Sunday, May 10, 2009

Muni Progress

Two steps forward and one back. I got about an hour of muni practice in this morning. While waiting to go to church with my mother, I attempted to tame the beast somewhat in her driveway. They are going to start shingling their roof soon, and have a large dumpster in the driveway for the old materials.

I started off holding onto the side of the metal and just balancing in place. This took a while to get comfortable with. With the railing acting like a training wheel of sorts, I am getting a feel for how the thing behaves. It's a weird feeling, but there's just a center point of sorts that feels very sound somehow. I think that's the point.

Moving on from there, I started slowly moving along the side of the container. Slowly, as to get a feel for the crank rhythm, I crawled along. This went pretty well really. The muni I'm trying to learn how to ride uses 140mm cranks, and they feel hopelessly short. Even with the saddle at what I think is a proper height, I feel a bit cramped up. I am left wondering what a larger wheeled uni feels like. This one also seems to be very rocky, and rather quick handling. I don't know how much more stable a larger wheel would feel, but I know how it works for bikes. In my experience, the larger the wheel the more of a given input is required to make the same thing happen. That may make this easier for me, as I get the feeling that I'm trying to drive a nail in with a sledgehammer. It's like I'm trying too hard to get it done.

This continued for a while until I began to have the confidence to start to make short stints across the open concrete. I made it several rotations usually, before hopping off in a slight panic. This was all well and good, and I was actually feeling okay about the whole thing, when it happened. During one of those little jaunts away from the bin, I leaned back a little too far. In a panic, I found myself unable to get my foot down in time. Quickly, I reached for the side of the dumpster and unfortunately I caught it. The backward inclination of the fall was completely arrested, with the consequence of dislocating my shoulder forward from the socket.

For those of you who have never done this, it is a puzzling way to find yourself. Looking down at my shoulder, there was quiet a bit of pain. Kind of that dull ache that comes from an especially bad bruise. My shoulder was stuck forward of the socket, and I was unable to move it straight back in, even with some pressure from my other hand. I slowly rotated my arm up towards may chest, which took enough pressure off of it to allow it to pop back in. Ouch, really. It's not so bad now, though it does feel a bit sore and rather loose if you will. I'm taking some Ibuprofen regularly, and that is managing it well. I went for a longer ride around town running some errands this afternoon, and it certainly was noticeable. I am afraid I won't be on the mtb for a few days at least.

Over all, even in spite of this minor annoyance, I remain undeterred in my wish to learn to ride. Though I knew that this was going to be a bit of a challenge, this is a bit of an unexpected consequence. I'll keep trying, though maybe on a softer material. I may also see if there is a 24" uni around somewhere, as I do think that may be better. Hopefully I can learn to do this well, and have the balance fundamentals transfer over to the other types of riding I enjoy. It may well prove too much for me, though it is still fun to try.

Happy Mother's Day all. Cheers.


Jesse S said...

Clearly, you should have ditched church and come for a ride with me instead. ;-)

frankenbiker said...

If you are over 5-10 try a twenty four inch wheel,my Kris Holm is a twenty four wheel with a 3" tire that ='s roughly 26" 's.I can clear almost anyhting and it seems much more balanced than a 20" they are mostly used for trials.

Ben said...

It's kind of hard to back out on your mom when going to church with her is the only thing she asked for for her birthday and Mother's Day. I hope the ride was good though, sorry to have missed it.

Thanks for the advice on the size, I'll see if I can find one around to try. Maybe next week though.

Kevin said...

Hi Ben. I check your blog every so often-I've got a 24" you're welcome to borrow. All the kids at 6th and Nevada learned to ride on it. Give me a call. Kevin 645-8591.