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  • Unicycling FAQ

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON UNICYCLING

    December 19, 1994

    *: Means the item is new or recently changed.

    1. Why ride a unicycle?
    2. Who invented the unicycle?
    3. How long does it take to learn?
    4. How do you learn to ride?
    5. Is unicycling dangerous?
    6. How do unicycles work?
    7. How much should I inflate the tires?
    8. Where can I get more information on unicycling?
    9. Where can I get a unicycle?
    10. *What makes a good unicycle?
    11. What are the 10 skill levels?
    12. What are some different mounts?
    13. Where can I find a unicycle club or organization?
    14. What are the different types of unicycles?
    15. What size wheel should I get?
    16. Why don't you get a unicycle with multiple speeds?
    17. What unicycling events can I attend?
    18. Which end is the front?
    19. *Where's the other wheel?

    20. Why ride a unicycle?

    The first and most important reason is that it is fun. It's neat being up
    on one wheel, in control. There are other good reasons, though:

    Exercise You are always pedaling a unicycle, so riding is a good
    workout. Riding is a low-impact activity, so it is good for people like
    me with legs wrecked by jogging.

    Transportation Cruising speed is 8-9 miles an hour on a standard 24"
    unicycle, fast enough to use an alternative to a car for local trips. I
    have commuted 3 miles to work up to 5 days a week, and I use it to run
    errands. I am not going to pick on bicycles, but I feel safer commuting
    with the unicycle than with a bike. I can ride the unicycle on the
    sidewalk, out of the way of traffic, without affecting my speed.

    Challenges You never run out of unicycling challenges. After you learn
    to ride forward, you can learn to ride backwards. When you have done
    that you can learn to ride one-footed. You can enjoy what you know, but
    you can always learn more.

    21. Who invented the unicycle?

    No one knows. The accepted theory is that in the days of the
    penny-farthing bicycle people found they could ride with the small back
    wheel up in the air. Soon the back wheel was removed.

    22. How long does it take to learn?

    There is a wide variation in athletic fitness, balance perception, and
    reaction time among those learning to ride a unicycle. So it is difficult
    to predict roughly how many hours it will take to learn certain
    unicycling skills. An experienced unicycling instructor may be able to
    make a good guess after watching someone ride, but it is impossible
    without first seeing the rider in action.

    It has taken people as short as 15 min. and as long as 6 months to learn
    to ride. However, it generally takes 2-6 weeks of regular practice to
    learn to ride and a few more weeks to learn to do turns.

    Ken Fuchs <kfuchs@icicle.winternet.com>

    23. How do you learn to ride?

    This comes from a posting by Robert Bernstein(rbernstein@igc.apc.org):

    I am a big proponent of the getting friends to help school. I do not like
    falling down!

    I learned by the MIT Unicycle Club method:

    24. Get two friends to stand on either side of you and get up on
    the unicycle with your arms around their shoulders.

    25. Sit up straight; look straight ahead; weight on seat, not on
    pedals. Rock the pedals to get a sense of balance. Get the pedals
    level; this is when you are in control.

    26. Pedal half turns then stop. Then full turns, two turns, etc. Doing
    multiples of half turns (from pedals level to pedals level again)
    is harder than continuously pedaling, but keeps you in control.

    27. Switch to holding on to your friends' wrists.

    28. Switch to holding on to one friend's wrist.

    29. Go off and use a wall instead of your one friend. (If you can't
    find a wall and a flat surface to ride on then continue with one
    friend, but let go as much as you can. Ed.)

    Steps 1-5 should not take more than an hour (perhaps in 10 minute sessions).
    The thing I liked about learning this way is that I never hurt myself in the
    process. I have used this technique to teach a couple of dozen people.

    For some people, the get on, fall off do-it-yourself cycle works best.
    It's a matter of personality!

    30. Is unicycling dangerous?

    As dangerous as you want it to be. The vast majority of falls leave the
    rider on their feet, as dismounting is a skill learned while learning to
    ride. Most falls occur for just a few reasons: excessive speed,
    exhaustion, lack of attention to the road, and learning new tricks. The
    rider can control all of these factors to their desired comfort and
    safety level.

