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JJuggle
2009-07-31, 12:40 PM
This is a bit circuitous. My apologies.

Freehold museum home to international cycling conference (http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1267288&postcount=6), July 30, 2009. Asbury Park Press.

patmoore
2009-08-11, 06:58 PM
You might recognize some forum members in this article at topiaroad.com (http://www.topiaroad.com/sports/cycling/index.htm).

If anyone is interested in writing an article for publication, let me know.

Pat Moore (pmoore@snet.net)

JJuggle
2009-08-13, 12:33 PM
EXTREME; One-wheeled commute; Derek Brouwer's 12-mile commute to Boulder -- on a unicycle
Philip Armour For the Colorado Daily
24 August 2009
Daily Camera
Copyright 2009 Scripps Howard Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Derek Brouwer has heard every heckle in the book.

"Where are your juggling balls?" is common and so is "Look, a clown." But most often he gets: "You lost your other wheel." He usually quips back: "I don't need my training wheel any more!" but the mood on the road was lighter on Wednesday.

"There's a different crowd out there today," says Brouwer, who rides his unicycle 12 miles from Erie to Boulder about once a week. "Actually friendly."

We're at the Bike to Work Day breakfast station at Whole Foods on Pearl Street earlier this summer, and Brouwer needs to recharge before heading out again. A 43-year-old systems architect for a local software company, he's been unicycling for the last hour and a half and is sweating profusely.

"I need a massage," he declares and gets into line for the free massage booth.

Back on the road, Brouwer and I ride back streets to his office. I follow him on my cruiser and watch as he steers with a dainty hip twist (No handlebars, remember?) and flaps his arms for balance.

Brouwer has been unicycling for three years and got into it because of his 17-year-old son, who is "stunningly good," according to his proud papa.

Mary Rios, the founder of the 62-member Boulder Unicyclist Club (www.boulderuni.com), speaks fondly of Brouwer, who is a member.

"He gets out there quite a bit," she says in a phone interview about seeing him at Hall Ranch in Lyons or Walker Ranch west of Boulder.

During the school year, Rios hosts a unicycle clinic every Friday afternoon at the South Boulder Recreation Center.

"I love the sport, because I suck at it," Brouwer laughs. "I get to constantly enjoy getting better at it." It's also a great workout, he says, and claims to have "abs that can bounce bullets," if you peel away the fat.

His wife doesn't like to hear it, but women come up to him all the time wanting to talk about the unicycle or try it out. "I'm not into that or anything," he says "But it's pretty cool."

The wheel on his commuter unicycle -- a chrome Coker -- is a massive 36 inches in diameter. He owns seven unicycles. On this one, his head is a good eight feet off the ground, but the added wheel diameter allows him to cover more ground per pedal stroke.

His unicycle has typical commuter gadgets, like a light on the seat post and cycle computer, plus untypical gadgets, like an inflatable Kris Holm seat with a handle. For safety gear, he wears a helmet and unicycling Kris Holm gloves with wrist support. The pedals are wide, flat downhill mountain bike pedals.

JJuggle
2009-08-13, 12:37 PM
Well, what do you know?

Hi, I'm Michael Scalisi

Michael Scalisi, PC World | Thursday, July 30, 2009 5:55 AM PDT

Greetings PC World readers. My name is Michael Scalisi, and I'm proud to be taking over as the author of PC World's Net Work blog. Five days a week, you can come here for my daily reports on life in the business IT trenches.

I look forward to spending a little of each day telling you about my real-world tech experiences. I’ll share with you my honest take on current news trends, as well as experiences working with business users and all kinds of hardware and software.

My current day job is as an IT Manager for a San Francisco Bay Area biomedical corporation, where I manage a small data center and 160 workstations running mostly Windows, with a little Linux and OS X thrown in the mix. I cut my teeth on a Commodore 64 when I was in grade school and worked in computer sales for a few years before transitioning to corporate IT life. I’ve spent the last 12 years performing IT work for everything from large multinational corporations with 80k employees to startups with 30, with most of my time spent managing IT environments of 250-500 users. Somewhere along the way, I managed to get a BS degree in Information Systems from the University of San Francisco.

When I get a break from the office, I’m usually out somewhere on a unicycle. I play unicycle basketball with the Berkeley Revolution and have toured all over the world on one wheel. My favorite form of unicycling is a small but growing sport called MUni, which stands for mountain unicycling, which is just like mountain biking but with one fewer wheel. But I promise to keep this blog focused on tech, not unicycles.

Thanks for reading! I look forward to your feedback. Follow me on twitter if you like. I tweet as mscalisi.

JJuggle
2009-08-13, 12:39 PM
Kentlands kids are one-wheeled wonders
Unicycling brings neighborhood together in giant balancing act
by Patricia M. Murret | Staff Writer
Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009

One is not the loneliest number in Gaithersburg, where a group of neighborhood children is riding unicycles, learning tricks and recruiting talent.

"My dad has been helping me," said Jessica Nyborg, 5. "And my mom's learning. I think I'm a little better than her, because she can only [ride] two feet."

The Nyborg family of the Kentlands gained interest in unicycling several years ago when the family lived in Florida. The eldest child, Christopher, now 11, had friends who thought riding them was cool. Christopher got a unicycle for Christmas in 2006, and as he started to learn, his father Andrew, 38, took an interest.

Dad takes an interest in anything his children enjoy, said mom, Jerrilyn Nyborg. The couple and three of their four children own 12 unicycles, including a "giraffe," a 5-foot-tall model with a 20-inch wheel, and everyone, except 2-year-old Caroline, is hooked.

Children's unicycles run from about $150 to more than $300, depending on needs and quality, said Andrew Nyborg, whose children wear protective gear, including helmets, while riding. He has bought most of his family's on eBay and Craig's List for $25 to $50, he said.

Some families give up too soon on unicycling.

"I think anyone can do it, as long as they're determined to learn," Christopher said. "Having good balance, yeah, it does help."

Natalie, 8, said starting on a flat surface is critical. Like her brother, she learned by placing her cycle between two chairs for balance, rocking back and forth, and riding once she felt comfortable.

"Sometimes my dad would hold my hand and I would ride with him holding my hand — or I would ride and high-five as I went by," she said. "He would go farther and farther back and I would have to give him a high-five as I went by."

These days, she's trying to learn to "idle," or rock back and forth in place, free-mount (no hands) and jump, like her brother. The siblings and their parents often take their cycles to the Kentlands Mansion, where anyone interested in learning can borrow a spare.

The Holmsteads, another Kentlands family with unicycling children, often join the fun — Eric, 16, Elizabeth, 13, and Eli, 11. They own seven unicycles.

Joining them are Noah and Brenna Pagley, 9 and 7, who own their own cycles, and Olivia Pritchard, 11, who is learning. The neighborhood pals rode in the Kentlands Day Parade and performed in the Rachel Carson Elementary School Variety Show, where Christopher wowed crowds by rolling onstage on a 5-foot "giraffe." He aims to ride as well as Eric Holmstead, who often rides with Alex Bauer, 16, of the Lakelands and can jump off curbs and picnic tables.

"Riding by yourself isn't tons of fun, so it's usually fun to have a friend who knows how to do it," Christopher said.

mbalmer
2009-08-13, 02:16 PM
I made it into two papers this summer. They are not big articles and there was no interview but my name and picture is there. I'm not big on spotlight, but it's fun to see it anyway.

The first was the Californian in the Salinas/Monterey area. Here is the link.
http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20090731/LIFESTYLE/907310314


The second one was in a local paper in the town where I work.
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d199/mbalmer/DSCN1001.jpg

JJuggle
2009-08-14, 12:24 PM
Teen unicyclers medal at national competition
By Katie Tammen, Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach
McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
13 August 2009
Northwest Florida Daily News (MCT)

Aug. 13--FORT WALTON BEACH -- It's always a challenge. That's part of the reason they love it.

Whenever Choctawhatchee High School juniors Anna Jinks and Forrest Rackard jump on their unicycles, the possibilities are endless and practicing a new stunt is a given.

"It's just something you can keep improving on. There are always new tricks to try," Anna said.

The two teens joined other unicyclists from across the country last month at a national competition in Minnesota, where each captured medals.

For Forrest, the highlight was when he became the first person to land the 900 unispin at the competition. The 900 unispin requires the unicyclist to jump up from the unicycle, make the unicycle spin and then land back on the pedals.

"I had never landed (the 900 unispin), but I had a feeling I might land it at the nationals because of adrenaline," said Forrest, who started riding a unicycle several years ago after his father encouraged him to try.

He was right. In the end, he brought home a gold, silver and bronze medal.

Anna also did well, bringing home two trophies and four medals. Her mother, Eleanor McCain, said watching the competition was "unbelievable" and was amazed at how far her daughter had come since she asked for a unicycle in the fourth grade.

"It was one of those persistent requests," McCain said. "(Then) she got on that thing and rode and rode until she could ride."

The teens have come a long way since they first started practicing together after friends introduced them in the eighth grade. Neither of them had really tried too many tricks, but they were exchanging tips and learning tricks together in no time.

Eventually, they decided to share their passion and approached Choctawhatchee Principal Cindy Gates about starting a unicycle club at the school.

Although the proposal took Gates off guard, when the pair handed her a list of interested students and a teacher sponsor, she gave the club her blessing.

"These kids were serious; they were passionate. They had a goal," Gates said.

The club has about 15 members and meets in the school's parking lot and sometimes outside a member's home.

Anna recently approached Gates about taking the show on the road, so to speak.

Anna and Forrest are enrolled in the school's International Baccalaureate program, which requires students to put in a certain number of hours in community service. For their project, the two want to teach at-risk children how to ride unicycles.

"It's something you can get really interested in and can spend a lot of time (practicing)," Anna said.

She added that meeting the challenge of riding a unicycle will translate into success in all aspects of life.

Gates agreed with Anna's assessment and applauded the insight she and Forrest demonstrated when they presented the project.

"These are go-getter kids that are going to make a difference," Gates said.

JJuggle
2009-08-26, 12:19 PM
PEAK OF PEDALING PERFORMANCE Father, son balance love of unicycling with fourteeners
Scott Willoughby
25 August 2009
Denver Post

Let's get one thing straight right up front. George Steele rides a Municycle, not a unicycle.

The seemingly innocuous semantic slight may not make much difference to those outside the loose fringe of one-wheel pedal pushers, but the 17-year-old from Denver will be the first to tell you that the 'M' in 'Muni' is magnified exponentially at 14,000 feet. His father, Andy, will be the second.

That capital consonant stands for 'Mountain.' And as far as anyone knows for certain, the father-son Steele team is the first to take fat-

tire mountain unicycles to Colorado's rarified summit. George Steele's recently accomplished attempt to Muni ride 14 peaks above 14,000 feet included 14,433-foot Mount Elbert, highest in Colorado.

'I just like the idea of being at altitude,' the high school senior said this past weekend prior to pedaling the final two peaks of his summer-

long odyssey. 'And it's fun to see other people's reactions. You get

reactions ranging from people who think you're mentally ill to people who think it's awesome to people who worry about you or get angry because they think they're going to have to carry you back down the mountain. You get everything. It just depends.'

With a unicycling resume that reaches back to third grade, the young Steele long ago developed the balance necessary to master

almost any terrain. His trails skills

allow him to hop the knobby-tire

machine from rocks to logs, landing with the poise of a gymnast. And his drive to be 'different' led him on the unprecedented mission up and down the majority of his home state's 18 peaks above 14,000 feet that are not designated wilderness areas - meaning bikes, and unicycles, are allowed.

'It was probably the most athletically challenging thing I've ever done in my life,' he said after completing the mission Sunday on Pikes Peak. 'The main goal was just to prove it can be done. So many people haven't even heard of mountain unicycling, or if they have, they think it's just on dirt paths around the city. It doesn't make sense to a lot of people, so by doing it you're sort of proving to the world that it can be done and it is being done.'

Even among Colorado's small core community of mountain uni-

cyclists (most of whom the Steeles know by name), the mission was a tough sell. Spoken invitations and the website set up to document the effort (www.14fourteeners.blogspot.com) failed to rally even one other rider willing to arise before 4 a.m. for the lengthy hikes carrying the 20-pound Munis to mountain summits where the Steeles required a minimum of three wheel revolutions of themselves before claiming success.

From there, they would attempt to ride as much of the descending trail as physically possible. Bear in mind that the fixed-gear unicycles, whether designed for mountains or not, have neither brakes nor suspension.

'Every stretch is technically possible, but physically you just can't maintain it,' said Andy Steele, a 49-

year-old doctor at Denver Health who joined his son in riding almost every mountain.

'I feel like I'm to the point where if I really want to I can do all the technical stuff. But it comes down to how much energy you have at 14,000 feet and the fear factor,' George Steele said. 'Most of the time you are just jumping back and forth between rocks until you can get a wheel revolution. But at 14,000 feet, you can only do that for a short time. Trying to jump up and down and ride a unicycle at that altitude, I can go maybe 20 yards before my lungs give out.'

Certain peaks - Handies and Mount Bross, for example - offered up plenty of quality riding on the descents, however. The Steeles were able to ride more than 90 percent down some mountains.

The final three-day push up and down Mount Antero, Mount Elbert and Pikes Peak last weekend proved to be all the duo could handle, though, and then some.

'I am beat up and beat down,' Andy said after his five-hour ride on Pikes Peak. 'The mountain beat me. I had to walk the last half mile.'

His son, who Wednesday will board a jet to the country of Jordan for his final year of high school, was feeling more upbeat than beat up, though. While he admits he would think twice before attempting such a feat again, he considers the completion of all 14 peaks a steppingstone to bigger and better Muni moments.

'It was totally worth the effort,' George Steele said. 'This has been my first big mountain unicycle challenge. I'd like to do Mount Whitney in California (the tallest peak in the Lower 48), for sure. Later on I'm hoping to top 14,000 feet and start getting into maybe the Andes or the

Himalayas, somewhere I can push it even higher and do more technical stuff.

"Right now (Canadian) Kris Holm is the main guy in mountain unicycling. But when he grows older, then I'll hopefully be the guy that everybody knows." --------------------------------------------- ----------------------

Hiking and biking

A look at George Steele's logbook of the fourteeners he hiked and rode his Municyle on this summer:

................Miles....Miles....Miles

No. Name....Summit (ft.)....Date....Elev. gain....hiked....ridden up....ridden down....

1. Torreys Peak....14,267....June 28....2,987....6.75....0....1.35....

2. Grays Peak....14,270....June 28....470....1.50.....05.....45....

3. Quandary Peak....14,265....July 4....3,415....6.75.....17....2.19....

4. Mount Princeton....14,197....July 12....3,197....6.25.....16....1.25....

5. Mount Democrat....14,148....July 18....2,148....4.25.....11....1.17....

6. Mount Cameron....14,238....July 18....1,714....1.50....0.....60....

7. Mount Lincoln....14,286....July 18....186....1.00....0.....35....

8. Mount Bross....14,172....July 18....372....1.50.....15.....68....

9. Mount Sherman....14,036....July 25....2,036....5.25.....13....1.97....

10. Handies Peak....14,048....Aug. 12....2,800....7.30.....37....3.47....

11. Redcloud Peak....14,034....Aug. 13....3,634....9.00.....23....3.15....

12. Mount Antero....14,269....Aug. 21....1,269....6.00.....15....1.80....

13. Mount Elbert....14,433....Aug. 22....4,393....9.00.....32....2.93....

14. Pikes Peak....14,110....Aug. 23....1,000....15.00.....38....6.38....

Totals............29,621....81.05....2.22....27.74....

danger_uni
2009-08-26, 03:45 PM
George,

Congrats on what must have been an incredible summer of climbing and riding! That is an awesome string of summits to put together in a few years, let alone in one summer.

Hope to see some pictures. Perhaps think about sending in a few to the capture.krisholm.com photo site when it opens.

Kris

Kris

steveyo
2009-08-29, 11:20 PM
PEAK OF PEDALING PERFORMANCE Father, son balance love of unicycling with fourteeners... George Steele's recently accomplished attempt to Muni ride 14 peaks above 14,000 feet included 14,433-foot Mount Elbert, highest in Colorado...Just outstanding!

rolandisimo
2009-08-30, 01:06 AM
Here's a pdf of my May 09 article in Breathe Magazine about our Kh 'Evolution of Balance' sponsored ride from the Caribean to the Pacific across the jungles of Panama.

http://personalrollercoaster.wordpress.com/2009/08/28/featured-in-breathe-magazine/

-ro

JJuggle
2009-09-03, 12:06 PM
Stroud man poised to pedal 1,000 miles - on one wheel
2 September 2009
Gloucestershire Echo

Pedalling 1,000 miles is challenge enough - but Adam Cass plans to cover the distance on just one wheel.

The Stroud cyclist is aiming to travel from Land's End to John O'Groats by unicycle on an epic charity adventure, accompanied by fellow unicyclist Maxwell Parfitt.

They met as University of Reading students. Adam, 21, has just graduated with a BA in politics and international relations.

He and Max leave Land's End on Saturday and have just 20 days to complete the 1,000-mile route before Max has to be back at university for the start of the new term on September 26.

Adam and his 24-year-old pal, who is studying a PhD in computer science and robotics, are members of the Reading University Circus Skills Society. They plan to cycle between 50 and 60 miles a day on adapted unicycles with 36in wheels and handlebars.

"Handlebars allow us to rest our arms and move some of the pressure of our backsides by lifting ourselves out of our saddles," said Max.

Although other unicyclists have made the journey Adam and Max believe they are the first to travel the route without a support team. They will be carrying all their equipment, including a tent and sleeping bags, as well as a laptop and camera so that they can update their website www.tour2009.co.uk.

Adam is aiming to raise funds for Women's Aid. He said: "I have been unicycling since October 2008 and look forward to the challenge.

"Women's Aid is an important charity protecting women and children who have been harmed by domestic violence. I hope that doing something as absurd and visible as this ride will prove to be the perfect thing to counteract the often invisible nature of domestic problems."

Max is riding for the Jubilee Sailing Trust which operates two tall ships for disabled people. To donate log on to Adam's site www.justgiving.co.uk/Unicycle Tour or Max's site www.justgiving.co.uk/Tour2009.

JJuggle
2009-09-23, 12:33 PM
Austrian unicycles Spanish Way of St. James
22 September 2009
Austria Today

By Lisa Chapman

A Burgenland man has ridden 760 kilometres along a famous pilgrimage route - on a unicycle.

Georg Dujmovits, from Gerersdorf in southern Burgenland, travelled the entire length of the pilgrimage route the Way of St. James from Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on the bicycle.

The 23-year-old brother of professional snowboarder Julia Dujmovits said it took him 18 days in August to make the trip with friend who rode a mountain bike.

He said he had used the old pilgrimage foot path 90 to 95 per cent of the way from Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela but that at some points he was so tired he decided to carry the bike instead.

Dujmovits added he had sometimes battled to stay in the saddle for up to 10 hours a day in searing heat and to negotiate mountain passes up to 1,250 metres high (O Cebreiro).

He said many people his friend and he had encountered on the path had been astounded to see someone riding a unicycle but that their support and encouragement had spurred him on.

Dujmovits, who took up unicycling eight years ago, prepared for his trip by riding 30 to 40 kilometres a day in Burgenland on a unicycle - a regime he said was like training for a marathon by running only a part of the full distance each day.

He said he is now considering taking his unicycle on a trip around New Zealand.

JJuggle
2009-09-25, 12:08 PM
Dad and son are wonders on one wheel
Amy Plender reporters@sevenoaks-chronicle.co.uk
24 September 2009
Sevenoaks Chronicle

A 12-mile cycle ride would push many of us to the limit.

But a father and son have put themselves through the pain barrier to cover the distance - on one wheel!

Heath and Callum Cope, of Chapman's Road, Sundridge, completed the circuit of Bewl Water on their unicycles.

After the five-and-a-half-hour marathon, floor fitter Mr Cope, 40, said: "We were both absolutely worn out the next day."

They set off at 11.30am and say they were quicker than many two-wheelers in going around the 12-and-a-half-miles of the reservoir.

"You get to a stage of competence where it's as safe as bikes," said Mr Cope, who has been unicycling on and off for 25 years.

"I was a bit worried about how Callum would get on, as he's only been unicycling for eight weeks, but he will be faster than me soon.

"We go on our unicycles where most people would go by bike. We went from Penshurst to Tonbridge last weekend."

Mr Callum and his 12-year-old son, a Tunbridge Wells Grammar School pupil, are now planning a longer ride for charity.

The Bewl Water round reservoir route is open to cyclists from May to October. Visit www.bewl.co.uk for more information.

Danny Colyer
2009-09-27, 09:43 PM
Heath and Callum Cope, of Chapman's Road, Sundridge, completed the circuit of Bewl Water on their unicycles.I did that 12 years ago with my then gf. We were both in some discomfort after doing all those off-road miles on our 20" wheels.

JJuggle
2009-10-09, 12:24 PM
Unicycling may catch on in carbon-conscious world
Billy Baker
9 October 2009
The Boston Globe

For unicyclists, there are two types of people in this world. Those who are really impressed with them when they ride by, and those who go to great lengths to ignore them because they think they're trying to show off. Most people seem to fall into the latter group.

To see how a Somerville family navigates on one wheel. (http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/10/09/unicycling_may_catch_on_in_carbon_conscious_world/)

And then there's the constant joke, which is kind of funny and mostly annoying but is interesting because everyone who utters it thinks they came up with it on the spot.

"Where's the other wheel?"

Unicycling comes with baggage. It's fun, unicyclists say, and that's the primary reason they do it. And it is certainly a novelty that attracts attention whether riders want it or not. But there's something else going on, a weird logic inside that inverted pendulum that, they say, gives one-wheeled transport a real practicality in urban commuting.

In a carbon-conscious culture that's looking for new ways to get from A to B, is it time to reconsider the unicycle? It's not as crazy as you think.

"The reason it hasn't exploded is there's more than a bit of a learning curve," said Alex O'Brien-Feldman, a Somerville resident who has been riding a unicycle just about everywhere for more than 20 years. "Some people think it's just for showing off, but in fact unicycling is a very convenient form of urban transportation."

If riders are traveling less than 2 miles, he said, going by unicycle is faster than by bicycle.

"You have to unlock the bicycle, stow the lock, and then relock it somewhere else, which takes a few minutes," said O'Brien- Feldman, who makes a living performing (sans unicycle) as Alex the Jester. "With a unicycle, you just jump on and go, and you can take it with you into a store, on the subway, almost anywhere. Or you can just leave it outside unlocked, and no one is going to take it."

He's now got his two boys, ages 9 and 6, on unicycles, and they ride to and from school together almost every day.

Depending on the person, it can take anywhere from two to six weeks of steady practice to be able to ride in a straight line, and a few more weeks to do turns. But once riders are proficient, a typical unicycle is twice as fast as walking. With a larger 36-inch wheel, it can be more than four times as fast.

In terms of speed of commute, it's on par with Rollerblades and skateboards. Unicyclists point out that Rollerblades require you to take your shoes on and off, and skateboards aren't good at going uphill (riding a unicycle up a hill is similar to riding a bike in a low gear). And unicyclists can get away with riding on the sidewalk - pedestrians instinctively part the way, they say - and thus avoid the dangers of the road.

But the fact remains that these nuances are tough to explain when you're riding past someone who is yelling: "Where's the other wheel?"

"I've actually started riding mine less because the stigma is starting to outweigh the convenience," said Daniel Whitlow, a senior at MIT who says he is tired of being known as "the unicycle guy" on campus.

Sophie Wharton, a junior at Harvard University who recently did a 100-mile charity ride with her father through Montreal, made the conscious decision to leave her unicycle at home during her first semester of college "so I wouldn't be the unicycle girl from the start."

"People at Harvard are very image-conscious," said Isaac Shivvers, a senior at the school who said he rides his unicycle on campus only if it's raining, because his hands are free to hold an umbrella. "No one is proudly weird at Harvard."

But being proudly weird is part of the ride when you're gliding down the street on one wheel.

"The problem is that cars don't know whether to treat you like a bicycle or like a pedestrian," said Arthur Lewbel, an economics professor at Boston College who has been unicycling since the early '70s. "What they should do is treat you like a jogger, because that's about the speed at which you're moving."

"They either give you a wide berth, or they lean out the window and throw things at you, even if they're just words," said Nic Price, a 30-year-old neuroscientist who rides his unicycle from his Cambridge apartment to his office at Harvard Medical School.

"The problem is that by the time I've come up with a great comeback," Price said, "they're a mile down the road."

JJuggle
2009-10-19, 10:25 AM
Steady on one wheel
Nicholas Yong
18 October 2009
Straits Times
(c) 2009 Singapore Press Holdings Limited

You do not have to be a clown to ride the unicycle, but you can perform tricks and go for endurance rides

What do clowns, circus entertainers and about 100 people in Singapore have in common?

Answer: They all ride the unicycle.

They are the Singapore Unicyclists, the people who can do things on one wheel that most of us would struggle to do on two.

'To someone who has never taken a ride on a unicycle before, the typical impression would be a clown act or circus trick. I frequently hear people hum the circus tune when they see me riding past,' says 27-year-old engineer Chua Kai Lun.

The Unicyclists have been spotted in Orchard Road, the Singapore River and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. They have also ventured out to Sentosa, Pulau Ubin and even overseas.

Some took part in the recent Asia-Pacific Unicyle Competition in Hong Kong, which attracted about 60 competitors from five nations.

It is a serious pursuit for 27-year-old IT consultant Kee Xuyuan. Last year, he and two other Singaporeans completed a five-day, 800km relay race across Nova Scotia, Canada.

The people he meets while cycling around often look 'puzzled' or just get out of the way.

'I think they're afraid that we might hit them or fall on them,' he says.

Unicycling took off here in 2002 with the first unofficial gathering of enthusiasts at the Youth Park organised by, perhaps fittingly, a professional entertainer.

British expatriate Ben Matthews, 38, now based in Hong Kong, has been unicycling since 1991 and incorporated it into his act. He had always wanted to start a club here but 'there were never any other unicyclists'.

A chance meeting with two other expat unicyclists, including Singapore Polytechnic senior lecturer Jolyon Caplin, 49, sparked the flame again.

They arranged informal gatherings at the Youth Park, where 'we discovered a lot of closet unicyclists', says Mr Caplin.

This led to the start of a polytechnic unicyling club, as well as weekly sessions of unicycle hockey on campus.

Yes, hockey played on unicycles, with rules similar to those of inline hockey.

As housewife Ong Hui Fang, 31, who was present at the first meeting in 2002, puts it: 'If you just unicycle round and round, it gets very boring, so you need to find something to do.'

Regulars now meet in Bedok every week for unicycle hockey sessions. One of them is Mr Chua, who owns four unicycles - one for long-distance riding, one for off-road riding and another two for hockey and stunts.

The size of the wheel and length of the crank determine your speed and control, hence the need for different unicycles for different activities.

Mr Chua, who taught himself how to ride in 2002, says: 'It's technically very challenging. The tricks that can be done are unlimited and the thrill is in finding new tricks to do.'

He is one of four freelance trainers at Team-Uni, a Web-based company that sells unicycles, which also teaches people how to ride. Its slogan: Save a wheel.

Ms Cai Jiahui, 25, Team-Uni's business manager, hopes the sport will be as popular as rollerblading.

'Unicycles don't take up much space. We've now got great park connectors that are too restrictive for road cycling, but which are good for endurance rides on unicycles. There are also parks in our neighbourhoods to try out new tricks,' she adds.

Team-Uni runs workshops on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Each participant pays $50 for two to three hours of instruction, with equipment provided.

Team-Uni has so far trained at least 60 people, at both paid and free sessions. It has been running workshops at Hwa Chong Institution every two years since 2005. At this year's workshop in October, 27 junior college students turned up.

Other schools such as Jurong Primary, where workshops have also been held, hope to organise more of these in future.

Over at Singapore Polytechnic, Mr Caplin is working to get the unicycling club started again, as it is now 'pretty dormant'.

He hopes to begin a staff club and has started his small children on unicycles.

Between 60 and 70 unicycles are sold each year by Ghee Hin Chan and Co, the main importer and distributor of unicycles here. The unicycles, imported from Taiwan and Germany, range from $120 to more than $200.

Manager Jimmy Ng says his customers include Singaporeans and expatriates, with Japanese students particularly enthusiastic.

The passion for the sport continues to burn bright wherever the unicyclists have gone.

Ms Ong, who now lives in Wellington, New Zealand, has found similar enthusiasts in her neighbourhood.

For her, the sport has added meaning - she met her husband, who is French, during the unicycling sessions in Singapore.

She is looking forward to meeting her Singaporean counterparts again at the World Unicycling Championships, which will be held in Wellington in December.

Mr Matthews gets in a hockey session and a 10km ride every week in Hong Kong and continues to use the unicycle in his act.

Nevertheless, it is often a case of reassuring people he encounters who do not know much about the sport.

'Sometimes you see someone who is really nervous. It's best to yawn nonchalantly as I ride past. That way, they realise I am totally in control and they don't need to freak out,' he says.

nicy@sph.com.sg

'It's not like a bicycle where you can coast along. You need to pedal constantly in order to keep moving.'

Mr Kee Xuyuan, on unicycling being physically demanding

'Sometimes you see someone who is really nervous. It's best to yawn nonchalantly as I ride past. That way, they realiseI am totally in control and they don't need to freak out.'

MR BEN MATTHEWS, a British expatriate now based in Hong Kong

Uneasy Rider

Reporter Nicholas Yong tries out the unicycle.

I came, I saw and I fell. And then I fell again. And again. And again.

That is the basic summary of what happened when I joined some of the Singapore Unicyclists for their weekly hockey session at Bedok South Avenue 3. They had very kindly agreed to give some pointers on how to ride a unicycle.

As I quickly found out though, unicycling is no easy sport to pick up. It takes about a week of continuous practice to get the hang of it, though some can ride in a straight line within hours.

Unicyclist Kee Xuyuan told me some people are naturally good at it and can pick it up immediately. Obviously, I am not one of them.

Having cycled for many years, I had assumed that the same principles of balance and motion would be at work. While that is generally true, unicycling is a whole different ball game.

Step 1: Get on the unicycle. With your hand on the wall for support and your stronger foot on the pedal facing you, you hop onto the seat. This took several attempts but was relatively straightforward.

Step 2: Get comfortable in the seat. While this may sound simple enough, the temptation is often to put your weight on your legs. This makes it difficult to balance and puts a lot of strain on the legs. As Cai Jiahui sagely advised me: 'Your weight must be on your butt.' Easier said than done, as I kept putting my weight on my legs instead, which were starting to feel the strain.

Step 3: While still hanging onto the wall, stretch out your arms and do small rocking motions back and forth. This is to help you get the hang of it, so you can eventually learn to balance on the unicycle.

However, I managed only a quarter-revolution of the wheel each time before I fell off. Repeatedly. Fortunately, I landed on my feet each time.

'It's always like that at the beginning,' Xuyuan assured me. Watching 10-year-old Jonathan Yow ride in circles around the court made me feel inadequate, though.

I was starting to sweat profusely with the effort, too, though this probably had more to do with the heat of the floodlights around the court.

Step 4: Move a half-revolution of the wheel forward. Unfortunately, I never got that far as the falls got in the way. After almost an hour of trying, I decided to leave it to the experts and watch them at play instead.

Chua Kai Lun was particularly impressive, pivoting and swivelling around the court faster on one wheel than I can on two feet - all the while dribbling a tennis ball with a hockey stick.

Ask the unicyclists and they will tell you that it takes time and no small amount of effort to get that good.

Xuyuan noted that unicycling is more physically demanding: 'It's not like a bicycle where you can coast along. You need to pedal constantly in order to keep moving, even when you are going downhill.'

As the hockey session wound down, Jiahui said: 'You're always welcome to join us again.'

I'll need to get use

unicycle6869
2009-10-19, 12:44 PM
Here is an article titled "Love Under The Big Top" that was in Woman's Day in Australia about my engagement. Not a lot to do with unicycling but does mention it a few times and there's a picture. Sorry but you'll have to zoom in to read it...

unicycle6869
2009-10-19, 12:56 PM
Part 2

unicycle6869
2009-10-19, 01:13 PM
Take 2: Part 2

fluxusmaximus
2009-10-22, 04:13 PM
Hey JJuggle,

how did you find the Singapore piece? STALKER!

johnfoss
2009-10-22, 04:39 PM
I think the Straits Times uses the same Internet as everyone else. :)

That was an excellent article BTW; you couldn't do better as free publicity to attract people to your group, with actual accurate information and a little bit of an honest try to learn to ride!
{from the author of the article}I was starting to sweat profusely with the effort, too...I thought that happened when you stepped out the door into the sun. I did shows (outdoors) in Singapore for 2 1/2 weeks back in 1994. I don't think I ever sweated so much.

----------------------

Congratulations Jamey! You seem to be all over the Australian tabloids. If they're anything like the American ones, you have to be good-looking for them to stay interested. Looks like the two of you are in for a lot more coverage!

fluxusmaximus
2009-10-23, 02:11 AM
I think the Straits Times uses the same Internet as everyone else. :)

That was an excellent article BTW; you couldn't do better as free publicity to attract people to your group, with actual accurate information and a little bit of an honest try to learn to ride!
I thought that happened when you stepped out the door into the sun. I did shows (outdoors) in Singapore for 2 1/2 weeks back in 1994. I don't think I ever sweated so much.


I actually didn't think the article was going to be online since it wasn't in the main sections. I personally didn't like the introduction paragraph.

Yes, the weather here explains our sunshine personailties.

fluxusmaximus
2009-10-23, 02:29 AM
This is an old one which I like better because I wrote it.

I thought I posted it before but I can't seem to find it... Hm.

http://team-uni.com/media/8days.jpg

steveyo
2009-10-23, 11:54 AM
This is an old one which I like better because I wrote it.

I thought I posted it before but I can't seem to find it... Hm.Nicely written! Which magazine was this?

fluxusmaximus
2009-10-23, 02:23 PM
8 Days. It's a local entertainment mag. As you can see, there's not much entertainment happening here...

JJuggle
2009-10-27, 12:09 PM
IT'S HALF A BIKE BUT DOUBLE THE FUN
Claire CONNELL
16 October 2009
The Marlborough Express

Two Blenheim teenagers have opted for an alternate mode of transport for the Marlborough Kids Duathlon on Sunday.

Jamie Nelson and Anna Little, both 13, will ride unicycles in the weekend event, to be held at Montana Brancott Winery.

About 450 children have registered for the event, but Jamie and Anna are understood to be the only two entering on a unicycle.

Organiser Nicole Ecklein said the event encouraged the concept that fitness should be part of everyday life.

"The point of it is for the kids to go out and have a go."

Anna and Jamie have been learning to ride the unicycle for four years, after Anna's older brother Issac brought one online.

Anna said she gained her balance on the unicycle by spending time sitting on it near a fence "just rocking backwards and forwards until I got the feel of it".

The Little and Nelson families have 14 regular bikes between them, plus five unicycles.

Anna and Jamie said it was difficult to master the art of unicycling, but were confident they would be able to complete the 5.5-kilometre bike ride without any glitches, after practising over an 8km course.

The pair plan to complete next year's Forrest GrapeRide on their unicycles and can often be spotted riding their unicycles around town.

"(People) always look at us. Some laugh and some wonder if it's hard or not, and some ask where the other half is," Anna said.

Anna's trick for staying on is picking a spot in the distance and fixing her eyes on it, while Jamie puts all his weight on the seat rather than the pedals, so he doesn't lose control.

Ms Ecklein said Anna and Jamie's decision to take part on their bikes was "fabulous".

"It's certainly a unique way to get fit and stay fit."

JJuggle
2009-10-27, 12:11 PM
Hey JJuggle,

how did you find the Singapore piece? STALKER!
Hey, sorry I missed this. If I were a stalker, you'd surely be on my short list (how's that for creepy?), but in fact, I just have a daily search running against a database of worldwide news articles and that one popped up.

CopusMaximus
2009-11-07, 08:24 PM
Dad and son are wonders on one wheel
Amy Plender reporters@sevenoaks-chronicle.co.uk
24 September 2009
Sevenoaks Chronicle

A 12-mile cycle ride would push many of us to the limit.

But a father and son have put themselves through the pain barrier to cover the distance - on one wheel!

Heath and Callum Cope, of Chapman's Road, Sundridge, completed the circuit of Bewl Water on their unicycles.

After the five-and-a-half-hour marathon, floor fitter Mr Cope, 40, said: "We were both absolutely worn out the next day."

They set off at 11.30am and say they were quicker than many two-wheelers in going around the 12-and-a-half-miles of the reservoir.

"You get to a stage of competence where it's as safe as bikes," said Mr Cope, who has been unicycling on and off for 25 years.

"I was a bit worried about how Callum would get on, as he's only been unicycling for eight weeks, but he will be faster than me soon.

"We go on our unicycles where most people would go by bike. We went from Penshurst to Tonbridge last weekend."

Mr Callum and his 12-year-old son, a Tunbridge Wells Grammar School pupil, are now planning a longer ride for charity.

The Bewl Water round reservoir route is open to cyclists from May to October. Visit www.bewl.co.uk for more information.

Hiya.... Well that was Myself and my son Callum.... the above article was nearly all wrong and totally taken out of context.... 4 times the trainee reporter phoned me up and asked questions and even then got most wrong... Got my age wrong in one part of the article and correct in another. Got my name wrong, distance wrong and misquoted me.....average paper article I suppose... It was a fun ride and have done many since....it`s addictive.......:)

idiorythmic
2009-11-15, 11:01 PM
High school gym teacher adds unicycle riding to her curriculum
By Rene Cizio
14 November 2009
The News-Herald
© Copyright 2009 The News Herald All rights reserved

SOUTHGATE — Students attending Southgate Adult and Community Education’s alternative high school found out recently how “alternative” it can be.

Last week, the physical education students in several Asher school classes learned how to ride a unicycle.

The idea came from math teacher Wendy Grzych, who has a secret identity: president of the Unicycling Society of America Inc. and former international champion of artistic unicycling.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2742/4107230832_0d169c04d5.jpg

Grzych partnered with instructor Joe Lezotte to offer a class on unicycle riding.

Grzych, who teaches beginner unicycling classes for the Redford Township Unicycle Club, thought it would be a unique experience for the students in the alternative education program.

“It was really hard,” Southgate resident Matt Hendon, 17, said. “I had fun trying to do it on my own.”

Grzych, her daughter, Amanda, and friends Aaron Egan and Roy Kellerman brought 20 unicycles to the school and taught the students how to ride.

The students also had the opportunity to learn to juggle; balance on a rola bola, a plank on a cylinder on which a person balances; propel a walking globe, a large, firm ball; and ride a unibike.

