you! Great photo too.

    Happy New Year,
    Nathan


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  4. pdc

    pdc Guest

  5. unidaddy

    unidaddy Guest

    pdc, did you ask Santa?......were you good?

    Thanks for the encouragement and response, I'm going to see if I can
    keep up with my family tomorrow. I'm depending on my kids to be at 9mph
    or lower. Wish me luck! BTW, notice the strawberry from my 2nd UPD? I
    tried to take a close up for the younger riders, but had it on movie
    mode.......frankly it's not as impressive as some of the gashes I've
    seen here.:D

    Maybe this uni-club we're going to get off the ground will have a coker
    event! Bill? We could have some sort of a contest/raffle to raise
    funds and raffle off a coker! Every month....we'd have a gaggle of them
    by spring!

    --Bob


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  6. tomblackwood

    tomblackwood Guest

    unidaddy wrote:
    > *This was my location for my higher speed UPD that came when I started
    > to lose speed going up the grade only to lean forward to accellerate
    > and not be able to recover from my lean.....I gained some speed
    > alright, it was just wasted by me taking the palms of my gloves off
    > and grinding into my wrist guards for a few feet. *


    This was the exact cause of my first significant Coker UPD...it would be
    interesting to see how many others went down first the same way.

    Welcome to the joyous world of big wheel unicycling. When I first got
    mine, I thought it might be an intersting diversion. It has become a bit
    of an obsession, however. Maybe it will for you too. I noticed that the
    first two respondents to your post are also firmly in the "obsessed"
    camp :).

    Nice write-up...thanks for sharing the details. Re: your rivers
    observation, I can't speak for the first one you listed, but the second
    is pronounced Muh-non-gah-HEE-lah. Some big history on that river...

    Cheers, TB


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  7. unidaddy

    unidaddy Guest


    > Re: your rivers observation, I can't speak for the first one you
    > listed, but the second is pronounced Muh-non-gah-HEE-lah. Some big
    > history on that river...



    I misspelled it, but the Youghiogheny (I learned) is pronounced,
    yock-i-gane-ee....go figure. Traditionally it's shortened to Yock. And
    the Monongehela is shortened to Mon. Thanks for the excuse to look it
    up. The coker riding possibilities are looking pretty much endless with
    easy access to the Great Allegheny Passage nearby and new trails getting
    opened every year. I'm so psyched (and after my ride the other day,
    sore!):) There ought to be a coker event in this area in the future.
    I'm looking forward to getting to one of the already scheduled ones one
    of these times.

    Bob


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  8. billham

    billham Guest

    Welcome to the big wheel club, Bob. I'm especially excited since you
    live nearby and will be a ready and willing riding partner. With no
    experience on a coker, you are already riding at my pace, so I'm sure
    you will be pushing my pace a little and helping me to spin a little
    faster.

    By the way, who did the great photography on the photo of you? :D
    Okay, I confess, it was me. But you know I'll never make it into the
    top ranks of uni-photographers if credits aren't added to the photos.

    Today, Bob and I did a 20 miler to bring in the new year. Watch for a
    new post later tonight for a few details. Oh, and a photo or two by
    Bob.

    Bill


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