    31. How do unicycles work?

    The key is to keep the center of gravity over the axle. If you start to
    fall forward, you will pedal faster, bringing the wheel back under the
    seat. If you start to fall backward you will slow down, allowing the seat
    to catch up with the wheel.

    32. How much should I inflate the tires?

    Generally, unicyclists overinflate their tires by as much as 50% and
    sometimes even more. However, if one is learning to ride on a slippery
    surface (gym floor) and wheel twisting becomes difficult to control, the
    tires can be underinflated to increase the tire area that comes in
    contact with the floor. This will make wheel twisting easier to control.
    Once one has learned to ride, the tire should be inflated to at least the
    recommended pressure.

    Try to get 40-50 psi or more rated tires and you may overinflate these as
    well if you like. However, a 32psi tire will work fine, too.

    Ken Fuchs <kfuchs@icicle.winternet.com>

    33. Where can I get more information on unicycling?

    BOOKS I only know of one book that has been available outside of unicycling
    circles, and that is "The Unicycle Book" by Jack Wiley. Fortunately many
    libraries bought it; I discovered it at my high school library in the
    Dominican Republic. Even though the book was written in the early 70's most of
    the information is still current. It tells how the unicycle works, how to
    learn to ride (the author has since promoted simpler methods), how to do some
    tricks, organize a club, build a unicycle, and includes other features as
    well. The book also features a variety of unicyclists, many of whom you can
    meet at the National Unicycle Meet today. This book is out of print and
    replaced by "The Complete Book of Unicycling".

    From Solipaz Publishing and the Unicycling Society of America, all by
    Jack Wiley

    + How to Ride a Unicycle: This book covers unicycle physics, how to
    ride, and how to do some basic tricks. Its method is simpler than
    that of "The Unicycle Book". It is basically several chapters
    extracted from "The Complete Book of Unicycling".
    + Novelty Unicycling
    + The Ultimate Wheel Book
    + The Complete Book of Unicycling: This book replaces "The Unicycle
    Book". Much of the content will look familiar if you have seen "The
    Unicycle Book", but it goes into a lot more detail on tricks and
    history. The book is slightly out of date but it is still worth
    getting, because you will find more unicycling information here than
    anywhere else. It covers solo tricks, group tricks, clubs, history,
    records, and props, among other things.
    + Basic Circus Skills
    + How to Build Unicycles and Artistic Bicycles
    + The Whole Unicycle Catalog
    + Inside the Wheel: The Complete Guide to Monocycles Solipaz
    Publishing Company
    P.O. Box 366 Lodi, CA 95241

    From the Unicycling Society of America

    + Tidbits for Beginners. This contains a variety of articles from "One
    One Wheel", the newsletter of the Unicycling Society of America.
    + Complete set of all Unicycling Society of America Newsletters
    since 1974
    + Official Competition Rulebook
    + "On One Wheel" is the newsletter of the Unicycling Society of
    America. You need to be a member to receive it but it is worth
    the price. Unicycling Society of America, P.O. Box 40534,
    Redford, MI 48240.

    From SEMCYCLE (see section on buying a unicycle)

    + Learning to Ride by Teresa and Sem Abrahams

    This is really a pamphlet rather than a book. It has no big secrets,
    but it does contain a good method for learning to ride.

    From Miyata

    + Anyone Can Ride a Unicycle

    As far as I know the only way to get this book is with a Miyata
    unicycle, if you can find one of these. Here is the description from
    the Klutz catalog:

    "Includes Anyone Can Ride a Unicycle by champion unicyclist Jack
    Halpern. Thirty-two pages full of photographs take you from
    beginning through intermediate skills."

    VIDEOS

    From the Unicycling Society of America

    + I.U.F. Achievement Skill Levels. This is the easiest way for most
    people to see what the 10 skill levels look like. It was filmed at a
    past National Unicycle Meet and has a different person do each skill
    level, and then give some hints.
    + Rough Terrain Unicycling by George Peck
    + Unicycle by Cory Riback

    THE INTERNET

    Mailing list You can subscribe to the Unicycling mailing list by sending
    your request to unicycling-request@mcs.kent.edu. You can un-subscribe to
    the same address. Other commands like get and help won't work however,
    because I am at the other end, not a program like Majordomo. Submit your
    postings to unicycling@mcs.kent.edu.

