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Years ago I read a book called, I think, "Learning to fly a Helicopter" and it was very good. Since it went into detail about what each control did, how and why, I truely believe it helped me learn to hover much quicker since I could visualize what was happening as I sat there holding my breath, tensed up, and scared $h!*less and trying to hold a steady hover. Wow! You think impossible but in fact it isn't. Now, its been a while since I hovered and I'm sure I would need practice again but thats not the topic here. My topic is the Unicycle. I just bought one last week and it is a hoot and dare I say the it very much reminds me of learning to hover. First you get on the thing using a bench to help hold you up. You think this is nuts! Simply does not seem possible that you can ride it. So, you scoot down the bench back and forth for a while...20 minutes or so. Time to get off and try later. Next day its a little better and you try it 3 different times throughout the day. Its very mentally and physically demanding(believe it or not) so I personally believe that spending too much time on it at once is not a good thing...like hovering. So by the 3rd day you can actually see progress and you can peddle away from the bench 5ft or so. Wow! Well, day after day you keep at it. I do about 20 minutes sessions. Its very tiring. You still wonder how on earth you can get on it without help from a stationary object but after trying about 100 times you get on it and peddle a few ft. That might have been luck so try again and again. The point is here, that over time you see progress and each day you try something new. You have to push yourself and move on to the next step which I think will help improve the step before that one. I think that if anyone has the desire, patience and persistance to learn how to ride a Unicycle then they can learn to hover. The only difference for me is I haven't read anything and no one has shown me how to ride a Unicycle so I have to keep trying different things to see what works best. With the helicopter I had a book and an instructor(instructor present is highly reccomended. LOL). Anyway, I know its a long thread but to anyone considering helicopters I think the Unicycle is a great way to "measure" your desire.

Note 1) I have only fallen to the ground twice. Didn't get hurt.

Note 2) In case someone missed it, I'm comparing the two because of their very delicate balancing point and difficulty to learn.

Note 3) I believe the book I read helped me learn to fly but it was just another training aid. In no way do I believe you can read a book and then go fly. Just want to make sure that is clear. The book just helped clear up the mystery of what each of the controls do.

Now go buy a Unicycle....they are quite fun! www.unicycle.com

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I tore a chunk of flesh out from behind my knee on a unicylce. The unicycle belonged to a friend of mine. He had stripped the threads on the bolt that holds the seat up, and so he replaced it with one he found in his dad's garage. The only problem was it was about 3 inches too long, and it stuck out the right side. Well, I thought I'd try riding it, and I didn't notice the bolt sticking out. The bike went forward, my right leg instinctively and swiftly went back, and a good sized chuck of flesh was promptly removed from behind the aforementioned knee... ouch. :huh:


It was a good 3 second ride though...

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I learned how to ride a unicycle in highschool and got back into it a few years ago. I agree it helped to learn how to fly a helicopter. I think learning how to hover the unicycle is much harder than learning to hover a helicopter, but the flying is more crucial and much more involved all round. This summer I brought my unicycle up north to my first helicopter job near the Canadian arctic circle. It provided many hours of entertainment and recreation and several other pilot/engineers learned how to ride it. There are some excellent instruction books and videos you can find online which help. It takes on average about 10 to 20 hours of practise for most people to get proficient at riding, but I did see one fellow ride off in less than an hour! This summer I learned how to ride backwards, hover in one spot, hop up and down 30 cm obstacles, and I used it to commute to/from work. It is a great physical diversion from flying (which only gets your heart rate up when your terrified).

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Hovering is easier to learn than the Unicycle I would say. I picked up hovering real quick but the unicycle, well, I'm still getting there. Obviously it's much less harmful when you mess op on UC than it is hovering. One way to can compare the two and then at the same time they have nothing in common. Last night I was looking on-line for an instructional book for UC's. I think it could help me progress a little faster. It is a little hard on the knees at first though. I did read last night that when you start knee pain is common. Yeah, people out here in Iraq are giving me funny looks. Even taking pictures? People are always asking questions. Some want to learn how and others automatically say they could never do it. I kinda feel sorry for those folks who say can't before they even try. I suppose the way I look at it is if I see someone doing then I figure I can to. If it turns out I can't...oh well. Ok, well, nice to hear that someone else is doing the unicycle thing. Watch out for those UPD's. LOL (just learned what that is)

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