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What got you into riding a unicycle?

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  • #16
    I spotted a guy riding a 36er in Kings Heath, Birmingham, he was riding on the road, I was amazed at his talent and wanted to learn but didn't know where to start. Then I found a unicycle for sale in Worcester bike shop and bought my first one a 20inch.

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    • #17
      I've answered the main topic of this thread in some past threads. If I were less lazy right now I'd track them down and link them to this one, wouldn't I?

      But Shmolagin's posting of the Bears On Wheels book reminded me of some fo the early influences of unicycles in my life. I don't know if I had seen/read that book before, but if not, there were plenty of unicycles and odd, one or more-wheeled devices in the Dr. Seuss books. I'm sure these were part of my early interest in unicycles (which I mostly remember seeing in a parade when I was 5 or 6).
      Originally posted by Shmolagin View Post
      ...I saw someone riding one to a gas station.
      That got me wondering why one rides a unicycle to a gas station. Fueling up? Getting air? Or was it also a convenience store?

      Anyway, for those of you that have never read the literary blockbuster Bears On Wheels, it is not to be ignored. The story is simple, but has a clear message; that one wheel is just the right number.

      John Foss
      www.unicycling.com

      "Who is going to argue with a mom who can ride a unicycle?" -- Forums member "HiMo"

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      • #18
        Bears on wheels is available as a pdf book via google.

        I started out of curiosity, and a need to regain fitness - how hard can it be?
        The reasons were:
        Bicycles are too big - no storage at home, no room in the motor home.
        I don't have anywhere to go - riding around in circles, or short distances is fine for me.
        Painful arthritic hands - golf, windsurfing, and motorbikes have taken their toll (my hands don't work, but my legs are fine)
        Muscle strength - I tried an exercise bike and hated it, Uni is my new gym equipment.
        Cheap 16 Ebay purchase (+50 upgrades / 100 club 24 / 350 26" fattie = 500)
        Novelty factor - it's interesting, very few people have the riding skills (big fish, little pond)
        The ultimate wheelie - I never could keep a push bike wheel up when I was younger.
        The adrenalin rush - the buzz of staying on, and the fear of falling off.

        Best of all - I enjoy it. Everyday I try to learn something new.
        12-months in and I am still learning.

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        • #19
          As a kid growing up in California I was fascinated with stilts, pogo sticks and skateboards. A kid in the neighborhood had a unicycle that he couldn't ride and asked if I wanted to buy it for 5 bucks. I ran to my Mom got the 5 bucks and started trying to learn how to ride it in the backyard. I just thought, "if they make it, it must be possible to ride it". I had never seen anyone riding one before. It has changed my life and has kept me in shape for 43 years now.
          Ein-Rad oder Kein-Rad!

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          • #20
            Before I discovered unicycling I was (and am) big into street luge. When you talk about obscure extreme sports, street luge is the kind of thing that there's two people in every state who do it but they never end up meeting.

            I'd gotten the urge to learn a "trick sport" but I was bored of what seemed available. Skating and BMX take themselves far too seriously and whenever I get on roller skates it turns into a Final Destination movie.

            One day I saw a youtube video featuring some shirtless guy pedalgrinding a rail on a bright pink unicycle and the gears started turning.

            Originally posted by johnfoss View Post
            That got me wondering why one rides a unicycle to a gas station. Fueling up? Getting air? Or was it also a convenience store?
            I used to ride mine to the gas station/convenience store a few miles up the road all the time, usually to come back with a bag of energy drinks in each hand. Made for a relaxing night when I was less busy in life. It's actually how I learned to freemount - for each house I passed on foot, I'd attempt a freemount. If I was on the unicycle, I could keep riding. If I came off, I'd try at every house, on the dot. Made for a nice challenge and now the only time I need to dismount is when I go inside the gas station.

            Unless I'm on my 20", but I don't know if they'd appreciate that.
            Last edited by FoxxyD; 2016-02-11, 05:13 PM.
            Yuni Trials 20" (Profile wheelset)
            Nimbus Gremlin 20" (125mm)
            Torker LX 24" (75mm)
            Nimbus Nightfox 36" (114mm)
            Nimbus Road 29" (102mm, Magura brake)
            www.foxxyd.com

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            • #21
              For me it was nothing short of a boredom solution that turned into something awesome. It was the summer before my 8th grade year in the mid 80's, and I was spending a week with my grandparents in a small town. There was absolutely NOTHING to do, and there weren't any kids to play with. I dug my cousin's old Schwinn unicycle out of my aunt's garage (it was in pristine condition never having been ridden). Within a few days, I was able to freemount it and ride it on the street, and I found I really enjoyed it. When I got home, my parents took me to the Schwinn store and I bought one for exactly $168.86. I have no idea why I remember that, but I guess it was important to me. That was a lot of money back then, and we weren't exactly rich. For some reason, my parents were really proud of me for learning to ride one, and that purchase was a sort of reward. I think the challenge of it and the uniqueness of it kept me interested, but frankly, anything with wheels has always appealed to me. Somehow, riding the unicycle became addictive. I had stopped riding for many years with my career getting in the way of just about everything, but I finally kicked that to the curb like a bad addiction, and I'm back into unicycles, rollderblading, biking, and even Tai Chi again. Once again, I've found myself addicted to riding the unicycle, and even in my early 40's I'm doin' tricks on it and pushing myself to do more. I just love the fact that almost every day I see some sort of improvement, and after all these years, I'm still fascinated to see my shadow or reflection of me on just one wheel! Somehow that's just magic!
              I'm not short, I'm just really far away.