Ecorse resident Shane Magiera, 17, was one of the first students who rode the unicycle without assistance.

He said he didn’t realize how hard it was.

“I listened to the instructors and exactly how I should do it and I kept trying until I did,” he said. “It was fun. I am pretty sure that I never would have learned how to ride a unicycle if it weren’t part of my PE class.”

This is not the first unique class in the Asher physical education department.

The school was just awarded the Michigan Association of School Boards 2009 Best of the Best award in Health and Safety for its golf and fitness program.

“This was a high honor in that all K-12 schools compete for the state’s top award and they awarded it to Asher, an alternative high school,” academic adviser Ruth Kemp said.

The MASB said Asher’s golf and fitness program provides students, who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity or resources, with an appreciation for the game of golf and teaches an at-risk population vital life lessons such as accountability and how to appropriately interact with others in a new setting.

The school received a statue and a check for $1,500 to further advance the program.

Safey
2009-11-18, 06:44 AM
http://i50.tinypic.com/xnt7xi.jpg
http://i46.tinypic.com/e82uds.jpg

I won't post the actual pictures cause they're quite big ^^
This was distributed to all the houses in our city, it's awesome publicity for the sport! :cool:

uniShark
2009-11-23, 08:50 PM
Here's a nice one. See the photos at:
http://ozsoapbox.com/cycling/nerves-of-steel-unicycle-commuting/


Nerves of steel: Unicycle commuting
May.23, 2009 in Cycling

[pic]
Photo by Induni


I used to think the height of hardcore commuting lay in the world of the fixed speed. Often without brakes, the ability to change gears to suit the terrain and pedals that keep your feet going, even when you’re going down hills, I imagined these bikes were about as challenging as you could make a commute.

All that changed when I saw this guy the other day powering his way down St. Kilda road:

[pic]


With no handle bars, gears, brakes or the luxury of dismounting at traffic lights I followed him in awe as he mixed it up with Melbourne’s morning motor traffic.

I have no idea how hard it is to balance on a unicycle when you come to complete stop but this guy made it look really easy, it was sort of like track standing on a fixed speed but without making you look like a douchebag in the process.

I didn’t get a chance to have a chat to him but I was certainly curious as to whether unicycle commuting was widespread or not in the cycling world. Turns out they’ve come a long way from the ‘clown unicycle’ or guy-juggling-on-a-unicycle types I remember seeing as a kid.

Wikipedia goes a bit into the different types of unicycles available. To my amazement people actually take unicycles offroad and even tour places like India on them, holy crap talk about dedication!

Daniel Whitlow even takes unicycle commuting one step further and does it without a helmet. I mean cmon, unicycle commuting without a helmet – you’ve either got balls of steel or a head full of steel.

Even my beloved Surly (of Long Haul Trucker fame) have a mountain bike unicycle on offer, the Conundrum.

[Side box pic comment:] Looks like Surly could have just as easily named the Conundrum the 'Groin Crusher'.

Here in Australia, the Australian Unicycle Society seem to hold regular events related to unicycling and are probably your best bet if you’ve got an interest in them. I’m sure the guy I saw down St. Kilda road is on that site somewhere.

Whilst I’m extremely confident on two wheels even in the heaviest of traffic, taking it to one wheel seems to be pretty extreme and you probably won’t see me on a unicycle any time soon.

Still, it does kinda look fun – maybe one day in a deserted car park or something I’ll try one out. As for commuting, well I think I’m gunna leave that to the pros. My crotch just isn’t ready for that much punishment!

JJuggle
2009-11-26, 02:05 PM
Family doesn’t need four wheels to get by — one's enough
By DAVID CASSTEVENS
dcasstevens@star-telegram.com
26 November 2009
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Copyright (c) 2009 The Fort-Worth Star-Telegram. All rights reserved.

FORT WORTH — If it’s a clique of photographers, a brace of orthodontists and a flush of plumbers, what do you call a group of unicyclists?

A wobble?

A balance?

Maybe the collective noun is a Roth.

The Roth family of Fort Worth enjoys an unusual hobby.

Jaris Roth and sons Zachary, 13, and Gabriel, 8, ride unicycles for fun. Eleven-year-old Alexandria hasn’t mastered what is commonly considered a circus art, but she hopes to soon be pedaling in the company of her father, two brothers and other members of a Fort Worth club called the Unipsychos.

"Most people who try to learn give up," Jaris Roth said.

"But anybody can do it, if they have the persistence."

The Roths and their fellow Unipsychos — ranging from ages 8 to 60 — will participate Friday evening in the 27th annual Chesapeake Energy Parade of Lights in downtown Fort Worth.

Jaris Roth was born into a unicyclist family. One of his earliest memories of growing up in Albuquerque, is sitting on the shoulders of an uncle as he rode around on one wheel.

Roth learned to balance himself on a unicycle by holding onto a tree limb above a sidewalk outside his home. At age 11 he made his first big purchase, spending his savings, earned from mowing lawns, to buy a $79 unicycle.

Now the 40-year-old pastor at Burleson Bible Church owns eight unicycles.

He purchased six of them through a supplier at www.unicycle.com .

Sitting atop a 36-inch wheel, Roth can reach speeds of almost 20 mph on his commuter model. After years of practice he can pedal with one foot and hop into the air to change directions.

The classically trained trumpet player has never tried playing his horn while cycling, but he often uses the unicycle to illustrate a point in church sermons.

"When we take our focus off riding and hit a bump, we fall," Roth said. "When we take our eyes off God we fall."

A dozen or more church members, he said, have taken up unicycling.

The Roths (wife Sherry is the only family member who doesn’t ride) meet other Unipsychos each Friday evening and pedal around the streets of downtown Fort Worth.

"It’s a joy," Roth said, "to see the smiles on people’s faces."

Travel tips Several streets will be closed and traffic will be heavy going into downtown Friday afternoon. The best advice: Leave early and plan on staying awhile. Other tips:

The T : After 4 p.m. Friday, bus service is free and runs until 11 p.m.

Ride the train : Catch the Trinity Railway Express to downtown Fort Worth from stations in Richland Hills, Hurst and east Fort Worth (CentrePort). Regular fares apply. To see a special schedule, go to www.trinityrailwayexpress.org/newsatmodifiedthanks.html

To get downtown:

From the west: Use Seventh Street or Cherry Street

From the south: Use Henderson Street or South Main Street

From the north: Use Henderson Street

From the east: Use Belknap Street or Lancaster Avenue

Steer clear: Avoid Spur 280 or U.S. 287 into downtown after 4:30

MuniAddict
2009-11-26, 05:33 PM
Great articles! Keep 'em coming! :D

johnfoss
2009-11-26, 08:31 PM
That article from Australia had a couple of great quotes in it:I have no idea how hard it is to balance on a unicycle when you come to complete stop but this guy made it look really easy, it was sort of like track standing on a fixed speed but without making you look like a douchebag in the process.

Daniel Whitlow even takes unicycle commuting one step further and does it without a helmet. I mean cmon, unicycle commuting without a helmet – you’ve either got balls of steel or a head full of steel.
Daniel Whitlow: A head full of steel, but doesn't look like a douchebag! :D

JJuggle
2009-12-07, 01:08 PM
PEDALLING BENEFITS OF JUST ONE WHEEL
6 December 2009
Sunday Star-Times
© 2009 Fairfax New Zealand Limited. All Rights Reserved.

KEN LOOI rode the Taupo Cycle Challenge last week. Did pretty badly, he says. Probably wasn't used to being on two wheels.

For the past nine years, Looi has been mostly riding unicycles: at the Coast to Coast, around the streets of his home town, Wellington, once for 24 hours around and around the Basin Reserve, and usually for his grocery shopping (he reasons that way you've two hands free to carry the bags).

In track cycling, the best of the best chase the world hour record.

Deduct one wheel, and it's still true.

But while two-wheelers may add just a few hundred metres to the mark each time it's broken, huge technogical advances in the world of uni- cycling have seen the world's best mark advance at pace.

Looi, a 31-year-old emergency- room doctor, has just smashed the unicycle world hour mark, clocking 29.993km on a concrete track in Dubbo, a dusty country town in New South Wales where he's been working at the local hospital.

It was nearly 4km further than when he last held the record, 2005, and 2.3km better than the previous mark set by German Jan Logemann. Looi suspects he won't have long to bask in the glory of his latest success.

"Like bicyclists, we use the hour as the benchmark for speed and distance. The technology has changed a lot and the record jumps a huge amount every time," says Looi. "I'll leave it for the next person to push on a bit further, I've probably pushed it as far as I can for now."

Similarly, the 378km 24-hour world record he set, dodging drunks at the Basin (he says it was mainly about staying awake) has since been demolished by an Englishman, Sam Wakeling, who notched 453km. The next big advance, he believes, will be the invention of a lighter wheel: the tyre alone on a unicycle weighs 1kg and the frame around 8kg.

"With unicycling, there is always something new that no one as done before," says Looi, a vice-president of the world governing body and organiser of this month's world championships in Wellington.

Unicycling is big in Japan, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany and the US. When the 15th Unicom begins on December 17 with 650 riders from 24 countries, it will be the first time the world championships have left the northern hemisphere.

Unicycling's growth area is muni (mountain unicycling) and freestyle. Trials unicycling is like motocross and freestyle akin to ice-skating: set to music and performed before a panel of judges.

Unicom also features basketball and hockey teams events.

Famous unicyclists include Rupert Grint, who plays the ginger Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films, warmongering US secretary of state Donald Rumsfeld, reggae legend Peter Tosh, beanie-wearing Monkees caperer Mike Nesmith and, allegedly, because they learned the art for a music video, the entire line-up of Brit boy band Take That (minus Robbie Williams).

But not Coco or Krusty . . . these days unicycling is no longer the domain of clowns.

"Unicycling was stuck in a rut for many years, and probably only in the last 10 years has it been seen not as just a circus thing," laments Looi. "The development of mountain uni- cycling is doing what mountain-biking did for bicycling. It has really taken us away from the circus image . . . although that will always be a part of it."

tmoyer
2009-12-09, 04:31 PM
Not a unicycle article, but I happened to look in the paper today and see this article (http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_13952185) with pictures of "a unicycler". :) (Salt Lake rider Jeff Smuin).

JJuggle
2009-12-15, 01:30 PM
UNICYLIST A STAND-UP PERFORMER
15 December 2009
Dominion Post
© 2009 Fairfax New Zealand Limited. All Rights Reserved.

GERMAN unicyclist Amrei Schindelmann is a class act. The 12-year-old, in Wellington for the Unicycling World Championship, took up unicycling three years ago and trains four days a week.

Her favourite trick is the "stand-up", in which she takes her feet off the pedals and stands balanced on the wheel. "It's fun, very much fun," she said.

It is Amrei's first time in New Zealand and she is excited about the competition.

However, as she is missing classes in her homeland, German education authorities requested she visit a New Zealand school instead.

Yesterday she performed her unicycling tricks for Mt Cook School pupils "to show them how cool it is so that they will want to do it too".

Rongomai Collier, 8, said she'd like to try out the sport. "It would be fun . . . it's really clever."

"It's kind of cool, hard but cool," Pavlo Puzikov, 8, said.

Amrei is one of 30 competitors in the under-13 age group.

The Unicon XV competition runs from December 27 to January 6 and events include artistic freestyle, mountain unicycling, street, track and field, and unicycle hockey, basketball and road racing.

It is the first time the competition is being held in the southern hemisphere.

http://static.stuff.co.nz/1260779703/245/3160245.jpg

CAPTION:
Wheelie good: German unicyclist Amrei Schindelmann performs for children at Mt Cook School, from left, Tristan Perry, Elijah Siaosi, Pavlo Puzikov, Rose Ahern and Rongomai Collier, all aged 8. "It's kind of cool, hard but cool," said Pavlo.

JJuggle
2009-12-17, 03:00 PM
UNICYCLING PROVIDES WELCOME ECONOMIC BOOST FOR WELLINGTON
16 December 2009
Mediacom
(c) 2009 New Zealand Press Association

Wellington will receive a welcome economic stimulus over the Christmas and New Year period from the hosting of the Unicycle World Championships. Known as the great Wellington shutdown period, it is a time when the hotels have their lowest occupancy period of the year with on average only 42% of beds booked.

Known as Unicon, the World Championships has attracted more than 550 international registrations with another 100 plus domestic competitors. Unicon will put at least 6,600 international bed nights in to Wellington plus a further 1,200 domestic bed nights.

"We conservatively believe that the direct spend in Wellington by competitors and supporters will exceed two million dollars with most of that being new international dollars." said event co-ordinator, Arthur Klap. "We deliberately chose this timing as it gave the maximum benefit to Wellington. Of course it will also provide the city with 10 days of top competition and entertainment in the centre of the city."

UniconXV is the biennial World Championships for unicyclists and this will be the first time in thirty years that it has been held outside the northern hemisphere. The Championships will be held in Wellington from 28 December through to 7 January with many of the events on the Wellington waterfront. Twenty three countries will be represented at the Championships.

scott ttocs
2009-12-17, 04:22 PM
More charges may be filed against Brook Park man dressed as Santa in Parma
By Bob Sandrick, Parma Sun Post
December 17, 2009, 7:50AM

Anthony V. Russo
PARMA The Brook Park man arrested last week after he — while dressed as Santa Claus — allegedly tried to kidnap a 12-year-old girl may face additional charges.
A grand jury may indict Anthony V. Russo, 46. He had been charged Dec. 10 with kidnapping, abduction and criminal child enticement in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
On Monday, Ryan Miday, spokesman for county Prosecutor Bill Mason, said the prosecutor’s office may present Russo’s case to a grand jury.
That might result in additional charges against Russo, Miday said.
As of Tuesday, Russo was in county jail. Bond was set at $100,000 on Friday.
Here’s what happened, according to police:
The 12-year-old girl was walking to school at about 7:30 a.m. Dec. 9 on Chevrolet Boulevard-Stumph Road when a man — later identified as Russo — emerged from behind a bush.
Russo was wearing a Santa suit, including a hat and pillow. He told the girl to come to him.
The girl walked away from Russo. She turned onto Snow Road.
Russo followed the girl and grabbed her arm. She pulled away but he grabbed her arm again.
The girl again pulled away. She entered a store on Snow and told the store owner what happened. Russo left the scene.
Russo boarded a bus. Police from both Parma and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority found Russo at West 130th Street and Lorain Avenue.

[picture]
Police confiscated Anthony V. Russo’s unicycle after he was arrested last week.

Russo was still wearing his Santa Claus suit and had a sack filled with candy canes. He also had a unicycle with bells and other decorations.
It wasn’t the first time Russo had landed into trouble.
According to court records and the prosecutor’s office, Russo was arrested on Jan. 17, 1997 after he allegedly kicked two Olmsted Falls police officers.
Russo had allegedly become intoxicated and fought another intoxicated man at a Bagley Road residence.
Someone called police but by the time officers arrived the fight had ended.
Russo allegedly became angry with police and resisted arrest. Officers subdued him and took him to a police cruiser.
Russo allegedly kicked one officer in the knee, then kicked a second officer. Russo later pleaded guilty to resisting arrest, a felony. He was sentenced to probation.

uniShark
2009-12-18, 01:24 AM
^
I wonder what happened to the poor kid he stole the unicycle from?
. . . because hopefuly he's not a unicyclist. :mad:

JJuggle
2009-12-22, 01:17 PM
SINGLE WHEEL CIRCLE WIDENS
21 December 2009
The Press (Christchurch)
© 2009 Fairfax New Zealand Limited. All Rights Reserved.

A one-wheel phenomenon may soon be sweeping New Zealand.

The 15th unicycle world championships - also known as Unicon - will be held in Wellington from December 28 to January 7.

Kiwi unicyclists said the sport was becoming increasingly popular around the country.

New Zealand Unicycle Federation secretary Ken Looi said unicycling was a "young sport" that was becoming more popular.

"There are a lot of things that haven't been done yet with unicycling," he said.

"With something like skateboards, a lot of it has already been covered, but with unicycles you can do something new at any level."

Unicycling had moved beyond circus status, with Unicon events including mountain-unicycling, artistic- freestyle and road-racing.

Christchurch unicyclist Alex Grierson said he had noticed an increase in those attending Canterbury University's unicycle club meetings.

Grierson, who started unicycling two years ago, will compete in the Unicon street section, where participants perform skateboard-style tricks.

"When people see me riding, they see the tricks and realise that it's not a thing for clowns."

Unicycle enthusiast Tim Johns, of the Cycle Trading Company, said he spoke to "probably a customer a day" who was interested in buying a unicycle.

"They're cheaper than bikes because they're so simple, and there seems to be a growing interest among young people - their friends have got one, so they want one."

JJuggle
2010-01-04, 11:13 AM
UNICYCLE WORLD CHAMPS PARADE OF NATIONS ON MONDAY 28th
Media Release - NZPA
26 December 2009
(c) 2009 New Zealand Press Association

The 15th Unicycle World Championships will open with a parade of nations on Monday 28th. In what promises to be a spectacular site, more than 600 unicyclists will cycle in country groupings from the Queens Wharf Sails, along the waterfront, over the City to Sea Bridge and down in to the Civic Square. The New Zealand team of 70 competitors will lead the parade.

At Civic Square many of the competitors will accept the challenge and cycle down the steps to be met by a wero and powhiri by Nga Karere on behalf of all Wellington. The response on behalf of the competitors will be given by John Voss, a competitor from the United States who has been to all previous fourteen Unicycle World Championships.

The official welcome speech will given by the mayor, Kerry Prendergast.

The World Championships has attracted more than 550 international registrations from 22 countries with another 100 plus New Zealand participants. The biggest team is that from Germany with more than 100 competitors. Other big representations are from Denmark, Japan, Australia, and the United States.

This will be the first time in thirty years that the World Championships has been held outside the northern hemisphere. The events include basketball, hockey, artistic unicycling, track and field, trials, 10km criterium, cross country and a marathon.

JJuggle
2010-01-04, 11:14 AM
ONE-WHEELED CIRCUS COMES ROLLING UNSTEADILY INTO TOWN
29 December 2009
Dominion Post
© 2009 Fairfax New Zealand Limited. All Rights Reserved.

KIRAN CHUG

WITH balance, poise, concentration and the occasional tumble, the Unicycle World Championships have opened in Wellington.

The competition, which is being held for the 15th time, opened with unicyclists from 23 countries parading along Wellington's waterfront yesterday afternoon.

Co-ordinator Arthur Klap said 640 people had registered for the 10-day event, including 100 New Zealanders. He estimated that the event would bring up to $3 million to the capital.

Sophia Plininger, 12, travelled with eight people from her unicycling club in Bavaria for the competition and will stay in New Zealand for three weeks.

She has been unicycling for four years and said travelling so far for her second international competition was a great way to meet people.

She and her clubmates took time out from yesterday's ceremony to sign the safety helmets of their newfound friends from the Japanese team.

Germany is well represented at the games. The country has the most registered competitors, with more than 100.

Martin Schmid, 35, has travelled with about 30 people from Switzerland, and has 20 years of unicycling experience under his belt. "It's difficult to begin with, and then it's just like cycling," he said.

The event opened with a powhiri, which Team America member John Foss said was an "amazing experience".

He spoke on behalf of the competitors, saying Wellington could expect plenty of creativity, skill, flair and good sportsmanship.

Among the New Zealand entrants is Sugra "The Juggler" Morley.

The Christchurch resident said he learnt to unicycle 22 years ago because the world was lopsided. "I have a role in helping the world come into balance."

Unicon 15 is a biennial event. This is the first time the competition has been held outside the northern hemisphere.

Many of the events will take place on Wellington's waterfront. The games include basketball, hockey, cross country and artistic unicycling.

At Newtown Athletic Track today, racers will race in 100m, 400m and 800m events from 3.30pm to 5.30pm. The artistic pairs freestyle event will take place at TSB Arena from 6pm to 10pm.

JJuggle
2010-01-04, 11:15 AM
Triple gold on track for Japanese Unicyclist at World Championships
Mediacom
Media Release - NZPA
29 December 2009
(c) 2009 New Zealand Press Association

Multiple world champion Seisuke Kobayashi, from Japan, was the star on the track at the Unicycle World Championships in Wellington today. Seisuke won the 800m, 400m and 100m though he had to work hard to hold on to his 800m title. An unexpectedly bold challenge from young Swiss unicyclist, Philipp Henestrosa, looked like causing an upset after he led the field after the first lap of 400m.

An aggressive start by Henestrosa quickly stretched the field and had Kobayashi, German Niklas Wojtek and Henestrosa in a tight group in front down the back straight. Round the corner at the 200m mark Henestrosa grabbed the lead by two metres and the possibility of a major upset seemed on. However, Kobayashi re-assumed control down the back straight on the second lap as the young Swiss rider's legs started to tire. The superior strength of Kobayashi enabled him to hang on to win by 2.5 seconds from fast finishing Wojtek. Seventeen year old Henestrosa managed to hold on for fourth.

Kobayashi also won multiple gold on the track at the past two world championships held in Switzerland and Denmark.

In the women's track events only a silver medal by German Laura Gienapp prevented a clean sweep of all medals by the Japanese. The 100m provided the closest finish of the day with only nine hundredths of a second separating Japanese unicyclists, Mayoko Deguchi and Anna Misawa, with Gienapp in between the two.

Results Women: 800m: 1. Natsume Yamamoto (Japan) 2min13.70sec, 2. Yui Sugahara (Japan) 2:14.23, 3. Minami Watanabe (Japan) 2:14.86; 400m: 1.Saori Yazawa (Japan) 1min 1.19sec, 2. Natsume Yamamoto (Japan) 1:01.90, 3. Minami Watanabe (Japan) 1:02.68; 100m: 1. Mayuko Deguchi (Japan) 14.27sec, 2. Laura Gienapp (Germany) 14.32sec, 3. Anna Misawa (Japan) 14.36sec Results Men: 800m: 1. Seisuke Kobayashi (Japan) 2min 5.60sec, 2. Niklas Wojtek (Germany) 2:08.15, 3. Masataka Seto (Japan) 2:09.36; 400m: 1. Seisuke Kobayashi (Japan) 56.39sec, 2. Niklas Wojtek (Germany) 58.51sec, 3. Hiroaki Okayama (Japan) 58.75sec; 100m: 1. Seisuke Kobayashi (Japan) 13.09sec, 2. Hiroaki Okayama (Japan) 13.62sec, 3. Niklas Wojtek (Germany) 13.67sec.

JJuggle
2010-01-04, 11:16 AM
France Picks Up Gold Freestyle Medal at Unicycle World Championships
Media Release - NZPA
1 January 2010
Mediacom
(c) 2010 New Zealand Press Association

France won its first gold medal of the Unicycle World Championships when Pierre-Yves Billette was a popular winner of the individual freestyle competition. Billette's routine combined a high level of technical skill with a very fluid and crowd engaging performance. Despite a couple of small mistakes on very technical manoeuvres, Billettte was able to score enough points to beat a flawless performance by Japan's Ryohei Matsuka.

Matsuka moved smoothly between the different elements within his programme but could not match the technical variety of Billette. He was though delighted to have imporoved upon his fourth placing in the pairs on Wednesday night.

Swiss David Maillard backed up his gold in the pairs with a bronze medal performance. Based upon Michael Jackson's 'Beat it', Maillard's routine combined a high level of acrobatic manoeuvres and unicycling skill with a well choreographed routine. Unfortunately a few uncharacteristic errors marred his performance.

In a format that is very similar to ice skating, the unicyclists are given four minutes for their routines and they are judged on a combination of fluidity of movement, the variety of movements, level of difficulty and audience interaction.

For those new to unicycling it was very easy to forget that the competitors were cycling on a single wheel as their movements seemed to be as smooth as those of an ice skater. The most pleasing for the competitors' was the excellent support given by the Wellington public.

"Who would have believed that we could pack out a TSB Arena for a unicycling event" said Event Co-ordinator Lynne Klap. "It gives me incredible pleasure to see the surprised look on the faces in the audience when they witness the beauty and sheer skill of these athletes. We are unlikely to ever see the best ice skaters in a competition in Wellington yet here we have the unicycling equivalent. And all for free"

The artistic freestyle unicycling concludes in the TSB Arena with the group freestyle at 7pm on Saturday January 2nd. The programme then moves on to more of the outdoor events including the 10km criterium, the trials and the cross country.

Unicycle World Championships Results

Freestyle Men

1. Pierre-Yves Billette (Switzerland), 2. Ryohei Matsuda (Japan), 3. David Maillard (Switzerland).

Freestyle Women

1. Satoni Sakaino (Japan), 2. Rina Tachibana (Japan), 3. Yuka Sakaino (Japan).

JJuggle
2010-01-04, 11:17 AM
UNICYCLE ACE'S BACKFLIP WOWS SPECTATORS AT WORLD CHAMPS
4 January 2010
The Nelson Mail (NZ)
© 2010 Fairfax New Zealand Limited. All Rights Reserved.

SUSPENDED in midair, Adrien Delecroix kept the crowd in suspense when he attempted to land a forward 360-degree flip on his unicycle.

Though he could not make the landing stick, the Frenchman had a strong performance as the favourite in the expert male freestyle finals yesterday at Waitangi Park.

The event was part of the street skills section of the Unicycle World Championships, being held in Wellington.

Results were not being issued until later today.

Delecroix remains the only person to have landed the front flip in competition, when he won the world title in 2008.

The 10-day competition, which is being held for the 15th time, opened with 640 unicyclists from 23 countries parading along Wellington's waterfront on December 28.

Yesterday's wild weather forced the postponement of a 10km race along the waterfront. "The wind was just too dangerous," co-ordinator Arthur Klap said. The race would take place at 6pm today.

The event was a hit, Mr Klap said. "It's been great, it's an unusual event . . . We're getting a lot of people in to watch."

The championships wrap up on Thursday with a marathon road race.

JJuggle
2010-01-05, 01:06 PM
From penny farthings to freestyling
4 January 2010
Lincolnshire Echo
(c) 2010 Lincolnshire Echo.

Unicycles are believed to have been developed from the Penny Farthing - the world's first bicycle.

While some unicyle riders use their one wheel for regular transport, there are now several other different styles of unicycle riding.

Mountain Unicycling is a sport for the brave at heart in which riders cycle down mountains or off-road trails using a unicyle with a larger than average tyre. A helmet and lots of safety gear is recommended.

Freestyle unicyclists perform tricks including jumps, spins and grinds.

Peter Rosendahl set a unicycle sprinting record for 100m from a standing start of 12.11 sec in Las Vegas on March 25, 1994.

The world's tallest unicycle is 114.8ft high. It was ridden for 28ft using a safety wire suspended from an overhead crane.

And between July 10 and August 22, 1992, Akira Matsushima, of Japan, rode his unicycle from Newport, Oregon to Washington DC an incredible total of 3,261 miles.

JJuggle
2010-01-08, 01:11 PM
Snow joke trying to train in the big freeze
SUE GYFORD
7 January 2010
Edinburgh Evening News
(c) 2010 Johnston Publishing Limited

THERE are a lot of people whose work grinds to a halt when there's heavy snow - teachers, train drivers - and unicyclists.

Unicycling champion Jason Auld is appealing for help to find somewhere he can train during the bad weather so that he can win back his title this spring.

The 21-year-old from Newington has been learning to do stunts on one wheel since the age of 14 and turned professional in 2008 - the same year he became Britain's best.

But unless he can find a dry indoor space to train in, he fears he won't be in top form when he tries to win back his title at this spring's British Unicycle Convention, and is looking for help.

He said: "I would probably normally start training now for it but because of the terrible weather I've not had an opportunity to go out very often. It's very important for me in terms of having that title. It just says you're the best in the country at what you do.

"The way I look at it is that because I'm doing it professionally, I have to judge myself by similar standards to other professional athletes, so if I don't train every single day I feel I'm not working hard enough."

As the unicycle equivalent of stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill, Jason describes his sport as "like BMX, but on one wheel", with leaps up and down steps, along rails and over barriers.

But because the sport is so young, riders must constantly develop new skills and stunts to stay ahead of their competitors. He is currently trying to perfect a forward somersault off a 6ft ledge, something which can currently only be done by two other unicyclists worldwide.

He said: "Being able to train now would definitely give me an edge over the rest of the guys in the competition and would give me the chance to start doing things that would catch a bit more attention. I need just an open flat space with a roof so that there's no rain or snow, and well-lit."

The former Boroughmuir school pupil tried his luck on TV show Britain's Got Talent last year, but was voted off by an unappreciative panel of judges. His enthusiasm was undimmed, however, and he has remained dedicated to the sport. He said: "I got my first unicycle for my 14th birthday and it's kind of evolved over the time I've been doing it. Street unicycling was pretty much brand new when I started doing it, new tricks were being invented, people were doing ridiculous things.

"Everyone wants to do something significant and different with their life and doing this I do think that I'm definitely doing something different. I don't feel like I'm the best at something that already exists, I feel like I could be writing a new chapter."

His search for practice space has the support of Southside/Newington Councillor Cameron Rose, who said: "He's obviously developing a fitness and physical skill in a serious sport which challenges the 'cotton wool culture', and I give all credit to him.

"It would be very helpful if some businessman or owner of some premises could see their way to help him."

JJuggle
2010-01-13, 01:30 PM
Jaryd puts sporting world in a spin
12 January 2010
Macarthur Chronicle
Copyright 2010 News Ltd. All Rights Reserved

TAHMOOR unicyclist Jaryd Harris has added another four Australian records to his name after an outstanding week at the World Unicyle Championships in New Zealand.

While most of his schoolmates at Campbelltown Performing Arts High School were taking it easy during the holidays, the 14-year-old one-wheel specialist was competing in a rigorous schedule.

He was up against almost 800 fellow unicyclists from 23 countries.

Jaryd qualified for the world event after a standout effort at the Uninats last year.

He was crowned the national junior champion after winning nine titles and coming second in another seven.

Already a seven-time Australian record-holder, Jaryd lifted the bar in New Zealand and set new national standards in the 800m, one-foot, wheel walk and 10km road race events.

Mum Lynette said her son had competed in relay hockey, basketball, track races, high jump, long jump, skills, freestyle, 10km road race, downhill gliding, coasting, flatland, trials, muni (mountain unicycling), and finally the 42.2km marathon.

``He's done remarkably well,'' she said. Jaryd has set his sights on the next world games in Italy in two years.

JJuggle
2010-01-13, 01:31 PM
THE ONE-WHEELED WAY
13 January 2010
The Nelson Mail (NZ)
© 2010 Fairfax New Zealand Limited. All Rights Reserved.

MOST overseas tourists travel around New Zealand in planes, trains, cars, buses, ferries or campervans.

But Canadian Dave Cox and Welshman Sam Wakeling are doing things slightly differently, travelling from Picton to Christchurch on one wheel.

The intrepid unicyclists got on their bikes in Picton on Sunday and rode to Havelock before continuing to Nelson on Monday. Yesterday, they rode at a painstaking average of around 20kmh to Nelson Lakes, planning to arrive in Christchurch sometime later in the week. Although it might seem an unusual way to see the country, it was the obvious choice for the two tourists who came to New Zealand to compete in the World Unicycle Champs, in Wellington. Now the championships are over, they plan to spend two weeks travelling throughout the South Island.

"It's slow going," Mr Cox admitted. "But you get a chance to see everything - the countryside, lakes and mountain and the road kill."

Mr Cox said the bikes were made for distances, with 91cm diameter wheels and two gears. They had hit a top speed of 34kmh.

uniShark
2010-01-13, 07:04 PM
"The intrepid unicyclists got on their bikes. . . ."
:rolleyes::D

johnfoss
2010-01-15, 01:10 AM
"But you get a chance to see everything - the countryside, lakes and mountain and the road kill."
Today I'm wearing my new Merino/Possum sweater from the Sheepskin Warehouse in Wellington :D

For those that don't get the connection, almost all the roadkill in NZ is the pesky NZ possums (http://www.nzgifts-souvenirs.co.nz/possum/). There's at least one per kilometer on South Island roads. Have a great ride, guys!

JJuggle
2010-01-28, 01:54 PM
Family enjoys the power of one
25 January 2010
Lilydale & Yarra Valley Leader

MOST parents are nervous enough about their children riding bikes without training wheels but Lilydale woman Kim Monty is teaching her sons to be one-wheelers.

Mrs Monty, 36, is an accomplished unicyclist and came second in the 30-plus women's 10km race at the Unicon XV World Championships in Wellington, New Zealand, this month.

``It was a great time and the whole family came along,'' Mrs Monty said.

``When people think of unicycles they think of the circus but there is so much more to it, like unicycle basketball and hurdling,'' she said.

Mrs Monty said six-year-old son Nathan competed in his first unicycle event and four-year-old Dylan had just started to learn to ride.

Dad Mervyn is the only member of the family who doesn't ride the unicycle but Mrs Monty said that could change.

``We are working on convincing him to try it, especially since the boys are learning now,'' Mrs Monty said.

Darwin-born and raised Mrs Monty and her twin sister Debbie were taught to ride the unicycle by their father when they were eight and were well known for their one-wheeled prowess.

``Riding a unicycle is so much fun and a real challenge,'' Mrs Monty said.

``It is a wonderful family activity and a great community of people.

``You wouldn't believe what amazing things people can do on unicycles.''

Kim Monty is a Lilydale & Yarra Valley Leader Senior Sports Star nominee.

To nominate a Sports Star in either the junior, senior or services to sport categories contact the news room at Lilydale & Yarra Valley Leader on 9760 5131 or by email to lilydale@leadernewspapers. com.au

MuniAddict
2010-02-21, 09:33 PM
Pretty cool article came out today (2/21/10) in the Santa Barbara Independent. The link below is to the online version of the story. As usual, there are some misquotes ("worldwide sensation". Lol, their words, not mine!) but overall, It came out well. I was hoping they'd mention this website and UDC, but at least they remembered to mention SB uni website! :)
unicyclists-love-affair-foothills (http://www.independent.com/news/2010/feb/21/unicyclists-love-affair-foothills/)


I'm also excited to announce that the book I was featured in, "50 Athletes over 50" (http://www.wisemediagroup.com/product_p/don10.htm), has been released ahead of schedule, and the full 300 page book is now available!

I consider it an honor to have been included as one of the 50, and there are 49 other amazing and inspirational athletes telling their story, so it's definitely worth getting! Cheers! :D

unicycle6869
2010-02-21, 11:37 PM
Terry, great article! That picture looks very familar. ;)

MuniAddict
2010-02-22, 12:20 AM
Terry, great article! That picture looks very familar. ;)Thanks Jamey! Yeah since they interviewed me over the phone they just asked for some MUni shots, but said actual pics from Cold Springs weren't really necessary. Which is good since all I have from there is video, and the vidcaps aren't really that great of quality. :D

MuniAddict
2010-02-23, 11:04 PM
My recent writeup in the Santa Barbara Independent (http://www.independent.com/news/2010/feb/21/unicyclists-love-affair-foothills/) must be getting some good circulation, as two more websites have put it on their front page. One is
the MUTC, or Multi-use-trail coalition (http://multiusetc.blogspot.com/). The latest is the New York Unicycle Club. (http://www.newyorkunicycle.com/blog/)

:)

file:///C:/Users/terry/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot.pngfile:///C:/Users/terry/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.pngfile:///C:/Users/terry/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot-2.png

JJuggle
2010-03-01, 11:26 AM
On a wheel and a prayer; Bayonne is bridge du jour for trio of unicyclists who plan to pedal across every span in the city
MAURA YATES
25 February 2010
The Staten Island Advance

Watching three men on unicycles dodging potholes in the cold and rain, drivers on Richmond Terrace could be forgiven yesterday for asking themselves, "Who are these clowns?"

Well, one of the riders, Keith Nelson, 39, co-founder of the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, is in fact a clown, not to mention a juggler and sword swallower, though he was dressed for the trek not in floppy shoes and a red nose but in sneakers and a sweatshirt.

He was joined yesterday by friends Rob Hickman, 47, an artist and sculptor, and "The Brooklyn Juggler," Kyle Petersen, 25, who entertains the crowds at Brooklyn Cyclones' games and is also a stilt walker and plate spinner.

The one-wheeled trio of Brooklynites is on a quest to cross every bridge in the city by unicycle, and they had set their sights on the Bayonne Bridge.

Yesterday's ride marked their first foray into Staten Island and ultimately New Jersey, as they crossed number 24 off their list.

The NYC Unicycle Bridge Tour was born last October, when Nelson and Hickman crossed the Williamsburg Bridge and thought they should try all the others. Very minor crossings included, they estimate there are 2,078, which they intend to tackle during rides every Wednesday, weather permitting.

The Triborough Bridge, now known as the Robert F. Kennedy, was the most challenging so far, they said, mostly because they got lost on Randall's Island.

The Bayonne, though beautiful, was also a little hairy, they agreed, with its narrow bike path and low railings.

When they finally reached the span, it was a long pedal up the steep incline to the midpoint of the arch, where they paused to admire the architecture, before rolling downhill into Bayonne, where they paid a visit to a friend's saloon to rest their legs and gear up for the long ride back to the Staten Island Ferry.

"It's a gorgeous bridge," Hickman said. "This bridge is a gem."

Along the way, "We get a lot of thumbs up and horns honking," Petersen said.

They also got plenty of quizzical looks and chuckles, as they cycled around two construction sites along the way.

And they took the potholes and rough road along the Terrace in stride.

"It keeps it interesting," Petersen said. "It gets a little boring when it's just smooth ground."

The unicycles top out about 8 mph; the average for yesterday's ride was somewhere between 4 and 5 mph.

The trio is working up to maintaining a 6-mph clip, which they say is the minimum speed required to join the Five Borough Bike Tour. That's key because it's the one day a year that it's legal to cycle across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

The Goethals Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing aren't on the group's unicycling itinerary, as neither span has a public walkway.

Petersen, who learned to ride on one wheel at age 12, was charged with updating the group's live Twitter feed during the ride, until a Richmond Terrace pothole swallowed his tire. "It was an 'unplanned dismount,'" he said after losing his balance, as opposed to a face plant on the pavement.

Hickman and Nelson just learned to ride about a year ago.

Follow them in their journey by visiting their blog at http://unicyclenycbridgetour.blogspot.com/, or http://twitter.com/uninycbridge.

Maura Yates covers transportation news for the Advance. She may be reached at myates@siadvance.com.

JJuggle
2010-03-05, 01:14 PM
Words on wheels: Choctaw's Anna Jinks helps mentor Pryor students with the help of unicycles
By Katie Tammen, Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach
McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
4 March 2010

Mar. 4--FORT WALTON BEACH -- Few people associate reading comprehension with riding a unicycle, but it seems to be working for a group of Pryor Middle School students.

Since the beginning of the school year, Choctawhatchee High School junior Anna Jinks and the Choctaw Unicycle Club have used unicycles as the vehicle to help a group of sixth-graders improve their reading, expand their vocabulary and build their confidence.