    FTP You can get files on unicycling topics from ftp.mcs.kent.edu in
    directory pub/Unicycling. The same directory is available via mosaic at
    URL ftp://ftp.mcs.kent.edu/pub/Unicycling

    World Wide Web I have set up a WWW home page devoted to unicycling. It
    has hypertext access to various unicycling topics, and includes two
    movies. The URL is http://nimitz.mcs.kent.edu/~bkonarsk/

    9. Where can I get a unicycle?

    Manufacturers

    Miyata This is a popular Japanese brand that recently quit selling in
    the US due to the cheap dollar. You may be able to find some leftover in
    the retail channels in the US. You may also be able to get them in
    Canada, and you can of course get them in Japan. There are rumors that
    they will be imported into the US from Canada. I don't know about
    availability in countries other than Japan.

    The Standard and Deluxe Miyata both have an extremely loyal
    following, and have been used by nearly every world champion
    unicyclist thus far. They also make a 5' blue painted
    giraffe unicycle.

    Semcycle Run by Sem and Theresa Abrahams, who were actually married on
    unicycles. There are two regular models, and a giraffe. The Semcycle,
    though relatively expensive, has extremely strong axle and crank arms,
    and is intended for heavy use by the most demanding of riders. The XL
    models are much less expensive, and built more along the lines of many
    other brands of Taiwanese origin, but with an above-average saddle. Both
    regular wheel models come in 26" wheel size, as well as the usual 24"
    and 20". The 6' giraffe is a chrome A-frame, available with either one
    or two chains. John Foss (unifoss@cerf.net).

    DM DMs are very sturdy and look good. The contour saddles are matched
    only by Semcycle for comfort, though DM straight saddles are an
    instrument of torture (some people apparently prefer them, it takes all
    sorts...). DM contour saddles also have front and back grab rails which
    do duty for holding on to, wheeling, catching while dismounting, but
    mostly taking all the knocks when dropped; my saddle is unscathed after
    a year's abuse, though there's no chrome left on the grab rails.

    DM's giraffes are works of art with twin chains for real
    durability and no twist. The only complaint is that they're a
    bit heavy, but they're built to last. DM's classic design is the
    5' to 8' convertible, where the frame has a 3' extension tube
    and a long set of chains.

    Peter Lister (p.lister@cranfield.ac.uk).

    Unicycle Factory The Unicycle Factory is your one stop source for custom
    cycles, parts, and expert information about unicycles. If you can't find
    it anywhere else, it's because Tom Miller has it. Some of his custom
    models are big wheels (up to 56"), multi-wheels, tennis shoe wheels,
    ultimate wheel kits, giraffes up to 24', basketball-wheeled unicycles,
    etc. John Foss (unifoss@cerf.net).

    Pashley/Absolute Pashley is a bike company, which makes workbikes for
    (among others) the Post Office. The unicycles are cheaper than DM/Sem,
    but do not justify the saving. Pashley make a unicycle for Absolute
    Balls who have improved the design, especially of the saddle (Pashley
    saddles are contoured, yes, but contoured in the shape of a plastic
    slug), and got some brighter colours, but the frame and bearing design
    is frankly rubbish. Whereas DMs have a welded bracket round the bearing,
    which can be tightened or removed without causing problems, Pashleys
    have a circular casting around the bearing with a pin that is inserted
    up the tubes of the fork. Each pin is held in place with two bolts. I am
    not impressed; most Pashleys I see rattle a bit in this area. They work
    loose, and there's no way to tighten them.

    The moral of this story is - buy from a specialist unicycle
    maker. If no-one buys Pashley, they continue to make bikes. If
    no one buys DM, he goes bust.

    Peter Lister (p.lister@cranfield.ac.uk).

    Cyclepro Another decent value for the price. Made in Taiwan, steel fork
    with bearing holders as described in Pashley/Absolute. Different colors.
    Taiwan steel countour seat with chrome bumpers. Available in 20", 24",
    and sometimes 16". John Foss (unifoss@cerf.net).

