100th Post! Treadmill Unicycling
I finally tried riding a unicycle on my treadmill. It wasn't a bad experience.
Last year, I bought my wife a 2nd-hand treadmill, a super model with bells and whistles, the kind you see in a fancy gym. It hasn't gotten much use lately, but that will change.
I figured out that mounting on this treadmill is easy. You get on the uni, then activate the machine, and it slowly gets up to your desired speed. Trying to mount while the machine is running wouldn't be a good idea, tho I succeeded at 1 mph.
Once on, you can speed it up or slow it down pretty easily, but this requires removing a hand from the sides of the treadmill. I found that I could ride hands-free, but it's not necessarily the safest or smartest idea. I have a deep-seated fear that the belt is going to jam, so I don't really want to let go of the sides. There are other possible slip-ups, so for now, I'll prolly hold on most of the time.
I used my 24" muni with a Gaz tire (it rides like a low-psi 26"). It has 6" cranks. 10 mph seemed a bit speedy but not difficult to maintain. I'm thinking that a 26" skinny tire Semcycle with 110s would approximate the feel of a Coker in terms of cadence. Maintaining 10mph would be like somewhat like maintaining 15 mph on a Coker. [In fact, a Coker would be easier to maintain that cadence on due to flywheel effect.]
I tried changing the grade, taking it as high as 10%. Sure enough, grade made a difference in the riding, but it was still fairly easy to ride the uni safely. I needed the handrails a bit more, tho, so changing grade was trickier.
My wife warned me (somewhat jokingly) not to smash the window that is a few feet behind the treadmill. In fact, a few minutes later, I twisted around to check something and lost my balance. The uni shot out behind me and nearly broke the window. Oops. This kind of accident, however, would easily be avoided by simply not twisting around awkwardly. I don't foresee that being an issue.
In sum, the treadmill seems a surprisingly good way to stay in shape and to get in some long 'rides' on a unicycle during bad weather.