"I've seen a difference in terms of motivation," Pryor Principal Marcus Chambers said. "Now they have something different in their life that's exciting them."

The sessions have changed a lot since the group started meeting. Students who initially looked at the unicycles and said, "I can't" now are strapping on helmets and knee pads and asking, "Can I ride now?"

During the weekly meeting Wednesday, the students held onto the unicycles as they ran through their vocabulary words and read a passage about the history of unicycles.

More than once, they used a vocabulary word correctly in a sentence as they practiced riding the unicycles.

"My vocabulary has gotten better, and I understand the words a lot better," said Katie Carnes, one of the sixth-graders participating.

Anna approached Choctaw Principal Cindy Gates over the summer with the idea to teach younger students how to ride unicycles. An avid unicyclist herself, Anna saw an opportunity to share her passion and get the community service she needed to complete the International Baccalaureate Program at Choctaw.

Intrigued, Gates asked Anna what she thought a unicycle program could do for the younger students. Without missing a beat, Anna told her riding a unicycle not only builds self-confidence, but requires perseverance and determination.

After adding the reading comprehension aspect to the program, Gates let Anna get to work.

Initially, Anna tried to secure a grant to purchase unicycles. When that didn't work, she found sponsors in the community and was able to purchase six of them.

In addition to the unicycles, Anna also developed the curriculum for the program using unicycling books. They have covered a variety of topics, and Anna has drawn vocabulary words for the students from the reading.

"The program has been incredible," she said. "(Unicycling gives them) a sense of self-respect and the realization that they can succeed in something others can't."

JJuggle
2010-03-08, 01:09 PM
City helps one-wheel whiz take on world
Louise O’Keeffe louise.okeeffe @thechronicle.com.au
9 March 2010
The Chronicle (Toowoomba)

Kevin, 17, gives new business a trial

KEVIN Wharton is not your average Toowoomba teen.

For one thing, he rides unicycles and secondly he has started his own business at the tender age of 17.

“I was born in Chinchilla and we moved to Toowoomba when I was two,” Mr Wharton said. “After school, I did a few TAFE courses in business and computers which has helped me start my own business full time.”

Mr Wharton runs Unicycle Online, selling unicycles, parts and accessories for Australian riders.

“I have been unicycling for three to four years because my dad has been riding on and off over the years,” he said. “A lot of kids are starting to get into it in Toowoomba it is kind of like skating back in the 70s, not a lot of people know about it.”

Mr Wharton’s style is trials and he rides a Koxx One XTP. He is currently the Australian Unicycle Trials Champion and is internationally sponsored by Koxx-One.

Recently he competed at Unicon XV (Unicycling World Championships) in New Zealand and came second in the 16-17 Male Trials.

Mr Wharton loves living in Toowoomba because of the great places to ride. His favourite is Picnic Point tracks.

“Toowoomba seems to have everything you need like shops and schools, but it is also close to Brisbane,” he said.

“Toowoomba is a good place to live and most of the people here are great.”

Mr Wharton will stay in Toowoomba while the business builds up.

steveyo
2010-03-11, 12:39 AM
There is an article about our KH Evo award ride across Panama in the current issue of DirtRag magazine (http://www.dirtragmag.com/print/issue.php?thumb_issue_number=147&iss=current). (yes, a year later :eek:)

Unfortunately, the article isn't online, so go out and buy a copy! It's a somewhat different version than the one in UNI mag.

mikepenton
2010-03-11, 07:47 AM
Almost off-topic is this article on Nintendo's game Unirally/Uniracer http://retro.nintendolife.com/news/2010/03/feature_the_making_of_unirally which most interestingly gives the reason for it's demise... everyone loves Disney!!

danger_uni
2010-03-11, 04:09 PM
There is an article about our KH Evo award ride across Panama in the current issue of DirtRag magazine (http://www.dirtragmag.com/print/issue.php?thumb_issue_number=147&iss=current). (yes, a year later :eek:)

Unfortunately, the article isn't online, so go out and buy a copy! It's a somewhat different version than the one in UNI mag.
Nice one - that's great! Will have to check it out.

Kris

steveyo
2010-03-12, 12:58 AM
Nice one - that's great! Will have to check it out.

Kris
Meanwhile, Gracie and Matt should write a five-book series on their adventure!

MuniAddict
2010-03-18, 11:13 PM
"50 athletes over 50" book review:

Pretty happy that the book seems to be getting good reviews!
(About half-way through the 3rd paragraph, I was also surprised to read who the reviewer chose as his favorite out of the 50! :))

http://www.basilandspice.com/fitness/firstlook-50-athletes-over-50-wise-group-media2010.html

40116

danger_uni
2010-04-03, 09:18 PM
Just thought this was a nice post (http://peaceofwildthings.com/2010/03/what-does-balance-look-like-for-you/) about life from a Vancouver-based blogger and mountain biker:

JJuggle
2010-04-05, 12:07 PM
HAVE WHEEL -- WILL TRAVEL: Unicycle club members lift each other's spirits: Riders should expect to be center of attention
By Sonya Padgett, Las Vegas Review-Journal
990 words
4 April 2010
Las Vegas Review-Journal (MCT)

Apr. 4--When most people want to bring balance into their lives, they work less, relax more, maybe visit a therapist to get to the root of why things are off-kilter.

Gabe Cressy, 30, rides a unicycle.

Yes, he knows it's an odd hobby. But it forces him to hold his chin up, keep both feet moving and balance, balance, balance. The lessons transfer well to real life.

Riding a unicycle is the very definition of a solo activity, since there's only one wheel and a single seat. But Cressy isn't the loner type. After teaching himself how to ride within a week's time, he yearned to meet other well-balanced people. So Cressy created the Meetup group, Unicycle Las Vegas (meetup.com/UnicycleLasVegas), about six months ago. Their motto is: "Not two tired to pedal!"

Nineteen members have signed up, all of varying skills, backgrounds and interest levels. They're looking for more people to ride in the July 3 Summerlin Patriotic Parade.

The group hasn't found the right spot to meet, yet. They need some space to fall. Or practice bouncing and pedaling backward.

On a recent Tuesday, five of the group's members met in the parking lot of Sunset Park. They showed off their skills, taught each other their tricks and bonded over a tire with a seat.

"We're pretty new. So far, we're just getting to know each other," Cressy said.

Though he has been riding for only a few months, Cressy displays a solid grasp of the fundamentals of unicycling. He rode in circles. Bounced in place. Free-mounted and idled. Pedaling backward has been an elusive ability, though.

"That's a tough nut to crack," Cressy noted. "They say it's as easy as going forward but I don't think that's true."

Cressy, a bartender, was born and raised in Las Vegas. He said he likes challenges. After attending a music festival in California last year, where he saw people show off unusual talents, "I was inspired to learn a new skill," Cressy said. "It's like the best thing that's happened to me in a while."

One reason is the exercise. Once you can correctly ride a unicycle, it will give you the workout of your life, he said. Core muscles and leg muscles all work to stabilize you in the seat or saddle. And you get an aerobic workout from pedaling.

"It's great exercise. My wife says I'm better looking now," said Michael Prado, 33.

Prado learned to ride as a kid but wasn't enthusiastic about it. He thought about picking it up again for a few years, but it wasn't until he saw unicyclists at the Burning Man event in 2008 that he finally followed through with the idea.

"I've been waiting for years for someone to start a group," he said, professing to be too shy to start one himself.

Prado found the Meetup group through Sam de Gonia, 46, who bought a unicycle Prado sold on craigslist. He is the most experienced rider out during this recent Tuesday Meetup, having learned to ride when de Gonia was 14.

He was inspired by the opening credits of the television show "Welcome Back, Kotter," which showed someone riding a unicycle and carrying a tennis racket. But de Gonia really knew he had to ride after seeing unicyclists playing basketball during a Harlem Globetrotters game.

A few days before the Meetup, de Gonia recruited the group's least-experienced rider, Stephen Metaxas, 18. He's still learning and can pedal only a few feet before gravity pulls him off the seat. But Metaxas, 18, has been bitten by the uni-bug.

"It feels like flying," Metaxas said as he tried to mount his unicycle by leaning against his car. It will be a while before he can free-mount, or just roll himself up on the seat from a standing position.

People might think that their bicycle skills will transfer to the unicycle. But the first rule of the unicycle is to forget everything you know about riding a bicycle. And don't look down.

A bicycle requires leg power.

"The unicycle is all leg control," de Gonia said. "While one is pedaling the other is balancing. You're not putting all your force into it to pedal."

It's instinctual for beginning riders to look at the ground, but that motion carries you forward, causing you to speed up or fall on your face. It's not for the faint of heart.

And unicycling isn't for wallflowers, either. If you ride, expect to be the center of attention.

"It can be an uncomfortable experience because everyone's going to look at you," said Michael Simms, 50. He learned to ride 10 years ago just for something to do.

As the Meetup members tooled around the parking lot, they drew stares and comments. When they decided to ride around the lake, they drew an audience.

One kid watched them pass and said, "I didn't know normal people could do that."

Cressy likes to ride long distances and during a recent six-mile trip around the neighborhood, he came upon a medical emergency. Police officers and a paramedic unit surrounded a woman who was in distress. Cressy watched them and they, in turn, watched him.

"I saw all eight heads turn and look at me and they started applauding," Cressy said. "It was weird."

JJuggle
2010-04-06, 12:27 PM
ONE WHEEL - & 2,078 BRIDGES
JEREMY OLSHAN
5 April 2010
New York Post

This crew is a bit clownish even by bridge-and-tunnel standards.

A group of unicyclists is determined to pedal across the bridges of New York City - and not just landmarks like the Brooklyn, 59th Street and Manhattan - but all 2,078 of them.

They are doing it, in part, for the glory and the absurdity, says artist and group member Rob Hickman, but mostly in the belief that unicycles can unite the disparate corners of the city just as its bridges do.

"A lot of people don't like bicyclists and bicycle politics, but everyone loves a unicycle," Hickman said.

"We even went down Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg where the Hasidic community rallied to have bike lanes removed, and they loved us there."

Beginning their journey last October, Hickman and his pedal partner, Keith Nelson, have crossed 50 spans so far, starting with the Williamsburg Bridge.

Last week, they hit the Cropsey and Stillwell avenue bridges in Coney Island, maintaining their usual pace of 6 to 10 mph.

"Many of these are architectural masterpieces and some, well, aren't," said Nelson, who has been documenting the journey on his blog, Unicycle NYC Bridge Tour. "But we take a photo at the middle of every bridge and try not to pick favorites."

Riding a unicycle in city traffic and on shaking bridges can be harrowing.

"The Bayonne Bridge, that was rough," Nelson said. "We have one or two unexpected comings-off per ride - but, generally, you land on your feet."

But New Yorkers can be a tough audience, Nelson said.

"The No. 1 question we get is, 'Do you also juggle?' " he said.

Many of the spans feature steep inclines, which presents challenges in both directions.

"Uphill is physically more strenuous, but not by much," Nelson said. "Mentally, downhill is much harder - holding back momentum is just not easy."

The bridge-crossing rides - which all end at a bar - have grown longer as the group prepares to participate in the Five Borough Bike Tour.

"That's the only way we can legally cross the Verrazano Bridge, but we'll have to ride 40 miles to get there," he said.

The group says it has no idea how long it will take to complete its mission.

"But once we're done, we can move on to the overpasses of the BQE," Hickman said.

sarah.miller
2010-04-07, 06:51 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/surrey/8607099.stm

Neil Hannay has just done a 200mile 4 day trip

JJuggle
2010-04-12, 09:48 AM
Local News; Unicyclist conquers mountains
By NUR KAUSAR
9 April 2010
The Spectrum

CEDAR CITY - When people see Terral Fox on his mountain unicycle they often shout, "Looks like the circus is in town," or "Pop a wheelie," but Fox says using his "muni" has actually been less dangerous and a better workout than his mountain bike.

"It's probably the best workout I've ever had in my life," Fox said during his presentation at Southern Utah University's Outdoor Education Series on Thursday. "A lot of people ask if I have a death wish or if I'm crazy, but I've actually had more injuries on my mountain bike. On a muni you don't coast or go very fast, you only go as fast as your legs can take you."

The exercise is intense because the rider's only brakes are his legs, the SUU photography student explained. Most of the rider's time on the cycle is spent with his entire weight on the feet and legs while holding a specially designed handle on the seat for the hands to keep from wobbling, he added. Fox further said the rider steers with the hips and shifts weight, depending on different jumps, how steep the ride downhill turns out and when stopping.

Fox and his friends and brothers, who also mountain unicycle, mostly only do downhill runs because uphill is much slower, difficult and gets boring, Fox said.

He noted that his favorite trails are in Brian Head and the Blowhard Trail on Cedar Mountain.

Muni rider and SUU student Brian Hanson chimed in to answer questions on riding, being an avid unicyclist since age 6.

Now 24-years-old, he has become well-versed on the mountain but said there are few people in Cedar City with whom to ride.

"That's why I came here," Hanson said about Fox's presentation, noting he did not know Fox before the event.

Hanson added that he has met fellow muni riders through online forums and different nationwide events, particularly the Moab MUni Fest that has attracted more than 200 enthusiasts in recent years.

Fox originally started unicycling in elementary school just in the streets, then moved on to a BMX bike that eventually broke down when he was a teen.

"When the BMX bike broke, I took out my old unicycle and started doing tricks, just on roads and over rocks," Fox said. "I liked going mountain biking so a friend and I tried it on our unicycles. We thought we invented mountain unicycling but it turns out people were doing it all over the world."

According to Unicycle Today, a Web site that offers blogs, tips and history on unicycle riding, a group of extreme sportsmen began mountain unicycling in the late 1980s.

The muni is built differently than other unicycles, according to the site, with stronger frames to withstand jumps and drops, wider tire diameters to go over obstacles more easily and higher gripping pedals.

After the presentation, several students took Fox's cycles out for a try with very little luck, while Fox and Hanson rode around effortlessly, jumping down steps and hopping up and down on the one wheel.

"When you get on for the first time, it's the most horrid feeling, it's so unnatural," Fox said as he helped one student get on the seat while holding onto a rail.

A video Fox made of riding around Cedar City trails with his brothers called, "Resurgence," showed off more extreme skills, with steep drops and often messy looking falls through rock and snow.

The hardest trail he has accomplished so far is the Dark Hollow Trail at Brian Head, a 17-mile technical, steep drop depicted in the video where he ends up walking the last mile because it flattens out and he's exhausted.

Fox's next goal is to conquer the Mountain Bike Trail at Brian Head, taking the ski lift to the top for the long road down.

JJuggle
2010-04-12, 09:50 AM
Unicyclists take their high jinx one jump further
SARAH WHYTE
11 April 2010
Sun Herald

IT IS often associated with the circus but unicycling involves more than clowning around to world champion Mark Lavis and his friends.

Mountain unicycling, BMX-style street riding and dance-inspired freestyle riding are all practised by unicyclists socially and competitively. This year's unicycle nationals — the UniNats — will be held in Canberra in October with 150 people due to compete.

More than 3000 are expected to participate when Lavis, 22, of Watson in the ACT, will defend his world mountain title for the 19- to 24-year age group in Italy in 2012.

"A lot of people find it hard to get the unicycling stereotypes out of their heads," he said. "It involves skill and balance, especially in the mountain terrain category."

JJuggle
2010-04-13, 12:25 PM
Unicyclists amongst 1100 cyclists at Around Brunn
Around Brunner
12 April 2010
Scoop.co.nz

www.aroundbrunner.co.nz

media release – 13 april 2010

Unicyclists amongst 1100 cyclists at Around Brunner on Saturday

Looking for a different challenge and some fun a West Coast couple riding a Unicycle are amongst the 1100 riders doing the Around Brunner Cycle event on the West Coast this Saturday.

"We've been riding unicycles for around three years now," Alison Dixon from Blackball said.

"It started off when I bought Ben a unicycle as a joke. We've always enjoyed all things wheely so it wasn't long before we were having some serious fun on the unicycle and it became a new hobby. That one joke gift has now resulted in nine unicycles between us."

Dixon says the couple fancied riding Around Brunner because "it's a fun event that encourages everyone to have a go. The route is great and the best way to see it is by cycle."

"We've ridden the course from Kumara junction to Stillwater but none of the Greymouth side, so there's some new stuff for us to look forward to on the day."

They plan on doing half the course each with Alison's husband Ben doing the first leg of the journey to Inchbonnie.

"We have done some training - our weekend rides have been focussed on Around Brunner for the last six weeks. So we've been riding the big wheels on longer road rides instead of bike riding or mountain unicycling (trail riding)."

"It's been a lot of fun and very rewarding in itself. This will be our first event on unicycles so we're really looking forward to it, with just a little apprehension."

Labour party MPs Trevor Mallard and Damien O'Connell have also entered the event which is in its fourth year.

Organisers say the 170 teams and tandems make the event the largest team's race in the South Island. There are almost 700 individuals entered in the recreational ride with a strong field of 50 entered for the elite race, which is the fourth race in the RaboPlus National Points series.

The Subway-Avanti Pro Cycling team has entered Ryan Willis, Eric Drower and Joe Cooper to support team mates Gordon McCauley and Matt Gorter that hope to extend their first and second placed lead in National Points Series.

The experienced Paul Oldlin, last year's surprise winner of the elite race Brent Allnut, recent Vital Signs Tour de Lakes winner James Gibson, and Benchmark Homes riders Josh Atkins, who is currently lying third in the National Points Series, Will Bowman, James Early, Brett Dawber and Alex Frame lead the male elite entries.

Other riders that should feature include former New Zealand representative Joe Chapman, 17 year old adn well performed junior Darcy Ellerm-Norton, Johno Gee and Marc Prutton who is returning after a serious recent crash.

Karen Fulton, Jeannie Kuhajek, Sia Svendsen, Aimee Burns, Cathy Hamer and Laura Thompson lead female elite entries.

Organisers are keen to encourage local Greymouth businesses to be open on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday morning to take full advantage of the extra numbers in town.

"The cyclists all have supporters with them, and we have been encouraging local them to stay the weekend meaning there is a great opportunity to local cafes and restaurants to do really well out of the event," Event Director Coulter said.

"Adding to the weekends activities is a Sunday morning recovery bunch ride and an evening function."

Around Brunner covers 130 km starting and finishing in central Greymouth.

"It is a good honest West Coast workout that anyone can do," Coulter said.

Competitors can enter online at www.aroundbrunner.co.nz. Entries close tomorrow.

steveyo
2010-04-19, 11:23 AM
Cool ad in the NY Times Magazine: "Learn Something New"

fluxusmaximus
2010-04-29, 07:59 AM
Belated but hey, it's till an article!

http://team-uni.com/media/page1Spin.jpg
http://team-uni.com/media/page2Spin.jpg

fluxusmaximus
2010-04-29, 08:14 AM
I can't edit my post but I'd also like to point out that that's the first EVER published article here in Singapore that doesn't have any C-words in it.

I made history :')

JJuggle
2010-05-13, 12:30 PM
Look at us - unicycling is J.U.S.T great fun
4 May 2010
Evening Gazette

UNICYCLISTS of all ages and abilities wheeled into a Billingham school for a national convention.

The 17th annual British Unicycle Convention at St Michael's School attracted more than 200 fun-seekers and adrenaline junkies for some one-wheeled cycle trickery.

Organised by J.U.S.T. (Juggling, Unicycling, Stockton-on-Tees), the event had a series of workshops and demonstrations for beginners and competitions for the more experienced riders who came from across Europe for the event.

Among those taking part were St Michael's pupil Lewis Spacey, 12, from Billingham, who took up unicycling around 18 months ago with his uncle Chris Stokes, 51, from Stockton.

Chris said: "I took it up at about the same time as Lewis but he's in a different league from me now.

"Some of my friends had been doing it and we've always cycled and had motorcycles. I think we just look for a bit of adrenaline."

Asked how best to master the art Lewis said: "You just keep pushing yourself off the wall until you don't have to any more."

Those taking part in the three day Bank Holiday event aged from seven up to oldest participant Peter Carmody from Stockton who recently celebrated his 75th birthday.

Also taking part was special guest Matt Sindelar from the USA who is ranked in the world top five.

Other activities across the weekend included African and Samba drumming, juggling and didgeridoo showcases.

Organiser Stephen Devereux, club president of J.U.S.T. said: "It's really family orientated. We encourage the parents to stay and enjoy some of the other entertainment and they usually end up giving the unicycling a go. It creates a nice atmosphere."

For more information on J.U.S.T. visit www.justonline.org.uk.

JJuggle
2010-05-13, 12:31 PM
Peak unicyclist always on the go
By The Republic|azcentral.com
8 May 2010
The Arizona Republic

Why ride a unicycle through the mountains of metropolitan Phoenix?

The answer, according to the Arizona Unicycle Club, is simple. Arizona, and especially the Phoenix area, "has some of the best technical mountain unicycling in the nation. The trails tend to be rocky, steep and with the possibility of close encounters with cactus!"

The club has about 20 members, including one of its co-leaders, Mark McCann of Tempe. McCann, a researcher at Arizona State University, has been taking part in mountain unicycling for about two years. The club has been in existence for three years. Participants ride their unicycles along steep trails at South Mountain, Piestewa Peak and other locations in central Arizona. They have also taken out-of-state trips to such places Lake Tahoe.

McCann came to ASU after completing his doctorate in theoretical computer science at Princeton University. His other hobbies include rock climbing, mountaineering and mountain biking.

For those who like to ride unicycles but would prefer to stay out of the mountains, the club has other activities, most notably unicycle basketball. The games are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Agua Linda Park in Scottsdale.

For more information go to www.arizonaunicycleclub.com

MuniAddict
2010-05-14, 07:06 PM
From the Idyllwild spring challenge (http://www.idyllwildcycling.com/storage/ISC%20SD%20Results%202010.pdf) last month. Cool to see that the MTB community is beginning to recognize us and include us in their events! :D

(I'm pictured on the bottom right) :)
41489

dangerdog
2010-05-29, 01:42 AM
A unicyclist juggling flags featured in a prime time television advertisement for a newspaper (Sydney Morning Herald) promoting the Football World Cup.

Here is a screen shot,does anyone know who it is.

http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh155/dangerdog_photo/SMHad1.jpg

JJuggle
2010-06-04, 12:06 PM
Where there's a wheel; Daredevil unicyclist faces his toughest mission - a mountain bike race
By Ross McGuinness
259 words
4 June 2010
(c) 2010 Associated Newspapers. All rights reserved.

HE HAS unicycled along the Great Wall of China and on Mexican mountains but now Kris Holm is gearing up for his greatest challenge - racing against mountain bikes.

Holm is swapping the challenge of using his bike in tourist spots for a tough off-road contest against cyclists on two wheels.

The 36-year-old, who has taken his unicycling skills to 14 countries, admits that it is not the winning but the taking part that will count.

'I am under no illusions about winning the race,' said Holm, who is competing in the BC Bike Ride from Vancouver to Whistler in Canada.

'I just hope that I don't finish last.

Hopefully, I can show up a few twowheeled adventure cyclists and fly the flag for unicycling.' Holm, from Vancouver, will ride 18km (11 miles) a day on his unicycle during the week-long race, which starts on June 27.

And, in case anyone wants to join him on a unicycle, he says: 'It's quite easy to learn. If you have an accident, instead of flying off the handlebars, you just hop off.'

Peak of fitness: At the top of Orizaba mountain in Mexico I'm off to uni: Kris Holm gives a death-defying demo at a canyon in Moab, Utah Pictures: Barcroft Balancing act: Holm tests the Great Wall of China (top) and (above) looks a little precarious on a rock at Panther Beach in California

danger_uni
2010-06-04, 02:18 PM
Ha Ha, that's a funny one (posted here (http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84630)). I like the conversion from the actual race length (30 km) to miles (18 miles) in one article and then from 18 km to 11 miles here. In any case I hope it will be a fun time - a week of nice riding around southwest BC.

Kris

uniShark
2010-06-04, 05:02 PM
Perhaps and hopefully a slightly more accurate article about Kris's upcoming adventure: http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/bc-bike-race-welcomes-unicyclist
=============================

BC Bike Race welcomes unicyclist
By: Sue George, Mountain Bike EditorPublished: June 1, 15:45, Updated: June 1, 22:58Edition:MTB News & Racing Round-up, June 1, 2010Race:BC Bike Race

Unicyclist Kris Holm enjoys singletrack, too.

view thumbnail gallery

Holm to race seven-day Canadian stage race

Unicyclist Kris Holm will race the BC Bike Race from June 27 to July 3. With 23 years of riding spanning 14 countries and including the Great Wall of China, ancient trade routes in Bhutan, and the first unicycle descent of a Bolivian Volcano, Kolm was the first rider to bring mountain unicycling to the mainstream, through film, television, and magazine features.

"I'm stoked about the BCBR - this race is like a summer's worth of great riding packed into a single week," said Holm when asked his thoughts on the event's start.

The BC Bike Race is a seven-day mountain bike adventure, from Vancouver to Whistler, and it can be ridden as a team of two, three, four or five, or as a solo. It comes in two packages; the 'Epic'- avg 60km per day or 'Challenge' - avg 30km per day. The event has hosted World Champions, Olympians and this year boasts a field of 500 mountain bike enthusiasts.

"When considering how people may view the BC Bike Race, hard or difficult, it is with great pleasure that we can host an icon like Kris who is used to doing things that are different and difficult," said Andreas Hestler, Marketing Director. "Kris is one amazing athlete and an inspiration to us all, he will make it look easy, but it is his sense of challenge that speaks to our clientele who are all here to push themselves, as teams and individuals."

Holm considered the Epic with its 60km per day, but upon reflection and with a little training under his belt, he felt that the still impressive Challenge course of 30km per day would be plenty of singletrack and still leave him with enough energy to enjoy the full BC Bike Race experience, on and off the his unicycle. Though he is reserving the right to change his mind and go bigger.

Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter for the very latest coverage of events taking place in the cycling world - twitter.com/cyclingnewsfeed

JJuggle
2010-06-22, 12:07 PM
Get to Know: Cyndie Wilkins
LESLEY FARREY PACEY; Correspondent
734 words
16 June 2010
Press-Register (Mobile, AL)

Get to Know: Cyndie Wilkins

By LESLEY FARREY PACEY

Correspondent

Teacher balances busy schedule with unicycle riding

Birthplace: Rayne, La.

Hometown: Daphne

Family: Husband, Dan; two children, Catherine Reynolds and Matt Wilkins

Occupation: Teacher

Activities: Camping, nature photography, painting, cooking, kayaking, unicycling

Correspondent

Cyndie Wilkins has many passions. She loves the outdoors, nature photography, painting, cooking, kayaking and church work.

But at Fairhope Middle School, the award-winning family and consumer sciences teacher is best known for her ability to balance teaching life skills with encouraging students to ride unicycles.

Wilkins - who heads up the school's Unicycle Club - wrote the grant that brought unicycles to FMS's P.E. program. "I learned to ride a unicycle when I was 10," Wilkins said.

Wilkins has been riding unicycles - and preaching the gospel of this unique form of exercise - ever since. Along with the Unicycle Club, she rides in parades and school pep rallies.

"I am passionate about teaching nutrition and I love to encourage children to exercise," she said. "I have traveled throughout the state giving programs on the unicycle. We are the only middle school in the state that has unicycles in its P.E. program."

The Association of Career Technical Education, of which she serves as the state board secretary, recently named Wilkins the Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher of the Year for Alabama. She also was named FMS Teacher of the Year in 2006.

Wilkins said her semester-long class, which is offered to seventh-graders, teaches students necessary life skills such as cooking, clothes washing, managing a kitchen, mending and sewing, mastering babysitting and even table manners.

"I am very passionate about this," Wilkins said. "I feel that parents don't have time to teach children all the stuff they need to know, and by learning, students feel empowered. To me, the class satisfies a huge need."

Children also write and illustrate a preschool storybook in that unit. The children who make good grades on their booklet read their storybooks to preschoolers.

Wilkins also believes children need to expand their global knowledge and help others around the world who are less fortunate. She encourages students to participate in the Soul of Somonya Project, in which young people from Ghana, Africa, make jewelry and send it to the U.S.

Money raised from the sale of the jewelry sends young people to high school.

"The jewelry shows at our school have raised thousands of dollars to send over there and we have already sent 10 or more young people to high school," Wilkins said.

Wilkins said this is only her seventh year teaching full-time. She went to work for FMS in 2004 when her son was getting ready to enter college. "The empty nest was hitting me," she said.

Wilkins had been substitute teaching for years and worked as a home economist for Louisiana Power and Light before her children were born.

She was raised in Rayne, La., and graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she earned a bachelor's degree in home economics education with a minor in preschool education. "I was going to be an art teacher," she said.

She later decided to follow in her mother's, Tez Guidry, footsteps.

"My mother lives in Fairhope and was a home economics teacher," she said. "She encouraged me. Now, she is 84. She comes and helps me at school some days, especially during the sewing unit. I am so blessed to still have her in my life."

Wilkins also sponsors the Family Career and Community Leaders of America Club.

Outside of school, she enjoys spending time at her family's camp on the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta, kayaking, shooting nature photography; painting and she recently wrote a cookbook titled "From LA to L.A. From Louisiana to Lower Alabama."

"I started out just writing it for my children, typing favorite family recipes," she said. "Then it just got bigger and bigger."

Wilkins also is an alumnus of Chi Omega Sorority; she has acted in plays, done church work and is a life member of the Junior Auxiliary of the Eastern Shore.

"I have just dabbled in everything," she said. "I love life. I love the Lord. I have a passion about everything that I do."

JJuggle
2010-06-23, 12:11 PM
Even with just one wheel, you can get cited, unicyclist finds 360
Pam LeBlanc
21 June 2010
Austin American-Statesman
© 2010 Austin American Statesman. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All Rights Reserved.

Ralph Barrera AMERICAN-StatesmaN

A.J. Greig rides his unicycle in a wide variety of places; it's been his main way of getting around for 10 years.

A.J. Greig might be the only guy in Austin who's not angry about getting a ticket for running a red light.

Greig, 34, was riding his unicycle home about 10:30 p.m. Thursday when he succumbed to temptation and rolled through a red light at South Congress Avenue and Elizabeth Street.

He knows what he did was wrong, and inherently dangerous. He's been using a unicycle as his main mode of transportation for most of the past 10 years.

"I've been working very diligently on still stands, so if I come to a light, I can rock back and forth until the light changes," he says. "I know this sounds stupid, but that's the only light I didn't stop at."

"He nailed me," Greig says. "I don't know why I didn't stop. I'm absolutely not mad at (the police); they were just doing their job."

Greig says the police officer told him all traffic offenders have to be treated equally, whether they're in cars or on bicycles - or even unicycles.

"When he said that, I was beaming," Greig says. "I was so excited to be considered just another cyclist."

That made the ticket - a moving violation with a penalty of $217 - sting a little less. Greig says he is planning to take the new defensive cycling class offered by the Austin Cycling Association. Cyclists who take the class, created in partnership with the Austin Municipal Court, can qualify to have tickets waived.

Shirt ruffles feathers

Lance Armstrong is ticked off about his cover shot on the latest issue of Outside magazine.

The photo shows the Austin cyclist, who will start his bid for his eighth Tour de France victory on July 3, wearing a blue T-shirt that says "38. BFD."

He's 38 years old. You can probably figure out what BFD stands for.

Armstrong, it turns out, wasn't wearing that shirt - the magazine altered the solid-colored shirt he was wearing, apparently without letting the cyclist know.

"Just saw the cover of the new Outside mag w/ yours truly on it. Nice photoshop on a plain T-shirt guys. That's some lame (expletive)," he Tweeted to his 2.5 million followers on Wednesday.

The magazine does explain in small print that the T-shirt text was added after the fact.

The headline was none too flattering, either: "His age, new rival, the latest scandal: Is this the end for Lance?"

uniShark
2010-06-23, 07:19 PM
Study Says Most Cellphone Users Are Too Distracted To Notice A Clown On A Unicycle (from http://gizmodo.com/5385315/study-says-most-cellphone-users-are-too-distracted-to-notice-a-clown-on-a-unicycle)

Clowns are scary to some, but apparently they're invisible to most cellphone users. According to a study involving a unicycle, a clown, and 150 college students, cellphone users were half as likely as others to notice a red-nosed, unicycle rider.

Ira Hyman, Jr., a researcher at Western Washington University sent a student unicycling around campus wearing a clown costume and then asked people who'd walked past if they'd "noticed anything unusual." The cellphone users were less than half as likely to have noticed, but Hyman speculates that it may not be the technology itself which distracts them, but instead the concentration required to maintain a conversation over that particular medium. Whatever the case, kudos to him for managing to find an excuse to run a study involving a clown. [Live Science]

Send an email to Rosa Golijan, the author of this post, at rgolijan@gizmodo.com.

SirSkillz
2010-06-23, 08:12 PM
YouTube- Unicyclist Kris Holm Prepares for BC Bike Race - Global BC TV

Here's a video about Kris Holm's upcoming participation in the BC Bike Race that was on Global BC, a big news station in British Columbia, last night.

I thought it was a pretty good piece. The part about changing gears on a unicycle was cool. It's great seeing unicycling on the local news:D

MuniAddict
2010-07-06, 03:09 PM
An LA county daily newspaper, the Daily breeze, did a little article on my upcoming 100 mile uni-century that I'm doing for the ACS (http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/TeamACS/TACSFY10National?px=17220532&pg=personal&fr_id=27330).

As usual for the press, there are a few misquotes and stuff they just made up, (I never mentioned the circus!:rolleyes:) but I guess that's par for the course. The picture the photographer took, caught me in the air, reaching down to grab my tire for effect. It also shows the grimace on my face in that split second when I was in the "moment", and it's pretty bad, lol! :p

He had also taken some 36er shots, which I was expecting them to use, since that's what I'll be riding on my century.
This is a link to the online version (http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/ci_15443384); the actual newspaper article is basically the same. :)


(http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/ci_15443384)

JJuggle
2010-07-12, 12:07 PM
More city riders get into the balancing act - Unicycle gains popularity
By Geoff Kirbyson
12 July 2010
Winnipeg Free Press

If you're walking around The Forks, the Exchange District, or even the University of Manitoba and see cyclists bounding around on one wheel, rest assured the circus is no longer in town.

Unicycles, long the domain of jugglers and carnies, are slowly edging their way towards the mainstream -- or at least away from the outermost points of cycling's fringe.

Olympia Cycle and Ski has sold about 30 unicycles over the past 12 months -- mostly to 15- to 25-year-olds -- double what the store sold during the previous year.

Liam Mohan, one of the shop's mechanics, said most unicyclists you see around town make it look easy because they've put in countless hours of practice. Getting your body weight balanced and riding without the benefit of handlebars is trickier than it looks. "Just because you can ride a bike doesn't mean you can ride a unicycle. You can expect to spend a couple of hours just learning how to mount it without using a wall to get started. That's the biggest thing."

Mohan said starter models sell for about $160. "Even if you're not doing jumps, a lot of your body weight is on the pedals and the cranks so you want that to be strong," he said.

Some unicyclists pedal to work, but the highest-profile ones prefer doing "trials" -- jumping up and riding down stairs, picnic tables, large boulders and public fountains or any terrain that even the hardiest of mountain bikers would avoid.

Mike Branconnier, a letter carrier by day, has been riding a unicycle for nine years after getting one for free while buying mountain bikes.

He said they're ideal for people who aren't big on team sports. "When you're on your unicycle, it's just you and your machine. It's about slowing down your breathing. You've got to stay calm and not second-guess your machine. It's so simple, no gears and no brakes. The possibilities are only defined by your fears. You've got to give 'er.

"A lot of things I've tried on my unicycle are now routine. The first time you're sitting at the top of the stairs at the legislative building, wondering, 'can I do this?' Then after you do it, you look for the next challenge, a steeper staircase or a larger obstacle. It's you, a wheel and a seat. There's something really pure about it."

Branconnier likes to go places where people can see him, not so much to show off -- OK, maybe a little bit -- but so he can increase the sport's exposure.

"I try to be as big an ambassador as I can without coming off cocky."

Tristan Geisel, another unicycling enthusiast, will often ride around Olympia's shop while helping customers. "We get lots of customers who come in and buy unicycles after they see me riding," he said.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

On the move

Unicyclists were allowed to participate for the first time in the B.C. Bike Race, a seven-day mountain bike stage race that wrapped up last week. Last year, they were allowed to enter the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, a more than 4,400-kilometre event that runs from Banff, Alta., to Mexico.

Unicycling isn't popular enough to merit any sanctioned events on its own, but that could change if it catches on with a sufficient number of riders, said Greg Mathieu, chief executive officer of the Canadian Cycling Association.

"You never know where things are going to go. In Europe, there's a group that plays a derivative of soccer on bikes," he said.

Klaas Bil
2010-07-12, 10:33 PM
The part about changing gears on a unicycle was cool."You push [the button] with your heel and push it through", says Kris, and demonstrates the same. Isn't that different from Florian's recommendation to kick the button in with your heel? Florian warned against letting your heel 'rub' the button in - it could bend the shift shaft (I like this word). Or maybe that advice is obsolete with the new generation's rounder buttons and the sturdier shift shaft? Regardless, I would like to kick because it gives a more positive indication of when you have shifted gears.

danger_uni
2010-07-13, 02:34 AM
Catching the button with your heel seems to be the most solid way to shift, and I've not had a problem with it in terms of damaging the shifter rod, given the rounder button and sturdier shift shaft. Usually I try first with my heel, and if I think I missed it, I angle my ankle inwards to try to push it it with the inside of my ankle. The latter definitely works best with over-the-ankle shoes.

Jagster
2010-07-13, 02:44 AM
Yeah!!! Go Kris! :D

steveyo
2010-07-15, 06:40 PM
Here's a local article (http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=950849) (Times Union, Albany, NY, US), which came from my riding the Black Fly Challenge (http://home.roadrunner.com/~rduhan/BlackFly2010/). At the newspaper link, there are also a few pictures.

Here's the text. It comes on a bit too "anti-biker" for me, but what the heck.


Big wheel keeps on turning


First published in print: Thursday, July 15, 2010
You've got two wheels on that bike, Lance. No excuses.


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You and all the other riders in that grueling, 20-stage race up the Pyrenees and through cobblestone streets are no Steve Relles.

Who? No, he's not part of the Tour.

He's a guy from Delmar who pedaled his unicycle up Whiteface Mountain -- eight miles and a 3,500-foot climb -- legs cranking as he tried to manage another revolution on just one wheel. He'd be the guy who, when he placed next to last in his first Whiteface Mountain Uphill Bike Race in 2005, crossed the finish line and saw a mob of people who'd completed the race on two wheels, cheering and honking horns.