    Bogglefingers Butterfingers and Boggle, juggling shops based in Bristol
    and Bath respectively import these. Can't really comment on the quality,
    but they look a better "budget" option than Pashley, for those people
    who can't afford DMs or Sems.

    Peter Lister (p.lister@cranfield.ac.uk).

    Oddcycle Oddball's own uni, built by Sem, looks much like a rebadged
    Sem trainer.

    Emory Frames are made in USA! They are the only ones left! Steel with
    split block bearing holder (similar to Pashley). John Foss
    (unifoss@cerf.net)

    Discontinued Brands

    Schwinn Schwinn has been out of the unicycle business for several years
    now, due to problems like near-bankruptcy. If you call bike shops you
    may still find some around, though. Schwinn may reenter this market when
    they are in better shape with their new management.

    Matthews Matthews has recently withdrawn from the unicycle market.

    Retailers

    + Canada

    Semcycle Semcycle
    c/o Darren Bedford 71 Jasper Ave. Toronto, Ontario M6N 2N2
    (416) 767-6074

    + France

    Unicycle 3 Impass Jules Dalou 9100 Evry France Tel: 060 77 37 36

    + Holland

    Semcycle Box 1675 3600 Br Maarssen Holland Tel: 03465-7 05 63 Fax:
    03465-7 60 07

    + United Kingdom

    DM Unicycles DM Unicycles 59 Fairmile Rd, Christchurch, Dorset,
    BH23 2LA Tel: 0202 471943

    Zero G Juggling Co. Zero G Juggling Co. The Victoria Centre Mostyn
    Street Llandudno Gwnedd Tel: 0492-514039

    Freaks Unlimited Freaks Unlimited Park Street Bristol, UK

    Retail and Mail Order equipment, supplies and Unicycles in
    North Wales. Send SAE for price list.

    + United States

    Semcycle Semcycle
    P.O. Box 40353 Redford, MI 48240
    (313) 537-8175

    The Unicycle Factory The Unicycle Factory 2711 N. Apperson
    Kokomo, IN 46901
    (314) 452-2692

    Tom Miller sells custom built unicycles and resells some
    other brands, such as Semcycles and Miyatas (He currently
    only has the 16" model in stock). You should call with
    inquiries rather than writing. He does not have business
    hours per-se, since he works out of his house. His waking
    hours are between 9am and 1am Eastern time.

    Infinite Illusions E-mail: infinite@io.com WWW:
    http://io.com/usr/infinite/Catalog.html Phone: 1-800-54-TORCH

    This juggling supply business has recently started selling
    the Emory unicycle. Emory started making unicycles since
    the early seventies, and stopped in the late eighties.
    They are making them again for Infinite Illusions.

    Osell's Custom Frames

    Osell's Custom Frames 2908 Pentagon Drive NE St.
    Anthony, MN 55418
    (315) 788-5200 (ask for Terry)

    They sometimes get Miyatas from Canada. Call for
    availability.

    316. What makes a good unicycle?

    Each set of part types [a-d] are listed in increasing order of quality or
    beauty [chrome types]. Anyone in a bike shop should be able to explain
    the following terminology.

    ) Type of tire - One can always buy a better tire, although quality
    unicycle should come with a unicycle tire (round cross-section;
    relatively flat or smooth tread for flat surfaces [mountain unicycles
    should come with knobbies :^]

    317.1 Type of rim
    a) chromed steel
    b) chromed tubular steel
    c) alloy
    d) chromed alloy

    1.2 Type of spoke holes in rim
    a) simple straight radial hole
    b) simple straight radial hole with recess for spoke's nipple
    c) angle of holes matches angle of spokes
    d) angle of holes matches angle of spokes; recess for nipple

    2.1 Number of spokes (more is better, if all spokes are kept tight)
    a) 28
    b) 36
    c) 40
    d) 48

    2.2 Thickness of spokes (thicker is better, but weighs a little more)
    a) .080 in. (14 gauge)
    b) .092 in. (13 gauge)
    c) .105 in. (12 gauge)
    d) .125 in. (?? gauge)

    2.3 Spoking pattern
    a) 3 cross
    b) 4 cross
    c) 3 cross interleaved
    d) 4 cross interleaved

    2.4 Spoke material
    a) coat hanger :^&
    b) normal (steel zinc plated)
    c) stainless steel
    d) steel chrome plated

