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  • Extreme Unicycling

    I happened to come across some of Kris Holm's photos at:

    http://community.webshots.com/album/9582686tfuCDMFanl

    and after recovering from the nausea inspired by looking at:

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...1761fZoQzSIqKp

    I decided that I was relieved to see that he is wearing his helmet. After
    all, you'd want to make sure you had a helmet on to blunt the impact of a
    2000 foot fall.

    I am, although undecided about, not unsympathetic to laws that attempt to
    prevent people from engaging in activities that are direct threats to their own
    lives. (What constitutes a threat,
    e.g. smoking, is, I acknowledge, a highly debatable topic). Nonetheless, were
    someone to fall to their death performing such an act as depicted in the
    photo, they would certainly be eligible for a Darwin Award, I think.

    So, while I am more or less content to ride my unicycles away from traffic and
    my leanings on this subject are pretty clear, I'd love to hear some discussion
    from extreme unicycling (or sports in general) practitioners about the feelings
    they experience and their attitude concerning the obvious dangers and risks
    they assume.

    Raphael Lasar Matawan, NJ

  • #2
    Re: Extreme Unicycling

    rlasar@lucent.com writes:
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>I happened to come across some of Kris Holm's photos at:[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>http://community.webshots.com/album/9582686tfuCDMFanl[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>and after recovering from the nausea inspired by looking at:[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>http://community.webshots.com/photo/...1761fZoQzSIqKp[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>I decided that I was relieved to see that he is wearing his helmet. After[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>all, you'd want to make sure you had a helmet on to blunt the impact of a[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>2000 foot fall.[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>I am, although undecided about, not unsympathetic to laws that attempt to[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>prevent people from engaging in activities that are direct threats to their own[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>lives. (What constitutes a threat,[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>e.g. smoking, is, I acknowledge, a highly debatable topic). Nonetheless, were[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> someone to fall to their death performing such an act as depicted in the[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> photo, they would certainly be eligible for a Darwin Award, I think.[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>So, while I am more or less content to ride my unicycles away from traffic and[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>my leanings on this subject are pretty clear, I'd love to hear some discussion[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>from extreme unicycling (or sports in general) practitioners about the feelings[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>they experience and their attitude concerning the obvious dangers and risks[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]>they assume.[/color]
    The perceived risk Raphael is referring to is that Kris is riding alongside a
    cliff with a steep and fatal drop (I wonder if he considered a parachute!). In
    actual fact, Kris must have been about 2-5 feet from the edge at all times (he's
    no fool). He probably had as much chance of falling as a person riding along on
    the sidewalk has of suddenly careening into traffic (that is, virtually nil).
    Kris takes more risks when he attempts great jumps or zooms across long fallen
    trees (like in UniVerse) than when riding along a cliff.

    Just my 2 cents. - David

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Extreme Unicycling

      Hi,

      Risk acceptability in adventure sports is a very interesting topic and one that
      has been debated back in forth in the literature for mountain sports in general
      for over 150 years. In many adventure sports, some people seem to voluntarily
      put themselves in positions of personal hazard, so there must be some
      attraction to it.

      Although 90% of the time I don't ride in situations where a fall would have
      serious or fatal consequences, it's true that I've been in situations where if I
      fell I would die. This has also been the case on a number of occasions for me
      when rockclimbing, ice climbing and mountaineering (definately I've been in way
      more serious situations when climbing than unicycling).

      It's impossible to fully justify the motivation for this- I think it's a case
      where if someone can't understand why then it's impossible to fully explain the
      rationale.

      However, for many adventure sport athletes, I think that a big motivator is that
      of control. Having both physical and mental control over yourself in challenging
      situations is an awesome feeling. If the rider makes a rational decision, based
      on both the potential risk and also their ability to handle that risk, that they
      can do something that other people would not justify doing, then I personally
      have respect for their decision. It's not for everyone though!

      Cheers,

      Kris.

      --- Raphael Lasar <rlasar@lucent.com> wrote:
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> I happened to come across some of Kris Holm's photos at:[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> http://community.webshots.com/album/9582686tfuCDMFanl[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> and after recovering from the nausea inspired by looking at:[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> http://community.webshots.com/photo/...1761fZoQzSIqKp[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> I decided that I was relieved to see that he is wearing his helmet. After[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> all, you'd want to make sure you had a helmet on to blunt the impact of a[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 2000 foot fall.[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> I am, although undecided about, not unsympathetic to laws that attempt to[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> prevent people from engaging in activities that are direct threats to their[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> own lives. (What constitutes a threat,[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> e.g. smoking, is, I acknowledge, a highly debatable topic). Nonetheless, were[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> someone to fall to their death performing such an act as depicted in the[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> photo, they would certainly be eligible for a Darwin Award, I think.[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> So, while I am more or less content to ride my unicycles away from traffic and[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> my leanings on this subject are pretty clear, I'd love to hear some discussion[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> from extreme unicycling (or sports in general) practitioners about the[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> feelings they experience and their attitude concerning the obvious dangers and[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> risks they assume.[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Raphael Lasar Matawan, NJ[/color]

      __________________________________________________
      Do You Yahoo!? Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.
      http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Extreme Unicycling

        Having riden with Kris, I can say that he had MUCH less chance of eating it
        there then a regular person has driving to work. He did not get where he is by
        taking risks without thinking, but by many years of thoughtful risk evaluation
        while developing his skills. Sure it's dangerous, but what isn't? A 2000' fall
        or falling down 6' hitting your head leaves you just as dead. Just looking at
        the photo might blow your mind, but you have to look at it in context - the
        context is Kris's years of riding and his unique skill.