It took him a smidge less than two hours to become the first person to ride the course on a unicycle. He has competed in the race four more times since, and sliced his time to 1:15. Now, the 47-year-old finishes only three-quarters of the way back in the pack, which means a bunch of guys with an extra wheel to work with can't keep up.

That's badass, Lance.

You think you've got a strong core? It's an apple core compared to Relles, who doesn't even have the advantage of coasting down hills. Instead, he's got to lightly apply the brake installed on his unicycle and use his legs to keep the pedals from spinning out of control. Essentially, he's holding the bike back for the entire descent while you're cruising at top speed taking it easy.

The unicycling community is a small one for a reason. Any middle-aged guy with the money to blow on a bike can shimmy into some Spandex and pretend he's you on the nearest stretch of two-lane. But a unicycle accepts no imitators.

"You can't be a poser," Relles says.

He started riding after he hurt himself playing ultimate Frisbee and needed to have anterior-cruciate ligament surgery. Biking is a good post-surgery exercise, he figured, and he did mountain and road bike for fun. But two wheels didn't strike him as much of a challenge, and the one-time computer programer does admit to having a geeky streak. He already loved to juggle and thought he'd look even cooler doing it on a unicycle, so he bought a one-wheeler off eBay.

The stay-at-home dad of two and owner of the Delmar Dog Butler, a dog waste removal business (yes, a professional pooper scooper), then spent an hour a day out in his driveway, perched on top of a unicycle and leaning on his car for support.

Learning to ride a unicycle isn't an intellectual thing. You can't just think about what you need to do and do it, how you need to adjust when it's leaning right by turning the wheel to the right and finding your center again. It needs to become part of your muscle memory, an instinctual thing, before you can really ride.

The neighborhood kids watched Relles fall a bunch of times, then fall so hard he cracked his helmet and then not fall so much. It took three weeks of daily practice before he could ride smoothly down the street.

He does still suffer the usual jokes, shouted out car windows like they're novel. Lots of, "You lost your other wheel," and, "Hey, you only have half a bike."

But on the trails, even if he's leaving them in his wake on the hills, bikers look up long enough to bow down.

"We're very welcomed by the mountain bikers," Relles says, the "we" meaning he and Albany unicycling friends Roland Kays and Perry Woodin. "They think we're the greatest thing. They think that what we're doing is nearly impossible."

Relles was hooked immediately on the sport, loving the way it made him feel like he was flying (even if he can't safely ride any faster than someone can run) and enjoying the fact that it was so blasted hard.

His wife, Rose Duhan, who compares to the "Field of Dreams" wife when it comes to indulging her husband's quirky passion, says unicycling just fits him.

"It combines his two favorite things," she says. "Athleticism and exhibitionism."

Besides, as mid-life crises go, this one is pretty tame. She doesn't have to wonder where her husband is at night. He's out in the driveway, tooling around on one wheel.

So when Relles said he and a couple other friends won a contest that meant they'd be unicycling the width of Panama -- overgrown jungle paths and all -- she said to have a great trip.

Same went for the 77-mile charity ride, and the recent Black Fly Challenge in Indian Lake where he left 30 bicyclists in the dust. (Chumps.)

There's something about being the first to do something that makes it special. Skiers love the first descents. Rock climbers love the first ascents.

And you were the first to win the Tour seven times, Lance, so you probably get what it feels like to cross the finish line a pioneer.

Even if it was -- yawn -- on two wheels.

Jennifer Gish can be reached at 454-5089 or jgish@timesunion.com. Friend her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenniferGishwriter.

uniShark
2010-07-15, 08:08 PM
Great write-up Steveyo! :)

steveyo
2010-07-15, 08:43 PM
Thanks, UniShark!

And I didn't realize but there's a teeny link to a video. (http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1407952373?bctid=114827114001)

Klaas Bil
2010-07-15, 09:14 PM
Thanks, UniShark!

And I didn't realize but there's a teeny link to a video. (http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1407952373?bctid=114827114001)Video loads for a long time, displaying a still. At some point the vid seems to have been fully loaded. But the "play" button doesn't work.

Edit: now I have "The video you are trying to watch is currently unavailable. Please check back soon."
Probably "not too soon" is better, everybody wants to see it :-)

BradenL
2010-07-16, 12:45 AM
Video loads for a long time, displaying a still. At some point the vid seems to have been fully loaded. But the "play" button doesn't work.

Edit: now I have "The video you are trying to watch is currently unavailable. Please check back soon."
Probably "not too soon" is better, everybody wants to see it :-)

It worked fine for me. :cool:

JJuggle
2010-07-16, 12:15 PM
BIG WHEEL KEEPS ON TURNING
JENNIFER GISH
15 July 2010
Times Union

You've got two wheels on that bike, Lance. No excuses.

You and all the other riders in that grueling, 20-stage race up the Pyrenees and through cobblestone streets are no Steve Relles.

Who? No, he's not part of the Tour.

He's a guy from Delmar who pedaled his unicycle up Whiteface Mountain -- eight miles and a 3,500-foot climb -- legs cranking as he tried to manage another revolution on just one wheel. He'd be the guy who, when he placed next to last in his first Whiteface Mountain Uphill Bike Race in 2005, crossed the finish line and saw a mob of people who'd completed the race on two wheels, cheering and honking horns.

It took him a smidge less than two hours to become the first person to ride the course on a unicycle. He has competed in the race four more times since, and sliced his time to 1:15. Now, the 47- year-old finishes only three-quarters of the way back in the pack, which means a bunch of guys with an extra wheel to work with can't keep up.

That's badass, Lance.

You think you've got a strong core? It's an apple core compared to Relles, who doesn't even have the advantage of coasting down hills. Instead, he's got to lightly apply the brake installed on his unicycle and use his legs to keep the pedals from spinning out of control. Essentially, he's holding the bike back for the entire descent while you're cruising at top speed taking it easy.

The unicycling community is a small one for a reason. Any middle- aged guy with the money to blow on a bike can shimmy into some Spandex and pretend he's you on the nearest stretch of two-lane. But a unicycle accepts no imitators.

"You can't be a poser," Relles says.

He started riding after he hurt himself playing ultimate Frisbee and needed to have anterior-cruciate ligament surgery. Biking is a good post-surgery exercise, he figured, and he did mountain and road bike for fun. But two wheels didn't strike him as much of a challenge, and the one-time computer programer does admit to having a geeky streak. He already loved to juggle and thought he'd look even cooler doing it on a unicycle, so he bought a one-wheeler off eBay.

The stay-at-home dad of two and owner of the Delmar Dog Butler, a dog waste removal business (yes, a professional pooper scooper), then spent an hour a day out in his driveway, perched on top of a unicycle and leaning on his car for support.

Learning to ride a unicycle isn't an intellectual thing. You can't just think about what you need to do and do it, how you need to adjust when it's leaning right by turning the wheel to the right and finding your center again. It needs to become part of your muscle memory, an instinctual thing, before you can really ride.

The neighborhood kids watched Relles fall a bunch of times, then fall so hard he cracked his helmet and then not fall so much. It took three weeks of daily practice before he could ride smoothly down the street.

He does still suffer the usual jokes, shouted out car windows like they're novel. Lots of, "You lost your other wheel," and, "Hey, you only have half a bike."

But on the trails, even if he's leaving them in his wake on the hills, bikers look up long enough to bow down.

"We're very welcomed by the mountain bikers," Relles says, the "we" meaning he and Albany unicycling friends Roland Kays and Perry Woodin. "They think we're the greatest thing. They think that what we're doing is nearly impossible."

Relles was hooked immediately on the sport, loving the way it made him feel like he was flying (even if he can't safely ride any faster than someone can run) and enjoying the fact that it was so blasted hard.

His wife, Rose Duhan, who compares to the "Field of Dreams" wife when it comes to indulging her husband's quirky passion, says unicycling just fits him.

"It combines his two favorite things," she says. "Athleticism and exhibitionism."

Besides, as mid-life crises go, this one is pretty tame. She doesn't have to wonder where her husband is at night. He's out in the driveway, tooling around on one wheel.

So when Relles said he and a couple other friends won a contest that meant they'd be unicycling the width of Panama -- overgrown jungle paths and all -- she said to have a great trip.

Same went for the 77-mile charity ride, and the recent Black Fly Challenge in Indian Lake where he left 30 bicyclists in the dust. (Chumps.)

There's something about being the first to do something that makes it special. Skiers love the first descents. Rock climbers love the first ascents.

And you were the first to win the Tour seven times, Lance, so you probably get what it feels like to cross the finish line a pioneer.

Even if it was -- yawn -- on two wheels.

Jennifer Gish can be reached at 454-5089 or jgish@timesunion.com. Friend her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ JenniferGishwriter.

Video from the trail

Steve Relles shows off his technique, including hopping over a log, at http://timesunion.com.

Caption: PHOTOS BY Paul Buckowski/Times Union Steve Relles of Delmar, who competes in mountain bike races on a unicycle, was part of a team of unicyclists who biked the width of Panama in January 2009.--- The unicycle used by Steve Relles of Delmarhas a fatter tire than a two-wheeled mountain biker would use. He relies on his legs to keep the unicycle under control. --- Paul Buckowski/Times Union Steve Relles sought a challenging exercise after surgery on his ACL. A unicycle bought on eBay worked for him.

magnustudios
2010-07-21, 02:32 PM
Probably pushing the limits of this thread here, but unicycling is at least mentioned in this story:

Teens ride bikes for child soldiers
TRACEY TONG
METRO OTTAWA
July 21, 2010 5:47 a.m.

A few years ago, Ottawa resident Benjamin Gunn-Doerge travelled overseas to work with the organization Free the Children.

“They said to learn all you can about one issue,” said Gunn-Doerge. “When you’re educated, you can make the biggest possible change.”

Around that time, he heard about child soldiering.

“Being a child myself, I thought it was terrible that children were being deprived of their childhoods,” he said.

Now 18, Gunn-Doerge and four friends formed Child Soldier Cycle earlier this year and are planning a bike trip from Ottawa to St. John’s, N.L. next month to raise awareness of the issue of child soldiering.

“There are many countries all over the world that have child soldiering,” said Gunn-Doerge, who recently graduated from Immaculata High School.

“Children are kidnapped from their homes. Girls are taken as sex slaves, while boys are forced to fight. The youngest recorded child soldier is five years old — barely big enough to hold an AK-47.”

Child soldiering has been recorded in Sierra Leone, Uganda, Asia and Colombia, he said.

Teammate Philip Schleihauf, 19, will be doing the trip on unicycle. This is Schleihauf’s last leg of a cross-Canada journey that when complete, will make him the second person ever to cross Canada by unicycle.

The group also includes Ottawa natives Sandy Macdonald, 15, Jamie Macdonald, 18, and Matthieu Halle, 18.

------------

I also have a question though: This page (http://www.unicycling.org/btdt/fhs.html) says that "Pierre Biondo of Montreal, Canada rode more or less around the perimeter of the U.S. and Canada in 1983-4". Is there any more info about this around? I've been claiming I'll be the second (after Wally Watts) to go coast-to-coast in Canada, and the media eats it up, but I'd feel better if it was true.

Klaas Bil
2010-07-26, 01:18 PM
The first edition of the (open) Dutch Championship of unicycle racing (held on 17 July) is reported in this paper article, that appeared 21 July 2010 on the front page of the local paper Flevopost. The article, in Dutch, also reports on a sister event - a competition in kickbike racing, held concurrently on another part of the facility. Picture shows Jelle Geys from Belgium during the 5 km race.

JJuggle
2010-08-02, 10:37 AM
Teen using one wheel to raise funds, awareness about diabetes
Ashley Gold
22 July 2010
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

To David Lackner, riding a unicycle is similar to managing diabetes -- you just have to keep your balance.

Lackner, 15, of Great Falls, Va., a Washington suburb, will try to keep his balance for 350 miles next month, traveling by unicycle from McKeesport to Washington, D.C. to raise money for juvenile diabetes. He and his father, Daniel, 55, will begin their journey August 8, aiming to get home by the 14th.

"If you eat too much of something you're not supposed to eat with diabetes, you end up getting sick," Lackner said. "It's the same thing with (riding a unicycle), if you pedal too fast or too slow, you fall down."

Lackner was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes in June 2009 and took up unicycling soon after. Inspired by his uncle who unicycles, he said he wanted to do something "special." An avid hockey player, Lackner thinks having diabetes actually makes him more competitive in sports.

Andrew Barter, 32, is Lackner's French teacher at the Landon School in Bethesda, Md., in suburban Washington. When Lackner started to talk about his interest in unicycling and possibly completing a ride to raise money for juvenile diabetes, Barter ensured him that it would be possible.

"I said it'd be awesome if he could make a fundraising ride, to do something that he loves and contribute with philanthropy," Barter said.

Barter said other students at school wondered why Lackner, who brought his unicycle to school one day, was interested in unicycling. But when they heard about his long-distance ride, they thought it was "really cool."

Originally from Pittsburgh, Lackner's father knew starting in the Pittsburgh area and ending in Washington made sense because it is a downhill ride. Because the Lackners have family and friends in both Pittsburgh and Washington, he said, he knew he and his son could maximize awareness of juvenile diabetes at both ends of the trip.

The Lackners will begin in McKeesport, following the Allegheny Passage and eventually taking the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal through Maryland. They are aiming to cycle 60 miles a day, and spend their nights at bed-and-breakfast inns along the way.

"I'm a little nervous," the younger Lackner said.

To prepare for their ride, Lackner and his father have been completing long rides around scenic areas, including Gettysburg's historical battlefield. Lackner's father said he has been working hard to stay in shape to keep up with his son.

He contacted the Pittsburgh Penguins for sponsorship, who obliged with an autographed hockey stick from Mario Lemieux -- among other items -- which Lackner put on eBay for auctioning. Hockey clubs in Washington sponsored Lackner, as did a restaurant in Bethesda.

Lackner has been ambitious about how much money can be raised, his father said.

"I said, 'Maybe we should shoot for $1,000,' and he said, 'No, we should shoot for $10,000,' " Lackner said.

JJuggle
2010-08-02, 10:38 AM
COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Unicycle team conquers Seattle to Portland in 24 hours
BEN FLETCHER
22 July 2010
The Bellingham Herald

Bellingham's most famous unicyclist struck again over the weekend, this time completing the Seattle to Portland bike journey in under 24 hours.

But not far behind Joe Myers' impressive feat was the actions of his wife Lana, who followed her husband in a vehicle the entire 204 miles. Much of that time she used the vehicle's headlights to show Joe the way, since he started the race at 9:15 p.m. Friday, July 16, and rode through the night. He finished just prior to 9:15 p.m. Saturday, July 17.

Together they conquered a course that often gives traditional two-wheelers fits, with many taking two days to make the trek. It also gave Joe something to brag about to his unicycling buddies.

"I just kind of run on the same adrenalin he runs on," Lana said. "I enjoy being with him and supporting him. I tell him I'm the wind at his back."

Joe Myers was one of thousands of riders who made the annual trip, which is sponsored by the Cascade Bicycle Club. He finished in 23 hours, 58 minutes and 59 seconds, beating his goal of finishing in 24 hours by about a minute. Regular Seattle to Portland bikers caught up to him Saturday morning just south of Centralia.

For the one-wheeler, the end combined an urgency to finish under 24 hours with the stop-and-go traffic of Portland near the finish line.

"I burned just under 11,000 calories according to my heart monitor," he said. "It's grueling. It's tough. It's punishing just to do it in two days."

But Joe did it in one day, giving him distinction among the unicycling community as being the fifth one-wheeled rider to cover at least 200 miles in 24 hours, he said.

"My wife and I basically went 40 hours with no sleep," Joe said.

The ride was as adventurous as it was arduous. In Puyallup during the early morning hours, Joe almost ran over a man who appeared intoxicated and not totally aware of where he was walking. And the police actually followed behind the Myers party for distances, because they're "bored so they'll follow you for miles," he said. And it was cold.

"You know, it's three in the morning," Joe said.

At the finish, Joe met up with a fellow unicycler who rode along with him for the last three miles. Then they dined in a park, with spaghetti, salad and champagne.

"The champagne tasted really good," Joe said.

It would. It was Joe's third time doing the Seattle to Portland on his one-wheeled bike, but it was his first time completing in a single day.

"They give him a bad time," Lana said. "Some of them tell him he's awesome, some of them tell him he's nuts and give him thumbs up."

JJuggle
2010-08-02, 10:39 AM
Unicycling duo face 160-mile trek for charity
30 July 2010
South Wales Evening Post

LLgm20100726B-004_C TWO determined fundraisers are to unicycle 160 miles to raise cash for the British Heart Foundation.

Gorseinon's Ade Harrendence and Ben Hyde, of Culfor Road, Loughor, will undertake their intrepid charity event from Whitehaven in Lancashire to Robin Hood Bay, North Yorkshire, in an attempt to raise as much a S s they can.

Ben, 31, a training consultant, said it will take them at least five days to complete the challenge, averaging 35 miles per day.

Ben said: "We have never done this before, so it will be a personal challenge.

"Some of my family and friends have suffered with heart and circulatory disease, and have all received treatment from the BHF.

"My mother suffered recently, and after receiving treatment, she has a new lease of life."

Ade, an engineer, who met Ben at a circus training school in Swansea, said: "We get some very interesting questions from passers-by with regards to falling off the unicycle.

"The only time we nearly fall off is when drivers toot the horn to wish us well as we travel along."

. To sponsor Ben or Ade please go to www.justgiving.com/BenHyde or www.justgiving.com/AdeHarrendence

UMan
2010-08-04, 02:37 PM
Veteran Harborplace performer 'Unicycle Lady' delights crowds
Handling hecklers, earning tips always a challenge

By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun

10:51 PM EDT, August 3, 2010

Another article in a series about the people and the jobs that define a Maryland summer.

Every time Lisa Polinori takes the open-air stage at Harborplace, she wonders. Will she draw a decent crowd? Will spectators stick around to watch her juggle and joke atop a 6-foot unicycle? Will some drunk guy heckle her?

And, not least: Who out there has some money? Because these days, she says, people all too often walk around with plenty of plastic in their wallets but not so much cash for tipping. "I need to start taking credit cards," she says.

Tuesday evening, Polinori — aka Unicycle Lady — ventured once again into the unpredictable world of street performing. She's one of 32 acts deemed worthy by Harborplace management to show their stuff at the high-traffic Inner Harbor amphitheater.

This year's roster includes two escape artists, two pan flutists, several magicians, an aerialist, a dance troupe, a guitar duo, a sword swallower called "Thomsellectomy" and a handful of variety acts. Harborplace doesn't pay any of them a dime. They earn whatever spectators think they're worth.

For the 46-year-old Polinori, who's been entertaining Harborplace crowds for a decade, summer is prime time as throngs of tourists and area residents fill Baltimore's waterfront promenade. Shows run seven days a week from late morning until around 10 p.m.

After years of promoting her act, Polinori earns enough from paid gigs at private parties and corporate events that she's not some starving artist who relies on tips to eat. But the harbor shows do give her a welcome income boost and an unbeatable venue to advertise her talents.

Besides, she still gets a thrill out of performing in public. "It's a huge adrenaline rush," she says.

She emphasizes audience participation, though people sometimes take that to an extreme. Once she was chased around by a woman inexplicably wielding a shoe. The woman eventually calmed down and Polinori, doing a mime act at the time, gave her a balloon heart as a peace offering.

Another time, while gazing out at the audience, she saw a man who twice before had dangerously and annoyingly insisted on "dancing" with her while she unicycled. Determined to avoid a third time, she enlisted nearby police officers to perform a magic trick of their own: They spoke to the pest, who soon vanished from view.

"The majority of the audiences are pretty good to me," Polinori said. "If I hear laughter in the crowd and if people stay and watch the show, then to me I've done a good show."

For Tuesday's performance she did her circus skit. It's a mime act set to music, and she looked the part in red Converse sneakers, red leggings, black skirt, red and white striped vest and an assortment of hats, one goofier than the next.

She didn't actually ride any of her four unicycles until midway into the 45-minute set, instead pleasing the crowd by juggling machetes, using balloon swords to fence with a girl and reeling off a series of gags. Once she began riding, though, she was on a roll, dancing with various men (on her terms), spinning around a girl by holding onto her ponytail and even maneuvering between one (tall) man's legs.

Toward the end, she donned red shorts and blared the "Rocky" theme from speakers. After a couple of false starts, she climbed atop the 6-foot unicycle dubbed a "giraffe" and soon was juggling three clubs while spinning a plate on the end of a stick that she grasped with her mouth. The audience, well more than a hundred strong, cheered and clapped its appreciation.

Polinori has been riding unicycles most of her life. She learned at age 11 in her hometown of Alliance, Ohio. As she got older and her friends jumped to bikes and cars, she remained a one-wheel wonder. In high school she studied while riding her unicycle to class. In college she made small grocery runs on her unicycle. Even as a 20-something living in Washington, she stuck with the unusual mode of transit that turned heads.

She first performed in her late teens, inspired by a dream in which she danced on a unicycle. Rather than shrug it off as an odd nocturnal musing, she set out to make it reality. Hours of practice paid off, she says, when she performed in that year's Miss Ohio pageant.

It wasn't until the mid-1990s, after she turned 30 and had refined her juggling, that she became a true street performer in Old Town Alexandria, even quitting her office job. A few years later, she tried out her act in Baltimore and in 2000 successfully auditioned for a coveted Harborplace spot.

Street acts have been a fixture at Harborplace since the shopping complex opened 30 years ago. The amphitheater is a public park, but Harborplace picks and schedules the performers in partnership with the city, said Carmel Gambacorta, senior marketing manager at Harborplace & the Gallery.

For Polinori, who lives in Little Italy, a big draw of Harborplace was the guaranteed time slot. In Alexandria, there was always a chance she'd go to her favorite spot only to find it occupied by some clown. On the other hand, the amphitheater lacks shade, brutal on scorching days. She usually requests evening slots, when it's cooler.

The harbor area presents other challenges. She's had an ambulance drive onto the promenade, siren blaring, during a show. Boat whistles are common, and she's learned that occasionally the historic USS Constellation booms mightily with ceremonial cannon blasts.

Polinori, who performs at the harbor once or twice a week, says tips vary wildly. She has made zero (rainouts) and as much as $1,000 in one day (she took the spots of two no-shows and lost toenails on both feet by the time it finally ended). She has made $7 and $150 doing essentially the same show for two similar audiences.

The recession has taken a noticeable toll, she says. Few spending categories, after all, are more discretionary than tips for street performers. That said, she recently got a $100 bill from one fellow who was particularly appreciative if a little sauced.

"You never know if people are going to like what you do," Polinori said. "And you want to make them laugh. If they leave, you have to figure out, what did I do wrong? What did I say? Or is it too hot, or do they need to go eat now? Is it me? Is it them?"

Tuesday's performance went smoothly apart from a few juggling errors. No crazy shoe lady or hecklers pursued her, and most in the audience stayed to watch. And as the show wore on, appreciative spectators, or usually their children, dropped a steady stream of bills into her tip hat — mostly $1s but also some $5s and at least one $10.

"It's a pretty good hat for that crowd," she said afterward, her face glistening with sweat.

Copyright © 2010, The Baltimore Sun

Follow this link to the article and photos:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-harborplace-street-performer-20100803,0,487564.story

JJuggle
2010-08-27, 12:27 PM
Lenoir City High teacher gives lessons in unicycle riding
By Nash Armstrong, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.
McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
27 August 2010
The Knoxville News-Sentinel (MCT)

Aug. 27--It may not be a craze that's sweeping the nation yet, but it has taken hold at Lenoir City High School.

Unicycling is usually a feat reserved for circus tents and obstacle courses. But Lenoir City High School math teacher Kevin Smith has brought this unique mode of transportation to his students, and he says the students have really taken a liking to the one-wheeled act.

"I teach students to ride after school on Fridays," he said. "They are still learning. They tend to get a little more adventurous than me."

While they may be more adventurous, Smith is still the expert of the unofficial unicycle club. Smith began riding in 1986 as part of "The Love Clowns," a youth ministry group from Central Baptist Church of Bearden. This, however, only lasted a year. Smith then took a break from the unicycle game for almost 20 years.

Then in 2006, Lenoir City High School sponsored a talent show to help raise funds for their baseball team, and Smith knew it was time to break out his Schwinn unicycle once again.

Since then, Smith and his single seat have been inseparable. While his first Schwinn unicycle has long since met its demise from so much use, Smith says he now owns seven unicycles -- ranging from cycles with a 12-inch wheel to a "giraffe unicycle," which puts Smith 5 feet above the ground.

"Unicycles are like harmonicas for harmonica players," Smith said. "You have different ones for different types of rides. It depends on what kind of unicycle mood you're into that day."

Smith says his favorite is the standard 36-inch wheel unicycle, which helps him reach top speeds. Along with speed, Smith uses the same cycle for long distance runs. Smith says his longest ride is about 20 miles, but a longer ride may be in his future.

One of his friends has been trying to persuade him to do a "century ride."

"That's where you ride for about 100 miles. That could be very painful though," he said with a laugh. "I'm at least two summers away from a ride that long."

In the meantime, Smith has declared his love for unicycle riding online. His YouTube video "Busted: The Unicycle Rap" shows Smith and some of his friends from the Knoxville Juggling Club riding and performing other tricks.

The video also inspired his students to post a clip of their own, showing the unofficial club members, who wear T-shirts exclaiming "LCHS Unicycle Club: Half the bike, twice the man," performing acts of one-wheeled wonder at Lenoir City Skate Park.

Smith said that sometimes students who don't ride make jokes about the videos and the unusual mode of transportation, but to a unicyclist, the sarcastic criticism comes with the territory.

"When you first learn to ride, you fall down 1,000 times or more," he said. "This gives a unicyclist thick skin. We know all the jokes are only for fun."

UMan
2010-08-29, 10:13 PM
Unicycling is featured on the front page of the NY Times website with a video story. John Stone is featured. The nytimes.com website requires you to register to view the content.

nytimes.com

The title of the video article is: Spokes | Life On One Wheel

Most unicyclists ride as a hobby but for a few hardy riders the one-wheeled machines are regular transportation.

Chrashing
2010-08-29, 11:25 PM
The local Poughkeepsie Journal published an article on the upcoming New York Uni Fest (http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=20108290375)

UMan
2010-08-30, 09:37 AM
John Stone does not want to hear your joke about his unicycle. He has heard all of them already. He doesn’t want to hear you whistle “Entry of the Gladiators,” that circus song. He is not a clown. He’s a commuter on his way to work just like you. He just rides a giant 36-inch wheeled unicycle from his home on the Upper West Side down to his job as a composer near Astor Place.

“Walking for me is a bit too slow — bicycling is a bit too fast,” he said. “It’s hard to forget that you’re doing something that to other people is a little weird. Sometimes you just want to be anonymous, you just want to ride.”

Not so for Anthony Wright. A 49-year-old architect, Mr. Wright rides his unicycle eight miles daily, “from one side of the Bronx to the other side of the Bronx,” purely for the stares and photo requests. “Not too many people can ride a unicycle,” he said. “I love the attention.”

What he does not love is when the occasional passer-by hurls a soda or an insult. When that happens, he says, he will give his antagonists what for. “Don’t mess with a unicyclist,” he warned.

Mr. Stone and Mr. Wright are among an elite corps of distance unicyclers in the city, people dedicated to their idiosyncratic mode of transport. Many more are expected at the first New York City Unicycle Festival next weekend, a three-day celebration of all things one-wheeled including races, unicycle hockey and basketball — and lessons for novices.
Liza Larson, who is from Sweden, leans on Ken Springle.Mayita Mendez for The New York Times Liza Larson, who is from Sweden, leans on Ken Springle. Enlarge this image.

At a recent meeting of the New York Unicycle Club at Grant’s Tomb, a dozen or so riders practiced their technique.

A clear passion for life on one wheel was on display. Experienced unicyclists held the hands of small children and massive men alike as they took their first tentative pedals. More seasoned riders spun each other around, bounded up and down stairs and played ukuleles from their unstable perches. “It’s great for the soul,” said Elon Zito, 26, a student and karaoke host. “If you have trouble meeting people, it’s a nice ice-breaker.”

Practitioners say unicycling is also good for improved balance and muscle tone. The cycles cost $80 to $2,000 for a custom touring model, and are much slower than their two-wheeled cousins — the average speed on a 24- or 26-inch unicycle is 5 to 12 miles per hour.
Daniele Del-Masch at Grant’s Tomb.Mayita Mendez for The New York Times Daniele Del-Masch at Grant’s Tomb. Enlarge this image.

Mr. Wright, who learned to unicycle as a teenager because he felt like he had tried most everything else, did not ride for decades but restarted in earnest three years ago after running across a unicycle in a store. He said the sport has helped him lose weight. “You’ve got to use your body to turn,” he said. “You sweat; it’s great.”

Andrew Diamond, 14, a budding unicyclist who persuaded his father to drive two hours from Connecticut for the Grant’s Tomb meeting, patted his stomach and declared with a grin, “I’ve got amazing core strength.”

Andrew said he had ridden 30 miles at a time on his unicycle.

Mr. Stone, the composer, said he often vacationed with other unicyclists, sometimes logging 100 miles a day on daring tours.

He has crested the top of Mont Blanc, the 15,782-foot peak in the Italian Alps, and blazed down its switchbacks. His top speed was 24 m.p.h., blisteringly fast for a machine with nothing to mitigate the impact on the knees, along with the ever-mounting pressure from the swayed banana-shaped seat. Numbness can set in. “You get pins and needles,” Mr. Stone said. “It’s horrible.”

Mr. Stone, 40, and his older brother David, who is president of the New York Unicycle Club, began unicycling as children after watching a rider pedal across the Brooklyn Bridge during the credit sequence of the 1970s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter.”

“It was the first time we ever thought of a unicycle outside the circus,” John Stone said. “Unicycling could just be anything people would do out in the street.”

Decades later, Mr. Stone is still surprised by the attention his vehicle garners. During his rides, he has been questioned by the comedian Bill Murray, and twice, women have lifted their shirts and flashed him.

“I think they were trying to get me to fall,” he said. Mr. Stone managed to stay upright, but he admitted, “I was startled.”

New York Times, August 28, 2010

Photos and video here:
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/28/spokes-when-two-wheels-are-too-many/

lbfin88
2010-08-30, 01:08 PM
Unicycling is featured on the front page of the NY Times website with a video story. John Stone is featured. The nytimes.com website requires you to register to view the content.

nytimes.com

The title of the video article is: Spokes | Life On One Wheel

Most unicyclists ride as a hobby but for a few hardy riders the one-wheeled machines are regular transportation.
I was there when they did this.
(I am the one in the green shirt)

steveyo
2010-09-01, 05:26 PM
I was there when they did this.
(I am the one in the green shirt)[OT] In fact, I think you gave me a ride from the Halifax airport before RTL, right?

lbfin88
2010-09-02, 03:08 AM
[OT] In fact, I think you gave me a ride from the Halifax airport before RTL, right?
No, that was not me who gave you a ride.

JJuggle
2010-09-13, 10:27 AM
BALANCING ACT. Brooklyn unicyclist peddles his feats
NICOLE LYN PESCE
29 August 2010
New York Daily News

COOL JOBS

Kyle Petersen

Age: 25

Job title: Juggling unicyclist for the Coney Island Cyclones

Time on the job: 4 years

One-wheeled madness rolls across the city this weekend with the first NYC Unicycle Festival, where local riders like Kyle Petersen are looking forward to busting their best moves.

What's planned for the unicycle fest?

We're doing a long-distance ride all the way to Coney Island from the Brooklyn Bridge on Friday, and the next day there's going to be games, contests and vendors on Governors Island. There are some really popular organized team sports, like unicycle basketball and unicycle hockey. There will also be races and trials, which is kind of like the unicycling equivalent of extreme sports: going over obstacles and doing different tricks.

What first got you on a unicycle?

I grew up in New Jersey, and I started unicycling there when I was 12 because I was into the whole BMX bike thing. I read online that learning the unicycle helps your skills and balance on a bike, so I asked my mother for a unicycle and got it for my birthday.

Was it easy to pick up?

I thought my balance was already good, so I was convinced I would get on it and ride away - and I fell right on my butt immediately! But I kept at it, and within three days I could get a decent pedal going for 10 to 15 feet. After a month, I could go around the whole block, and I gradually got better.

What's the farthest you've ridden?

I participated in the NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour on a unicycle last May. That was 42 miles around the city. I did that with three friends. There were a lot of checkpoints and bottlenecks, so it took six or seven hours. Part of me wants to try going 100 miles, but my knees are really going to hurt after that!

How often do you ride your

unicycle around town?

All of the time. I commute to work on it. I commute to school at Brooklyn College, which is funny. I'm the only unicycler in grad school! I'll go to friends' houses and run errands. Sometimes I don't even buy the monthly MetroCard. I just pay as I go and ride the unicycle, so I save money.

That must attract a lot of attention on the street.

I hear a lot of the same thing: "What happened to the rest of your bike?" "Hey, you're missing the other wheel!" Or sometimes, "Hey, look, it's a tricycle!" I get "tricycle" more than I get "unicycle," which is weird.

Where do you perform?

I've got several regular gigs doing a little bit of everything. One is the National Circus Project, where we go into elementary schools and day camps and teach circus arts to children. I work for the Brooklyn Cyclones, performing at every home game. I also book my own gigs,

like birthday parties and bar mitzvahs, and I'm working

this summer with the Big Apple Circus doing family workshops.

How do you juggle such a busy schedule?

I use Google calendar and Gmail and my smartphone.

It's the only way I can keep

that straight.

What are your best tricks?

I do a lot of variety: spinning plates, cigar-box juggling and ball juggling while on the bike. I'm really known for doing the jump rope on the unicycle. I use that to punctuate my act.

How difficult is that to pull off?

It's not easy! First you've gotta learn how to jump on the unicycle without hands, which means squeezing the seat with your legs, and using your legs and your core to thrust yourself upward. Then you've got to master the timing of the bounce and get a rhythm going to jump over the rope. I do it on the tall unicycle [aka the "giraffe"]

and that is ridiculously hard.

It's 5 feet high.

Are these tricks good for picking up chicks?

Ha-ha. I might be better off being a doctor, but riding a unicycle certainly makes you an interesting person. If you're performing, girls think you're approachable. I guess I would say without divulging too much that it hasn't been a bad thing ...

JJuggle
2010-09-13, 10:28 AM
Spokes | When Two Wheels Are Too Many
By SEAN PATRICK FARRELL
28 August 2010
NYT Blogs
© 2010 The New York Times Company. All rights reserved

John Stone does not want to hear your joke about his unicycle. He has heard all of them already. He doesn't want to hear you whistle "Entry of the Gladiators," that circus song. He is not a clown. He's a commuter on his way to work, just like you. He just rides a giant 36-inch wheeled unicycle from his home on the Upper West Side down to his job as a composer near Astor Place.

"Walking for me is a bit too slow - bicycling is a bit too fast," he said. "It's hard to forget that you're doing something that to other people is a little weird. Sometimes you just want to be anonymous, you just want to ride."

Not so for Anthony Wright. Mr. Wright, a 49-year-old architect, rides his unicycle eight miles daily, "from one side of the Bronx to the other side of the Bronx," purely for the stares and photo requests. "Not too many people can ride a unicycle," he said. "I love the attention."

What he does not love is when the occasional passer-by hurls a soda or an insult. When that happens, he says, he will give his antagonists what for. "Don't mess with a unicyclist," he warned.

Mr. Stone and Mr. Wright are among an elite corps of distance unicyclers in the city, people dedicated to their idiosyncratic mode of transport. Many more are expected at the first New York City Unicycle Festival next weekend, a three-day celebration of all things one-wheeled including races, unicycle hockey and basketball - and lessons for novices.

At a recent meeting of the New York Unicycle Club at Grant's Tomb, a dozen or so riders practiced their technique.

A clear passion for life on one wheel was on display. Experienced unicyclists held the hands of small children and huge men alike as they took their first tentative pedals. More seasoned riders spun each other around, bounded up and down stairs and played ukuleles from their unstable perches. "It's great for the soul," said Elon Zito, 26, a student and karaoke host. "If you have trouble meeting people, it's a nice ice-breaker."

Practitioners say unicycling is also good for improved balance and muscle tone. The cycles cost $80 to $2,000 for a custom touring model, and are much slower than their two-wheeled cousins - the average speed on a 24- or 26-inch unicycle is 5 to 12 miles per hour.

Mr. Wright, who learned to unicycle as a teenager because he felt as if he had tried most everything else, did not ride for decades but restarted in earnest three years ago after running across a unicycle in a store. He said the sport has helped him lose weight. "You've got to use your body to turn," he said. "You sweat; it's great."

Andrew Diamond, 14, a budding unicyclist who persuaded his father to drive two hours from Connecticut for the Grant's Tomb meeting, patted his stomach and declared with a grin, "I've got amazing core strength."

Andrew said he had ridden 30 miles at a time on his unicycle.

Mr. Stone, the composer, said he often vacationed with other unicyclists, sometimes logging 100 miles a day on daring tours.

He has crested the top of Mont Blanc, the 15,782-foot peak in the Italian Alps, and blazed down its switchbacks. His top speed was 24 m.p.h., blisteringly fast for a machine with nothing to mitigate the impact on the knees, along with the ever-mounting pressure from the swayed banana-shaped seat. Numbness can set in. "You get pins and needles," Mr. Stone said. "It's horrible."

Mr. Stone, 40, and his older brother David, who is president of the New York Unicycle Club, began unicycling as children after watching a rider pedal across the Brooklyn Bridge during the credit sequence of the 1970s sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter."

"It was the first time we ever thought of a unicycle outside the circus," John Stone said. "Unicycling could just be anything people would do out in the street."

Decades later, Mr. Stone is still surprised by the attention his vehicle garners. During his rides, he has been questioned by the comedian Bill Murray, and twice, women have lifted their shirts and flashed him.

"I think they were trying to get me to fall," he said. Mr. Stone managed to stay upright, but he admitted, "I was startled."

JJuggle
2010-09-13, 11:01 AM
Steps to Health ; Riding a unicycle is a balancing act - and a tough workout
Jessica Belasco
30 August 2010
San Antonio Express-News

What a difference a wheel makes. That's the conclusion I came to after my first (and only) unicycling lesson.

It's not like riding a bike. Without that second wheel, it's more like riding a bucking bull. I grew curious about unicycling for fitness when I came across a guy pedaling on one wheel up my favorite unpaved walking trail. I wondered how much core strength it would require to stay upright. (As it turns out: more than I possess.)