    3.1 Hub (Various types of heat treating add to the confusion here.)
    a) cottered shaft, straight flanges
    b) cottered shaft, dished flanges
    c) cotterless shaft, straight flanges
    d) cotterless shaft, dished flanges

    4.1 Bearings (More info welcome here.)
    a) unsealed roller bearings
    b) unsealed ball bearings
    c) sealed roller bearings (less prone to damage when jumping)
    d) sealed ball bearings (jumping may cause flat spots on balls)

    5.1 Bearing holders
    a) bolted on C-bracket (may apply excessive vertical force)
    b) snap ring (bearing may be minutely loose in all directions)
    c) pressed in holder (bearing must be pressed in with equal force)

    d) bolted on pressed in holder (same as c above, except the pressed fit
    may be looser as bolts keep bearing from moving.)

    5.2 Frame type (Which is better is quite controversial.)
    a) flat pressed fork halves bolted together with seat post
    b) same as a) with curved sections pressed in for greater rigidity

    c) tubular one piece frame with rounded fork crown
    d) tubular one piece frame with square fork crown (to put feet on)

    5.3 Frame finish
    a) amateur spray painted ;^)
    b) baked-on enamel
    c) powder coated
    d) chrome plated

    5.4 Seat post clamp
    Z) A bolt for split forks
    Z) welded on clamp with single bolt
    Z) separate BMX type clamp with single allen wrench screw
    Z) separate BMX type clamp with two allen wrench screws
    Z) same as c), except one screw clamps top of head tube and the other
    clamps around the seat post - two inside diameters

    6.1 Seat post
    a) has holes at 1 inch increments for height adjustment
    b) same as a) with seat tilt adjustment
    c) straight tube with no holes - very fine height adjustment
    d) same as c) with seat tilt adjustment (not really needed)

    7.1 Seat (style should fit the individual)
    a) poorly designed - self destructs in 1 month of use
    b) Schwinn / Semcycle design (does it have bumpers now?)
    c) Wide Miyata type design without front handle
    d) Narrow Miyata type design with front handle

    7.2 Seat should be broken down further, but the author is getting tired
    and sleepy [ 8^) -> :^O zzz -> 8^| -> :^O zzz -> 8^( ]

    8.1 Crank arms
    a) solid oak [ :^O -> :^o -> :^O ] author lapses into dream land (be
    careful, the author seems to be getting cranky too :^)
    b) steel cottered
    c) steel cotterless
    d) alloy cotterless

    9.1 Pedals
    a) rubber block, no spindle adjustment
    b) plastic, no spindle adjustment
    c) rattrap with spindle adjustment (eats shins 8^)
    d) plastic with spindle adjustment

    Ken Fuchs kfuchs@winternet.com

    11. What are the 10 skill levels?

    Here is the list thanks to Andy Cotter (cotter@cae.wisc.edu). Comments in
    parentheses are mine.

    GENERAL INFORMATION In order to be eligible to achieve a level, a rider must
    have achieved all previous levels. All skills start and end with the rider
    riding forward, seated with both feet on the pedals. All mounts end with the
    rider riding forward with both feet on the pedals.

    PROCEDURE FOR TESTING To achieve a skill level a rider must pass a skill level
    exam with an authorized examiner. Examiners must be authorized by the
    Unicycling Society of America, the IUF, or by a connected organization. In
    order to pass an exam a rider must perform all skills in the level at the
    first attempt except for 3 skills maximum which must be performed at the
    second attempt.

    Level 1

    o Mount Unicycle unassisted o Ride 50 meters o Dismount
    gracefully with unicycle in front

    Level 2

    o Mount with left foot o Mount with right foot o Ride 10 m
    between two parallel lines 30 cm apart o Ride a figure 8 with
    circle diameters smaller then 3 m o Ride down a 15 cm vertical
    drop o Make a sharp 90 degree turn to the left o Make a sharp 90
    degree turn to the right