        ---Nathan

        "Raphael Lasar" <rlasar@lucent.com> wrote in message
        news:3A9E6BD4.7BB04AF8@lucent.com...
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> I happened to come across some of Kris Holm's photos at:[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> http://community.webshots.com/album/9582686tfuCDMFanl[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> and after recovering from the nausea inspired by looking at:[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> http://community.webshots.com/photo/...1761fZoQzSIqKp[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> I decided that I was relieved to see that he is wearing his helmet. After[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> all, you'd want to make sure you had a helmet on to blunt the impact of a[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 2000 foot fall.[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> I am, although undecided about, not unsympathetic to laws that attempt to[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> prevent people from engaging in activities that are direct threats to their[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> own lives. (What constitutes a threat,[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> e.g. smoking, is, I acknowledge, a highly debatable topic). Nonetheless, were[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> someone to fall to their death performing such an act as depicted in the[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> photo, they would certainly be eligible for a Darwin Award, I think.[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> So, while I am more or less content to ride my unicycles away from traffic[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> and my leanings on this subject are pretty clear, I'd love to hear some[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> discussion from extreme unicycling (or sports in general) practitioners about[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> the feelings they experience and their attitude concerning the obvious[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> dangers and risks[/color]
        they
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> assume.[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Raphael Lasar Matawan, NJ[/color]

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Extreme Unicycling

          In article <fc.000f4e67004a2f413b9aca007b33f37c.4a2f65@packer.edu>, David Stone
          <dstone@packer.edu> wrote: )The perceived risk Raphael is referring to is that
          Kris is riding )alongside a cliff with a steep and fatal drop (I wonder if he
          considered a )parachute!). In actual fact, Kris must have been about 2-5 feet
          from the )edge at all times (he's no fool). He probably had as much chance of
          )falling as a person riding along on the sidewalk has of suddenly careening
          )into traffic (that is, virtually nil). Kris takes more risks when he )attempts
          great jumps or zooms across long fallen trees (like in UniVerse) )than when
          riding along a cliff.

          Besides, if you've seen UNiVERSE you'd realize Kris has maybe a 50/50 chance of
          sticking a landing at terminal velocity, if his cranks don't break. -Tom

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Extreme Unicycling

            It is an interesting topic. Anyone know of any good books on the "extreme"
            tendency? I have a friend who broke his leg on his sixth parachute jump. They
            took the pins out of his leg recently. He'll be jumping out of planes again
            soon. Some think he's nuts. Personally, I understand, but I'll stick to
            unicycle. Obviously there's some kind of addictive quality to the extreme
            sports. Adrenaline perhaps? Some people crave it, some don't. I like the
            adrenaline, but, having kids, I pass on the more dangerous sports at this point
            in my life. What I love about uni/muni/trials, is that I get the same rush I
            used to get downhill skiing, but not nearly as dangerous or expensive!

            That's my 2 cents

            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Hi,[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Risk acceptability in adventure sports is a very interesting topic and one[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> that has been debated back in forth in the literature for mountain sports in[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> general for over[/color]
            150
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> years. In many adventure sports, some people seem to voluntarily put[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> themselves in positions of personal hazard, so there must be some[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> attraction to it.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Although 90% of the time I don't ride in situations where a fall would[/color]
            have
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> serious or fatal consequences, it's true that I've been in situations where if[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> I fell I[/color]
            would
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> die. This has also been the case on a number of occasions for me when[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> rockclimbing, ice climbing and mountaineering (definately I've been in[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> way more serious situations when climbing than unicycling).[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> It's impossible to fully justify the motivation for this- I think it's a case[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> where if someone can't understand why then it's impossible to fully explain[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> the rationale.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> However, for many adventure sport athletes, I think that a big motivator[/color]
            is
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> that of control. Having both physical and mental control over yourself in[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> challenging situations is an awesome feeling. If the rider makes a rational[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> decision, based on both the potential risk and also their ability to handle[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> that risk, that they can do something that other people would not justify[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> doing, then I personally have respect for their decision. It's not for[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> everyone though![/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Cheers,[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Kris.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> --- Raphael Lasar <rlasar@lucent.com> wrote:[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > I happened to come across some of Kris Holm's photos at:[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> >[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > http://community.webshots.com/album/9582686tfuCDMFanl[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> >[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > and after recovering from the nausea inspired by looking at:[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> >[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > http://community.webshots.com/photo/...1761fZoQzSIqKp[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> >[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > I decided that I was relieved to see that he is wearing his helmet. After[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > all, you'd want to make sure you had a helmet on to blunt the impact of a[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > 2000 foot fall.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> >[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > I am, although undecided about, not unsympathetic to laws that attempt to[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > prevent people from engaging in activities that are direct threats to their[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > own lives. (What constitutes a threat,[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > e.g. smoking, is, I acknowledge, a highly debatable topic). Nonetheless,[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > were someone to fall to their death performing such an act as depicted[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > in the photo, they would certainly be eligible for a Darwin Award, I[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > think.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> >[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > So, while I am more or less content to ride my unicycles away from traffic[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > and my leanings on this subject are pretty clear, I'd love to hear some[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > discussion from extreme unicycling (or sports in general) practitioners[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > about the feelings they experience and their attitude concerning the[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > obvious dangers and risks[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> they[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > assume.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> >[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> > Raphael Lasar Matawan, NJ[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> _[/color]