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              • #22
                a girl.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by de Gallus View Post
                  a girl.
                  Always optimistic, I'd like to ask, "How'd that work out for you?" (or How's that working out for you)
                  John Foss
                  www.unicycling.com

                  "Who is going to argue with a mom who can ride a unicycle?" -- Forums member "HiMo"

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                  • #24
                    The unicycling was more interesting than the girl

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by johnfoss View Post
                      But Shmolagin's posting of the Bears On Wheels book reminded me of some fo the early influences of unicycles in my life. I don't know if I had seen/read that book before, but if not, there were plenty of unicycles and odd, one or more-wheeled devices in the Dr. Seuss books. I'm sure these were part of my early interest in unicycles (which I mostly remember seeing in a parade when I was 5 or 6).
                      That got me wondering why one rides a unicycle to a gas station. Fueling up? Getting air? Or was it also a convenience store?
                      I looked to see if I could find any Dr. Seuss illustrations along those lines when I made that post but I couldn't find any good ones. I don't remember any specific ones but I know they're in there somewhere.

                      I don't really remember what the guy at the gas station was doing, he might have just been riding through. I think I remember him going inside though so he was probably using it as a convenience store.

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                      • #26
                        wubble a type of unicycle.

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                        • #27
                          I have found unicycling fascinating for years and I distinctly remember Bears on Wheels as the way I discovered unicycles. As I grew up, I'd occasionally think "how the hell would you even ride on one wheel? That has to be nearly impossible. Fast forward about 15 years, and I was set to volunteer as a camp counselor for Mid-Atlantic Burn Camp (a camp for burn survivors between ages 8-17), and was trying to think what I could do for the talent show. It quickly occurred to me that I'm pretty untalented.

                          In that moment of despair, inspiration passed me on the bike trail as I was biking home from work. A guy on a unicycle passed me (the first time I had seen one in the wild), and I was convinced that I had found my new talent. I went home, told my wife (who proceeded to laugh at me for this idea), researched unicycles, and ordered a Sun Classic 24". I proceeded to practice for 2.5 months, and did a small performance during the talent show dressed as Thing 1.

                          The kids loved it and the counselors were shocked and watched with mouths wide open. My unicycle and I were a hit! Everyone wanted to give it a try after the talent show.
                          Last edited by uniwookie; 2016-02-14, 04:14 PM.

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                          • #28
                            So I think I vaguely remember Bears on Wheels from when I was a kid (I think we didn't have a copy, but I saw it either at relatives, friends, school or the library).

                            Anyhow, I just ordered a copy for my 2 girls (1 and 4 years). A few months ago I bought a 16" unicycle for my oldest which she will get for her 4th birthday in a few months (may or may not be able to ride for a year or so, but she started biking at 2 1/2 and does really well on the bike and wants to learn to unicycle as she sees me riding almost every day, so it'll be ready whenever she wants to learn/try). She loves to read and she already likes a few Dr Suess books, so should be a great addition. The book should be here early this week, so we'll see how she likes it.
                            36" Nimbus Oracle, VCX 100/125/150, 200mm disc
                            29+ KH, Maxxis DHR II 29x3, 127/150 Spirits
                            Schlumpf (KH29) Duro Crux 29x3.25 137/117 Spirits
                            26" Nimbus, Maxxis DHR IIx2.8, 117/137 Sprt
                            19" Trials Impact Athmos
                            20" Qu-Ax Profi Freestyle, 89mm VCX

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                            • #29
                              It was a Christmas gift when in 1st grade. Age plus attention span plus the unicycle itself, it took three years to actually learn to ride it

                              It was from either Montgomery Ward or Sears. For those of you who have never seen or ridden one on these (yes I still have it), you didn't miss much. The wheel is solid rubber, the seat hard as a rock, and it came with two poles that you were supposed to use like ski poles. It's amazing any of us actually learned to ride! It was replaced a few years later with a 24 inch, also from Sears or MW but with a real tire with an inner tube! Wow what an improvement! Unfortunately the seat was still miserable but it gave many years of good service and with a new seat my son and his friend learned to ride with it.

                              It has been many decades of fun (and stealing from another thread, yes walking the Old English Sheepdogs while riding)and the stable now sports a variety of makes and sizes from UDC with Muni being the current favorite.

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                              • #30
                                Mike Boyd - Learn Quick

                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncjFqrXj0_Y

                                For me it was this video above that made me want to try it. I picked up a virtually new orange Qu-Ax Luxus 20" "show model" for 40,- at bike store nearby and started practising last saturday. After a little less than 3,5 hours I can ride comfortably around a (slightly uneven) parking lot for about 100m/333ft now.

                                I never thought I'd be able to learn how to ride it and I try to ride at least a half an hour every day now. (Also because of the slightly unrealistic fear that if I don't ride for I day I suddenly lose all ability I gained so far... )
                                Qu-Ax #rgb 36" (125mm) & #rgb 27,5" (137mm)
                                Impact Gravity/Reagent 19"
                                Qu-Ax Luxus "20

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