    Level 3

    o Demonstrate 3 types of mounts o Ride a figure 8 with circle
    diameters smaller than 1.5 m o Come to stop, pedal half a
    revolution backward and continue forward o Ride with the stomach
    on the seat for 10 m o Make a sharp 180 degree turn to the left o
    Make a sharp 180 degree turn to the right o Hop 5 times o Ride
    over a 10 X 10 cm obstacle

    Level 4

    o Demonstrate 4 types of mounts o Ride backward for 10 m o Ride
    one footed for 10 m o Idle with left foot down 25 times o Idle
    with right foot down 25 times o Ride with the seat out in front
    for 10 m o Ride with the seat out in back for 10 m o Make a sharp
    360 degree turn the left o Make a sharp 360 degree turn the right

    Level 5

    o Demonstrate 5 types of mounts o Ride backward in a circle o
    Ride one footed in a figure eight o Idle one footed with left
    foot down 25 times o Idle one footed with right foot down 25
    times o Ride with the seat out in front in a circle o Ride with
    the seat out in back in a circle o Ride with the seat on the
    side in a circle o Hop-twist 90 degrees to the left o Hop-twist
    90 degrees to the right o Hop standing on wheel 5 times (IUF) o
    Walk the wheel for 10 m (USA) (No feet on the pedals, instead
    you propel the unicycle by walking on the surface of the tire
    while sitting)

    Level 6

    o Demonstrate 6 types of mounts o Ride backward in a figure 8 o
    Ride with the seat out in front in a figure eight o Ride with the
    seat out in back in a figure eight o Ride backward with the seat
    out in front for 10 m o Walk the wheel for 10 m (IUF) (No feet on
    the pedals, instead you propel the unicycle by walking on the
    surface of the tire while sitting) o Ride with seat on the side
    in a circle to the left o Ride with seat on the side in a circle
    to the right o Ride one footed with the left foot for 10 m o Ride
    one footed with the right foot for 10 m o Backspin o Frontspin o
    Spin o Hop standing on wheel 5 times (USA)

    Level 7

    o Demonstrate 7 types of mounts o Ride backward with seat out in
    front in a circle o Ride one footed with left foot in a circle o
    Ride one footed with right foot in a circle o Walk the wheel in a
    circle o Walk the wheel one footed for 10 m o Hop-twist 180
    degrees to the left o Hop-twist 180 degrees to the right o Ride
    backward with the seat out in back for 10 m o Spin the left o
    Spin to the right

    Level 8

    o Demonstrate 8 types of mounts o Ride one footed with the left
    foot in a figure 8 o Ride one footed with the right foot in a
    figure 8 o Walk the wheel in a figure eight o Walk the wheel one
    footed in a circle o Ride backward one footed for 10 m o Glide
    for 10 m (no feet on the pedals, you can use a foot on the
    surface of the tire as a brake.) o Hand wheel walk for 10 m o
    Pirouette o Backward spin

    Level 9

    o Demonstrate 9 types of mounts o Walk the wheel one footed in a
    figure 8 o Ride backward one footed in a circle o Ride backward
    with the seat out in front in figure 8 o Ride backward with the
    seat out in back in a circle o Walk the wheel one footed with
    left foot for 10 m o Walk the wheel one footed with right foot
    for 10 m o Walk the wheel backward for 10 m o Drag seat in front
    10 m o Drag seat in back for 10 m o Ride backward one footed with
    the left foot 10 m o Ride backward one footed with the right foot
    10 m o Ride one footed with the seat out in front for 10 m o
    Backward pirouette

    Level 10

    o Demonstrate 10 types of mounts o Ride backward with seat out in
    back in a figure 8 o Ride backward one footed in a figure 8 o
    Walk the wheel one footed with left foot in circle o Walk the
    wheel one footed with right foot in circle o Walk the wheel
    backward in a circle o 180 uni spin o Sideways wheel walk for 10
    m o Coast for 10 m o Side ride for 10 m o Walk the wheel one
    footed backward for 10 m
    12. What are some different mounts?

    Left and right can be switched in the descriptions if you are left
    footed.

    Standard Put a foot on the rear pedal and the seat underneath you. Step
    up onto the unicycle.