San Antonio unicyclist Scott Wallis kindly agreed to give me a lesson. Wallis got into unicycling in a big way in 2002 when he saw a video of top unicyclists Kris Holm and Nathan Hoover riding down a volcano in Mexico. Wallis thought, "I want to do that." (I saw the same footage and thought, "That's crazy.") He bought a unicycle and within a few weeks he was riding off rock ledges.

"It kind of feels like flying," Wallis, 51, says.

A product designer by profession, he also develops unicycle components. He's become sort of an ambassador for unicycling, accustomed to chatting with people who regularly stop him on his rides through O.P. Schnabel Park to ask about his one-wheeled cycle. He has given several lessons and even attached a long bar to the wall in his workspace on the Northwest Side to give newbies something to grasp when they're starting out. Here's the thing I learned about unicycling: You never stop working. There's no coasting. You have to pedal while balancing yourself both front and back and side to side, even to stay upright in one spot.

That's why it's such a great workout. It also means your butt never gets a break, so prepare to be sore.

I showed up at my lesson, as instructed, in long pants to prevent scrapes and smooth-soled shoes to help position my feet on the pedals. Wallis gave me a helmet and wrist guards, which I strapped on with trepidation.

Wallis held the wheel while I climbed on, my left hand on his forearm, my right hand on the bar. He told me to lean forward slightly and pedal in a fluid motion so the wheel keeps up with my body.

I immediately fell. Then again and again. If I remembered to keep my body upright, I forgot to keep my arms out. If I kept my arms out, I forgot to modulate my pedaling.

By the end of my short lesson, I could only stay upright in place while holding the bar. I couldn't complete a revolution of the wheel without the unicycle skidding out from under me.

Wallis told me it takes most people an average of 10 hours of practice to learn to ride 50 feet alone. He also told me, with a straight face, that I did well.

Later, I found a bruise the size and color of a small eggplant on my calf from the pedal slamming into it. Still, I want to try it again. Next time, I'll remember to sit up straight, relax my muscles, resist the urge to grip the seat in terror...

Unicycle enthusiasts say it's a great core workout and improves your balance and endurance. By some estimates, it can burn more than 300 calories an hour.

Wallis loves mountain unicycling - a growing sport, he says - on a cycle with a wheel 3 feet in diameter.

There's also distance unicycling. Some cyclists do charity rides of more than 100 miles, such as Bike MS and Tour de Cure, on one wheel.

Wallis also gave me one final tip:

"The biggest thing is convincing yourself you can do it," he said.

JJuggle
2010-09-13, 11:02 AM
Wichita unicyclist a finalist in talent contest on 'Live! With Regis and Kelly'
BY DENISE NEIL
The Wichita Eagle
10 September 2010
Wichita Eagle (KS)

September 10 2010

A Wichita man — who has the unusual talent of riding a unicycle while shooting a bow and arrow — is among 20 finalists in the "Wild and Wacky Talent Contest" on TV's "Live! With Regis and Kelly" show.

Viewers have until Sunday evening to vote for a winner from the 20 finalists in the contest, and the top talent gets $20,000.

Mark Dreiling, at the urging of his sister, entered the video in the contest and already survived one round of voting to make the top 20.

Dreiling, a 51-year-old home remodeler, has been riding unicycles for about 30 years, including in the Wichita River Festival parade, and he's also a grand master archer. He decided to merge the two talents for the video and practiced for only a few minutes before filming it.

The video aired on the show, which runs at 9 a.m. weekdays on NBC and KSNW, Channel 3, today.

To vote, visit livewithregisandkelly.com.

uniShark
2010-09-14, 07:51 PM
From CNN:

Video at: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-491972?hpt=C2

iReport — By now we're all familiar with the various forms of electric vehicles, including some bicycles. Taking this to it's logical endpoint, Justin Lemire-Elmore has developed and tested the worlds first electric unicycle. You'd be making a big mistake if you thought this was an attention getting novelty toy because Justin is about to smash several transportation records by being the first person to cross the United States from Canada to Mexico on a unicycle, while using a power source and motor that is not much bigger than your average home electric drill.

JJuggle
2010-09-20, 10:28 AM
Clowning around with the Mayers
By Kevin Allenspach
18 September 2010
St. Cloud Times


kallenspach@stcloudtimes.com

COLD SPRING — The unicycle laying across the front steps, not to mention a two-wheeled model and a 5-foot-high version nearby, are a giveaway that what you find at Austin Mayers' house is different from most others in Central Minnesota.

Most summer days you can find him working on his skills in the driveway, wriggling back and forth, hopping around on that one daring wheel, juggling, going up and down ramps — even a nearby stairway.

If it wasn't for a $20 incentive from his grandfather, that first unicycle — a Christmas gift four years ago — probably would have gathered dust in a closet. Instead, Mayers has the dream of becoming a professional unicyclist — something it would seem only could be possible in the mind of a 14-year-old.

What else would you expect from a family of entertainers? His grandfather, Paul Kerzman, who challenged Austin to learn to ride that unicycle, is 92 yet still plays the harmonica at various senior citizens gatherings and events.

"When I was learning, it took me all summer, getting up at 6 a.m. and working at it. I started by holding onto the banister of the stairs in our living room. I remember I was so excited when I made it all the way to the hallway without tipping over."

Austin's parents, Ann and Quentin, have performed as clowns for almost a decade as part of a group from their church, River of Life. The River Clowns include about a dozen people who bring smiles to assisted living and independence centers, children's groups and even an annual weekend gathering of campers in Hayward, Wis.

Austin, who has a cousin, niece and nephew who also perform, has combined the acts into one, regularly appearing in a hobo costume as Charlie the Clown on his unicycle, or as a more traditional clown on stilts.

Continued from Page 1

Mayers

"The key is to keep moving," said Austin, who once walked two miles on stilts during a parade.

He picks up spending money working Saturdays as an entertainer and balloonist at the A maze'n Farmyard near Kimball and at Hidden Cove Orchard in Cold Spring. He's nearly as comfortable on the stilts or creating things out of balloons as he is one wheel.

Austin has six siblings, though most never took this interest and the one who did, his 18-year-old brother, Shane, is too busy for it these days as a freshman at St. Cloud State University.

"I don't think I'll outgrow it," Austin said. "Especially riding the unicycle — it's something I love to do."

He placed second at the Richmond's Got Talent show in 2009, and was first this past summer.

In 2009, he performed on a pogo stick and won his biggest applause with a tablecloth bit — yanking the place-setting from under various dishes, only to reveal as he walked away with his props that they were all permanently attached to his table.

This year, he performed his entire 10-minute routine on a unicycle.

"We've never liked our kids to spend too much time in front of the TV or on video games," said Ann Mayers, who has worked much of her life as an upholsterer and enjoys making costumes and puppets for their shows. "That's why he got the unicycle in the first place. He also got the pogo stick one year for Christmas, and the next year he got stilts. He has to spend as much time being active or practicing on them as he does at the computer."

Austin, a freshman this fall at Rocori High School, has other interests. He plays baseball, swims and is in track (pole vault) at school. Clowning sets him apart, though. He works one day each week with the Ringsmuth Riders, a local unicycling group, to improve his skill.

"The older people we entertain love kids — especially Austin," said Diane Eisert, who directs the River Clowns. "He likes the limelight, but he takes this stuff seriously. Our pastor, Denny Curran, once asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up. Austin said 'A clown.' "

Austin is available for special events. To contact him, call 597-3769.

unireed
2010-09-23, 08:49 PM
gonna be in two pictures of my schools newspaper. one will be the front cover! i dont know if there will be an article though bout me, as i was promoting my cycling club during rush week, so the article will most likely be about clubs

unireed
2010-09-25, 06:55 AM
really there is no article about unicycling, it just has a caption that says i am riding a unicycle to promote my cycling club. its funny, i spent all week getting people to sign up for my cycling club, but most just signed up so they could see my ride a unicycle. i did some trials for girlies: there is a stairset near our clubs booth and i hopped up it, and people were awestruck, and then they cheered when cleared it and landed it. i was pretty surprised too.

unireed
2010-09-25, 06:58 AM
2 more pictures on another page--also no article about unicycling

JJuggle
2010-09-27, 11:16 AM
Clowning around with the Mayers
By Kevin Allenspach
18 September 2010
St. Cloud Times
(c) Copyright 2010, St Cloud Times. All Rights Reserved.

kallenspach@stcloudtimes.com

COLD SPRING — The unicycle laying across the front steps, not to mention a two-wheeled model and a 5-foot-high version nearby, are a giveaway that what you find at Austin Mayers' house is different from most others in Central Minnesota.

Most summer days you can find him working on his skills in the driveway, wriggling back and forth, hopping around on that one daring wheel, juggling, going up and down ramps — even a nearby stairway.

If it wasn't for a $20 incentive from his grandfather, that first unicycle — a Christmas gift four years ago — probably would have gathered dust in a closet. Instead, Mayers has the dream of becoming a professional unicyclist — something it would seem only could be possible in the mind of a 14-year-old.

What else would you expect from a family of entertainers? His grandfather, Paul Kerzman, who challenged Austin to learn to ride that unicycle, is 92 yet still plays the harmonica at various senior citizens gatherings and events.

"When I was learning, it took me all summer, getting up at 6 a.m. and working at it. I started by holding onto the banister of the stairs in our living room. I remember I was so excited when I made it all the way to the hallway without tipping over."

Austin's parents, Ann and Quentin, have performed as clowns for almost a decade as part of a group from their church, River of Life. The River Clowns include about a dozen people who bring smiles to assisted living and independence centers, children's groups and even an annual weekend gathering of campers in Hayward, Wis.

Austin, who has a cousin, niece and nephew who also perform, has combined the acts into one, regularly appearing in a hobo costume as Charlie the Clown on his unicycle, or as a more traditional clown on stilts.

Continued from Page 1

Mayers

"The key is to keep moving," said Austin, who once walked two miles on stilts during a parade.

He picks up spending money working Saturdays as an entertainer and balloonist at the A maze'n Farmyard near Kimball and at Hidden Cove Orchard in Cold Spring. He's nearly as comfortable on the stilts or creating things out of balloons as he is one wheel.

Austin has six siblings, though most never took this interest and the one who did, his 18-year-old brother, Shane, is too busy for it these days as a freshman at St. Cloud State University.

"I don't think I'll outgrow it," Austin said. "Especially riding the unicycle — it's something I love to do."

He placed second at the Richmond's Got Talent show in 2009, and was first this past summer.

In 2009, he performed on a pogo stick and won his biggest applause with a tablecloth bit — yanking the place-setting from under various dishes, only to reveal as he walked away with his props that they were all permanently attached to his table.

This year, he performed his entire 10-minute routine on a unicycle.

"We've never liked our kids to spend too much time in front of the TV or on video games," said Ann Mayers, who has worked much of her life as an upholsterer and enjoys making costumes and puppets for their shows. "That's why he got the unicycle in the first place. He also got the pogo stick one year for Christmas, and the next year he got stilts. He has to spend as much time being active or practicing on them as he does at the computer."

Austin, a freshman this fall at Rocori High School, has other interests. He plays baseball, swims and is in track (pole vault) at school. Clowning sets him apart, though. He works one day each week with the Ringsmuth Riders, a local unicycling group, to improve his skill.

"The older people we entertain love kids — especially Austin," said Diane Eisert, who directs the River Clowns. "He likes the limelight, but he takes this stuff seriously. Our pastor, Denny Curran, once asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up. Austin said 'A clown.' "

Austin is available for special events. To contact him, call 597-3769.

JJuggle
2010-09-27, 11:16 AM
Crimefighting Amanda proves a 'wheel' whizz
20 September 2010
Express and Echo

TALENTED Amanda Gallacher is a one-woman crime fighter taking on the baddies singlehanded — as Britain's unicycling police officer.

Police Community Support Officer Amanda, 20, was crowned Europe's number one female unicyclist, and was once ranked third in the world.

But she is now a serving police officer, and spends her working life patrolling the streets of Cullompton.

She pounds her beat on foot, but off duty Amanda is pulling stunts and tearing up the streets on her one-wheeler.

In 2007 Amanda won the women's European Championships in Germany and in 2006 finished third best female at the World Championships in Switzerland.

Amanda says the unicycle stays at home when she is at work — but she recently gave a demonstration in uniform at a public event.

She said: "I never found it very difficult, and I don't think my sense of balance is better than anyone else's.

"In fact, I could never ride without hands on a bicycle. It is just that unicycling is something I love to do.

"It's something people think you do in the circus, but when I showed them what I could do they stopped thinking that.

"I got into it because I grew up in a small village and someone I knew got a unicycle. We all wanted a go and I really liked it, and found that I had a natural ability. Unfortunately I've had an ankle injury, so I've not been able to do much recently — and at 20 I'm getting a bit old for unicycling."

Amanda used her unicycle while in full police uniform when the Tour of Britain cycle race passed through Cullompton last week. She jumped on her onewheeler's saddle and performed some tricks — including jumping over an officer lying in the road.

PCSO Adrian Legg, her colleague at the Cullompton neigh-bourhood team, said: "I asked Amanda to come back to Devon so that we could perform a warm-up act before the professionals came through.

"Amanda was only too happy to help, and she performed a fantastic array of tricks, much to the appreciation of the waiting schoolchildren. "At one time she even had me playing the role of a sleeping policeman in the middle of the road. She couldn't resist showing off the skills that once made her number one British unicyclist."

Amanda has been an officer in Cullompton since July 2009, but is due to move to the Isle of Wight, and is transferring to Hampshire Police.

In 2006 she took part in the Unicycle World Championships in Switzerland and finished third best female in a field of 900 competitors from 24 countries around the world.

She was also crowned Europe's best female in 2007 after taking part in three disciplines — freestyle, trials and high jump.

BUB
2010-09-27, 12:42 PM
Do you know if Josh is back riding MTB after Carpal Tunnel?

I may have it and I just wanted to know. I am a Muni rider and am just preparing myself if I have to give up the one wheel, that which I love.
BUB

Klaas Bil
2010-09-27, 03:39 PM
The unicycle laying across the front steps, not to mention...Rafael, I'm pretty sure I've seen this article posted before, and probably even multiple times. Is it from different sources, or what?

Klaas Bil
2010-09-27, 03:43 PM
"...at 20 I'm getting a bit old for unicycling."
Great article, except the quoted phrase. What a misconception!

MT High
2010-09-30, 09:21 AM
The Australian Mountain Bike magazine published this article about muni recently:

http://www.andharris.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/BK0910p042_MUNI.pdf

The pictures were taken at Lysterfield Park in Melbourne.

I love muni;)

Klaas Bil
2010-09-30, 12:55 PM
The text from above article is copied below, to preserve it before AMB deletes the online version.

Unmaking the mountain bike
words and photography Andrew Harris
Australian Mountain Bike, September 2010

Wherever 34-year-old Matt Thomas goes for an on-road training ride, he stops traffic. People pull over and hoot. They roll down their windows and yell. Passing dames look back over their shoulders. But when he hits the trails, people are truly dumbstruck – you just get that little bit more attention, when you’re riding a unicycle.
Mountain biking, for many of us, is challenging enough on two wheels. But on one? When I saw Matt’s riding buddy. 38-year-old Andrew McPhee ahead of me on the trail at Lysterfield Lake Park just before Christmas 2009, I was thought I was pushing myself too hard and was convinced I was seeing things.
It seemed to me that someone was standing by the side of the trail with half a bike in hand, letting other riders past. I stopped, and saw that instead he had a fat-tyred unicycle, and a knowing grin. “I was a bad boy this year,” he told me. “Santa only gave me half a bike.”
Curious as to how he got by with such minimal equipment, I asked him to ride ahead of me, which he did, arms flailing wildly all the way; his legs pumping overtime, one hand gripping at his crotch, Michael Jackson-style. All this oddness had my interest piqued, and I arranged to meet up with him for a chat. He asked Matt along for a shoot and a gasbag.
First off, we had to get the nomenclature right. If it’s only got one wheel, it’s not a ‘bike’, it’s a ‘uni’, and if it’s an offroad-ready unicycle, it’s a ‘muni’. Andrew tells me he’s been told ‘muni’ might mean something rude in Greek
(Ed. It actually does, I just looked it up). He persists with the terminology because that’s what everyone else calls it. Matt got into one-wheeling after his dad built him a set of stilts as a kid – a unicycle was the obvious next step, he reckons. Two decades of unicycling later, Matt found himself mountain biking, and one more obvious step later, combined his two interests. That was four years ago. Andrew’s been riding muni a couple of years longer. He took it up after running a marathon, and deciding there must be a more entertaining way to get fit. And get down to the shops. This kind of logic must be unique to unicyclists. He says it took him a year to learn properly, after picking up some basic tips on the web. One trick was to use a wheelie bin to hold on to, while learning how to balance properly. Matt’s learners’ tip is to start in a narrow corridor, where you can reach both walls for emergency stabilisation. “If you’re interested, have a crack at it,” Andrew says. “If you can go for a ride it’s a bit of an achievement…and it’s a bit less gear to lug around.”
The two met out playing unicycle hockey at the Melbourne Museum (last Sunday of the month at 2pm), and then met again at uni rides along the Warburton Rail Trail and Melbourne’s Eastlink Freeway, before it opened to motorised traffic (is there anyway these munis can’t go?).
According to Matt, the Victorian scene is booming in the goldfields town of Castlemaine, where monthly rides see ten to fifteen municyclists. The Castlemaine phenomenon is a consequence of the local Rudolph Steiner School featuring unicycling on its curriculum. Presumably, when a pogo of munis chance upon a biker on the trail, the twowheeler is the curiosity.
Sydney, however is Australian muni central, linking in with Wollongong and Newcastle; Brisbane has a small scene. “Darwin used to be huge,” Matt says. “There were some people up there who used to run classes for some of the communities around Darwin, and they were actually going to have the international championships there, but that died off.” The Apple Isle, too, and South Australia also have small scenes, as does the ACT. Over west, they haven’t cottoned on yet. Matt describes the muni crew as a small but enthusiastic community, where everyone seems to know each other. “It’s a good break from work and stuff,” he says. “It gives you a sense of inner peace.”
Andrew’s muni hails from Open Road Cycles (www.openroadcycles.com.au), while Matt’s is concocted from imported and local bits – his wheel was built by Kaos Custom Bikes (www. kaoscustombikes.com.au). A Thomson seatpost, Kris Holm cranks and Straitline BMX pedals complete the fit-out.
Before we get heavily into discussing muni equipment, there’s one name that regularly crops up – Vancouver-based Kris Holm. The man is at once the Chris King and Hans Rey of the one-wheel world. His eponymous brand is ynonymous with superlative quality and cutting-edge design, while his technical skill and daring on the trail are legendary.
Andrew’s bike is a 29-inch Kris Holm (www. krisholm.com) with a chromoly frame, and a 2.1- inch Maxxis Ignitor (running at about 45psi) keeps Andrew anchored. Dyno BMX pedals are mated with splined alloy cranks, essential for maximum strength. As Andrew delicately puts it, “If your cranks or your axle breaks, your seatpole goes straight up ya. That’s something I wanted to avoid.”
Which brings us to the saddle – muni saddles ain’t no leather armchairs. Andrew’s Kris Holm saddle curves up at the front and up at the back and dips in the middle like a shallow half-pipe. The snug concavity does keep you onboard, if uncomfortable. “My mother-in-law is a little worried,” Andrew admits. “She keeps saying, ‘You should make a deposit before you next go for a ride,’ and, ‘Are you thinking of my grandchildren?’”
Matt’s muni is built around a seriously strong wheel, featuring a 26-inch Surly Large Marge rim with a three-inch tyre (running at around 25psi), Kris Holm hub and large-gauge spokes. It’s fitted to a Surly steel frame and a Thomson seatpost, with a comfy Nimbus (a muni brand) saddle. Both munis have brake-cable routing and calliper lugs, though both have opted to go brake-free. If necessary, a shoe-sole can be applied to the tyre.
Unicycle hubs are very similar to what you’d find on an oh-so-trendy fixie or track bike. It’s important for the rider not to have a freewheel, so as to maintain full control. This is why unicyclists tend to pedal like crazy. Though many are actually crazy. Geared hubs are available, though they’re pricey, made by Swiss company Schlumpf in conjunction with Kris Holm.
Andrew says that confounded mountain bikers are positive in the main, if morbidly curious about the prospect of a fall. “Most people are really cool. If there’s fast guys, you get off when you can.” Others, more curious, will drop in behind Andrew for a closer look. “They’ll watch you till you fall off, and then go past.” He’s even competed in a couple of Anaconda adventure races, and been graciously supported by the organisers. He’s a bit slower; 30km takes four hours.
Matt, on the other hand, rode his unicycle in 2009 over 300km from Nairobi, Kenya to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, with cycle tour outfit Escape Adventures (www.escapeadventures.co.nz). This he did on his 36-inch uni (Matt’s also got four-, eight and twelve-foot ‘giraffe’ unicycles), cruising at around 20 km/h. Touring bikes tend to feature a pair of tiny handles, jutting out front of the saddle. Needless to say, a group of unicyclists (and a recumbent, for good measure), were a strangely amusing sight to behold on the gravel backroads of East Africa.
In terms of riding clobber, municyclists tend to wear much the same as mountain bikers; when I meet him, Matt is wearing knee-shin guards too, primarily because of his carnivorous BMX pedals – clipless are a little too risky, though some particularly fearless municyclists have attempted to use them, resulting in tragicomic faceplants, and occasionally, in the case of 36-inchers a crotch-crushing transition to the tread. Stacks generally tend to be less severe, as the muni can’t really be ridden at the same speed as a freewheeling bike, though Andrew’s still managed a botched landing and a broken ankle. Decent air is still eminently possible with one wheel. Basic technique involves keeping the seatpost as vertical as possible. This is achieved by slight shifts in weight and by modulating your cadence. Hopping obstacles is done by gripping the front of the saddle; balance is maintained by the earlier-mentioned arm flailing, like “trying to land a plane, or something.”
Matt and Andrew can generally take the same lines as mountain bikers, but tend to rail berms slightly lower, and pogo over and down larger obstacles, rather than clear them entirely. Both municyclists have plans to attend more events, and to partake of bigger and better rides alongside their two-wheeled kin.
Andrew preaches munity between mountain bikers and muni-ers: “I see us together, as people who just like going for a ride, just at different speeds on different vehicles.” And next time I see him on the trail, I won’t see half a bike, I’ll see one complete municycle.

(PHOTO CAPTIONS and other auxiliary text:)
======================
Main. There’s a little more to think about on a muni - how would you get over a log with no freewheel, no brakes, and one wheel? Above. Shin protection is highly recommended. Flat pedals are the safe option too. Below. A fat rim ensures a broad, stable tyre profile. Minimise your riding equipment and join the municycle revolution.
======================
Right (from top) You’ll want a tough set of cranks - a breakage isn’t worth thinking about. If you see a muni on the trail, respect is optional. Matt and Andrew... they’ve almost got one bike between them. The saddles aren’t exactly gonad-friendly but they’re built for balance.
======================
Four steps to muni madness
1) For an off-the-rack muni, go to unicycle.com.au
2) Or for something fancy or something custom, check out kaoscustombikes.com.au
3) Then head to unicycle.org.au and hook up with some riders
4) And search for ‘Kris Holm’ on Youtube for some inspiration, or unplannedismounts.com for a local take.
======================
“if your cranks or your axle breaks, your seatpole goes straight up ya!”

Klaas Bil
2010-09-30, 01:00 PM
The Australian Mountain Bike magazine published this article about muni recently:

http://www.andharris.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/BK0910p042_MUNI.pdf

The pictures were taken at Lysterfield Park in Melbourne.

I love muni;)
Great article, notwithstanding the occasional glitch (like applying a shoe-sole on the tyre for braking if you have no regular brake - or do they do that in Australia?). And outstanding photography. MUni is properly portrayed as the mature sport it is.

steveyo
2010-10-04, 12:18 AM
This was an article (http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2010/06/black-fly-challenge-on-your-mark-get.html) which appeared prior to a MTB race (http://blackflychallenge.wordpress.com/) I rode this past June, but I never saw the article before today. The uni references are in the first few sentences. The comment from the race organizer is very cool to see.

Here's the text:

With the name like the Black Fly Challenge, the Central Adirondacks' premiere bike race does not exactly encourage spectators.

That's a pity, because this year may prove more interesting than most. Among the expected 300 participants is expected to be riders of a three-person bicycle and a unicyclist.

That's right -- a man (presumably -- one assumes women would have more sense) and a single wheel, riding dirt and paved roads for 40 miles.

"That whole unicycling thing has taken off," said race co-organizer Ted Christodaro of the Inlet store Pedals and Petals.

The Black Fly Challenge engenders this sort of tomfoolery. While some racers may take it seriously, others are just in it for a good time. The ride is 40 miles of paved and unpaved roads with no technical challenges to speak of, aside from a few medium-size hills. It's a grand welcome to the summer cycling season in the North Country.

The race has changed somewhat from the days it was solely a mountain bike event. These days, so many people ride it on cyclocross bike -- downhill frames and wheels with knobby tires, used for all-terrain races in the fall -- that organizers created a separate category.

The cyclocross riders have the advantage, since they have larger wheels and get more distance with each crank of the pedal. However, those skinny tires are also more susceptible to flat tires -- which means the rider becomes victim to the inevitable bug bites.

When I rode the race two years ago (without a flat tire, I might add), I found that the only bugs that bothered me were the few that slipped down between the vents in my helmet. Forward-thinking cyclists might consider taping strips of bug netting to seal up the holes. Or just ride harder and hope for the best.

It was the bystanders who seemed to get bugs the worst. The volunteers along the plains, where the heart of the race takes place, either wore full-jacket bug nets or suffered the swatting of the damned.

Still, the race is worth catching, for those who don't already plan to take part. This year it starts from Inlet, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 12, and ends in Indian Lake.

"With so many races in the books, there’s no shortage of wild stories from 'out there in the Plains,' the organizers say on their web site. "Bikes have crossed the Finish Line with no seat, flat tires, broken rims and even on the shoulder of a few determined competitors."

While some were apparently worried the race might not take place due to the state's threatened closure of the Moose River Plains area, Christodaro says that never would have happened anyway because the state had already issued a permit for the race and had planned to honor it.

Anyway, the plains are open, the road is in good shape and the black flies are waiting. Let the pedaling begin!

For more information on the Black Fly Challenge, click here.

uniShark
2010-10-04, 11:40 PM
That's right -- a man (presumably -- one assumes women would have more sense) and a single wheel, riding dirt and paved roads for 40 miles.


You should add that to your signature line!

tholub
2010-10-11, 04:55 PM
http://www.sbsun.com/ci_14904804

An article on the incomparable Donut Man (formerly Foster's Donuts) shop in Glendora, CA, with a bit about the annual unicycle pilgrimage from Harvey Mudd College, 8.7 smoggy LA miles away.


Among the most devoted fans are a club of unicyclists from Harvey Mudd College.

In an April tradition that began in 1980, a small group of students and alumni will pedal their one-wheeled bikes 8.7 miles from Claremont to Glendora, a journey that takes four hours, simply for a complimentary strawberry doughnut and beverage from an impressed Nakano.


(These are mostly casual unicyclists on 24" wheels; obviously these days, 8.7 miles doesn't seem like as much as it did in 1980.)

JJuggle
2010-10-14, 12:16 PM
On balance, one wheel is twice the fun, say riders
By Claire Low
1 October 2010
Canberra Times

Nick Vevers, a unicyclist since early childhood, can roll with the best of them. The one-wheel enthusiast and president of the Australian Unicycle Society was hooked on the quirky machines after a relative built him one. He says he adores the unicycle because ''it's unlimited in what you can do''. ''There's something for everyone any level, any age, anyone can do it. It's a relatively safe sport.'' He and his fellow unicyle enthusiasts , performed their dangerous-looking tricks for a lunchtime crowd at Garema Place yesterday. They are in town for the Unicycle Nationals, which end on Monday. Enthusiasts will compete in freestyle, hockey, basketball, skills testing and track events to be staged at the AIS, Tuggeranong Basketball Centre and Mt Stromlo. Publicity officer Rob Armstrong has been a unicyclist for a year and a half. ''It turns a short ride into a long, fun ride,'' he says.

''The perception is it is dangerous, but when you fall off one of these, you generally fall away from the unicycle and often land on your feet.'' Confident riders even discard helmets and padding when riding casually but don protective gear for hockey and off-road rides. Novice riders usually start by holding on to someone for support, but might eventually progress to tricks, including spins, flips and rail riding, similar to a skateboarding. Advanced unicyclists might ride a ''giraffe', a taller novelty unicycle they must jump-mount. The circus performer stereotype is one that irritates Mr Armstrong, who says unicycling is great exercise. ''You get a lot of that. The association with juggling is a bit annoying. You can do so much more on these. It's mostly just fun on one wheel.'' Teenage rider Jacqueline Coleman loves freestyle, a sport she compares with ice dancing or ballet. Freestyle is unicycle tricks set to music, complete with costumes. Competitors may perform as individuals or in pairs or groups. She said she had once cycled to Surfin' USA by the Beach Boys, pretending she had a surfboard.

JJuggle
2010-10-14, 12:17 PM
Kevin freewheels to title
Kate Dodd too.intern@thechronicle.com.au
15 October 2010
The Chronicle (Toowoomba)

City unicyclist keeps his top ranking

HE'S done it again.

Toowoomba's unicycle champion Kevin Wharton, 18, has taken out the Australian Unicycle Championships for the second successive year.

The national trials took place earlier in the month, from October 1- 4 in Canberra.

The four trials of the competition required Mr Wharton to complete 35 obstacles in a set time limit of three hours.

Mr Wharton finished all but one obstacle in just an hour and a half and spent the rest of the time limit trying to finish the last one.

“It took a while,” he said. “I stacked it a few times.”

He said the competition was pretty close and he and another competitor from New South Wales had to participate in a tie-breaker.

The tie-breaker involved the judges picking a line and whoever was the first to finish, won the competition.

Mr Wharton now has another trophy to add to his growing collection.

He took out second place in the international Extreme Unicycling Championships in France in August last year, a landmark event in the international unicycling calendar.

He has also unicycled down Table Top Mountain in 2008 when he was 16.

He has been unicycling for five years, becoming interested in the sport that his dad and brother enjoyed.

Even a few of his friends unicycle.

“It's a pretty big sport in Toowoomba,” he said.

Mr Wharton doesn't have any more competitions planned for the rest of the year after defending his title at the championships.

He has a number of videos posted on the video sharing website YouTube that show his impressive unicycling skills, including a video of his ride down Table Top Mountain.

The videos can be seen at www.youtube.com/kidmuni

JJuggle
2010-10-27, 12:12 PM
ONE-WHEELED FUN ALL THE RAGE AT VICTORY
27 October 2010
The Nelson Mail (NZ)

Eleven-year-old Connor Cleary wants a unicycle so much that he might just cut his normal bike in half.

The unicycle craze has swept Victory Primary School, with management buying 13 to help satisfy the demand.

Assistant principal Mike Rankin said that more than anything, it was something the children were allowed to do at school. They are not allowed to ride bikes or skateboards.

"With unicycles, though, you don't need a helmet and you are not likely to hurt yourself. You can stay in control."

Connor, Hayden Kotua, 10, and Isaiah Edmonds, 11, were among the first to catch on. Now they can bunny hop down steps and do 360-degree spins.

"It's fun and you can show off," said Hayden. "I'm going to get one of my own but they are quite expensive."

"I think I might just cut my bike in half," said Connor.

The pupils showcased their talents at the recent Masked Parade, where they cycled in a line.

JJuggle
2010-10-27, 12:13 PM
Wheelie good
CONNOR BYRNE
27 October 2010
Darwin Palmerston Sun

LESS is more for two Darwin unicyclists who firmly agree that one wheel is better than two.

Joseph Baronio, 12, of Leanyer, and Josh Ingrames, 25, Malak, have recently returned from the Australian Unicycle Championships in Canberra with a hoard of wins.

They are members of the Cyclone Circus, which train with the Corrugated Iron Youth Arts circus workshop program.

Ingrames won the novice trials, and was third in both the 4x100 relay and the 5km race.

Baronio had more winning ribbons than he could count, including first places in the under 14 obstacle, 50m backward, 50m one-footed, standard skills and forward slowboard events.

The one-wheeled star was second in the wheel walk, the 100m, 500m and the 5km race. He took third in the 400m and the flat lane.

There were between 50 and 60 competitors, including a third NT competitor from Katherine.

The NT competitors were short of players for the interstate unicycle hockey tournament, so 'had to recruit a couple of randoms' to make a team. However they failed to feature on the podium.

Baronio said he won his stash of ribbons by doing plenty of training.

"It took a lot of practice and dedication," he said.

"I was practicing every day for a while."

Ingram said his interest in unicycling was sparked as a kid when the circus came through Katherine.

"I've been trying to ride since I was 15," he said.

"When the unicycle nationals were in Darwin in 2005, I realised I could do more.

"No-one can just jump on it riding it is hard.

"Mostly, when you fall off, you land on your feet, I hardly ever get hurt, but the gloves get a good workout.

"Hopefully, we'll het a few more up-and-comings to the champs next year."

Ingrames said unicycling is a good workout for the abs, legs and lower back, and that it improves the sense of balance.

The lads reckon a unicycle could cost between $100 and $1000, and they refer to push bikes as 'training wheels'.

Circus classes are organised by Corrugated Iron Youth Arts in Nightcliff, phone 8948 3200 for details.

TheRhino
2010-10-27, 12:44 PM
This article came out on Sunday Oct. 24th regarding the charity event,"One Wheel, One Day, One Hundred Miles" put on for my paralyzed brother, Gary Mueller.

http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/6/article/40135/

Fundraising still continues, and the website is: www.rideforgary.com

44439

Mainly due to an unexpected extended visit with my brother at the hospital, I didn't reach my goal that day. However, this Friday Oct. 29th, I will do a new 100 mile attempt on a bike path (no firetruck escort this time, and no cars to contend with). I'm confident I will do the 100 on Friday, then I can finally put my name on the century list! Also, I have to complete my stated goal, and all those shirts have to be validated!

44440

Pseudonym
2010-10-27, 04:03 PM
That's a shame. Good luck with the ride on Friday and raising your goal.

What distance did you manage?

TheRhino
2010-10-30, 09:22 AM
On the 23rd my total mileage was only 53 miles. It was very frustrating to not make the goal on that day (starting an hour late, at 8am, and then taking a four-hour long break not a good idea).

I feel much better today, after completing the ride yesterday,(Fri. Oct. 29th).
Final stats are: 102 miles, 10 hrs 51 minutes pedalling time, average speed 9.4 mph. I guess the next step would be to do the 100 in less than 10 hours? I need to pick an area with less elevation change next time for sure.

JJuggle
2010-11-11, 01:09 PM
WE HAD A WHEEL OF A TIME
5 November 2010
Evening Gazette

Unicycle club celebrates 10 years

A TROUPE of unicyclists have had a wheely good time celebrating their 10th anniversary.

Juggling Unicycling Stockton-on-Tees (JUST) was formed 10 years ago and to celebrate, the club -which has 220 members - held a unicycle ceilidh.

Cyclists descended on the Swan Hotel in Billingham to dance on their unicycles to music performed by Blind Stag.

Rachael Devereux, a club member for three-and-a-half years, said: "It was a really good night - we had a brilliant time."

The 25-year-old from Fairfield goes to the club with husband Stephen and dad Ged Hall. She said: "Unicycling is really addictive. At first you think you'll never be able to do it - it looks impossible, but it's really good fun."

The club attracts a wide range of people from age eight all the way up to 76.

Club founder, Paul Tasker, pictured inset, said: "The club has a nice family atmosphere, people bring their kids and get involved."

JUST was founded in 2000 after a group called Circus Skills 2000 took part in the Stockton Riverside Festival.

Paul himself got involved with the group after taking his son John along.

The 57-year-old from Norton, said: "After that people stayed interested and continued."

So the club started meeting at the Stockton United Reformed Church but now the club has around 90 people attending so it has had to move to Billingham Campus School.

And the club, which is the largest in the UK, has had a number of its members compete in world and national unicycle championships.

Paul himself competed at the World Unicycle Championships in Japan.

The dad-of-two, said: "I didn't imagine when we started that it would become as successful as this."

JUST also plays hockey matches and recently won the British Unicycle Hockey Championships.

Paul, a social work manager for Middlesbrough Council, said: "We've achieved a lot in the last 10 years and we're looking forward to the next 10." ¶ To find out more about the club logon to www.justonline.org.uk Visit our website for more pictures

JJuggle
2010-11-11, 01:10 PM
Trio cycles for Hope
12 November 2010
Noosa News

Nothing unifies a family like a road trip.

But the Flanagans tomorrow will take a peculiarly singular approach to be as one on their unicycle jaunt through the Noosa hinterland.

The three-wheel family affair will double as a fundraiser for the Hope for Himalayan Kids charity.

From 7am dad Andrew, mum Wendy and son Rohan will mount up at Cooran and set off without safety nets for Pomona to alight and collect donations.

After their break they will attract attention by unicycling to Cooroy. A family spokesperson said for Andrew and Wendy the ride would end there, but for 18-year-old Rohan “this is just the beginning”.

“This ride will signal the beginning of his two-month unicycling adventure in Nepal as a youth ambassador for Hope for Himalayan Kids,'' the spokesperson said.

“He leaves for Nepal at the end of the month with his unicycle and his big smile to assist Hope for Himalayan Kids on the ground.”

The spokesperson said Rohan would be the first known unicyclist to ride many Nepal locations. These include the Pokhara Peace pagoda with the beautiful Himalayas as his backdrop and the Monkey Temple in Kathmandu.

“Rohan is travelling to Nepal to raise awareness of how poverty affects the children of Nepal,” the spokesperson said.

“He is committed to make the change he wants to see in the world and has joined the Trek 4 Hope challenge of ending poverty in Nepal one child at a time.”

On Saturday in Pomona the Flanagans will sell raffle tickets in a draw for a German QU-AX 20 unicycle, which comes with five free lessons.

Rohan has been building support for his quest via his blog, rohan-trek4hope.blogspot.com.

