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Old 2004-07-10, 12:40 PM   #166
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Sports Illustrated Dec 3, 2001 v95 i22 p1(1)


The One And Only: Unicyclist Kris Holm is taking his sport out of the big top and up to the mountaintop. (SI Adventure/Air--Land--Water)(Brief Article) Ballard, Chris



Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2001 Time, Inc.



Riding a unicycle is an activity that, like bullriding or doing handstands, would seem to be an end in itself. Just staying upright is impressive. So the idea of mountain unicycling might seem about as practical as swamp surfing and as intelligent as nude fencing. Even after you've watched Kris Holm, the sport's foremost practitioner, career down a boulder-strewn hillside like a human avalanche, legs spinning and arms windmilling as he negotiates roots, stumps and rocks, it's still hard to comprehend how he does it. "It's really not that different from mountain biking," says Holm, 28. "It's a perception thing. Riding on one wheel seems intimidating, but it's not that hard."

At least it's not that hard for Holm, who took up mountain unicycling--or MUni for short--within months of getting a unicycle for his 12th birthday. Since then he has ridden his custom-made $1,500 one-wheeler most every place he has traveled. He has cruised atop the Great Wall of China, landed drops of 15 feet in Squamish, just north of his hometown of Vancouver and, last April, sped down 18,555-foot Pico de Orizaba, the third-highest peak in North America. Last year he rode 50 feet along the six-inch-wide concrete guardrail of Vancouver's Burrard Street Bridge, which is about 200 feet above False Creek, during rush hour. "That was one of my more high-consequence rides," Holm says with a laugh. "I just looked at it and decided I could do it."

A seven-time U.S. unicycling champion, Holm has also appeared in numerous films, including the adrenaline-addict favorite Unizaba, which follows him as he cycles through Mexico and ultimately descends the side of a volcano. He admits that he falls--a lot. "I'm actually pretty good at it," says Holm, who, remarkably, has suffered nothing worse than a sprained ankle. "It's an easier fall than on a bike because you can throw the unicycle out of the way and jump in any direction you want."

After he completes his master's thesis at the University of British Columbia, where he's enrolled in the physical geography graduate program, he plans to go to Nepal. There he hopes to make even more madcap descents. "That'll be really cool," he says. "The bigger the ride and the crazier the experiment, the better."

--Chris Ballard
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Old 2004-07-10, 12:41 PM   #167
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COPYRIGHT 2001 National Geographic Society



Worldwide Participants: 3,500

Price per Unicycle: $150 to $1,500

Highest Descent: Pico de Orizaba, 18,855 feet

This hybrid pursuit seemingly falls into the same category as blindfolded lion taming: probably impossible, and why would you do it anyway? Unicycling has been around for a century; mountain unicycling, or MUni, is a more recent invention--the first bike wasn't manufactured until 1997. But today, there are a thousand riders in the United States alone. Fat-tired, thick-axled models that can take the hammering of an off-road ride are sold online at Unicycle.com, and competitive events--including cross-country races and technical trials--have sprung up in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. The sport even has its own Michael Jordan, a 28-year-old Vancouver grad student named Kris Holm, who fides some of mountain biking's toughest terrain, the singletracks of southwestern British Columbia. "The simplicity of mountain unicycles is attractive," Holm says. "It's a sport for riders, not gearheads." In Telluride, Colorado, local freestyle skiers spend summers increasing their strength and balance by riding dirt on one wheel, a training method used 30 years ago by champion Swedish racer Ingemar Stenmark. "People are pushing the limit in all sports," says Hugh Sawyer, Telluride's junior-ski-team coach. "It's happening in unicycling, too." In April, Holm descended two Mexican volcanoes on his uni: 14,800-foot La Malinche and 18,855-foot Pico de Orizaba (where he is shown above, at left, with cyclist Nathan Hoover). "It's cool to be at the beginning of a sport," Holm says. "This is the stage Gary Fisher was at in mountain biking 20 years ago."
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Old 2004-07-10, 12:47 PM   #168
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Hockey Digest March 2001 v29 i5 p58


Wheel's On Fire. (unicycle hockey) O'DONNELL, CHUCK



Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2001 Century Publishing



Unicycle hockey players all over the world are having a wheel good time, and wish you were, too


They converge every Thursday night in the fall and winter on the Cordella public school in Toronto. It's the highlight of the week for these movie camera repairmen, students, Website designers, teachers, and others who put the world on hold, put the nets in place, pick up the sticks, and throw down the ball.