    Side Put your left foot on the left pedal and hold the seat in your
    hand. Move your right foot between your left leg and the unicycle. Swing
    it around the front of the seat, put the seat underneath you, and your
    right foot on the pedal.

    side mount with foot around twice Like the side mount, but your foot
    makes an extra trip around the seat.

    side mount with foot around 3X Like the side mount, but your foot makes
    an extra two trips around the seat.

    side mount reverse Put your left foot on the left pedal and hold the
    seat in your hand. Move your right foot around the back of the seat, put
    the seat underneath you, and your right foot on the pedal.

    side mount reverse, leg around Put your left foot on the left pedal and
    hold the seat in your hand. Move your right foot around the back of the
    seat, swing your foot 360 degrees around the seat again, put the seat
    underneath you, and your right foot on the pedal.

    Reverse Stand in front of the unicycle with the seat underneath you. Put
    one foot on the lower pedal. Step back and up so that the unicycle is
    underneath you. The motion will be similar to idling once you are up.

    Jump Hold the unicycle upright and jump up onto the pedals and the seat.
    Land with all your weight on the pedals or you will be unhappy.

    180 spin mount Hold the unicycle in front of you with the front
    facing you. Jump into the air, spin the unicycle around 180 degrees,
    and land on it.

    360 spin mount Hold the unicycle in front of you with the front
    facing you. Jump into the air, spin the unicycle around 360 degrees,
    and land on it.

    kick up Lay the unicycle on its side. Put your foot on the pedal that is
    pointing up. Use your other foot to kick the seat up underneath you, and
    put the free foot on its pedal.

    rolling mount Roll the unicycle, put your foot on one pedal and get up,
    without the wheel ever stopping.

    I do not know how to describe the rest of these mounts. I will
    gladly accept hints here.

    one foot mount Like a standard mount, but the second foot goes over the
    pedal and the stays in the air. You can then go backwards or forwards
    with one foot.

    one foot reverse mount Like the reverse mount, but the second foot goes
    over the pedal and the stays in the air. You can then go backwards or
    forwards with one foot.

    side mount from standing on wheel

    side jump mount Start at the side of the unicycle, then jump on the
    pedals and settle on the seat.

    free side jump mount Start at the side of the unicycle, let go of the
    unicycle, then jump on the pedals and settle on the seat.

    jump mount

    Stand behind the unicycle, jump up on both pedals simultaneously, and
    settle on the seat.

    free jump mount Like a regular jump mount, but the rider lets go of the
    seat before their feet leave the ground.

    rolling mount to one foot

    jump mount to one foot idle

    kick up to walk the wheel

    kick up to walk the wheel one footed

    kick up to spin

    side jump mount to walk the wheel Like jump mount, but land in the wheel
    walk position.

    side mount to seat out in front

    frog mount

    rolling jump mount to seat in back

    jump mount to seat in front Like a jump mount, but you leave the seat
    out front and ride this way.

    pick up mount

    spin mount

    spin mount to one foot riding

    kick up with foot wrapped around frame

    side jump mount to seat at back

    jump mount with 180 seat spin whilst airborne

    jump mount with 360 seat spin whilst airborne

    turn around jump mount The rider turns around 180 degrees before landing
    on the unicycle.

    13. Where can I find a unicycle club or organization?

    Unicycling Society of America

    The Unicycling Society of America distributes a quarterly newsletter,
    sponsors an annual conference/meet, sells all known unicycle literature, and
    serves as an information clearinghouse. Dues are currently $15 a year. It is
    well worth the cost. You can reach them at: Unicycling Society of America,
    P.O. Box 40534, Redford, MI 48240.

    There are local clubs in many areas. Detroit, Minneapolis, New York City
    and Bowling Green OH are three cities with large clubs. The Unicycling
    Society of America has a clubs registry and will send out club lists for
    a small cost. They encourage people to register as clubs, even if they
    are only few or one person.

    I will need some help in this section for more club information,
    especially from foreign countries.

    14. What are the different types of unicycles?

    Standard This is your average unicycle. The cranks connect to the axle.
    It has a seat above the wheel.

    Giraffe These are the taller chain-driven unicycles. You can buy them
    from Semcycle or the Unicycle Factory. The record height is about
    100'(31m).

    Monocycle This is a wheel with the seat inside. These are fairly rare.