“The support I have received since my last post has been absolutely fantastic,” one entry read. “I can't wait to get to Nepal and see the difference I'm making.”

turtle
2010-11-16, 06:07 PM
Frontpage (ok it's a local paper...):

scott ttocs
2010-11-19, 06:35 AM
OK, this one is strange. Here is a financial report by Ernst and Young with unicyclist on the cover. Is it a picture of Kris Holm? There are a few more pictures of the unicyclist scattered in the report.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372994,00.asp

Scott

Klaas Bil
2010-11-19, 08:29 AM
OK, this one is strange. Here is a financial report by Ernst and Young with unicyclist on the cover. Is it a picture of Kris Holm? There are a few more pictures of the unicyclist scattered in the report.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372994,00.asp

ScottI don't see a unicyclist. And... a financial report on pcmag.com? Is your url correct?

scott ttocs
2010-11-19, 03:01 PM
Here is the correct link:

http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/2010-global-hedge-fund-survey/$FILE/Hedge%20fund%20survey_v14%20FINAL.pdf

I have no idea where I got the other one.

genbirch
2010-11-19, 06:41 PM
Here is an online uni article from the Twin Cities, Minnesota from last weekish.

http://thelinemedia.com/features/unicycles111010.aspx

uniShark
2010-11-19, 08:12 PM
I thought this post by BillyTheMountain should also appear here.
http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1407664&postcount=20

Lawsuit nothing to laugh at as circus performer files $3 million suit over summons for unicycling

BY JOHN MARZULLI
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Friday, November 19th 2010, 4:00 AM



Rosier for News
Kyle Peterson, 26, shows off some of his tricks in Coney Island. Cops weren't so appreciative when he rode his unicycle on a sidewalk.
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A circus performer slapped with a summons for riding his unicycle on a Brooklyn sidewalk is suing some cops for acting like a bunch of clowns.

Kyle Peterson, a trained acrobat who has performed in the Big Apple Circus, was pulled over at 3 a.m. on Dec. 4, 2007, on Classon Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant by NYPD officers in plainclothes, he claims in legal papers filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Peterson, 26, contends he was legally riding his unicycle on the sidewalk - and it appears the New York City administrative code backs him up.

The cops asked him to hand over identification, and he was detained "for approximately 30 minutes in the dead of winter while the summons was written," the complaint says.



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/brooklyn/2010/11/19/2010-11-19_files_3m_suit_over_summons_for_unicycling_on_bklyn_sidewalk_wotta_boz o.html#ixzz15lEULqNj

Klaas Bil
2010-11-19, 08:14 PM
Here is an online uni article from the Twin Cities, Minnesota from last weekish.

http://thelinemedia.com/features/unicycles111010.aspx
Or saved for eternity:

One-wheelin': The Twin Cities are a Mecca for urban unicyclists
Chris Steller
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You've heard the bikers' adage "Four wheels bad, two wheels good," adapted from a sheep's bleat in George Orwell's novel Animal Farm. Unicyclists sometimes reduce the math of that maxim to "Two wheels bad, one wheel good."

Most unicyclists aren't as exclusive or moralistic as the saying suggests; they also ride bicycles and even own cars. But there is something special about unicycling, according to local enthusiasts who say they find cruising or cavorting atop a single, whirring wheel to be an unmatched form of exercise, an irreducible thrill, and an unparalleled mode of commuting.

Their ranks may be tiny compared to the legions who last spring put Minneapolis on the map as the nation's best bike city, according to Bicycling magazine's reckoning. Yet the small but influential local unicycling community has also put the Twin Cities on the one-wheel world map.

Some are lone wolves who rack up thousands of miles in the saddles of their big wheels, crisscrossing the urban street grid and circumnavigating city lakes. Many are members of the Twin Cities Unicycle Club (TCUC) who gather for group rides or to teach each other tricks in snowbound gymnasiums.

Minnesota a Mecca

Consider that all 12 people who have mastered skills up to Level 10--unicycling's black belt--have come from the Twin Cities club, which offers rides, classes and practice sessions most days of the week. The national championships that the TCUC hosted last year were an occasion for one East Coast commenter to lament at Unicyclist.com, "Why does it seem like there are more unicycle riders and activities in Minnesota than anywhere else in the US?" In international circles, Minnesota is considered something of a unicycling Mecca.

"Unicycling is still small enough that you can experience the worldwide culture," says Constance Cotter, who last month was elected TCUC president. "I can go anywhere in the world and stay on someone's couch, even though I've never met them. I don't know very many bicyclists [who can say that]."

Cotter (who says she doesn't own any two-wheeled contraptions) is also president of the Unicycle Society of America and executive vice president of the International Unicycle Federation (IUF). (The IUF's current president, Ryan Woessner, got his training from Cotter at the TCUC.)

A Family Affair

Perhaps more significantly, Cotter comes from a well-known unicycling clan based in Hutchinson, Minn., where her brother Andy, another unicycle overachiever, farms and hosts off-road unicycle events. Another relative, Joe Lind (whom Cotter calls a cousin-in-law), recently opened the Twin Cities' first storefront unicycle shop, Compulsion Cycle, in the West Seventh neighborhood of St. Paul.

Indeed, unicycling often spreads within families, across generations. Currently the TCUC boasts more than 100 enrolled families to fill a roster of more than 300 individual members. The club encourages people of different ages to mix and share skills, says Cotter: "Kids teach adults. Teens teach each other."

That was the case for Gus Dingemans, who started riding unicycles 12 years ago at age 48, alongside his son, Max, then 12. "We learned pretty much evenly," Dingemans says. Max now teaches unicycling at Circus Juventas in St. Paul, and the elder Dingemans, a bike mechanic-turned-bus driver and self-described tinkerer, crafts unicycles for sale at his home in Minneapolis' Prospect Park neighborhood. He has built nearly 100 unicycles, but these days specializes in manufacturing handles that allow long-distance big-wheel riders to shift weight from their seats to their arms.

Big Wheel Keep On Turnin'

But the urge to ride on one wheel didn't come to Dan Hansen via bloodlines. The northeast Minneapolis resident says his compulsion came by way of a chance, high-speed encounter a decade ago.

"One day on my way to work I was just stepping off my stair onto the sidewalk and this young woman goes blasting by in front of my house on this enormous unicycle," Hansen recalls. "My jaw dropped. I had never seen anything like it."

Indeed, big-wheel unicycles had then been on the market only a short time. The Coker Tire Company of Chattanooga, Tenn., a manufacturer of specialty tires for classic-car collectors, introduced the first unicycle with a 36-inch wheel in 1998. Hansen called around town in search of a cycle with a single big wheel, but "Cokers" weren't yet in local stores. So he made do with an old 24-inch unicycle (dredged from the basement of the newly opened One on One Bicycle Studio [see the accompanying feature] in Minneapolis' Warehouse District) until he found a used Coker on eBay.

Now Hansen rides a 36-incher nearly every day, year-round. He says a unicycle performs better than a bicycle in most winter weather, providing a highly responsive ride with a more direct connection to the road. And it's simply the best workout experience available, in his view.

Hansen is also an early adopter of the latest innovation in one-wheeled transport: geared unicycles. Riders kick it up a notch with a foot-controlled gear changer, allowing previously unheard-of speeds approaching 30 miles per hour. "When I'm out on the trails, people [on bikes] don't typically pass me--unless they have Lycra," he says.

Hansen put the innovation to the test two years ago at Ride the Lobster, the world's first and so far only multi-day, staged unicycle race--like the Tour de France, but in Nova Scotia and on one wheel. (The half-dozen Minnesotans who participated in Ride the Lobster included Irene Genelin, the young woman who rode by Hansen's house that fateful day and who is now married to Andy Cotter.)

But Hansen figures he could count the number of regular big-wheel riders in Minneapolis and St. Paul on both of his (free) hands. "It seems to minimize the big-wheel unicycle movement to say there are so few, but really, nationally or internationally, it's getting to be a fairly big thing," he says. "It's been around for a really short time. Germany is the big country right now."

Nationally, Hansen looks west for a simpatico scene. "Portland, [Ore.], has a weird group called Unicycle Bastards. They're a rough bunch," he says admiringly of a group that specializes in sporadic off-road and off-color shenanigans, even if mostly on smaller wheels. "It's some of that rough bike culture but put on a unicycle. That kind of rough-and-tumble unicycle culture here would be really great. It doesn't exist."

Unicycling to Work

The 36-inch-unicycle revolution has opened up a new world of commuting to one-wheel riders. Gus Dingemans often commutes downtown to Metro Transit, a regular ride that helped him hit the 12,000-mile mark last summer. An inveterate record-keeper, he says he logged 101 commutes this year before retiring his unicycle for the winter.

Eagan resident Bob Clark followed plowed, suburban bike trails to keep up a year-round big-wheel commute for three years until his employer, Cray Inc., moved to downtown St. Paul, increasing his one-way trip from five to 12.5 miles. He now relies on a bicycle to get to work but still takes his one-wheeler on occasion. "I like beating the heat/cold/snow/rain, especially on a unicycle," he says.

Hansen needs his pickup for work most days, but takes his unicycle out on the equivalent of a daily work-commute anyway. "I tell you, the greatest amenity of a city are these roadways that go everywhere," he says. "There's tar every place. You could think of it as a horrible drawback to city living--a concrete jungle. Or you can consider it a gigantic playground for vehicles like bicycles or unicycles. It's like, I can go any place I want."

The fat wheels on his 36-inch unicycle handle urban bumps and potholes with aplomb, and the lack of wide handlebars lets him maneuver through tight city spots that bicyclists shy away from.

"I feel like the city is basically a playground for unicycles and there are only a few of us who actually use it," Hansen says. "It's so incredible."

Chris Steller is the former Development Editor of The Line.


Photos, top to bottom:

Dan Hansen on his monster one-wheeler

Hansen's 36-inch unicycle can handle all the challenges of urban cycling.

Constance Cotter leads a unicycling class at Jenny Lind Elementary School in North Minneapolis.

Cotter's class getting the hang of one-wheeling

The Twin Cities Unicycle Club offers classes like Cotter's all year round.

All photos by Bill Kelley

uniShark
2010-11-19, 08:14 PM
(Here's the full text for preservation)

Lawsuit nothing to laugh at as circus performer files $3 million suit over summons for unicycling

BY John Marzulli
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Friday, November 19th 2010, 4:00 AM

Kyle Peterson, 26, shows off some of his tricks in Coney Island. Cops weren't so appreciative when he rode his unicycle on a sidewalk.

A circus performer slapped with a summons for riding his unicycle on a Brooklyn sidewalk is suing some cops for acting like a bunch of clowns.

Kyle Peterson, a trained acrobat who has performed in the Big Apple Circus, was pulled over at 3 a.m. on Dec. 4, 2007, on Classon Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant by NYPD officers in plainclothes, he claims in legal papers filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Peterson, 26, contends he was legally riding his unicycle on the sidewalk - and it appears the New York City administrative code backs him up.

The cops asked him to hand over identification, and he was detained "for approximately 30 minutes in the dead of winter while the summons was written," the complaint says.

Whether the cops read the section that prohibits bicycle riding on the sidewalk is unknown - but maybe they should.

The code defines a bicycle as a "two- or three-wheeled device" propelled by human power - that's at least one wheel more than a unicycle has, the suit says.

Peterson claims the cops also taunted him for riding the unicycle and at one point "began singing circus music" at him, the suit says.

The summons was promptly dismissed. Peterson is demanding $3 million in damages for the violation of his constitutional rights.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said, "For beleaguered pedestrians, they prefer circus acts off the sidewalk and under a tent."

But the cops might be wising up: Peterson recently was busted again while riding on the sidewalk - and given a disorderly conduct ticket.

Former city Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner Sam Schwartz sided with the cops, even if the letter of the law is not on their side.

"I cannot condone unicycling, bicycling or tricycling by adults on the sidewalk," said Schwartz, who writes the Gridlock Sam column for the Daily News. "Unicycling - even by an expert - on the sidewalk is particularly dangerous."

Peterson could not be reached. In an interview with The News in August, he bragged about his expertise on the single wheelie.

"I do a lot of variety: spinning plates, cigar box juggling and ball juggling while on the bike," he said. "I'm really known for doing the jump rope on the unicycle."

Fortunately, he's not texting or talking on his cell phone.

jmarzulli@nydailynews.com

uniShark
2010-11-19, 08:18 PM
Here is the correct link:

http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/2010-global-hedge-fund-survey/$FILE/Hedge%20fund%20survey_v14%20FINAL.pdf

I have no idea where I got the other one.

Anybody know who the unicyclist is?

muck22
2010-11-21, 01:48 PM
probably KH?!

uniShark
2010-11-21, 07:55 PM
I just flipped through the gallery on his website, and although that shot is not there, the profile does look similar to other shots, not to mention the altitude. If it is him, I hope they got his permission (or would that make him a corporate sell-out? :confused: :eek: :D).

muni_guy
2010-12-02, 02:29 PM
A not so positive unicycle story from Australia's Herald Sun ...

Herald Sun
Teens in 1271m cliffhanger unicycle stunt
By Danielle McKay From: The Mercury December 02, 2010 11:23AM

A unicyclist on top of the observation station on Mt Wellington. Picture: Robert Bell. Source: The Mercury

Teens ride unicyle atop mountain Doctor snaps pics of dangerous stunt Police slam stunt as selfish

DAREDEVIL youths have been photographed skylarking on a unicycle within metres of Tasmania's deadly Mt Wellington cliffs.

Five teens were photographed atop the mountain's observation shelter just days ago, clowning around on the circus prop and kicking a soccer ball in World Cup advertisement style, The Mercury reported.

The unicyclists repeatedly circled the edge of the 10m high lookout and were seen losing balance and falling on to the roof several times.
The dangerous stunt comes less than 18 months after a Hobart university student was publicly criticised for using the lookout's roof as a skateboard ramp.

Police have labelled the youths selfish and issued a stern warning that the offenders and any copycats could be charged.

Inspector Glenn Woolley said: "They're not only putting their lives on the line but also emergency workers who have to rescue them and any onlookers who try to help when things go wrong. "And eventually they will go wrong. It's a dangerous act that's very selfish and immature."

Queensland doctor Robert Bell said it appeared the boys were showing off when he snapped the picture while checking out the views of Hobart on November 20 during a holiday.

Source (with picture): http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/teens-in-1271m-cliffhanger-unicycle-stunt/story-e6frf7jx-1225964437770

JJuggle
2010-12-14, 01:17 PM
Well, if anyone is paying attention, this article should get a few comments.

Opua School pedals to first prize
by Peter de Graaf
13 December 2010
Northern Advocate

Children at a Bay of Islands school have won a nationwide competition for inventing a new sport combining their two favourite pastimes - playing hockey and riding unicycles.

The new sport of unicycle hockey was invented by the kids of Opua School's Room 4 for a Newspapers in Education video challenge. The contest called on children nationwide to make a news clip reporting on a new sport for the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in India.

The entries were judged on the sport - including its flow, originality, appeal and teamwork - and the quality of the videography.

Tom Heapy, 10, who starred as the news anchor, said the win had stunned him. ``I was very surprised, and quite thrilled.'' Inventing the sport had been simple. ``We like unicycling and hockey - so we decided to combine them.''

Classmate Rebecca Gmuer Hornell, 10, listed some of the reasons for Opua's victory. ``We had a really good camera guy and Mrs Shortland [class teacher Barbara Shortland] is a really good director - and we practised our script for a whole weekend.''

The prizes of a video camera and Commonwealth Games bags and clothing were presented by Danyon Loader, an ambassador for the New Zealand Olympic Committee and one of the greatest swimmers New Zealand has produced. His medal haul includes two golds from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

In a speech to the children before announcing they had won the top prize, Loader said he had been ``useless'' when he started swimming. It was a training camp at the age of 12, then dedicating part of every day to swimming for 10 years that had made him a champion.

Becky Hare, of Newspapers in Education, said Opua's sport stood out for being ``completely outside the box'' and for its teamwork and participation. Those who could not ride a unicycle, for example, were still needed as ``pole people'' to help teammates up on to their wheels.

The video was also entertaining, well written and well thought out, she said.

Newspapers in Education runs in the Advocate every Tuesday.

To see Opua's winning video in the Year 4-6 category, go to www.nieonline.co.nz/nietv click on ``Your Views''. The Year 7-8 winner was Otumoetai Intermediate, Tauranga.

Klaas Bil
2010-12-14, 02:24 PM
LOL, they invented unicycle hockey. Someone should get a dvd of the 2010 UNICON hockey finals to these folks, they'd be in for a surprise. They came up with a fun way of starting the game though.

GizmoDuck
2010-12-14, 03:02 PM
Oh dear, if only they'd made it down to Unicon. We're not that far away

JJuggle
2011-01-03, 01:23 PM
MY VERY BRIEF CAREER AS A CIRCUS PERFORMER
3 January 2011
Manawatu Standard
© 2011 Fairfax New Zealand Limited. All Rights Reserved.

In the first of the Manawatu Standard's 'Give it a Go' series, reporter Bronwyn Torrie finds out that she's a natural at unicycling, but has a long way to go before she masters the art of rolling on one wheel. --------------------

Had I kept cranking the pedals on the one-pronged beast for another 30 minutes I would have tamed it, according to Palmerston North's unicycle master Steve Pavarno.

"It can take people up to 10 hours to learn. You must be a sporty type," he says as I grip the rail for dear life.

I have to admit, wobbling furiously on one wheel did not instil feelings of athleticism.

I felt like a carnie, minus the freakshow tattoos, piercings or clown costume.

My balance was out of kilter and my free arm kept flailing about.

It was awkward and slightly ridiculous, but once you start it's quite addictive - the geek in me had been unleashed.

This is clearly not how the cool kids roll, or do they?

More than a dozen daredevil unicyclists head down to Memorial Park most weekends to ride over the steel picnic tables, balance on the rail across the paddling pool and bounce their way along the steps, Steve tells me, as he pedals past.

Palmerston North Unicycling has about 30 members but Steve reckons there's about 100 people who unicycle around the city.

After mastering how to mount the single-wheeled contraption, I put both feet on the pedals and look down.

"It's a long way to fall," I wail as the wheel slingshots from under me.

Steve is quick to put the kibosh on that claim: "Nah, not really, look where your lower foot is."

"Oh" I reply sheepishly, before learning how to "rock" the pedals and keep my "pelvis straight like Elvis".

The cushy banana shaped seat is quite comfortable, but Steve, who rides up to 50km in one stint, tells me otherwise.

"You get a bit numb from the waist down sometimes. It's a guy thing."

After riding unicycles for 20 years, Steve decided to take his hobby to the next level in 2003.

He is now the operations manager for unicycle.com NZ and the main driver, or should that be rider, behind the local unicycling club.

After about 20 minutes and a lot of wobbling and shrieking I finally let go of the rail and quickly put both hands in the air. But my bravery is short lived and my hand darts back to safety.

I decide to finish my unicycling lesson on a high note, plus I was exhausted from the nerves.

I think I'll stick to the traditional two-wheeled bicycle.

z For more information go to www.unicycle.co.nz. Palmerston North Unicycling meets on Saturdays, next to the Memorial Park swimming pool at 10am.

scott ttocs
2011-01-07, 06:06 AM
Here is an article that discuss a new short film involving a Peck, Steward Alaska, and an ultimate wheel:

http://alaskadispatch.com/culture/arts/7725-movie-shows-seward-one-wheel-at-a-time

Scott

Rowan
2011-01-07, 07:44 AM
Me and Ben Sarten had an article in the daily news today after going for a ride yesterday to do some filming. They captured some elements of truth and sounded positive so I thought it was quite good.

Unicyclists peddle stunts to receptive crowd (http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/4518327/Unicyclists-peddle-stunts-to-receptive-crowd/)

A couple of tricksters on unicycles were wowing crowds with acrobatic stunts at Puke Ariki Landing yesterday.

New Plymouth residents Ben Sarten and Rowan Chivers have both been unicycling for more than 10 years.

Ben said he first got into unicycling when he was given one as a Christmas present.

"I'm a slow learner but after 12 years I think I've become all right at it," Ben said.

To become a skilled unicyclist required a lot of practice and the development of certain muscles, he said.

"Persistence is the key to it."

Rowan said he started 15 years ago and owned about 15 unicycles.

"I like challenging myself and I just wondered if I could do it," Rowan said.

Learning to balance was the most difficult part, he said.

New Plymouth was the perfect city for unicyclists because it was small in size and road users were generally courteous, he said.

"I love it.

"It's the perfect city for it.

"Most of the traffic is friendly and lots of people toot."

Later this month he would be competing in the 181km Round The Mountain Cycle Ride, he said.

Rowan, who competed in the unicycle world championships in Wellington last year, said New Plymouth had a thriving unicycling community.

"There are a lot of up-and- coming riders.

"We have a club which meets at 2pm every Saturday at the Wind Wand." Riders of all levels were welcome, he said.

In his spare time he teaches children bicycle safety.

The public often stopped to watch the unicyclists play, he said.

"People definitely show an interest and it's definitely a conversation starter."

Ledgin Wetere, 11, said he was impressed with the unicyclists' skill and speed.

"He's got good-as balance," Ledgin said.

HOP TO IT: Ben Sarten is captured in a computer-generated action sequence jumping from one seat to another at Puke Ariki Landing at lunchtime yesterday.

Klaas Bil
2011-01-07, 08:38 AM
Here is an article that discuss a new short film involving a Peck, Steward Alaska, and an ultimate wheel:

http://alaskadispatch.com/culture/arts/7725-movie-shows-seward-one-wheel-at-a-time

ScottNot only is it a Peck, he's the son of THE Peck. Scott, it's good use to copy the text into this thread. Links like these tend to be short-lived although they are useful initially for pictures etc.

danger_uni
2011-01-07, 09:14 PM
Hey,

I've seen this film and thought it was very well shot and edited. Besides being a uni film it somehow imparts a good feeling of what it's like to live in a small Alaskan town - something that anyone could watch. As far as I know, Chris has so far kept it offline.

Kris

JJuggle
2011-01-18, 01:54 PM
Big wheels, customization keep Coker unicylists happy
By Casey Phillips
8 January 2011
Chattanooga Times/Free Press (MCT)
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Jan. 08----What: Unicycles

--Company: Coker Cycle Co.

--Address: 1317 Chestnut St.

--Website: www.cokercycles.com

--Telephone: 265-6368

--Owner: Corky Coker

--What's special: Both of Coker Cycle Co.'s unicycle models are built using a 36-inch diameter tire, giving it an advantage over standard unicycle tires, which are 20 to 24 inches, said Jess Hoodenpyle, Coker's vice president of sales. "That is one of the biggest tires you can get on a unicycle," he said. "It makes riding easier since ... it rolls further per pedal than a smaller unicycle. It's a great commuting unicycle."

--The origin story: Coker Cycle Co.'s unicycles were developed out of the company's Monster Cruiser bicycle, which uses the same 36-inch tire. Coker started with one model, The Big One, before adding its V-2 quad-design in 2007.

--How long does it take to make? Unicycle assembly takes about an hour. Powder coating for a custom paint job adds about a week.

--Where it's sold: Coker Cycle's headquarters (1317 Chestnut St.) and Suck Creek Cycle (319 Cherokee Blvd.).

--How long has Coker been making them? Coker began offering unicycles in 1998.

--Expansions planned: "Right now, we don't have any," Hoodenpyle said. "They're selling pretty well. We're happy with them, and we don't know what our next move is."

--Lessons of the trade: Hoodenpyle said the company has learned over the years that unicyclists often want more options than a simple stock configuration. As a result, the company has expanded its offerings to include after-market parts like handlebars, brakes, touring tires and specialized paint jobs. "We've continued to add other options to make it better and satisfy customer demands," Hoodenpyle said.

uniShark
2011-02-28, 12:11 AM
Video: http://www.news10.net/video/default.aspx?bctid=800365037001
Main: http://www.news10.net/news/story.aspx?storyid=124458

Just 25% of people on cell phones noticed the spectacle
Lorraine Blanco Last updated 4 days ago Posted: 2/23/2011
Comments (9)Recommend Print Email

BELLINGHAM, WA - How much do you miss right in front of you when you're using your cell phone? It turns out you might even miss a spectacle. In a groundbreaking study out of Western Washington University, researchers wanted to see how distracting a cell phone can be with the help of a clown on a unicycle.

"It's not a question of what your hands are doing. It's a question of what your head is doing. And so when your head is engaged in that phone conversation, you become blind to some of the things happening around you," said Dr. Ira Hyman of Western Washington University.

Translation: When people are on cell phones, hands-free or not, they can't focus fully on driving or even walking. Doctor Hyman garners a lot attention for his research on the phenomena known as inattentional blindness.

In one study on the topic, he found that 75 percent of people in pairs noticed a clown on a unicycle riding through a busy area of campus. More than half walking alone saw him. But the cell phone users, no clowning around, just 25 percent noticed the guy with the big red nose.

"You've been walking since you were two, and if you can't walk and talk on the cell phone.. how much worse is it if you're going to be driving a car?," asked Dr. Hyman.

When we recreated the study, we saw much of the same results. Most people on cells passed the the clown's polka dots. Chelsea Fauria was one of the students who overlooked the one-wheeled obstacle.

"Only when I got real close-up and he was coming towards me did i really see it," admitted Fauria, "It's pretty embarrassing. I'll be honest."

While walking with her friend, she said she's had many near misses on two feet with one cell phone in hand.

"I've run into things before," said Fauria with a smirk.

"We were just talking, and she completely missed my entire conversation because she was texting," added her friend, Taylor Purkett.

The clown in our recreation, Joe Myers travels to and from work on his unicycle. And his trek feels like research everyday; people on cell phones don't see him.

"I've got used to it. It's part of our age... the time we live in. That's the way people are... they're into the instant thing... me, now," offered Myers.

The problem with that is that it's not just you on the roads.

"It may be that there's another car moving through the lane that they're late to become aware of. It may be that they're not aware of the pedestrian crossing the street..." said Dr. Hyman.

You might even miss a clown on a unicycle.

By Lorraine Blanco, lblanco@news10.net


KXTV/News10

Straightarrow
2011-03-01, 02:00 AM
It is really important to stay focused, especially driving and it is surprising how unaware people are on their phone.

The aspects of this article that don't surprise me are everyone smiling when Joe Meyers is in the mix and the unicycle can't take credit for that. People are quite the invention, some just have more fun factor

uniShark
2011-03-01, 07:49 PM
Googling at work to pull up the article above, I came across this one. It's a bit dated and probably makes me come across as a cyber-stalker. But hey, it's from ESPN, and I don't see it here anywhere.
===============================

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=caple/090804

Tuesday, August 4, 2009
This wheel's on fire

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Jim Caple
Page 2

Alberto Contador won the Tour de France last week, riding the 2,140 miles in 85 hours and 48 minutes, an average of nearly 25 miles per hour up towering mountains and across wind-swept fields and shores.

He used two wheels. The slacker.

If you want an impressive cyclist, check out Joe Myers on this video [ YouTube - 2007 Mt Baker Hill Climb - Ride 542 ] of a ride up Washington's Mount Baker (you can see him at the 2:07 and 5:53 points). Myers rode this weekend's annual Cougar Mountain Climb for Cancer in 18 minutes, 42 seconds on a unicycle. The Cougar Mountain ride is about two miles long with an average gradient of nearly 7½ percent and some stretches as high as 16 percent. To give you some perspective, that's almost as steep as the Tour's legendary Alpe d'Huez. It's not pleasant on two wheels, let alone one.

I know. I ride up Cougar every now and then when I do hill work, sweating up inclines so steep you can hear cars changing gears as they strain to climb them. I rode the Climb for Cancer time trial for the first time Sunday and finished in 15:32. I would have felt prouder of that time if it hadn't been almost five minutes slower than Adam Fung's winning time of 10:46, and slower than 63 other riders as well.

Of course, I was barely three minutes faster than Myers on his unicycle. In a single gear. With no brakes (I don't think he went back down the course). At 52, he's also five years older than me.

"I got into this six years ago for health reasons," Myers said. "I have an office job and I was gaining weight and had high blood pressure. I bicycled, but that didn't really have the challenge that I wanted. So I started this. I've lost 20 pounds and my blood pressure went down and I got healthier."

Myers said he practiced on the unicycle for about 15 minutes a day to get the hang of it, and within six weeks he was riding up and down the block near his home in Bellingham, Wash. It wasn't long before he was riding longer. Much longer. Up to 5,600 miles a year longer. He can cruise along at about 15 miles per hour on a flat road.

"I commute to work on it. It's about four miles each way, and I commute in all weather -- snow, wind and rain," he said. "I had a stretch of 2½ years of car-less commutes."

That streak ended last summer when he broke his leg in a crash while crossing a railroad track during the final day of the five-stage, 500-mile Ride the Lobster unicycle race in Nova Scotia (just when you think you've heard of every race, along comes something else). Doctors told him he could have the leg surgically repaired there, but he would have to remain in Nova Scotia for two weeks until the leg was stable, or he could have it done back home. Myers opted for the latter, though it required his wife to drive him across the continent. It took them four days.

Twelve weeks later, Myers was back on the unicycle. This past weekend, he was powering up a hill that left me and others gasping for air and ready to vomit.

People make a lot of excuses for not exercising. Not enough time. The weather is too hot or too cold or it's raining. But after watching Myers, I don't want to hear any excuses. He's just an average guy doing something amazing. He's not alone; you can find other unicyclists doing similar things. OK, we don't have to ride unicycles up mountains, but it's a beautiful summer, so let's get out there and do something.

Me, I'm going to train to improve my time for next year, get it under 15 minutes, maybe closer to 14. I'm not sure what Joe will do. I mean, I don't know what he could do that would be more impressive. Ride while juggling?

"Oh, I can juggle," he said.

Take that, Alberto.


Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com

unicycle6869
2011-03-14, 11:27 AM
Our local paper, The Manly Daily, just did an article on me. Here is the online link (http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/sport/story/jameys-juggling-act/). Below is the article. In the actual paper it had a much better photo of me on my 12 footer. Not a bad article but some funny quotes that they made up!


2 Mar 11 @ 04:32pm by Andrew Prentice

JAMEY Mossengren has achieved success internationally on one wheel via an unlikely source - his grandma.

As a youngster growing up in Minnesota, the North Balgowlah thrill seeker was always looking for off-the-wall sporting outlets and pursuits.

A garage sale when he was 10 provided an activity that changed his life.

``When my grandma walked in the room (with the unicycle), I didn’t know what to think,’’ Mossengren said.

``She figured it would keep me occupied - it was a little different.

``My brother Lonny had first go and, like in most sports, he was a natural definitely better than me.

``Eventually he grew tired of it, and from that moment I saw a chance.

``I devoted all my spare time into learning the basics and, once I had that sorted, I started entering local competitions before competing globally.’’

After finishing high school and completing a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of North Dakota, he spent four years working an office job and ``hated every second’‘.

Eventually, Mossengren packed his bags for California and took on a series of odd jobs to pay the bills. One day he ended up on Venice Beach and, after watching a street entertainer wow a startled crowd, he decided to follow suit.

``I also know how to juggle, I have skills,’’ he said. ``I figured if I could do three or four shows each day; it was an easy way to make money while enjoying myself.’‘

A few months ago in Canberra, the 31-year-old won the mountain unicycling race at the Australian Championships, and is currently preparing himself for the world titles in Italy next year.

``I have been fortunate to travel the world because of unicycling,’’ he said.

``It is big in places like America, France and Germany, and the Japanese are incredibly gifted when competing indoors.”

JJuggle
2011-03-28, 10:30 AM
Alex Romero: One-wheel wonder
By Dana Crooks
26 March 2011
Los Alamos Monitor

Learning to ride a bike is hard enough, but try riding one with no handlebars and one wheel missing. Alex Romero, a 17-year-old Los Alamos High School junior, enjoys the challenge of unicycling. In fact, he can often be found around town on his unicycle.

His interest in unicycling began in 2007 when he received his first unicycle from his uncle for Christmas.

He and his brother, LAHS sophomore Daniel Romero, attempted the sport but quit after a few days of frustration. Later in 2009, Romero and his brother gave unicycling another shot.

With a lot of practice, they taught themselves how to ride. Then, they met Max Schulze, 2010 Unicon XV Trials World Champion and former Los Alamos High School student. Schulze taught both of them tricks and continues to help them whenever he visits Los Alamos.

For now, unicycling is a hobby for Romero, but he wishes to compete in the future. He recently performed an act called “Not 2 Tired” in this year’s Topper Revue. He said that he likes to unicycle because it is a fun way to relieve stress and exercise. “It’s challenging. You always have something to improve on and something new to learn.”

Unicycling is a difficult sport to learn and it takes a considerable amount of time and effort. When asked how long it takes to learn, Romero said, “It depends on how much you practice.”

Unicycles aren’t cheap. Romero’s current unicycle cost him $600. He owns three and a half unicycles.

His favorite style to perform is called street unicycling, which includes rail grinds, flip tricks, tricks down stair sets and other common things you might find at a skate park. He also enjoys a flat land style, involving roll tricks and spins.

But his favorite trick is the hick flip, a move that involves becoming airborne momentarily in order to “flip” the direction of the unicycle. Some other favorites include the crank flip, rolling 36 and the double flip.

In addition to unicycling, Romero enjoys running, making and editing unicycle videos, skiing and other outdoor activities in his free time. He also enjoys eating and said health is important to him. When asked what kinds of foods he eats he said, “It depends on who’s asking.”

For example, if his cross-country coach Rob Hipwood asked Romero what he likes to eat, he would say processed food that has a shelf life of about four to five years.

However, if anyone else asked, Romero would say things like kiwis, pork chops, French toast, muffin tops, macaroni and cheese, popcorn and vegetables like carrots with ranch dressing.

In the fall, Romero runs on the high school cross country team; however, he does not run on the high school track team in the spring. Instead, he spends his spring unicycling.

“Running is like a prairie on fire, there are many flames involved that just keep burning year round,” he said. “I am like the flame that does not burn year round, but instead jumps to a new prairie every spring.”

After high school, Romero plans to attend college and is interested in computer science. He’s not sure whether unicycling is in his future or not, but he plans on buying a house and getting his own Canaan dog.

uniShark
2011-03-28, 07:02 PM
"He owns three and a half unicycles."
:D Bet that got some readers wondering if he needs another wheel!

unicycle6869
2011-04-04, 04:25 AM
http://www.cnngo.com/sydney/life/sydney-street-performer-busk-move-693315

Here is the text:
Sydney's best street performers
From the harbor to underground tunnels, here's where to find Sydney's most change-worthy extroverts.
By Mitchell Jordan
11 March, 2011


Street performance by Mr Incredibubble, Hyde ParkNear St. Mary's Cathedral, Mr. Incredibubble proves that busker bubbles are not easily burst.

Walking the streets of Sydney can feel like walking through an episode of "Australia’s Got Talent." Some performers seem positively desperate for a chance at fame, while other buskers are just trying to pay the rent.

Sydney's street performers may not have to endure the demoralizing criticism of Kyle Sandilands, but they do have to audition before being granted a busking license.

Licenses granted by the City of Sydney Council or state government agencies give performers two-hour slots at "busking spots."

Of course, many red-tape-averse buskers just set up and drop their daks for a dollar.

Here's a fast review of some of the places and street characters who have qualified in the city’s busking auditions.

Hyde Park:
Justin Maloney, better known as Mr. Incredibubble, blows human-sized bubbles from his own secret potion.

He is as much a part of the Hyde Park furniture as the benches, but there’s no way you’ll catch him singing.

“There’s too many musos out there already,” Mr. Incredibubble says. “I can play a few instruments, but only standard nursery rhymes.”

Circular Quay:
Street performer Jamey Mossengren: For some performers, no spotlight is big enough.

At Circular Quay, Jamey Mossengren rides on a 12-foot unicycle while juggling knives and fire.

During two years of performances, nobody’s been hurt, meaning experience from his previous job -- in a medical corporation -- hasn't been called upon.

“(My corporate job) was like being in jail from Monday to Friday,” Mossengren says. “Now I’m not rich, but at least I’m my own boss.”

He competes against the ever-present didgeridoos and theatrical types that line the ferry wharves.

Pitt Street Mall:
The three guys behind the rock band Night Owl busk several times a week at the recently opened Westfield on Pitt Street.

The gig has yet to earn them the perks of a high-flying rock-and-roll life.

“We make a meager living,” says guitarist, Daniel D’Arcy. “We just scrape by when it comes to paying the rent.”

They say the shopping mall is one of the better busking places, but they also play at Town Hall Station.

"The CityRail station manager told us we could play there because he likes us,” says banjo player, Matt Mason.

Town Hall:
The adrenaline-pumped skipping and dancing moves of Double Dutch team, Kanpai, draw a strong crowd outside Town Hall.

The trio, Mai, Aki and Kazuma -- each in their twenties -- met at a skipping club in Japan. From there, they competed in the Double Dutch Challenge in Kobe.

Now living in Australia, they support themselves through one-hour performances most days.

“Sydney is good for busking,” says Mai.

Central Station Tunnel, Broadway:
In Central Tunnel, just off Broadway, expect to hear buskers cranking out popular power ballads. The tunnel is packed with commuters during peak hours.

Twenty-year-old student, Rachael Helmore, plays her three-stringed guitar and flute regularly. The way to a listener’s wallet, she reckons, is by playing the Super Mario theme intertwined with Tetris-sounding music on the flute.

“Guys especially love that one,” she says, adding that John Lennon's "Imagine" is another reliable change magnet.

MT High
2011-04-04, 08:41 AM
Saddle sores just part of process on a unique journey for children with cancer

By Lindsay Murdoch

They admit it was a crazy, spur of the moment idea.
Suffering from saddle sores and mosquito bites, David Suede, 31, and his girlfriend Anna Taylor, 24, have ridden their unicycles almost 900 kilometres through the Northern Territory.
"We are feeling pretty good and are going really well...our legs are getting stronger," Ms Taylor says during a stop on the Stuart Highway near the tiny settlement of Elliott, half-way between Darwin and Alice Springs.
The couple plan to ride the one-wheel contraptions 3500 kilometres from Darwin to Adelaide.
They are a strange sight, pedalling along the highway that carries the world's longest road trains and increasing numbers of vehicles towing caravans.
"The caravans are the worst - they are wider than the road trains," Ms Taylor says.
The couple hope to raise $10,000 for the Little Heroes Foundation for children with cancer. They plan to reach Adelaide, where they live, eight to nine weeks after leaving Darwin on March 12.
By Friday, their 20th day on the saddle, they needed to take two days rest "to let the bits heal".
Ms Taylor wrote in a blog (unitramps.com), where she is recording their progress, that while camping near Elliott the "roar of the mozzies sounded like we were sleeping in an aerodrome".

From The Age newspaper (Melbourne, Australia) 4/4/2011.

rawcyclist
2011-04-04, 09:44 AM
Page 3 with a huge photo too!

Saddle sores just part of process on a unique journey for children with cancer

By Lindsay Murdoch

They admit it was a crazy, spur of the moment idea.
Suffering from saddle sores and mosquito bites, David Suede, 31, and his girlfriend Anna Taylor, 24, have ridden their unicycles almost 900 kilometres through the Northern Territory.
"We are feeling pretty good and are going really well...our legs are getting stronger," Ms Taylor says during a stop on the Stuart Highway near the tiny settlement of Elliott, half-way between Darwin and Alice Springs.
The couple plan to ride the one-wheel contraptions 3500 kilometres from Darwin to Adelaide.
They are a strange sight, pedalling along the highway that carries the world's longest road trains and increasing numbers of vehicles towing caravans.
"The caravans are the worst - they are wider than the road trains," Ms Taylor says.
The couple hope to raise $10,000 for the Little Heroes Foundation for children with cancer. They plan to reach Adelaide, where they live, eight to nine weeks after leaving Darwin on March 12.
By Friday, their 20th day on the saddle, they needed to take two days rest "to let the bits heal".
Ms Taylor wrote in a blog (unitramps.com), where she is recording their progress, that while camping near Elliott the "roar of the mozzies sounded like we were sleeping in an aerodrome".