Sounds like another pickup game of deck hockey or floor hockey? Well, yes and no.


It is floor hockey, but the Toronto Unicyclists hockey team puts a unique spin on a sport in which "cycling" is a term that isn't usually meant in a literal sense. Perched precariously atop one wheel, trying to negotiate a street hockey ball or a tennis ball across a gym floor, the action is non-stop.


Having trouble visualizing this? Think of it as the X Games meets Wayne Gretzky. The Ringling Brothers meet the Hanson Brothers. The high-wire act meets the leftwing lock. BMX meets the NHI.



Think of it fast and furious fun played with some real gusto. "It's really fast-paced," says Darren Bedford, a member of the club since it was founded in 1987 by unicyclists who were looking to try something a little different. "There are a lot of collisions. You may turn to look for the ball, not see where you're going, and run into someone. You can't always instantly stop on a unicycle. The maneuverability [on unicycles] is harder [than on ice skates]."


In the beginning, Bedford's crew, believed to be the longest-running club in North America, would play on the playground outside. They would spend a few hours just shoveling off the snow until "we were almost too tired to play," he says. Surprised people would stop and ogle. "Most of the feedback we have had has been very positive," says Bedford, whose club has about a dozen members between the ages of 10 and 60. "People would stop and see what we were up to. They were a bit curious. A lot of them couldn't believe it was possible to do all that [while riding a unicycle]." They've since found it easier, and a lot less strenuous, to rent space in the school's gym.


And although the Toronto townspeople can't wander by and watch, they would probably be shocked to learn that unicycle hockey has been played in several countries across the globe for several years.


For instance, at the 2000 world championships held in August in Beijing, China, 20 teams from nine countries--Denmark, France, China, Great Britain, Japan, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, the United States, and Germany--competed.


Unicycle hockey may be most popular in England and Germany, the only two countries to have national leagues. The sport seems to be taking off in Germany, in particular, where 26 teams compete in the national league. It is also home to the world champs, LAHIMO, which crushed the Twin City Unicycle Club of Minnesota, 23-2, in the tournament final.


"LAHIMO started playing in 1985, so they have a lot of experience," says Rolf Sander, a former LAHIMO member who now plays for RADLOS of Frankfurt. "They have been by far the strongest team for quite a while but now there are some other very good teams in Germany. I have to admit that LAHIMO was quite lucky that these other clubs did not send their complete teams to the world championships in China this year."


Sander has gone from just a unicycle hockey player to an amateur historian of the sport. The earliest mention of the sport he has been able to uncover dates back to 1925, when a silent German movie called "Variete" shows "a short scene with two unicyclists performing on a stage. One has a hockey stick, the other is swinging a walking stick. They have tiny goals and they use something like a crumpled towel as a ball."


The first reference he has found to unicycle hockey in the United States goes back to 1960, when an article in The Bicycle Journal mentioned the Albuquerque Unicycle Club of New Mexico had taken up the sport.


Sander says, however, that the grandfather of the unicycle clubs was Wheel People, a group that formed in California in 1976. Playing under the golden sunshine, they were trailblazers in the sport, forming many of the rules by which the game is played today. The club disbanded in the mid-1980s, but not before it was joined by other major clubs in North America such as Harvey Mudd College Gonzo Unicycle Madness in California and Association de Monocycle de Quebec in Quebec City.


Many of the rules seem to be enforced universally. You can't take part in the play unless you're on top of your unicycle. So if you fall off, you have to get back on before continuing. At the beginning of the game and after each goal, all players go to their own half of the surface where play resumes as soon as a player of the team in possession crosses the center line. And if you knock the ball out of the playing surface, a player from the other team brings it back in from the point of exit.


But other rules differ from club to club. For instance, the German teams play with goalies, using a larger net. The Toronto Unicyclists don't use a goalie, per se, although one of the four or five players on a side can go back and defend the net. Consequently, they use a smaller net, about 12 inches high by 18 inches wide. The Germans use your average ice hockey stick, while the Toronto crew uses street hockey sticks with plastic blades.


Finding a stick isn't a problem, since players don't play using one of those tall unicycles you may have seen in a circus. They sit about four or five inches above the ground. "Actually, the proper length [of a stick] is more or less a matter of taste," says Sander. "People who are good hockey players but only mediocre unicyclists seem to prefer longer sticks. This gives them a larger action radius. Good unicyclists, on the other hand, often have short sticks because they are fast and they prefer to ride quickly to wherever the ball is."