    Ultimate Wheel This is the standard unicycle without forks or a seat. A
    plywood disk usually replace the spokes, which keeps your ankles from
    getting beat up. You can buy these from the Unicycle Factory.

    Impossible Wheel Also called the BC wheel. This is a plain wheel with
    the axle extended on both sides with posts. You stand on the posts and
    roll along, assuming you figure out how to propel yourself.

    15. What size wheel should I get?

    In general the smaller the wheel, the easier it is to learn to ride and
    learn new skills. Larger wheels are better for transportation and speed.
    12" and 16" wheels are good for children. 20" wheels are good trick
    unicycles for adults. 24" wheels still work for a lot of tricks and gives
    you decent speed. This is the best general-purpose size. Bigger wheels
    are better for higher speed riding. The Unicycle Factory advertises
    models up to 40".

    Check the rules if you are buying a unicycle for competition. Races
    generally require a specific size, such as 24" for adults. British
    juggling competitions usually limit you to a 20" model.

    16. Why don't you get a unicycle with multiple speeds?

    Someone has built a unicycle with multiple gearings. Here is an account
    from Peter Lister (p.lister@cranfield.ac.uk):

    I know Bob Knight who built it. I haven't had the opportunity to have a
    go on it (I haven't really got the hang of giraffes yet - severe lack of
    people prepared to lend me theirs to practise on).

    I can assure you that it's no problem to change gear. Bob can shift up
    and down happily while going forward or idling, or probably backwards,
    knowing him. As I understand it, the only requirement is that one reduce
    the pedal pressure during a shift, but then as anyone (like me) who rides
    a two-wheeler with a Sturmey hub knows, that applies to normal bikes and
    isn't a problem unless one is really standing on the pedals.

    Just in case it isn't clear from the photo(another person brought up this
    topic when they saw a picture of the unicycle. ed.), this beast uses a
    fixed Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub *not* a derailleur (it's surprising how
    many people assume that the derailleur is the only possible cycle gear
    shift). The hub itself is an antique (early 1950s I think), probably
    worth more than the rest of the unicycle (which was made by Bob and his
    dad). The equivalent wheel sizes are 20", 24" and 28".

    17. What unicycling events can I attend?

    UNITED STATES

    National Unicycle Convention July 27 - July 30, 1995 Bowling Green State
    University Bowling Green, OH (near Toledo)

    For more information contact: Steve Cernkovich
    (18)352-3933 or Barry Piersol
    (19)352-0416

    You will also find more information in On One Wheel, the
    magazine of the Unicycling Society of America.

    If you have never been to the NUC you should go if at all
    possible. You will see all sorts of new tricks, learn lots of
    new things, and meet other unicyclists.

    In 1996 the tentative plan are for the NUC to be in
    Chariton, IA.

    UNITED KINGDOM

    British Unicycle Convention This was held in Hastings this year in May.
    It may be in Cardiff in 1995. I will add details as I know more.

    20. Which end is the front?

    Yes, the unicycle has a front and a back, even when the seat doesn't. The
    two pedals are threaded in opposite directions and are normally marked
    'L' and 'R' on the ends of the shafts. The side designation is from the
    viewpoint of the rider. Forward riding on either a unicycle or bicycle
    will tend to tighten the pedals. However, backward riding on a unicycle
    will tend to loosen the pedals.

    Beirne Konarski bkonarsk@mcs.kent.edu Ken Fuchs
    kfuchs@icicle.winternet.com
    21. Where's the other wheel?

    + In Nanny's room, behind the clock.
    + It'll be along in a minute.
    + Where's your originality?
    + That's the nth time I've heard that one today.
    + Real men (women) don't need two wheels.
    + I'm paying for it in installments.
    + You're kidding, it was there last time I looked (and promptly fall
    off)
    + I didn't put enough locks on it.
    + I loaned the other wheel to a friend. Sit here and make sure
    he comes by.
    + I don't need it!
    + I got the bike on sale, half off...I didn't realize they
    meant the bike.
    + It's the economy; can't afford the other wheel.
    + This is the recession model.
    + I'm on a time payment plan.
    + It's this downsizing thing.


    _________________________________________________________________

    Beirne Konarski/Kent State University/bkonarsk@mcs.kent.edu
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