From The Age newspaper (Melbourne, Australia) 4/4/2011.

pablowest
2011-04-10, 03:08 AM
Hi uniShark. I'm also wondering if he has some wheels. I really like it. haha :D

JJuggle
2011-04-11, 10:26 AM
Alex Romero: One-wheel wonder; By Dana Crooks
26 March 2011
Los Alamos Monitor


Learning to ride a bike is hard enough, but try riding one with no handlebars and one wheel missing. Alex Romero, a 17-year-old Los Alamos High School junior, enjoys the challenge of unicycling. In fact, he can often be found around town on his unicycle.

His interest in unicycling began in 2007 when he received his first unicycle from his uncle for Christmas.

He and his brother, LAHS sophomore Daniel Romero, attempted the sport but quit after a few days of frustration. Later in 2009, Romero and his brother gave unicycling another shot.

With a lot of practice, they taught themselves how to ride. Then, they met Max Schulze, 2010 Unicon XV Trials World Champion and former Los Alamos High School student. Schulze taught both of them tricks and continues to help them whenever he visits Los Alamos.

For now, unicycling is a hobby for Romero, but he wishes to compete in the future. He recently performed an act called “Not 2 Tired” in this year’s Topper Revue. He said that he likes to unicycle because it is a fun way to relieve stress and exercise. “It’s challenging. You always have something to improve on and something new to learn.”

Unicycling is a difficult sport to learn and it takes a considerable amount of time and effort. When asked how long it takes to learn, Romero said, “It depends on how much you practice.”

Unicycles aren’t cheap. Romero’s current unicycle cost him $600. He owns three and a half unicycles.

His favorite style to perform is called street unicycling, which includes rail grinds, flip tricks, tricks down stair sets and other common things you might find at a skate park. He also enjoys a flat land style, involving roll tricks and spins.

But his favorite trick is the hick flip, a move that involves becoming airborne momentarily in order to “flip” the direction of the unicycle. Some other favorites include the crank flip, rolling 36 and the double flip.

In addition to unicycling, Romero enjoys running, making and editing unicycle videos, skiing and other outdoor activities in his free time. He also enjoys eating and said health is important to him. When asked what kinds of foods he eats he said, “It depends on who’s asking.”

For example, if his cross-country coach Rob Hipwood asked Romero what he likes to eat, he would say processed food that has a shelf life of about four to five years.

However, if anyone else asked, Romero would say things like kiwis, pork chops, French toast, muffin tops, macaroni and cheese, popcorn and vegetables like carrots with ranch dressing.

In the fall, Romero runs on the high school cross country team; however, he does not run on the high school track team in the spring. Instead, he spends his spring unicycling.

“Running is like a prairie on fire, there are many flames involved that just keep burning year round,” he said. “I am like the flame that does not burn year round, but instead jumps to a new prairie every spring.”

After high school, Romero plans to attend college and is interested in computer science. He’s not sure whether unicycling is in his future or not, but he plans on buying a house and getting his own Canaan dog.

danger_uni
2011-04-14, 05:47 PM
This one wins the world record for speed exaggeration:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1376796/Canadian-unicyclist-Kris-Holm-reach-50mph-ridden-6k-metre-volcano.html?ITO=1490

Kris

MuniAddict
2011-04-14, 05:58 PM
This one wins the world record for speed exaggeration:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1376796/Canadian-unicyclist-Kris-Holm-reach-50mph-ridden-6k-metre-volcano.html?ITO=1490

KrisAwesome writeup Kris, and I'll be the first in line to snatch up your new book when it comes out! And if there's anyone who could hit 50mph on a uni, it would be you! :D

danger_uni
2011-04-14, 06:04 PM
Thanks; more news on the book coming over the summer =)

I sent a note to Caters News Agency, who sold the story to that newspaper (plus others I imagine). Pretty cool - they got back to me right away and said they'd attempt to correct the speed quote. We'll see if it actually happens.

Kris

MuniAddict
2011-04-14, 06:19 PM
Thanks; more news on the book coming over the summer =)

I sent a note to Caters News Agency, who sold the story to that newspaper (plus others I imagine). Pretty cool - they got back to me right away and said they'd attempt to correct the speed quote. We'll see if it actually happens.

KrisIt's really only *40* mph, right? ;)

danger_uni
2011-04-14, 06:28 PM
Off topic for this thread, but anyway: I never thought about speeds offroad until I did that BCBR race last year. It just wasn't something I cared about.

In the BC Bike Race, my average speed over 7 days of racing was only 11 km/hr. My guess at a top speed would be about 25 km/hr, on doubletrack. For reference, the winner in my category's average speed was 12 km/hr, and a 10 km/hr average for me, for 43 km on Day 5, was enough to be faster than 200 bike riders. The winners in the Epic category (Olympic Category racers) had averages of 15-18 km/hr.
A friend of mine who markets the race (former Olympian mountain biker himself) says that 14-18 km/hr averages are typical speeds for national level XC mountain bike races. I was surprised by that. It's not really a fast sport! I think the gains are really made in things like not having mechanical issues, taking less breaks, always being consistent, etc, rather than having a fast top speed.

Kris

MuniAddict
2011-04-14, 06:41 PM
... I think the gains are really made in things like not having mechanical issues, taking less breaks, always being consistent, etc, rather than having a fast top speed.

KrisVery true! The tortoise & the hare! :)

steveyo
2011-04-14, 06:50 PM
Here's the text of that last article, preserved for posterity in case the link dies...

Where there's a wheel there's a way: Unicyclist who can reach 50mph and has ridden down 6000-metre volcano.

Trekking across the world's harshest and most remote regions sounds like a tough enough challenge - but imagine doing the whole thing on a unicycle.

That's what Canadian Kris Holm has been doing in an unbelievable career which has seen him traverse the Great Wall of China and descend a 6000-metre volcano while riding on a single wheel.

And in 2010 Holm, who can reach speeds of 50mph, became the first unicyclist to reach the podium in an event against his two-wheeled cousins in the gruelling seven-day mountain BC Bike Race.

As these breathtaking pictures show, he is not afraid of tackling any terrain - from perilous cliff edges to jagged mountain tops.

Mr Holm, 37, has travelled across some of the toughest terrains in the world, including Himalayan country Bhutan and the jungles of Bolivia.
Holm and his unicycle have travelled to some of the most remote regions of the world, including Himalayan country Bhutan and the jungles of Bolivia

Holm and his unicycle have travelled to some of the most remote regions of the world, including Himalayan country Bhutan and the jungles of Bolivia

He said: 'I do get some odd looks sometimes on my travels. They know me round where I live, but abroad people do give me funny looks.

'Actually in countries like Mongolia and Bhutan it wasn't necessarily because of the unicycle, they just shrugged me off as Western so I must be doing something weird.

'Some of them actually thought it was what Westerners do, ride unicycles all the time. If only that was the case.

'I have travelled on the Great Wall of China, descended down Licancabur, a 5950-metre volcano in Bolivia, and climbed the third highest mountain in North America.

'A unicycle can go just as many places as a two-wheeled bike. Obviously over a flat distance two wheels are faster, but actually up and down hill it doesn't make that much difference.

'I actually finished third last year in the BC Bike Race as the only competitor among 500 riders on one wheel, that was amazing.'

Holm started uni-cycling in 1986 aged just 12 after getting the bike as a present.

He said: 'I was like any kid, I just kept practicing and soon I was riding. Learning to ride a unicycle is just like anything else it's 95 percent practice.

'Where I live in Canada there is a lot of outdoors and I love to go out on the trials, so a lot of people are used to seeing me.

'When I first started unicycling I was probably one of the only people in the world to try and ride the same trials as two-wheeled bikes but now there are more and more people willing to give it a try.

'I also design my own unicycles which are made for those who want to give trialing a go, it's a lot cheaper than mountain biking to buy a unicycle so who knows maybe more and more people will do it.'

His talents saw him scoop the 2005 European, 2002 World, and 1999 North American unicycle trials championships.

Now he is planning to coax us all off to get off our bikes and onto one wheel in a brand new book about his adventures, Mountain and Trials Unicycling, set to be released this autumn.

He graduated with an MSc from the University of British Columbia in 2002, and works as a professional geoscientist in addition to managing his unicycling brand, www.krisholm.com.


--------------------------------------------------------

Also, Kris, I might take exception to this statement (of course it may well be another misquote):
actually up and down hill it doesn't make that much difference.

I think bikes have a substantial edge in the downhill department.

danger_uni
2011-04-14, 07:02 PM
None of the statements attributed to me here are "quotes". I did talk briefly to someone on the phone a few weeks ago; I guess they paraphrased based on that plus whatever other material they dug up. I think the writer had never heard of muni before he decided to do this story.

So yes I'd take exception to that one too =)

Kris

scott ttocs
2011-04-14, 08:11 PM
What does a professional geoscientist do? Do you ride down volcanos?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Scott

danger_uni
2011-04-14, 08:15 PM
I suppose that part is true =)

Danny Colyer
2011-04-14, 09:30 PM
This one wins the world record for speed exaggeration:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1376796/Canadian-unicyclist-Kris-Holm-reach-50mph-ridden-6k-metre-volcano.html?ITO=1490Inaccurate reporting from the Daily Mail. Who'd have thought it?

(Note for Leftpondians: The DM is not exactly known as one of Britain's most reliable sources of news).

MuniAddict
2011-04-21, 07:37 PM
Not really an article, but this showed up in the local beach paper. :)

47677

norry
2011-04-28, 01:03 PM
In print and on the web at http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Home/Unicycling-to-work-makes-wheel-sense-25042011.htm

Published: 25/04/2011 13:31 - Updated: 25/04/2011 13:57
Unicycling to work 'makes wheel sense'

The daily commute is wheely good fun for Neil Younger as he travels the five and a half miles to work on a unicycle.

Neil saves himself £60 in petrol each month by leaving the car behind at home in Thatchers Wood, Longstanton, and pedals his way to DisplayLink in Cambridge on the one-wheeled bike.

Already a keen cyclist, the 34-year-old new father-of-one decided to have a go after spotting a magazine article on mountain unicycling about five years ago.

He said: “You could learn in a couple of weeks. I have taught a couple of people in 10 hours.”

The senior test engineer is now the proud owner of an on-road and an off-road unicycle.

But, he said: “If I had more space and more money, I would probably have a menagerie of cycles.”

A pleasant ride through Girton means he can avoid the dreaded A14, and the saving on fuel is a particular bonus since he and his wife, Paula, 34, had their first child, Poppy, two weeks ago.

While his primary reason for taking the bike is to keep fit, he said: “Anytime I’m cycling, the car is not being used – it does add up.”

But regardless of the cost of fuel, some of the reactions from the public have been priceless.

He said: “They have generally been reasonably positive. There was a little girl with her mum and she excitedly pointed out that ‘there goes a unicorn’.”

During his time unicycling on the road, he has only experienced a handful of criticism. He said: “When you stand out as being a little bit different you are an easy target just to have some random abuse hurled your way.

“I imagine if I was cycling down the road in a pink outfit I would have the same response.”

Neil said his choice of a unicycle over his road bike was down to the entertainment factor.

He said: “It’s a good way to cheer yourself up getting to work. It’s the fun element that would make me choose that over my normal cycle.” Nor is he alone.

Neil says he knows of at least five others who use a unicycle to get to work. It could catch on.

raymanh
2011-04-28, 07:15 PM
Not really an article, but this showed up in the local beach paper. :)

47677

Haha, They really know what they are saying:

'Terry Patterson demonstrates a Unigeezer unicycle'

UMan
2011-04-29, 02:25 PM
Columbia Flier, April 13, 2011


Caption says:
Wilde Lake resident Jeff Chamblee likes to pick up his son Ben, 9, after school at Running Brook Elementary. When the weather is nice, Chamblee uses a unicycle while Ben uses a Ripstik, or a skateboard with two wheels instead of four.

http://www.explorehoward.com/news/82705/columbia-resident-makes-sure-big-wheel-keeps-turning/

harper
2011-04-29, 02:59 PM
Columbia Flier, April 13, 2011

Caption says:
Wilde Lake resident Jeff Chamblee likes to pick up his son Ben, 9, after school at Running Brook Elementary. When the weather is nice, Chamblee uses a unicycle while Ben uses a Ripstik, or a skateboard with two wheels instead of four.


For when the link dies:

When the weather is nice, Wilde Lake resident Jeff Chamblee likes to pick up his son after school at Running Brook Elementary.

Not in a car, however.

Chamblee uses a unicycle. Chamblee’s son, Ben, 9, uses a Ripstik, or a skateboard with two wheels instead of four. Together, they ride home.

Bikeability was the topic of discussion at the latest Columbia Association Speaker Series, featuring Gil Penalosa, executive director of 8-80 Cities and former commissioner of parks, sports and recreation in Bogota, Colombia.

More than 70 people turned out April 7 for the talk, “Creating 8-80 Cities: Walking, Cycling and Public Places for All,” including Chamblee, who said that despite the many trails in Columbia, the planned community could be more cyclist-friendly.

“The vibrancy of our city would improve if we focused more on pedestrians and cyclists,” Chamblee said.

Chamblee said he cycles as much as he can, and uses the unicycle for short trips to the grocery store.

“It’s a very convenient, practical mode of transportation,” he said. “It’s hands-free.”

Chamblee learned how to ride a unicycle two years ago, as his son was learning how to ride a bicycle.

“I saw him struggling with two wheels, and I wanted to join his struggle,” he said. “So I struggled with one wheel instead.”

Despite his and his son’s affinity for cycling, Chamblee noted that many of Columbia’s roads fail the 8-80 test Penalosa presented.

Passing or failing the 8-80 test isn’t rocket science, Penalosa said. Think of an 8-year-old, he said, and think of an 80-year-old. Would you send a child to the grocery store on a bicycle? Would you be comfortable with a grandmother crossing a certain intersection? If the answer to those questions are “no,” Penalosa said, the city fails the 8-80 test.

Creating an 8-80 city, Penalosa said, is more than making that city bikeable. Vibrant communities are comprised of pedestrians, cyclists and public transit. The glue holding these components together, Penalosa said, is public spaces. He cited Copenhagen as an 8-80 city that has devoted much of its space to community gathering places.

Over the past years, Penalosa said, Copenhagen has transformed 18 parking lots into public spaces; because 40 percent of Copenhagen’s population uses bicycles as its main mode of transportation, those conversions had no bearing on parking availability.

It’s easier for a community to go from bad bikeability to great bikeability, Penalosa said, but more difficult to go from good to great, which is the issue Columbia faces.

“The whole concept (of Columbia) was good from the beginning,” Penalosa said. “It was visionary. But at the same time, creating a good community is a process, and that process is never finished. Columbia is still very car-oriented, and people are content not to change when things are already good.”

Use more bikes as transportation

In taking a tour of Columbia, Penalosa said he noticed few students biking or walking to school, even on a day when the weather was nice.

“We drove past a few schools, and there were only two or three bikes outside them,” he said. “If it were great, you would see more bikes.”

Columbia has a good system of facilities and trails for recreational bike use, Penalosa said, but not for the use of bikes as transportation. Several factors contribute to poor bikeability and walkability in communities, Penalosa said.

“The roads are way too big,” he said. “They could be more narrow, and the speed through neighborhoods could slow down for pedestrians.”

Including bikes lanes on roads that are physically separated from car lanes is one way to improve bikeability, Penalosa said, as is lowering speed limits to 20 mph and including more information by way of signage for cyclists.

Everyone is able to use a bicycle, Penalosa said, yet in cities across America, including Columbia, only a select demographic can use them on roads because of tight bike lines and speed limits.

“If we want a good community for everybody, we have to stop building communities for 30-year-old athletes,” Penalosa said.

Creating more livable, bikeable and walkable communities is a political issue, Penalosa said, and politicians have to make decisions for the good of the general public.

“We need to raise awareness,” he said. “It’s like (Penalosa) said. It’s a political problem. We need to inform our leaders, build partnerships with them.”

Good rapport with cyclists

Ian Kennedy, deputy chief of staff for the Howard County government, said the county has worked to build a good relationship with the biking community, meeting with bike advocates every quarter to discuss issues and improvements. Kennedy said the county plans to implement a Bike Master Plan in the future.

“We believe that we have a great opportunity in Howard County to strengthen cycling as a viable transportation alternative, and we’ve been working to do that,” Kennedy said. “We’re exploring measures and programs to improve access and awareness, and improve conditions on roads and pathways.”

Kennedy said that while county roads haven’t been resurfaced in two years because of budget constraints, the initial plan was to install bike lanes and amenities on roads as they were resurfaced.

However, stimulus money from the federal government, Kennedy said, did allow for some road work. Thus far, a bike lane has been added on Stevens Forest Road, and a broader shoulder has been added to Columbia Road in Dorsey’s Search, he said. The county also has installed bike racks on some county buses and outside county buildings.

Kennedy said there is money for road resurfacing in the budget again, so residents should expect to see more of those projects taking shape.

“It’s an on-going effort, and it’s something we’re going to continue to focus on in the next couple of years,” Kennedy said. “We’re working on things that will help strengthen strategies and approaches to cycling, and we’re looking forward to sharing more in the future.”

mark williamson
2011-05-01, 01:40 PM
wheely good fun for Neil Younger as he travels the five and a half miles to work on a unicycle.


Is Neil on RSU at all? I don't know as many unicyclists in Cambridge as I once did, so I was interested to see one pop up in the newspaper!

JJuggle
2011-05-02, 05:22 PM
Pair dodge wasps and lizards to see the Centre
Cameron Boon
29 April 2011
Centralian Advocate

YOU might have seen them if you've been between Alice and Darwin in the last two months -- two riders on giant unicycles heading down the highway on their way to Adelaide.

Anna Taylor and David Suede have travelled more than 15,000km to get to Alice Springs to raise money for children diagnosed with cancer.

David said the idea came to them about a year ago.

He said: ``It was one of those things that just kind of grew from a `what if?' conversation.

``We just ended up talking about it more and more and then a couple of months ago we decided to do it.

``We've decided to unicycle because we do it regularly and love doing it.''

Both riders have been unicycling for a couple of years, but this is the longest trip.

Anna said: ``We live in Adelaide and we wanted to go home. It's nice getting closer each day, rather than getting further away.''

The wheels on the unicycles are nearly 1m tall.

David said: ``They're touring unicycles and they're built for long distance. They go faster because of the bigger wheel.

``We can go up to 25km/h and in an average day we do about 70km. An average bike tour goes about 120km per day, so we do okay.''

Anna said the stay in Alice had been the longest.

``We had a massive ride to get here. We kept on saying `we'll ride for just one more day' until we had ridden for eight days and made it to Alice.

``Usually, we try to ride for four or five days before resting for one.''

The pair say head winds, mosquitoes, hydration and dodging lizards have been their challenges.

Anna said: ``I'm terrified of wasps and the wasps in the bush are huge and there was one time when we were camping and we tried to get up and the outside of the tent was covered in mosquitoes.

``Sitting and riding for so long can be an issue -- you get pretty sore.''

David said: ``We're aiming to get to Adelaide by late May, but there's no hard deadline.''

The pair pack sleeping bags, a tent and clothes under their seats and carry food and water in backpacks.

norry
2011-05-05, 12:46 PM
Is Neil on RSU at all? I don't know as many unicyclists in Cambridge as I once did, so I was interested to see one pop up in the newspaper!

Hello :)

knoxuni
2011-05-05, 12:49 PM
somone should try to get on the today show

danger_uni
2011-05-19, 02:44 PM
Here's an article from the Qianjiang Evening News:
http://zjdaily.zjol.com.cn/qjwb/html/2011-05/19/content_845981.htm?div=-1

If you want a laugh read the Google translation:
http://tinyurl.com/5wfabzb

Kris

TheRhino
2011-05-19, 03:31 PM
That was funny, Kris. You are the undisputed master of the "wheelbarrow"!
At least most wheelbarrows do only have one wheel...

Also, here is a nice little article that came out in the most recent issue of Florida Gulf Coast University Pinnacle Magazine.

Juni
2011-05-19, 03:38 PM
A tool for extreme sports. Edge of the cliff, sea column, the Great Wall ... ... a variety of difficult off-road challenges, hone their driving skills, 20 years hypnotized

Riding a wheelbarrow that there are many different ways, the most important to it as a pleasure. You can ride through life, and in the car to try some new things." Recently, this exclusive interview via e-mail The World "single wheel of the King", he did not expect to be surrounded by beautiful mountains and very interested in Hangzhou, I hope to one day riding in this picturesque landscape, but also taught to unicycle enthusiasts in Hangzhou They play on the wheelbarrow of fun.

This first paragraph cracked me up! :D

TheRhino
2011-05-19, 03:43 PM
http://www.fgcupinnacle.com/pinnacle-articles/alumni-news/bill-mueller

Juni
2011-05-19, 03:50 PM
http://www.fgcupinnacle.com/pinnacle-articles/alumni-news/bill-mueller

As soon as my mum gets back to let me use her paypal i'll make a donation...Hope you guys make your target. :)

Well done on your 102 miles by the way! Thats a helluva ride!

JJuggle
2011-05-20, 12:14 PM
UNICYCLIST'S SUIT FALLS FLAT IN FEDERAL COURT
JOHN MARZULLI
19 May 2011
New York Daily News

A BROOKLYN FEDERAL judge has let the air out of a circus performer's claims he was falsely arrested for riding his unicycle on a Brooklyn sidewalk. Judge Brian Cogan acknowledged the law prohibiting two- and three-wheeled bikes on the sidewalk doesn't cover unicycles, but scoffed at Kyle Peterson's lawsuit claiming his constitutional rights were violated.

"I expressed some skepticism that a statute originally enacted to protect African-Americans from the most heinous deprivations of life and liberty in the Reconstruction era had devolved into permitting circus performers to recover money . . . for having wrongfully received two minor summonses," Cogan wrote yesterday.

Peterson filed a $3 million suit after he was ticketed by cops in 2007 and 2011 for riding on the sidewalk. The tickets were eventually dismissed.

Cogan said the cops "mistakenly but reasonably" thought he was breaking the law.

The cops are entitled to qualified immunity from being sued because they "mistakenly [but reasonably] thought plaintiff violated the law."

He also suggested Peterson may have been "emboldened" to ride on the sidewalk after the first summons was dismissed.

Lawyer Paul Hale says he's not deterred by the decision. "I will continue to fight for the rights of all New Yorkers, whether they are unicyclists, jugglers or sword swallowers," Hale said.

JJuggle
2011-05-20, 12:17 PM
Unicycler heading west to benefit Red Cross
12 May 2011
Bangor Daily News

PORTLAND Bob Mueller of Oakland will embark upon a 3,600-mile, trans-U.S. unicycle ride in support of the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund, "Bob Across America," at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 17, at the Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth. He will depart the Portland area determined to arrive on the West Coast near Portland, Oregon by mid-August.

You can make your donation online at the Bob Across America Ride for Relief Web page at www.maineredcross.org, or send a check payable to the American Red Cross to the American Red Cross, 2401 Congress St., Portland 04102. For more information, call 523-5122 or visit www.BobAcrossAmerica.com.

JJuggle
2011-05-31, 12:03 PM
Unique path to finding adventure
yolande dupreez
31 May 2011
Pretoria News

The world's top cyclist Lance Armstrong once said: "If you're worried about falling off the bike, you'd never get on."

These were the exact thoughts of Christo Coetzer, of Menlo Park, when he decided to get on a unicycle and become the first person to circumnavigate the islands of Mauritius and Jamaica.

Coetzer, who has been unicycling for the past two years, made his way around Mauritius in 2009 in just nine days, cycling 35km a day.

During his trip in Mauritius he slept in small towns, which provided the ideal opportunity to mingle with the locals.

He made such an impression |on them that he was appointed as |an ambassador of this paradise island. Mastering the unicycle was not easy, said Coetzer, but with the patient help and support of his mother, a ballet teacher, he did it in six weeks.

After Mauritius, Coetzer saw that "where there was a will, there was a way" and started to plan his next adventure.

Last year he successfully completed the Pick n Pay Cape Argus on his unicycle.

Then he decided to go to the island of Jamaica.

Jamaica was not a random choice.

"I have a passion for reggae music, in particular the music of Bob Marley," he said.

It was a member of Bob Marley's band who was also a unicyclist who inspired him to try it for the first time.

The plans for his trip all came together with the help of his father and mentor, Theo Coetzer.

On April 16, Coetzer became the first person to circumnavigate Jamaica on a unicycle.

His journey - One Wheel, One People, One Jamaica Adventure - started at the home of the legendary Marley.

Acting as a goodwill ambassador between South Africa and Jamaica, he rode his unicycle anti-clockwise through all 14 of the country's parishes.

Coetzer said the people of Jamaica were enthusiastic about his adventure and he experienced real Jamaican culture, cuisine, music and hospitality.

Coetzer's journey ended as he made his way through the gates of the Bob Marley Museum.

He was welcomed by Marley's two sons, Rohan and Julian.

"It was a dream come true," he said, grinning.

The project provided a unique opportunity for the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) to market the island |in a new and exciting way and be used as a tool to strengthen the bonds between South Africa and Jamaica.

Coetzer was honoured as a goodwill ambassador by the JTB and was invited as a VIP guest by the South African high commission to the Freedom Day celebrations held in Jamaica.

Asked what he planned to do next, Coetzer said he wanted to write a book on his adventures.

"I would like to give readers the opportunity to experience my adventure from the start through to the realisation of my dream."

Coetzer said that hours of video footage had also been taken during his trip and he plans to make a documentary titled One Wheel, One People, One Jamaica.

Coetzer said: "I have now completed two adventures and they were by no means my last. The world awaits."

unipsyc0
2011-05-31, 01:57 PM
I was featured in my local paper. Sadly it was a few weeks before I got my KH, so I'm still on my Sun.

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110531/NEWS02/305319957/-1/NEWSSITEMAP

Tak
2011-05-31, 09:39 PM
I love the way they crammed the entire story into the photo caption.

uniShark
2011-06-01, 03:21 AM
I was featured in my local paper. Sadly it was a few weeks before I got my KH, so I'm still on my Sun.

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110531/NEWS02/305319957/-1/NEWSSITEMAP

Nice one. Media coverage that puts you in a good light with all decent quotes (regardless of accuracy :rolleyes:) is about as good as it gets.

And +1 to Tak's comment. :D

JJuggle
2011-06-06, 12:14 PM
Unicyclist's island odyssey
yolande dupreez
31 May 2011
Cape Argus


The world's top cyclist, Lance Armstrong, once said: "If you're worried about falling off the bike, you'd never get on."

These were the exact thoughts of Christo Coetzer, of Menlo Park, when he decided to get on a unicycle and become the first person to circumnavigate Mauritius and Jamaica.

Coetzer, who has been unicycling for the past two years, made his way around Mauritius in 2009 in just nine days, cycling 35km a day.

Mastering the unicycle was not easy, said Coetzer, but with the patient help and support of his mother, a ballet teacher, he did it in six weeks.

Last year, he successfully completed the Pick n Pay Cape Argus on his unicycle. Then he decided to go to Jamaica.

"I have a passion for reggae music, in particular the music of Bob Marley," he said.

On April 16, Coetzer became the first person to circumnavigate Jamaica on a unicycle.

His journey - One Wheel, One People, One Jamaica Adventure - started at the home of the legendary Marley.

Asked what he planned to do next, Coetzer said he wanted to write a book on his adventures.

He said: "I have now completed two adventures and they were by no means my last. The world awaits."

JJuggle
2011-06-06, 12:15 PM
Heard the one about the unicyclist, the vicar and The the paediatrician?
Sam Dimmer
6 June 2011
Coventry Evening Telegraph

Trio to complete 1,100-mile bike ride to raise cash for charity

IF somebody said a vicar, unicyclist and paediatrician were planning on riding from Land's End to John O'Groats you'd probably think it was the start of a very long-winded joke.

But father and son Peter and Joe Sidebotham and their vicar David Mayhew certainly hope to be laughing come September when they've completed their bizarre trek.

The trio leave Coventry in August after months of training in preparation for the 1100-mile feat.

The idea came after Joe, 16, decided he was bored and wanted something to do.

He enlisted dad Peter, 47, a consultant paediatrician with Warwick Community Health, before asking the congregation at Holy Trinity Church if anyone fancied joining them.

To their delight and surprise vicar David Mayhew, who celebrates his 60th birthday this year, chose to get involved with the challenge.

Joe, a student at Blue Coat School, Stoke, said: "It's not the most common thing to do, that's for sure.

"I came up with the idea last year. I'd just finished a really busy couple of weeks and I was a bit bored.

"We've done Coventry to Bristol as a practice, and that was tough, but this is likely to be a fair bit tougher."

The trio are hoping to bring in thousands for three different charities close to their heart.

The cot death charity, the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), was chosen because Dr Sidebotham is a trustee with the charity and an expert in the field.

RIDING PARTNER: Rev David Mayhew Joe, of Osborne Road, Earlsdon. decided to raise cash for Spark in the Park, a free week of activities for children and their parents in War Memorial Park, after volunteering with them before.

And Servants to Asia's Urban Poor, an international movement that works in poverty-stricken slums, was selected because the family have witnessed the deprivation first hand.

Joe, who also lives with mum Helen, 47, and sister Esther, 18, took up unicycling three and a half years ago.

He said: "It's difficult to compare a unicycle to a bike. There are no gears and you can't just free-wheel down a hill, you have to keep going.

"I get back on a bike and I start wondering what these strange bars are in front of me.

Joe, David and Peter - who will both be riding more conventional bicycles - aim to complete 70 miles a day on the ride, which starts on August 14. They hope to reach John O'Groats by September 2. To sponsor the three go to mydonate.

bt.com/fundraisers/lejogunicycle .

JJuggle
2011-06-16, 05:34 PM
My company has cancelled the database I have been using to post articles here. All ethical questions regarding my own use of this database aside, I encourage all to continue to post their articles and those they find here.

This all, of course, in case anyone cares.

harper
2011-06-16, 05:35 PM
This all, of course, in case anyone cares.

This is begging for a poll.

Klaas Bil
2011-06-25, 09:12 PM
This is begging for a poll.
Has that poll been posted yet? I've been away for a few weeks and didn't see such a poll on the first page.

MT High
2011-09-26, 07:46 AM
John in QLD:
http://helmetsarehot.net/2011/09/shin-scraped-and-tired/

deadbeatpope
2011-10-02, 04:54 PM
A friend just emailed this to me...Never occurred to me to try this stunt.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/30/unicyclist-lutz-eichholz-beer-bottles_n_989508.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003#s366143&title=Guinness_World_Records

muddycycle
2011-10-02, 10:22 PM
and again: http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/sports/Beer_Bottle_Unicycling_Record_Breaker/

Klaas Bil
2011-10-03, 06:38 AM
John in QLD:
http://helmetsarehot.net/2011/09/shin-scraped-and-tired/Posters are strongly encouraged to copy the text from online articles and post it here. Reason: most online content is short-lived, while unicyclist.com is forever :-) I'll do it for you this time:

Shin scraped and tired
Posted September 25th 2011 at 10:00 pm by admin

I can barely lift my head from the pillow to introduce you to John – nine unicycles later the man’s ready for action. Katherine and I stopped with Tim and Ben for a lazy Sunday chinwag with John this morning at Daisy Hill.

Did you know they make unicycles with gears?

Katherine is a great ride companion – patient and helpful, but it’s random fellow travelers that help make a day a bit special. I’ve still a lot to learn before I can be properly hooked, but I have to say, mountain biking is something else. I’m still trying to put my finger on it.

Doing it on one wheel seems totally unfathomable. Power to you John.

I won’t give it too much hype, because Ms Meare’s timely generosity will speak for itself, but I am looking forward to answering the hard questions…

I’m sure that Anna doesn’t unicycle, but I’m pretty sure that she’d power the hell out of it.

Klaas Bil
2011-10-03, 06:45 AM
A friend just emailed this to me...Never occurred to me to try this stunt.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/30/unicyclist-lutz-eichholz-beer-bottles_n_989508.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003#s366143&title=Guinness_World_Records
TEXT COPY:

That's one sweet ride. A unicyclist with almost unshakable balance pedaled his wheel across the mouths of 127 beer bottles in a row.

The specialized skill belongs to Lutz Eichholz, 25, who slowly rolled his unicycle over the empties at an exhibition in Tel Aviv, CBS reports.

After a few false starts in which he fell from his glass tight rope, the German athlete successfully navigated the route.

Eichholz dominates the arcane field of unicycling atop beer bottles. Earlier this year he set a world record for cruising over 26 feet of bottles. His latest spin on Monday took him 29 feet. The World Records Academy already declared it the longest ride ever in the category, while its rival, Guinness World Records, hasn't confirmed yet that the feat deserves a place in the history books, CBS said.

aspenmike
2011-10-03, 10:47 PM
Unicyclist scales Mauna Kea
Wednesday, September 28 1:09 am

Click the image to view gallery
On Sept. 12, Mike Tierney, 51, of Aspen, Colo., became the first unicyclist to attempt and succeed in climbing Mauna Kea on a unicycle.

Peddling his 29-inch unicycle, Tierney made his way safely from Hilo Bay to the Saddle Road with help from a retired Hilo police detective.

From the Mauna Kea access road turnoff to the summit, the climb becomes very steep, with 7,700 feet of evalation gained in those particular 14 miles, he said.

Tierney was the first unicyclist to ride up Haleakala, a feat he accomplished in 2008.

That ride was 36 miles and took Tierney six hours.

"I knew Mauna Kea, from Hilo Bay to the summit, would be much tougher than Haleakala," he said.

Tierney's wife, Annie, and his nephew, Ian, who flew over from Oahu to help support him, met up with Tierney just before the Mauna Kea Visitor Center. They met again on the summit, and enjoyed the spectacular sunset.

Tierney said he wound up having to walk a couple of the dirt switchbacks.

"It was just too steep and loose, I could not maintain traction," he said.

But 44 miles and 11 hours after he started, Tierney reached the summit, becoming "the first unicyclist to ride from sea to summit on the world's hardest hillclimb," he said.

aspenmike
2011-10-08, 01:08 AM
Not sure how to get this on here besides a link, any help??

This is from the Mauna Kea visitor center webpage, check it out. I am between a Supernova and Antares, very cool.

http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/photo-gallery.html

LoneReaction
2011-10-08, 06:23 AM
It seems like you can't right click and save it. You could do a print screen, but what I did was to view the page source (bunch of html code) and saved the picture to my computer. Hope it doesn't break any rules here.. :rolleyes:

Obtusellama
2011-10-12, 04:12 AM
Unfortunately I missed the coloured edition, but here's 2 photos I appeared in for ride to work day!

http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/317089_2336084994430_1019005178_2646131_1954074543_n.jpg
http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/318404_2336090834576_1019005178_2646133_1955432144_n.jpg

MT High
2011-10-13, 11:36 PM
The Age (Melbourne, Australia)
14th October 2011

The Power of One Times Two
by Rachel Wells

WHEN a cousin introduced identical twins Sophie and Amanda Fontaine to a unicycle several years ago, the pair, now 13, fell in love with it immediately.

''It was a huge challenge at first, but it was also a lot of fun. We just wanted to persist with it and master it,'' says Amanda. ''Now it's something we just really enjoy and can do together.''

On their 10th birthday, the girls from Hernes Oak, in Gippsland, received a unicycle each.

Locals in the small Gippsland town are used to seeing the twins on their unicycles but it doesn't stop the smart remarks.

''They still get a few comments,'' says the girls' mother, Marianne Fontaine. ''Like, 'Can't your parents afford a whole bicycle for you?' The other day someone said to Amanda, 'I think you've lost your wheel, you'd better go and chase it', because they'd spotted Sophie up the road on her unicycle.''

In recent weeks, the girls have been spotted around town more than usual as they train for this Sunday's Around the Bay cycling challenge. For the second year running, the pair will join 18,000 riders who can choose a 50, 100, 135, 210 or 250-kilometre route. The girls will again ride 50 kilometres.

This year, however, they will ditch their Lycra for colourful clown outfits. ''When people see us they often ask us if we're from the circus, so we thought we'd dress up as clowns and have some fun while we do it,'' Amanda says.

The pair will be joined by their mother on two-wheels. Their father and brother will also ride longer routes on their bicycles. The pair are aiming to raise money for the Smith Family, which is the charity partner of the event run by Bicycle Network Victoria.

_________________
Original article here (http://www.theage.com.au/national/melbourne-life/the-power-of-one-times-two-20111013-1lmyk.html), also includes a picture.

MuniAddict
2011-11-04, 08:02 PM
A little blurb (http://www.easyreadernews.com/36090/newsmakers-mira-costa-alum-earns-200th-coaching-victory/) of my recent marathon. Got a new magazine interview out soon. It's from another country, but also translated to English, by one of our own forum members. :)

Pedaling non-stop for nearly 25,000 revolutions, 55-year-old Terry “UniGeezer” Peterson,
of Redondo Beach, completed the 26.2-mile Long Beach Marathon while riding his 36” unicycle.
“I finished in two hours and 12 minutes, which is not bad considering I had no gears and one
less wheel than the other 3,000-plus riders,” said Peterson, who also filmed his journey.
For more information, visit www.unigeezer.com (http://www.unigeezer.com).

MuniAddict
2011-11-07, 06:20 PM
I was honored to be interviewed recently for the French Uni Magazine, "Le Girafon". Francois Wurmser wrote the article, which was translated to English by uni forum Member known as, jaco_flans. Thanks Jakob and Francois!

These are links to the magazine:

http://monocycle.info/girafon/index.html

http://girafon.xserver-x.org/


“Le Girafon Federe”

Unicycle Magazine
October, 2011

Terry Peterson interview
By Francois Wurmser

(English translation courtesy of Jakob Flansberry)


Terry Peterson. Isn’t it a familiar name? A little bit earlier this year, Unicycle.com did a survey on its website…“Who is your favorite unicycle personality?” First place was Kris Holm, no surprise there. Second place, Terry Peterson. We wanted to know a little bit more about this atypical personality of the unicycle world, hyper active on the virtual community, pet of the American medias and however mostly a solo unicyclist.

You are well known by the unicyclists on the other side of the Atlantic; however, the French unicyclists don’t know you. Can you introduce yourself?

