Riding again, at last!

Discussion in 'rec.sport.unicycling' started by Mikefule, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. Mikefule

    Mikefule Guest

    It's been a busy winter, and I've only ridden twice since Christmas.
    Now the evenings are suddenly lighter, and it's a bit warmer...

    So, which unicycle to take for the first evening ride of the season?
    All day, I knew it would be the 28. That's a 700c x 32 road tyre
    running at quite high pressure, 110 mm cranks: the most elegant ride in
    my stable.

    The uni fits easily in the massive boot (US = "trunk") of the new car,
    and soon I'm on my way. Should I start at my usual place? Can I
    freemount the skittish 28 in front of a dozen jeering children after
    such a long time? I chicken out and park at the next access point to
    the field. It's much more private here...

    Until I'm putting on my helmet and wristbands and I see Axeman!

    Axeman is one of Nottingham's great characters, but I've never seen him
    on this side of town. He's about 7 feet tall and well over 20 stone (US
    = 280 Pounds), and I guess he has issues. His head is stuck in the
    1970s, and he has long ginger hair, a headband, a straggly beard, jeans
    that smell of urine, and a cut off denim covered with heavy metal
    patches and badges. He's so overweight he walks with a stick. Although
    I've never known him to be violent, he's an intimidating sight... but
    when he speaks, it's with a childlike squeak, two octaves higher than
    you'd expect.

    And Axeman has seen me putting on a helmet, and he finds it highly
    amusing. "Woooo woooo, bike helmet, wooo..." If he sees the unicycle,
    I'm doomed! What if he asks for a ride? Discreetly, I put the unicycle
    on the blind side of the car, and ferret about in the boot as if I'm
    busy. Axeman loses interest, pauses to pee against the wall, then
    wanders on his way - like a basking shark wallowing along, huge,
    unstoppable but mostly harmless...

    Once he's gone, I carry the uni down the steps and freemount first time
    - rather wobblily, if that's a word, but first time. Is riding easy or
    hard? I never feel like I'm about to fall off, but the concentration
    factor is high!

    Soon I'm on the river bank, cruising along more smoothly, enjoying the
    fresh air and honest exercise after a tense day at work. A small skein
    of geese flies past. The boats rock at their moorings at the marina
    opposite. It's peaceful.

    Then I pass the football stadium and approach the kayak club and the
    rowing clubs. A woman carrying a kayak nearly impales me as she carries
    it towards the river. The rowers, who are adjusting footrests and
    rowlocks pause and exchange quips about my unusual number of wheels. An
    old man walking a dog tries a new line: "What happens if you get a
    puncture?" I laugh good naturedly. You won't read that often from
    me...

    I swoop under the arch of Trent Bridge, and pop out the other side to
    see a rock climber practising his skills on the rough hewn sandstone of
    the bridge. I don't tell him there's an easier way up round the back;
    he doesn't tell me I've lost a wheel - it seems a fair arrangement.
    Then I cruise along the top step of the embankment, now fully confident
    of the uni again.

    Soon, I make the tight turns and nip between the bollards onto the
    access ramp to the suspension bridge. This is the first climb of the
    ride. It's not steep, but it's tricky and I'm out of practice - and
    don't forget, I'm only on 110s. I make it up the ramp, and onto the
    slatted deck of the bridge. It's more uneven than I remember it, and
    I'm disturbed to find it's blurring my vision. I'm 42, you know...
    can't be long before I need specs.

    The ride down the other side of the bridge is tricky, but I make it,
    then drop down across the sloping apron of grass to the river bank.
    Here there are swans, Canada geese, coots and various breeds of duck.
    The only people on this path are joggers, and they're generally
    friendly. A child on the parallel path shouts, "How do you ride that?"
    I reply, "Carefully."

    Riding back up the wet grass is a bit of a challenge, but soon I'm ready
    to cross the pedestrianised toll bridge, then it's up onto the top of
    the flood bank to ride along the muddy rutted crest. As I drop down the
    short but steep path and through the narrow gate at the ned, a youth
    shouts out to his girlfriend, "Look, he's not going to ride down
    there... look, no way... no way!"

    Then I pass a group of teenagers. A girl shouts out to one of her
    friends, "Have you seen that paedophile?" Then she makes eye contact
    with me, grins and says, "Oh, I don't mean you." How do you reply to
    that? I just smile and say, "Thank you!"

    On the next stretch of tarmac path I overtake a surprised jogger, then I
    squeeze through the narrow path where a sign says, "Cyclists give way to
    pedestrians".

    What a lousy sign! Punctuated like that, it is a statement that is
    seldom true.

    It should be, "Cyclists, give way to pedestrians, " or, better still,
    "Cyclists, please give way to pedestrians," or "must" or "should". Call
    me a pedant, by all means, but one day a pedestrian will be mown down by
    a cyclist and sue the council for wrongly advising him that cyclists
    give way to pedestrians on that section of path.

    Maybe.

    Back over the suspension bridge, then along the embankment, under Trent
    Bridge, and up the ramp so I can cross the bridge on the pavement next
    to three lanes of late rush hour traffic. From here, it's a cautious
    descent of a narrow and uneven pavement to the riverbank again, and an
    easy ride back to the car.

    How far? How fast? The battery on the computer's dead, and who cares
    anyway? It was about 5 miles (8 km), maybe a bit more, with only one
    mount, and no UPDs. And it was just nice to be riding again.

    So answer me this: why spend so long learning to freemount, if you only
    do it once per ride?