What makes a good unicycle hockey player isn't much different from what makes a good ice hockey player. Sander suggests that, like hockey players who first learn to skate before learning to stick handle and shoot, the basis for a good unicycle hockey player is the ability to ride well.


"A good balance between hockey and unicycling skills is necessary to become a good player," says Sander. "But you won't become a good player as long as you don't unicycle properly. However, even the best unicyclists are not good players unless they practice shooting the ball and team strategy."


And of course, it doesn't hurt your chances of success if you're willing to stick your nose into the action like a Claude Lemieux or a Matthew Barnaby.


"Since you're moving as fast as guys on ice skates, there's less maneuverability," says Bedford. "This leads to collisions and spills. You might get a little road rash on you arms. A few of the players wear elbow pads or gloves. No one really wears helmets."

Says Sander: "Although bruises are quite normal, not many serious accidents have happened in the 15 years that I've been playing. Yes, we had to go to the hospital a few times to stitch a wound. However, if you compare it to other sports such as soccer I think the danger is below average."


The next world championships are scheduled for Washington state in 2002. People inside the sport are hoping flint by bringing the world championships to the biggest stage in the world, the United States, that word of their new, exciting sport will get out in a big way.


And as the players continue to improve and their numbers grow, players such as Bedford dare to harbor golden dreams. "The International Unicycling Federation is hoping that unicycle hockey will be an Olympic sport someday," he says. "That's their dream. They're always adding games to the Olympics. You need to have 16 countries playing the sport to get the Olympic committee's attention. Maybe someday, that will happen. I hope so."
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Old 2004-07-10, 12:51 PM   #169
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The Atlantic Monthly April 1997 v279 i4 p109-10,112


Rough terrain unicycling: Riding a unicycle up and down mountains requires the balance of a gymnast and the temperment of a teenager. Finkel, Michael



Full Text: COPYRIGHT 1997 The Atlantic Monthly Magazine



WHY the red unicycle was left in the Seward, Alaska, dump and what inspired George Peck's wife, Carol, to bring it home are both unclear. "I'm a salvager and recycler," is all she will say. "She's a dump rat," Peck says. Carol put the unicycle in the garage, and Peck found it there. This was almost fourteen years ago. His life hasn't been the same since.

"I glom on to things," Peck says. "He gets obsessed," Carol says. Peck taught himself to ride the red unicycle--no books, no instructors. He practiced daily for more than a month before he could wobble up and down his driveway. Then he attempted to take the unicycle onto the roads. Riding a unicycle is as precarious as it looks--the "cone of balance," as Peck calls it, is extraordinarily precise. A pebble can be enough to put you on your back. So can a patch of sand or a gust of wind or a crack in the pavement. This may be why the red cycle was tossed into the dump: Seward is possibly the worst spot on the planet in which to ride a unicycle. The place is all sand and gusts and cracks, not to mention ice and snow and logs and boulders and mountains.

Peck learned to ride his unicycle under all conditions. He discovered how to make the cycle hop, and he honed the skill until he could pop over logs two feet in diameter. He figured out how to power through boulder fields, how to jump up and over picnic tables, how to turn in ankle-deep mud. He became skilled at riding in dried-out riverbeds, across frozen lakes, up mountain trails, and through wind-crusted snow. This is clearly not what unicycles were designed to do. When the red unicycle fell apart, Peck drove to Anchorage and bought a new one. When that broke, he ordered another. After a dozen more were destroyed, he began designing his own.

For almost a decade and a half, no matter the weather, Peck has gone mountain unicycling nearly every day--twice a day most weekends--in and around Seward. People in town are used to seeing him. He has ridden the shoreline so many times that he notices if a rock has been moved. Seward sits on Resurrection Bay, on the eastern edge of the Kenai Peninsula. It is separated from Anchorage by 125 miles of glaciated mountains and sprawling icefields. The town is so remote--a Galapagos island of sorts--that something odd or fantastic can develop there and never be discovered by anyone beyond the city limits.

Until three years ago, when he attended the International Unicycle Convention in Minneapolis, Peck was completely unknown in the unicycling community. At the meet he learned of a handful of other mountain unicyclists. He found out that his sport had not only other participants but also a name--"muni," short for "mountain unicycling" (a name, Peck feels, that is a little too cute; he prefers "rough-terrain cycling"). Later, through a unicycling newsletter, he read of plans for an inaugural muni convention. Last October he flew to Sacramento for the first annual California Mountain Unicycle Weekend. Thirty-five of the best rough-terrain unicyclists in North America came to show off their skills. No one was half as good as Peck. He is now widely viewed as the best mountain unicyclist in the world. He is credited with helping to invent the sport, and the cycles he has designed are probably the sturdiest and lightest unicycles ever built. He is riding rougher terrain every month. And he is almost certainly the world's oldest mountain unicyclist: Peck is fifty-six.