TP: My name is Terry Peterson, a.k.a. “Unigeezer”, my motto is “Not 2 tired”. On the international unicyclist forum my username is “MuniAddict”. I’ve been a member of the forum for about 5 years now, and I consider the unicycling community like an extension of my family! I’m 55 years old and do extreme unicycling (56 in January 2012). I love MUni, long distance on my 36”, Trials and now, I’m trying to learn flatland, ha-ha! Yes I started a little bit late, but my way to see it, I’m just getting started!

What do you do for a living?

TP: I am a piano tuner. I tune, repair and restore pianos, and love it. I started my business in 2000. Earlier, I used to be a DJ in nightclubs and on radio. For several years before that, I also performed as a humorist and a professional ventriloquist. I still like the scene, but now it’s just for fun.

How did you get into unicycling?

TP: I learned to ride at the age of 11, in 1967. Like most kids, I learned really fast, after 2 weeks I could ride one footed, backwards, idle and drop curbs. After a year, I stopped and went on to other things, like kids normally do. Forty years later I decided to take it up again, in December 2005. I had been getting a tad “pudgy” (34 inches waist size) and I wanted to get fit again. I thought about biking, swimming and running but it all looked boring. While surfing the internet, I landed on unicycle.com and ordered my first “MUni”, and It was the best decision of my life! In 6 months I lost 11kg of fat, and I went back to 29 inches waist size! I also meet and rode with Kris Holm and many other awesome riders from all over the world!

”Unigeezer”, “Not 2 tired”. Your nickname and your motto are related to your age. Extreme sports are mostly related to youth. Is it an objective for you to show that difference, or is it a lifestyle you want to promote?

TP: For me, unicycling is a part of me that is ingrained in my soul! I love it and I live it everyday. Even though I didn’t start extreme unicycling until the age of 50, I am living proof that age is only a number, and if you want it, you can have it, if you’re willing to pay the price. And I’m proud to be an ambassador for our awesome sport, and remember that it’s a great way to get and stay fit, while having a blast!

In a lot of your videos the scenery is amazing. Where do you ride?
Do you travel a lot to unicycle?

TP: Most of my rides, whether it’s MUni, 36er, Trials or now Flatland are all around my local area. I live in the city of Lomita, in Southern California, a little suburb in Los Angeles county. It’s really close to the seaside resorts, where I do most of my 36er rides. On the weekends, I go a little bit farther to ride my favorite trails. I went in Moab for the Munifest, also to Nevada for a Muni Weekend. My favorite trails are located in Santa Barbara, San Diego and Pine Valley in the south of California. One day, I would like to go in Whistler (north of Vancouver, west coast of Canada), to ride with Kris Holm on his favorite trails.

Last July, you added your name to a small group of riders who have completed a Century, 100 miles in one day. Can you tell us about your experience?

TP: My century is one of the rides I’m the most proud of. I really wanted to ride for a good cause; I decided to ride for the American Cancer Society. I was lucky to have some good publicity for the event, especially on TV and the local newspapers. One of my sponsors, Twins Bike Shop, helped me a lot to promote the event. I trained a lot before my 100 mile ride, and I felt that I was ready, and could do it! It took me about 11 hours total, and 10 hours on the unicycle. I had some aches and pains afterwards, but it was worth it. And it made a lot of money for the association.

You seem to like making movies, and talk about the sport. How did you become such an ambassador of the sport?

TP: I didn’t plan on becoming an ambassador of the sport, but I am really happy and proud to promote it. I’ve had the good luck to be in books, magazines, on the radio, TV, documentaries, newspapers, ect. All this to tell the rest of the world: unicycling (and its extreme variations) is a real sport, it deserves its place, and it will last! And I really love making videos as well, and appreciate all the positive feedback and support I’ve received in the last five years. If I can inspire people to unicycle, whatever their age, it’s so worth it.

What do you think about the actual development of our sport?

TP: I think that extreme unicycling is still in its infancy, much like skateboarding was in the early 70s. But unicycling is starting to get very visible, and more and more people are seeing it on Youtube and the internet in general; a HUGE advantage that skateboarding didn’t have when it started. I’m really enthusiastic by the progress of our sport, and the people, young and older, getting into unicycling.

How do you see your future in the unicycling world?

TP: I see it continuing to evolve and gaining world-wide acceptance as the legitimate sport that it is. Unicycling has made a big step forward since the old basic and cheap unicycles I used to ride back in the 1960s! And with Kris Holm on the leading edge of technology, the quality keeps getting better; it lets those of us who push the limits have the confidence that our unis will hold up under the most extreme conditions.

Have you ever participated in a competition unicycle? Would you participate in a NAUCC (American Cup)
a UNICON? Also, would you participate in a Unitour?

TP: Unfortunately, my life-long aversion to flying has prevented me from traveling to many places and events. And with ADHD, (Attention Deficit Hyper activity Disorder) I really do not have the patience to drive more than a hundred miles (160km). But I'd love to participate in these events, not just to ride, but especially to meet so many exceptional unicyclists, who have a shared passion for unicycling. Recently, I attended the "Spring Challenge", an event in Southern California. There were eight of us on Munis, mostly 29ers, but not having that size at that time, I rode my 36er in “MUni mode”.

You said you wanted to learn flat, trials and street. All your usual disciplines are not really related to those. Why did you want to try learning flat? Have you ever been tempted to try freestyle, or street? What is your favorite type of riding?

TP: I never tried freestyle, other than spinning in a tight circle, but I did a lot of street-type riding on my 24", including stair sets, with a personal rolling hop record of eight stairs. I suppose one of my motivations to try flat is to become the oldest to do it, haha. The main reason though, is that it adds a nice challenge for me, and I really think I can do it!

Stupid question ... more one becomes older, it becomes difficult to recover possible after injury. When you look at your videos, we have not feel that it hinders you. Is there apprehension for you? Do it sometimes keep you from attempting what it is you want to achieve?

TP: Although the thought of getting injured is still present, I try not to let it interfere. I try to visualize what I want to do, and I seem to know my limits. I'm still learning and progressing since starting again back in December, 2005, both in my abilities to ride, and physically. I have never been more fit in my life, and I owe it all to unicycling!

Do you ride mostly alone, have clubs in your local area, or simply
get together for informal group rides?

TP: I ride solo about 98% of the time. Not that I don’t like riding
with others, but since my business allows me to set my own schedule, I have the chance to ride almost every day, at a moment’s notice. Most other unicyclists don’t have this luxury, having such obligations as family, work constraints, etc. In addition, most of them live more than 70km from my area, so it’s not so easy to arrange group rides on a regular basis. But I still enjoy riding solo as well. It gives me time to get in the “zone” and work on lines and sections of a trail, and work the technique. I enjoy taking my time, and with all that I film, I would end up slowing down other riders, which I wouldn’t want to do.

For me, life is very similar to Muni, it’s not about avoiding the obstacles, but confronting them head on and overcoming them! As I missed almost 40 years unicycling, starting over again at age 50, I have a lot of catching up to do! My goal is to still be riding well into my 80’s!

Find Terry on www.unigeezer.com (http://www.unigeezer.com) and on youtube
(Ttt8699) and facebook (Terry Roy Peterson).

jaco_flans
2011-11-10, 08:55 PM
Awesome Terry, here's the video link you wanted me to post of all my work :p

Terry Peterson text interview. - YouTube

danger_uni
2011-11-27, 01:55 AM
Hi,

Here's one, a shoot for Mercedes Benz. The filming is from last month (October):
http://mb.mercedes-benz.com/en/article/220/One+Wheel+Adventure

Click on "Movie" at the top or go here for the short film:
http://www.mercedes-benz.tv/en/clip-1724/Balanced+mind%2C+controlled+body

Cheers,

Kris

knoxuni
2011-11-27, 03:22 AM
Y'all are going to bring MUni mail stream

scott ttocs
2011-11-28, 12:36 AM
Hi,

Here's one, a shoot for Mercedes Benz. The filming is from last month (October):
http://mb.mercedes-benz.com/en/article/220/One+Wheel+Adventure




Nice ad!

So if I want to demonstrate my balance, skill and daring, I should buy a beamer? Will the new BMW models come with a Kris Holm's signature?

Scott

Klaas Bil
2011-11-28, 08:13 AM
Hi,

Here's one, a shoot for Mercedes Benz.
Here's the plain text. Pity I can't save the video in here.
===========================================

One Wheel Adventure


Unicycling has turned into a competitive sport, going from circus acts to urban riding to off-road mountain terrains and vertical drops
GABRIEL TAMEZ
is an architect and a self-proclaimed culinary genius. Considers the world as his playground.



The development of the bicycle since the 1800s has amounted to a science when it comes to picking out your mode of transportation: trekking bicycles, commuter bicycles, freight bicycles, time trial bicycles, BMX bikes, and countless of others. But if we follow this progression, a distinct tangent peeled off during the late 19th century. In the 1880s, the penny-farthing or the high wheel, simply known as "bicycles", gained popularity in the Western world and had cyclists riding high and nearly directly over the front axle of a relatively large front wheel. However, many owners discovered that they could simply ride the front wheel and handlebars, dispensing with the secondary wheel and the rest of the contraption. Experts count this modified version of penny-farthing riding as the origins of the contemporary unicycle.

The unicycle, however, remained within the boundaries of circus entertainment and private enthusiasts while the bicycle took the stage lights in popularity and turned into a widespread sport in itself. That is, until recently. One of the swiftest growing forms of unicycling is on rough terrain, known as "mountain unicycling", which comes with it's own specialty unicycle. Mountain unicycles differ from the standard in that the tire diameters are larger, either 24 or 26 inches, allowing the rider to traverse across any trail or surface that a mountain bicycle is capable of handling. In light of such rough terrains, the saddle of a mountain unicycle is also thicker and more comfortable. Mountain unicyclists train to maneuver, balance, and react to anything from rocky slopes and dirt to snow and ice as well as drops, bridges, and walls. Meet the one-wheeled dare devil, Kris Holm, who seems to have no fear in pushing this sport to the limit (see video above). A pioneer of the sport, Kris has ridden technically difficult terrain in 15 countries, including trade routes in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan and on the Great Wall of China. In 2006, Kris climbed and attempted a unicycle descent of Licancabur, a 5950 m volcano in Bolivia. Kris was the first rider to bring mountain unicycling to a mainstream audience.

The construction of a unicycle isn't a complex one as it consists of a few key elements: a saddle, a seat post, a forked frame, pedals, cranks, and the wheel inclusive of tire, tube, rim, spokes, hub and axle. The actual mastering of riding a unicycle is a different story altogether as Mr. Holm explains in the video. In theory, a unicyclist is always subconsciously aware that they are at a state of imbalance. The unicycle by itself lacks stability when stationary on its own. The rider then adds the core strength, balance, and agility needed to bring the wheel under their center of gravity and thus correct the rider-unicycle system into a state of upright equilibrium. This process of centering weight is the basic stabilization move called "idling." The next feat is obviously motion. This necessitates that the rider incites the wheel's rotation through pedaling, thus displacing his centering from the contact point between wheel and ground. Simply put, it's a voluntary decision to "fall" in the direction the rider wishes to move. Balance is again lost, until the rider almost immediately regains centering while accelerating forward or backwards.

Unicyclists such as Kris Holm have long since mastered the basics and are now pinning their skill against nature as they roll, skid, and jump over roots, rocks, and vertical drops. Some of the other unique tricks possible are 360 degree air spins, over six foot drops, leaping over two foot barriers while descending, riding up and down stairs, and gliding without brakes on steep slopes. The major advantage of a unicycle over a bicycle is the ability to turn on a dime and fit through narrower spaces.

If this peaks your interest and you're determined to start your one-wheeled balancing adventure, mountain unicycles can either be spotted at specialty bicycle shops or ordered online through such companies as unicycle.com. Such stores offer entire unicycles for purchasing as well as specialty frames and parts, protective gear, and accessories. Experts agree that aside from design and quality, strength is one of the most important qualities for off road riding when picking out your unicycle. Once you've picked out the one you desire, work on your balance first before attempting to jump down a six-foot wall. Safety first, then with determination, pedal your way up to Mr. Holm's dare devil status.

More about Kris Holm’s adventures: www.krisholm.com

MuniAddict
2011-11-28, 04:05 PM
Hi,

Here's one, a shoot for Mercedes Benz. The filming is from last month (October):
http://mb.mercedes-benz.com/en/article/220/One+Wheel+Adventure

Click on "Movie" at the top or go here for the short film:
http://www.mercedes-benz.tv/en/clip-1724/Balanced+mind%2C+controlled+body

Cheers,

KrisKris, I only just saw this post, and wow, that was so inspiring! How did you get the commercial? Did they contact you or was it through your agent? Congrats to you sir! :)

mtb
2011-11-28, 09:11 PM
This process of centering weight is the basic stabilization move called "idling." The next feat is obviously motion.

I love the implication that idling is easier than riding. Cool article and advert though.

MuniAddict
2011-11-29, 12:47 AM
Awesome Terry, here's the video link you wanted me to post of all my work :p

Terry Peterson text interview. - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hENI04J9dog)That was so great of you to take the time to do that and I'm glad you posted the video so everyone can see and appreciate just how much work you put into translating the article! Thanks again Jaco! :)

anton005
2011-11-30, 03:12 AM
That was so great of you to take the time to do that and I'm glad you posted the video so everyone can see and appreciate just how much work you put into translating the article! Thanks again Jaco! :)

Terry,
I just read the interview/article above. Lately my age has been getting the better of me (mentally). Your words and your actions speak volumes to me. I've said it before and I'm going to say it again, thanks for doing what you do, you are a big inspiration.

Anton

MuniAddict
2011-12-05, 08:45 PM
This just came in the mail today after more than a month in transit from France! Thanks again to Francois Wurmser for writing the article and putting all together, and also Jakob Flansberry (jaco_flans (http://unicyclist.com/forums/member.php?u=15841)) for the incredible job of translating to English! I'm told also that this edition going to print is not something they do often, so I am doubly grateful to have the actual magazine in physical form!

51591

51588

51589

This is the back, haha! :)
51590

Pagee
2011-12-12, 11:22 PM
One of our local papers gave great exposure for our club.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/east-bays-courier/6098273/Club-with-one-track-minds

Plus a video and great shot while at skate park

JJuggle
2011-12-13, 01:34 AM
Nice article. Here's the text for posterity:

Club with one track minds
JOE DAWSON
07/12/2011

You could call them a bike gang but there's nothing intimidating about them.

The Manukau Unicycle Club is more shorts and t-shirts than leathers and hogs but what they lack in menace they make up for with a unique grace and athleticism.

We caught up with the some of the one-wheelers at the skatepark in Barry Curtis Park in Flat Bush to learn a bit more about the sport and what is a pretty exclusive little club.

Numbering around 20 members, the club's unicyclists range in ability from novice to highly experienced, with an age range from six to 60.

Among them is veteran unicyclist Tony Melton who has been riding since 1990.

He says it's a sport that just seems to capture the imagination of some people.

"A school friend would ride to school and it looked like a tricky challenge and something I wanted to learn," Tony says.

"I learnt on his and eventually got my own and I've kept going. I've even made a job out of my passion."

He says the unicycle presents endless challenges.

"There are always new things to learn.

"You can do street riding, freestyle or off-roading."

Tony takes his unicycle to terrain usually favoured by riders on machines sporting not only two wheels but also suspension shocks and state-of-the-art gear systems.

"The steeper the better," he says.

"I've had lots of minor falls but nothing serious. You can't freewheel so you can only go as fast as you can pedal.

"It's not a massively high-speed sport so it's relatively safe."

Vincent Smith, 17, of Papatoetoe, has been unicycling for three years and says it was something about the distinctive nature of the sport that attracted him.

"I saw a group of people doing a demonstration and thought I'd buy a unicycle," he says.

"At first it was just something different that not many people do.

"But it's not just riding, there are all sorts of tricks and skills you can develop."

Some of his favourites include the freespin (a kind of pirouette), wheelwalking (propelling the cycle forwards by walking along the wheel) and the koosh-koosh (backwards wheelwalking).

He says while it might look tricky, anyone can pick it up. "A lot of people think you need good balance but I don't think so. It might take some people longer than others but it's possible for anyone."

The Manukau Unicycle Club meets 5pm to 7pm every Tuesday at the Arena Building, 9 Lambie Drive, Manukau. Contact Bryan Page on 0274-967-318 or visit www.unicycle.co.nz.

nordicnoel
2011-12-20, 05:17 PM
From the South Bend Tribune:
Bethel student is a one-wheeled wonder: Unicyclist masters tricks in an urban playground.

http://www.southbendtribune.com/community/sbt-bethel-student-is-a-onewheeled-wonder-20111218,0,7028177.story

harper
2011-12-20, 07:30 PM
From the South Bend Tribune:
Bethel student is a one-wheeled wonder: Unicyclist masters tricks in an urban playground.



Here's the article:

*

By DANIEL JONES

6:30 a.m. EST, December 18, 2011
MISHAWAKA -- Glancing down from the top of a flight of five stairs, Zach VanHuisen quickly sizes up the gap, holds onto his unicycle in a style reminiscent of a pogo stick, and takes the leap.

He clears all five stairs with ease, rolling off of the curb and into the street. Jumping five stairs is a new personal record.

It isn’t every day that you see an extreme unicyclist.

That is, unless you know VanHuisen, a freshman at Bethel College from Fort Wayne.

Two and a half years ago, he was attempting to learn how to ride. He’d hold onto a fence, roll a few feet, and fall. He repeated the process. After only four hours of riding, he was riding across the blacktop comfortably.

He has moved well beyond that, learning to ride backward, hop off ledges and perform what he calls a “one-eighty uni-spin.”

The last trick is a maneuver that consists of VanHuisen grabbing the seat, leaping into the air while his unicycle spins 180 degrees underneath him, and landing back on the seat in time to peddle away.

VanHuisen, 18, can be seen regularly peddling down the streets of Mishawaka and South Bend, pulling off tricks. Most of these tricks use obstacles found on the streets, creating a sort of urban playground for anyone brave enough to try the sport of unicycling.

“I typically go for ledges, and I do flatland a lot,” said VanHuisen, a visual arts major at Bethel. “The stairs around here are pretty sweet, specifically by the riverwalk.”

VanHuisen has met one other unicyclist in the area, but street unicycling in this town might be unique to him.

“People think that they can’t do it because they don’t have natural balance, but that’s totally false,” VanHuisen said. “Anyone can do it, you just need perseverance.”

And if you’re attempting to learn the tricks VanHuisen showcases, it may take a lot of perseverance.

Currently, VanHuisen is learning to ride backward, or “fakie” stance, as he calls it. He’s also attempting to land a “360 uni-spin,” which is like the one-eighty uni-spin, but with an extra rotation.

“It’s difficult to learn a new trick if I’m worried about injuring myself,” VanHuisen said. “Really keeping an open mind is the best idea when learning something new.”

VanHuisen described the most enjoyable parts of unicycle riding as “the new ideas I get daily, and entertaining those around me with the skill I have.”

He did have one last piece of advice for aspiring unicyclists:

“Until you can balance, don’t try anything fancy,” he said with a broad grin.

Daniel Jones is an extreme sports enthusiast as well as a friend of Zach VanHuisen. Both attend Bethel College.

MuniAddict
2012-02-15, 11:29 PM
I found this recent uni article, out of Marianna FL. About halfway down I was surprised to see a little mention. :o

http://www2.jcfloridan.com/news/2012/feb/12/unicycle-club-starting-marianna-ar-3209905/

By: Lauren Delgado | Jackson County Floridan
Published: February 12, 2012


Bill Conrad hadn’t seen a unicycle since he was in elementary school, so when his son Elijah asked for one a few Christmases ago, he was a bit mystified. He decided to buy one this Christmas, and between accidental extra purchases and the unforeseen interest from three of his other children, Heidi, Joseph and Rachael, the family started riding.

“I said we’d go to the emergency room the first day,” Bill said.
But the family didn’t go to the emergency room. Through practice and by watching YouTube videos, the children learned how to ride.
“I gave them one half a bicycle and they just tried to ride it,” Bill said.
The Conrad family wants to keep up and introduce this hobby to other locals by starting a club. The first meeting is scheduled for Feb. 19 around 1-1:30 p.m. at Citizens Lodge Park.

“The goal is to keep their interest going,” Bill said. “It gets them out of the house. It gets them exercising and it’s a challenge.”
The idea behind the club is to get those interested involved in the community, using their skills for parades or nursing home visits. Of course, the unicyclers will also help each other learn to ride and improve their skills.

YouTube videos like those starring “UniGeezer,” a 56-year-old unicyclist, gave the Conrads ideas for tricks they could perform. After about a month and half with the bikes, they can get on the bike without help, unicycle backward, and even make the bike jump about two feet off the ground.

The next trick Joseph wants to attempt is called a flatland. For this trick, he pushes the wheel with his feet.
“It’s just unreal what they can do with the unicycle,” Bill said.
The Conrads also got their friends, the Young family, into the sport as well. After about two weeks with the unicycles, Mason, Taylor and Michael whizz around on their bikes.

Bill said unicycle riding takes more exercise then people may think. By holding onto homes, parked cars and the like, the children learned to clamber onto the bike. A sense of balance has to be acquired.

“It doesn’t feel right at first,” Joseph explained.
The Conrads found that flat surfaces like pavement worked well for them, although grass would probably be better for anyone who falls a lot. The families have had only a few spills.

“That’s what surprises me, they just keep riding,” said Steve Young, the father of Mason, Taylor and Michael

Klaas Bil
2012-02-20, 01:17 AM
Always nice to see unicycling appear in the media. This articles sports quite a few inaccuracies though.

Dr D
2012-02-26, 02:12 AM
http://www.therecord.com/news/local/article/676865--snow-ride

A short article. Nice snow conditions this morning.

harper
2012-02-26, 04:43 AM
http://www.therecord.com/news/local/article/676865--snow-ride

A short article. Nice snow conditions this morning.

Here's the article:

KITCHENER – Drew Ripley finally got the snow he’s been waiting for on Saturday morning.

The local unicycle enthusiast has been wanting to try out his customized unicycle – complete with a special snow tire – on snow and got that chance with a ride down Krug Street.

Ripley is the founding member of the Kitchener Unicyclists club, which is building support and interest via Facebook.

steveyo
2012-04-23, 05:43 PM
Got a semi-press release (http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012304190041) in the Poughkeepsie Journal recently, about a race I'm doing this coming weekend 29-APR-2012, the Singlespeed-a-Palooza. The reporter interviewed me by phone, and pretty much got her facts straight.

Here's the text:

Without Limits: Annual Singlespeed event draws diverse biking crowd


There was a time not all that long ago when a one-speed bike was pretty much viewed like a rotary phone — an inefficient relic.

No longer. An idea Dark Horse Cycles founder George Zubalsky explains as a stupid post-ride joke that sounded better and better with each beer has blossomed into one of the area’s premier bike races.

On April 29, 250 cyclists will compete at Stewart Forest in Dark Horse’s fourth annual Singlespeed-A-Palooza. There’s one common-sense element to riding one-speed mountain bikes through woods: No derailleur to be easily ripped off.

The five-category field, which includes pros, will ride 12 miles of trail twice. The race, with sponsorship by Niner Bikes, includes monetary and other prizes, including painted horseshoe trophies with useable/detachable chainring and cog.

But Singlespeed-A-Palooza is possibly more about fun than finishes.

“It’s a hoot ... it’s a big party. It’s like Sturgis,” Zubalsky said, referring to the South Dakota motorcycle rally. Zubalsky characterizes one-speeders as the free spirits of mountain bike riding.
[******]
And perhaps the freest at A-Palooza is Steve Relles, the race’s only unicyclist. The 49-year-old Delmar man, who started unicycling in 2004, is competing in the Singlespeed-A-Palooza for a third time.

Last year, he finished last in 4 hours, 33 minutes, 28 seconds, which he blames on both his lack of conditioning and course conditions. About 3 inches of rain fell the night before, creating, Relles noted, “really sick mud, like peanut butter” and puddles — some 2-feet deep and 50 yards long. People pretty much walked those areas.

Relles, who said unicycling combines athleticism and exhibitionism, guesses he put a foot down 20 times per lap to keep upright. But his knee pads and wrist guards came in handy, since he fell about five times per lap. The unicycle Relles rides doesn’t have a brake, so while going downhill he must press his legs against his spinning pedals to slow.

While he beat about a third of the two-wheeled cyclists in an eight-mile, uphill road race at Whiteface and has biked 75 straight miles on pavement, Singlespeed-A-Palooza’s 24 miles are about his trail-riding limit.

The former computer programmer, who’s now the Delmar Dog Butler (he poop-scoops for 60 clients), had hoped to get four other one-wheelers to Stewart to create a unicycling category this year, but the race sold out too quickly. So he remains the only unicyclist — a fact not lost on the rest of the field.

“Bikers give me a look of praise. ... They think what I do is not even possible,” he said. Most, if not all, will no doubt be enjoying pretzels, beer and hot dogs (last year Zubalsky served up 525) by the time Relles finishes.

The post-race party is one reason the race went from a totally unexpected 158 riders the first year to its large-but-manageable 250 cap by the second.

One of Matt Davies’ goals is simply not finishing No. 250.

“I’m hyped up for it,” said the 57-year-old Poughkeepsie resident and Bikeway rider, who’s more of a long-distance (100-mile) racer but likes this race’s setting and friendly atmosphere.

The key in singlespeed is to not brake to keep your momentum going, Davies said. And you “burn a few less matches,” as Davies puts it, walking steep hills, rather than trying to pedal up.

Besides using less energy, it’s basically just as fast. It’s not uncommon, he said, to see cyclists walking in what amounts to a conga line.

“There are only three speeds in singlespeed — sitting, standing and walking,” Davies quipped.

“You’re either going really fast or you’re walking,” explained Pawling’s Brian Kelley.

Many started riding a one-speed simply for training, including Kelley’s Pawling Cycle teammate, Jim Brockway.

The 36-year-old Hopewell resident liked it so much he now only rides one-speed. This is by far the biggest field of one-speeders in which he competes.

But Kelley, who’ll likely ride singlespeed in about a dozen of the 15 or so mountain bike races he’ll do this year, has been in 1,000-rider, singlespeed races out West.

A-Palooza sometimes draws Western riders and always draws from the lower mid-Atlantic states up through New England.

“The best of the best is there,” said Kelley, who competes in Pro/Expert. “It’s a showdown.”

And that’s fine with the 41-year-old, who, like the singlespeed itself, has a lot of racing life left.

Kelley, who has finished top-10 in each A-Palooza, including last year’s ninth-place-overall 2:09:02, said, “I’m racing against 20-year-olds. ... That’s almost the best thing about it. It’s beating kids half your age. I live for that.”

Lanaboos
2012-05-06, 11:09 PM
Columbia Basin Herald, Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Attendance up at Ephrata's Beezley Burn
By Lynne Lynch,
Herald managing editor | Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 9:00 am
EPHRATA - Attendance increased by at least 75 riders, if not more, during the weekend's Beezley Burn mountain bike race in Ephrata.
Jake Maedke, an event spokesperson, said 125 people took part in last year's event.
Saturday morning, there were 180 riders and counting, he estimated.
He credits the increase to the event joining the seven race Fat Tire Revolution series. The Echo Valley Rally, near Echo Valley Chelan ski area, is the next race in the series on May 12.
Bikers came to Ephrata from throughout the state, including Seattle, the east side and Wenatchee, to ride the eight mile lap course, he said.
Maedke described the course as "pretty rugged and challenging."
"There's lots of challenge out there and lots of climbing," he commented.
The Beezley Burn is in its eighth year of existence and has drawn more riders throughout the years. He recalls the first year, when there were just 46 participants. Saturday, racers departed from Lion's Park, climbing a steep hill to get started.
Once through most of the course, finishers rode down a hill into the grassy area of the park to the sound of bells ringing.
Garren Hawn, of the Wenatchee-based Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, attended, explaining the alliance helps with other races in the Fat Tire Revolution series.
It was his first time at the Beezley Burn and the first time the alliance had a group racing there.
He commented there were many good racing groups on hand, including Mafia Racing and Vicious Cycling.
Joe Myers, of Bellingham, finished on a unicycle. He thought he was the only unicyclist there.
"It was great, it was warm," Myers said.
Saturday was his first time finishing the Beezley Burn, but he completed comparable races in more extreme conditions, he explained.
In March, he unicycled the Red 2 Red mountain bike race in Echo, Ore., in 30 to 40 mph winds.
Nearby Kristen Crupi, of Seattle, and her son, Leroi Smith, 2, were watching the event.
Crupi's husband was taking part.
The race marked the first overnight trip the couple experienced after Leroi was born, she recalled.
First through third place results by age group:
0-99
First, Courtenay McFadden, 27, Voler/Bicycle Centers, 2:09, second, Natasha Hernday, 41, Mafia, 2:10, third, Erika Krumpelman, 45, Team REP, 2:15.
0-99
First, Logan Wetzel, 25, Noble Bikes, 1:45:23, second, Garett Heitman, 36, Clif Bar, 1:45:47, third, Kevin Bradford-Parish, 30, SETcoach, 1:48.
Female 19-44
First, Whitney Anderson, 25, Voler/Bicycle Center, 2:40, second, Rebecca Jensen, 27, Peterson Racing, 2:52.
Female 35 and over
First, Jenni Gaertner, 37, Team REP, 2:24, second, Molly Martin, 44, Mafia Racing Northwest, 2:50.
Male 19-34
First, Tyson Lashbrook, 33, MAFIA Racing, 1:57, second, Justin Berndt, 31, Mafia Racing NW, 2:04, third, Chris Ellis, 27, Voler Bicycle Center, 2:09.
Male 35 to 44
First, Cameron York, 39, 2 Wheeler, 2:00, second, Parker Lund, 42, Mafia Northwest, 2:01:19, third, Andy Rigel, 37, Mafia Racing NW, 2:01:33.
Male 45 and over
First, Jeff Cummings, 50, Jack's Bicycle Center, 1:57. second, Bob Ludeman, 46, Audi, 2:04, third, Rocky Crocker, 49, Team W.A.R., 2:05.
Male 0-99
First, Solomon Woras, 30, Methow Cycle and Sport, 2:02:13, second, Rainer Leuschke, 41, Blue Rooster/SMC, 2:02:33, third, Doug Graver, 47, Mafia Racing NW, 2:03.
Female 19-34
First, Jessica Culnane, 29, CLIF Bar, 1:46, second, Dana Wolf, 34, no team listed, 1:49, third, Wendy Stredwick, 34, Rep, 1:50.
Female 35 and over
First, Natalie Koncz, 36, Zuster Cycling, 1:37, second, Alison Haug, 42, no team listed, 1:40, third, Sarah Charlesworth-Attie, 35, Peterson, 1:45.
Male 19-34
First, Jeff Koncz, 34, cyclocrossracing.com, 1:23, second, Scott Reed, 27, no team listed, 27, 1:24, third, Nigel Davies, 31, EMDE, 1:26.
Male 35-44
First, JD Lopez, 37, The Bike Hub, 1:22, second, Nicholas Brown, 39, Recycled Cycles racing, 1:24, third, Jeb Sorum, 43, Momentum Brewing Co.
Male 45 and over
First, Ken Harmon, 50, Fischer Plumbing, 1:27, second, Chris Wood, 48, Fischer Plumbing, 1:28, third, Jon Magnuson, 51, Chinook Cycling Club.
Male 0-99
First, Troy Hopwood, 42, Epic Racing, 1:42, Derk Thomson, 51, no team listed, 1:43, Matthew Sullivan, 42, Vicious Cycle, 1:45.
Male 55 and over
First, David Bennett, 55, Voler/Bicycles Centres, 1:33, second, Chet Manning, 61, Wenatchee Area Racers, 1:38, third, Steve Tauscheck, 55, Double Check, 1:38.
Male 0-99
First, Peter Emsky, 50, Cocina Fresca, 1:29, second, Eric Armstrong, 43, no team listed, 1:50, third, Casey Cramer, 38, Old Town Bicycle, 1:53.
Male 18 and under
First, Benjamin King, 12, Revel Con/Rad Racing, 1:52.
Female 11 to 14
First, Brooklynn Maedke, 14, Team W.A.R., 1:11.
Female 19 and over
First, Carrie Atwood, 38, Cycling Northwest, 50:26, second, Ellie Coen, 35, no team listed, 55:12, third, Elisa Weinman, 51, no team listed, 1:06.
Male 10 and under
First, Parker King, 8, Revel Con/Rad Racing, 1:31
Male 11 to 14
First, Jack Hale, 12, Daryl Evans Racing, 1:03.
Male 15 to 18
First, Ryan Trimble, 16, no team listed, 49:39.
Male 19 to 34
First, Brandon Inberg, 33, 43:41, second, Hunter Harrop, 19, 52:53, Carson Keeler, 33, 58:33. No teams listed for the riders in this age group.
Male 35 to 44
First, Matt Yawney, 36, no team listed, 47:36, second, Rich Wilson, 44, CenterCycle.com, 49:12, third, Brian Jacobsen, 37, Vicious Cycle, 49:23.
Male 45 and over
First, Paul Luther, 45, Tongue Racing, 48:43, second, Joe Myers, 56, Team Unicycle, 1:49.

scott ttocs
2012-05-10, 12:38 PM
Another unicyclist in the news:

http://www.chron.com/news/article/Naked-man-on-unicycle-cited-in-Southeast-Texas-3548198.php

Is anyone going to 'fess up?

(I have not posted the text for posterity.) :confused:

Scott

JJuggle
2012-05-10, 05:41 PM
Another unicyclist in the news:

http://www.chron.com/news/article/Naked-man-on-unicycle-cited-in-Southeast-Texas-3548198.php

Is anyone going to 'fess up?

(I have not posted the text for posterity.) :confused:

Scott
The Smoking Gun has video. Though one may or may not wish to watch it: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/texas/naked-unicycle-rider-arrested-657309

Steeley
2012-06-01, 01:19 PM
ABC Radio in Sydney ran the "Forgotten Sports Report" on Unicycle Hockey today. I did not hear who they were interviewing but they covered Uni Hockey and Uni Basketball, Muni and competition. I have emailed them to see if I can get a transcript.

moffatuniguy
2012-06-05, 11:24 PM
54033

JJuggle
2012-06-08, 06:12 PM
A Beach Haven Times article on the 14th Annual LBI Unithon in the past day or so. The thanks at the end should include Allan Hollowell who produces and donates the t-shirts every year. James Sui (left) and Griffin Randolph are pictured.

eyal
2012-07-04, 04:59 PM
Just came across this interview with Ilan Kedan of Los Angeles.

http://www.discoveriesmagazine.org/qa-with-ilan-kedan-md-cardiologist-extreme-unicyclist/#.T_OZxKQ1iLw.facebook

I love this part:
Q. What’s more challenging: riding a unicycle or performing a pericardiocentesis (draining fluid from around the heart with a needle)?

A. They are both challenging in different ways, but I’d say, in terms of physical challenge, unicycling wins. Riding a unicycle is physically much harder than any cardiology procedure I’ve ever had to perform. You are using your entire body to maneuver a tiny wheel over a surface that can change suddenly and dramatically. To take a unicycle uphill and average nine miles an hour for 10 to 15 miles—that’s a great workout!

Klaas Bil
2012-07-09, 09:09 AM
A link is fine but usually expires in time. That's why posters are encouraged to copy and past the text in their post here. One could copy pictures as well if there are any. (There was a nice one with this article, linking cardiology and unicycling in a creative way.)

Q+A with Ilan Kedan, MD, cardiologist, extreme unicyclist

Q&A
Leave a comment »
Summer 2012


Q. Why cardiology?

A. Cardiology makes the most sense to me. There’s a strong mechanical angle to it—it focuses on an organ that functions a lot like a pump, with its own intricate plumbing and wiring. It’s also a very dynamic specialty: We can diagnose problems in any area of the heart and there’s usually a known treatment option.

Q. What is your favorite part of the job?

A. Hearing my patients’ stories, and understanding their perspective. Heart problems can develop abruptly or creep up over time, so to make the right diagnosis, it’s important to understand when the patient’s version of “normal” changed.

Q. You go to an extreme to keep your heart healthy—how did you discover unicycling?

A. I have always been an exercise enthusiast. I used to run 30 miles a week, but I had to stop because of injuries. So, four years ago, I started riding a unicycle. Bicycles are expensive and they don’t fit in your car. A unicycle seemed like a good challenge! On a unicycle, you have to train your brain and muscles to become more aware of a constantly changing center of gravity.

Q. Are there ways in which being a cardiologist is similar to being a unicyclist?

A. They both give me mental focus and toughness. If you’re about to ride down a very steep, technical, rocky stretch of trail, you can’t be thinking about anything else. The same goes for treating a patient—it requires your complete attention. Both take a lot of practice, commitment, and training.

Q. What’s more challenging: riding a unicycle or performing a pericardiocentesis (draining fluid from around the heart with a needle)?

A. They are both challenging in different ways, but I’d say, in terms of physical challenge, unicycling wins. Riding a unicycle is physically much harder than any cardiology procedure I’ve ever had to perform. You are using your entire body to maneuver a tiny wheel over a surface that can change suddenly and dramatically. To take a unicycle uphill and average nine miles an hour for 10 to 15 miles—that’s a great workout!

uniShark
2012-07-10, 03:08 PM
Short photo write-up in the Helena Independent Record, Helena, Montana, USA:
http://helenair.com/news/local/feature-photo-unicycling-the-continental-divide-trail/article_81225cac-ca46-11e1-8319-0019bb2963f4.html

Feature Photo: Unicycling the Continental Divide Trail
StoryDiscussionFeature Photo: Unicycling the Continental Divide Trail
Eliza Wiley Independent Record helenair.com | Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 12:00 am

As the heat of the day began to rise, Benjamin Siress treated himself to a huckleberry smoothie as he entered the Helena city limits Monday morning.

"I try to hit 50 miles per day," said Siress of his journey along the Continental Divide Trail on a unicycle. "The most I've hit has been 66, but there was a bit of downhill."

On Friday night Siress awoke to a bear within 10 feet of his primitive camp spot on Clearwater Lake. "I shot up at 4 a.m. which scared the bear up a tree. It stayed in the tree hissing at me for a while then jumped down and ran away," said Siress.

Siress anticipates arriving in Mexico around Sept. 1.

davidp
2012-07-10, 03:25 PM
Thanks for posting that one. Earlier today I saw a picture of Ben on Gen's blog (http://www.greatdivideride.com/archives/799) (he's also riding the Divide route) and was wondering who he was.

uniShark
2012-07-10, 03:53 PM
Ugh, this is torture, I'm sitting in an office and the Continental Divide Trail is only about an hour's drive away. I really need to start picking off at least some sections of it for weekend adventures.