    --
    Mikefule - Roland Hope School of Unicycling

    Everyone should be fatuous for 15 minutes.
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  2. bugman

    bugman Guest

    Mikefule wrote:
    > *
    > So answer me this: why spend so long learning to freemount, if you
    > only do it once per ride? *



    On my 24 mile ride I freemounted the Coker many times probably more than
    the number of miles. Most of them in the last 5-8 miles. It seemed
    like I took 2-3 times to mount the beast with wet noodles for legs.


    --
    bugman - Survivor 2004 Wolfman Duathalon

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  3. The Munieer

    The Munieer Guest

    Mike,

    Sooooo Glad to see one of your posts again. :)

    Way cool!


    --
    The Munieer - One for the...Off Road

    Rod Wylie - For Contact - DO NOT PM
    Email me at rswylie(at)aol(dot)com



    'MountainUnicyclingLA.com' (http://www.mountainunicycling.us)
    'Greater Los Angeles Area Trails - Images' (http://tinyurl.com/4otql)
    'Greater Los Angeles Area Trails - Descriptions'
    (http://tinyurl.com/6h8zn)



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  4. Naomi

    Naomi Guest

    "Mikefule" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message news:[email protected]
    >
    > It's been a busy winter, and I've only ridden twice since Christmas.
    > Now the evenings are suddenly lighter, and it's a bit warmer...
    >
    > So, which unicycle to take for the first evening ride of the season?



    A welcome return, better than the first cuckoo.

    I feel a letter to The Times is imminent.

    Nao
     
  5. s7ev0

    s7ev0 Guest

    Ahhh, the long-awaited Mikefule new post! I thought I'd spotted one a
    short while back quite close to a lesser-spotted Sarah.Miller (sorry
    Sarah!).

    Is it just me, or do any other Brits get reminded of dear old John Peel
    when reading Mike's posts?

    Sumer is icomen in, loud sing Mikefule!


    --
    s7ev0 - E pluribus uni


    :)
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  6. underdog

    underdog Guest

    So good to see you back on line (and on uni). Always enjoy reading your
    posts. Entertaining to say the least.:D


    --
    underdog - level 1 rider

    'I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody
    tell you different' - Kurt Vonnegut
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  7. Erin

    Erin Guest

    Ha, ha,...funny today, while out for a long 29'er ride on my own, I
    mused that I hadn't seen Mikefule post in a long while...and that I
    missed him....
    Only to come home and discover, Mikefule's back!
    Yay!


    --
    Erin - Onewheeler

    Ride more, with less.
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  8. Mikefule wrote:
    > *An old man walking a dog tries a new line: "What happens if you get a
    > puncture?" *



    That's weird - somebody said almost the same thing to me last weekend.
    I was riding in the New Forest and a mountain biker said "you'd be
    buggered if you get a puncture on that" as he passed. I thought about
    it for a bit, but still don't get it... Was he suggesting that he could
    continue his trip on the remaining wheel of his bike if one was
    punctured?!

    Rob


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    rob.northcott - Unofficial level 2, on a good day
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  9. rob.northcott wrote:
    > *That's weird - somebody said almost the same thing to me last
    > weekend. I was riding in the New Forest and a mountain biker said
    > "you'd be buggered if you get a puncture on that" as he passed. I
    > thought about it for a bit, but still don't get it... Was he
    > suggesting that he could continue his trip on the remaining wheel of
    > his bike if one was punctured?!
    >
    > Rob *



    It's just that those bicyclists are notoriously hard of thinking.


    --
    MrBoogiejuice - Loyal subject of the crown

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  10. MrBoogiejuice wrote:
    > *It's just that those bicyclists are notoriously hard of thinking. *



    Yes, those morons... oh, hang on a minute - I'm a bicyclist... :( But
    I ride a unicycle as well, so I suppose I come out somewhere in the
    middle - averagely stupid :)


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    rob.northcott - Unofficial level 2, on a good day
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  11. GILD

    GILD Guest

    Mikefule wrote:
    > * Riding again, at last! *



    :)


    --
    GILD - Waffle-Tosser and Time-bider

    if you can't say anything good about someone, sit right here by me.--
    alice 'roosevelt' (http://tinyurl.com/5ngze) longworth
    I feel like a fugitive from the law of averages.-- William H.
    Mauldin

    ...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
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  12. GILD

    GILD Guest

    Mikefule wrote:
    > * Riding again, at last! *



    :)


    --
    GILD - Waffle-Tosser and Time-bider

    if you can't say anything good about someone, sit right here by me.--
    alice 'roosevelt' (http://tinyurl.com/5ngze) longworth
    I feel like a fugitive from the law of averages.-- William H.
    Mauldin

    ...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
    'NAMASTE!' (http://tinyurl.com/4qcxw)
    'Dave' (http://tinyurl.com/ywxgb)
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  13. Mikefule

    Mikefule Guest

  14. Mikefule

    Mikefule Guest

  15. UniBrier

    UniBrier Guest

  16. UniBrier

    UniBrier Guest

  17. s7ev0

    s7ev0 Guest

  18. s7ev0

    s7ev0 Guest

  19. onewheeldave

    onewheeldave Guest

    rob.northcott wrote:
    > *That's weird - somebody said almost the same thing to me last
    > weekend. I was riding in the New Forest and a mountain biker said
    > "you'd be buggered if you get a puncture on that" as he passed. I
    > thought about it for a bit, but still don't get it... Was he
    > suggesting that he could continue his trip on the remaining wheel of
    > his bike if one was punctured?!
    >
    > Rob *



    I've recently had the 'puncture' comment as well.

    I think it's finally filtered through to the general public that the
    'Your wheels missing/been stolen/fallen off....' range of 'jokes' are
    totally unoriginal and unfunny; and are reaching out for new material.


    --
    onewheeldave - Semi Skilled Unicyclist

    "He's also been known to indulge in a spot of flame juggling - but it's
    the Muni that really fires him up."

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