CAROL and George Peck and their two children, Kristopher, twelve, and Katy, seven, live in a small brown house two blocks from the center of town. Attracted to Alaska's frontier image, Peck moved to the state in 1974, after a stint in Nepal with the Peace Corps and almost ten years in the University of Idaho's graduate schools, where he earned degrees in physics, law, and teaching. He came to Seward to take the job of magistrate, a position he still holds. He met Carol Griswold in 1981.

The inside of their house, especially during the long Alaska winter, is a scene of unmitigated chaos. Peaches and Boomer, a pair of parakeets, like to divebomb visitors' heads. Berry and Jessie, two Labrador retrievers, wrestle in the kitchen. Katy prefers roller skates to sneakers, and Kristopher wouldn't be caught dead without his skateboard. The living room contains three unicycles, a small trampoline, a basketball net, an electric keyboard, two acoustic guitars, two fiddles (Carol and George play in a local folk band), an indoor garden, an eclectic library (one shelf devoted to entomology, another to dog training), a general scattering of children's toys, several of Carol's junkyard furniture discoveries, a hamster cage, a fish tank, and a midden of unicycle parts.
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Old 2004-07-10, 12:52 PM   #170
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The Atlantic Monthly April 1997 v279 i4 p109-10,112


Rough terrain unicycling: Riding a unicycle up and down mountains requires the balance of a gymnast and the temperment of a teenager. Finkel, Michael



Full Text: COPYRIGHT 1997 The Atlantic Monthly Magazine



WHY the red unicycle was left in the Seward, Alaska, dump and what inspired George Peck's wife, Carol, to bring it home are both unclear. "I'm a salvager and recycler," is all she will say. "She's a dump rat," Peck says. Carol put the unicycle in the garage, and Peck found it there. This was almost fourteen years ago. His life hasn't been the same since.

"I glom on to things," Peck says. "He gets obsessed," Carol says. Peck taught himself to ride the red unicycle--no books, no instructors. He practiced daily for more than a month before he could wobble up and down his driveway. Then he attempted to take the unicycle onto the roads. Riding a unicycle is as precarious as it looks--the "cone of balance," as Peck calls it, is extraordinarily precise. A pebble can be enough to put you on your back. So can a patch of sand or a gust of wind or a crack in the pavement. This may be why the red cycle was tossed into the dump: Seward is possibly the worst spot on the planet in which to ride a unicycle. The place is all sand and gusts and cracks, not to mention ice and snow and logs and boulders and mountains.

Peck learned to ride his unicycle under all conditions. He discovered how to make the cycle hop, and he honed the skill until he could pop over logs two feet in diameter. He figured out how to power through boulder fields, how to jump up and over picnic tables, how to turn in ankle-deep mud. He became skilled at riding in dried-out riverbeds, across frozen lakes, up mountain trails, and through wind-crusted snow. This is clearly not what unicycles were designed to do. When the red unicycle fell apart, Peck drove to Anchorage and bought a new one. When that broke, he ordered another. After a dozen more were destroyed, he began designing his own.

For almost a decade and a half, no matter the weather, Peck has gone mountain unicycling nearly every day--twice a day most weekends--in and around Seward. People in town are used to seeing him. He has ridden the shoreline so many times that he notices if a rock has been moved. Seward sits on Resurrection Bay, on the eastern edge of the Kenai Peninsula. It is separated from Anchorage by 125 miles of glaciated mountains and sprawling icefields. The town is so remote--a Galapagos island of sorts--that something odd or fantastic can develop there and never be discovered by anyone beyond the city limits.

Until three years ago, when he attended the International Unicycle Convention in Minneapolis, Peck was completely unknown in the unicycling community. At the meet he learned of a handful of other mountain unicyclists. He found out that his sport had not only other participants but also a name--"muni," short for "mountain unicycling" (a name, Peck feels, that is a little too cute; he prefers "rough-terrain cycling"). Later, through a unicycling newsletter, he read of plans for an inaugural muni convention. Last October he flew to Sacramento for the first annual California Mountain Unicycle Weekend. Thirty-five of the best rough-terrain unicyclists in North America came to show off their skills. No one was half as good as Peck. He is now widely viewed as the best mountain unicyclist in the world. He is credited with helping to invent the sport, and the cycles he has designed are probably the sturdiest and lightest unicycles ever built. He is riding rougher terrain every month. And he is almost certainly the world's oldest mountain unicyclist: Peck is fifty-six.