            Comment


            • #7
              RE: Extreme Unicycling

              Kris Holm wrote:

              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Risk acceptability in adventure sports is a very interesting topic and one[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> that has been debated back in forth in the literature for mountain sports in[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> general for over 150 years.[/color]

              I think it's important to remember that there is nothing new in the concept of
              adventure sports. People have been taking risks for fun or profit for all of
              human history. I think the ones that have done it successfully (repeatedly) have
              always enjoyed the thrill of the risk.

              I take risks too, though at a much lower level than Kris. I have to balance the
              trill of making it against the fear of messing up and maybe getting hurt.

              I've seen Kris ride in casual, unfamiliar, and very familiar situations. Even
              when he appears to be way over the danger line, for Kris he's almost always
              riding within his limits.

              How much risk one is willing to take is a personal choice, but you're only
              making smart choices if you know you have the skills to do what you're doing
              with a reasonable guarantee of success.

              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> it's true that I've been in situations where if I fell I would die. This has[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> also been the case on a number of occasions for me when rockclimbing, ice[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> climbing and mountaineering (definately I've been in way more serious[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> situations when climbing than unicycling).[/color]

              Kris obviously feels safer on the unicycle than even most unicyclists, let alone
              non-riders. Sure it's a very dangerous situation when you're ice climbing or
              otherwise, but at least you have both hands and hopefully a rope to help you
              out... :-)

              Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

              "I'm one of those people who pray, 'God, give me patience and do it now!'" --
              Carol McLean, Twin Cities Unicycle Club

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Extreme Unicycling

                [color={usenetquotecolor}]>Anyone know of any good books on the "extreme"[/color]

                Sort of... the book, Addicted to Danger.

                http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...165/sr=1-1/ref
                =sc_b_1/105-4754102-1390317

                It's not a flattering portrait. Wickwire sacrifices friends and family every
                time there is a choice. The book opens with a grueling scene of slow death as
                Wickwire tries and fails to rescue a friend who has become stuck in a crevass.
                He ends up huddling in his tent to stay warm while he listens to his friend grow
                delirious and die. It's not at all like Muni Weekend.

                David Maxfield Bainbridge Island, WA

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Extreme Unicycling

                  One's life is one's own. It is not the property of the government or anybody
                  else. Americans such as yourself purportedly appreciate this sort of basic
                  freedom better than most.

                  Where you feel nausea, I feel excitement and wheel-envy. Good for Kris! I speak
                  as one who broke his wrist on a smooth flat floor...

                  Arnold the Aardvark

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    RE: Extreme Unicycling

                    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> One's life is one's own. It is not the property of the government or anybody[/color]
                    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> else. Americans such as yourself purportedly appreciate this sort of basic[/color]
                    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> freedom better than most.[/color]

                    I agree with Arnold. Though we Americans may not appreciate our freedom as much,
                    as we grew up here.

                    The world is always full of people who want to tell other people how to
                    live. Sometimes it's for religious reasons, sometimes for safety, and sometimes
                    due to matters of "taste". Where our freedom gets limited in this country
                    is often associated with liability and insurance. Lawyers have made it
                    possible for anyone to sue anyone for anything. Nobody seems to be
                    responsible for their own actions anymore.

                    When it comes to extreme sports, players may be limited by insurance or private
                    ownership of the places where they want to play. For example the extreme North
                    Shore trail area in Vancouver is something that could probably never exist in
                    this country. If it were public land there would already have been continuous
                    court cases until everything were torn down.

                    How nice that riders in Canada have the "freedom" to make their own choices
                    about their personal safety and ride if they choose. When I went on that
                    memorable day after NUC '99, none of us was injured. We chose what not to ride
                    on and enjoyed watching Kris ride the rest.

                    For people thinking of extreme activities, I hope you are checking first to see
                    that you aren't violating any existing laws or private property. And if
                    something bad happens to you, I hope you will contain the responsibility where
                    it belongs, and not try to sue the owners of the venue, the makers of the
                    unicycle, etc.

                    Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

                    "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be"

                    Comment

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