CAROL and George Peck and their two children, Kristopher, twelve, and Katy, seven, live in a small brown house two blocks from the center of town. Attracted to Alaska's frontier image, Peck moved to the state in 1974, after a stint in Nepal with the Peace Corps and almost ten years in the University of Idaho's graduate schools, where he earned degrees in physics, law, and teaching. He came to Seward to take the job of magistrate, a position he still holds. He met Carol Griswold in 1981.

The inside of their house, especially during the long Alaska winter, is a scene of unmitigated chaos. Peaches and Boomer, a pair of parakeets, like to divebomb visitors' heads. Berry and Jessie, two Labrador retrievers, wrestle in the kitchen. Katy prefers roller skates to sneakers, and Kristopher wouldn't be caught dead without his skateboard. The living room contains three unicycles, a small trampoline, a basketball net, an electric keyboard, two acoustic guitars, two fiddles (Carol and George play in a local folk band), an indoor garden, an eclectic library (one shelf devoted to entomology, another to dog training), a general scattering of children's toys, several of Carol's junkyard furniture discoveries, a hamster cage, a fish tank, and a midden of unicycle parts.(...Next Post)
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Old 2004-07-10, 12:54 PM   #171
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Continued...

"George has been a teenager for forty years," Carol says. This is only partly true. When Peck is in his courtroom, facing the daily litany of drunk-driving and domestic-violence cases, he is fifty-six years old. When he is awake at two in the morning, mulling over the physics of wheel diameter and axle size he is fifty-six. When he is riding, he is seventeen--though he doesn't use swearwords. When he falls, he says things like "Gargle!" and "Yug!" and "These shoes are explosively decoupling with the pedals, and that's disconcerting."

Peck is a little over six feet tall and about as thin as a fence post. He has the air of a mad scientist. His hair appears to be an assemblage of cowlicks. He is profoundly nearsighted, and wears round gold-framed glasses. A housewide search for his car keys is almost a daily event. He eats dinner as if a cash prize were to be awarded to the first finisher. His unicycle is built of top-quality titanium and tempered aluminum parts, special-ordered from a custom manufacturer, but Peck often rides wearing faded jeans, a stained sweatshirt, and leather work boots. On the front of the family's washing machine, using word magnets, Katy has assembled a succinct ode to her father: DAD IS FUNNY.

On weekend days Peck takes his first ride soon after sunrise, usually with the dogs. He rides along Resurrection Bay, the sharp summits of the Chugach Mountains forming a backdrop. He pedals in fits and starts: a powerful flurry to ascend a flat-topped rock, an immediate ninety-degree turn on the top, a momentary pause to consider the drop-off, and a careful hop down to the sand. His arms provide counterbalance, waving in controlled, tai-chi-style movements. The tip of his tongue flits in and out. In roughterrain cycling, top speed, even going downhill, is about six miles an hour. "It's not exhilarating," Peck says, "but a series of little joys." He cuts through a puddle, cracking a thin film of ice, and chugs up a dirty snowbank. He falls twice, gracefully, and climbs back on.

AUNICYCLE is both more and less than half a bicycle. It has a solid hub and lacks any gears, meaning that one rotation of the pedals produces one rotation of the wheel. This is called direct drive, and is the reason a unicycle is limited to low speeds. You can't coast, but you can ride backward.

"Unicycling is intrinsically a slow-motion event," Peck says. "It is more about rhythm and mental dexterity than about strength--it has more in common, I feel, with a chess match or a Bach concerto than with any extreme sport. And it's actually very safe--far safer than bicycling. I've never had an injury so bad I couldn't ride the next day. Much of the thrill, really, is in pondering the ergonomical conundrums. Torque. Pedal separation. Crank-arm length. Spokes. You need the cycle to be sturdy, and you need it to be light and maneuverable. And everything has to be balanced on one tiny axle. It's nearly insolvable. The five best riders I met at the California weekend were a physicist, a mathematician, a neurophysiologist, a computer analyst, and an Intel executive."

He says this as he rides. If a visitor jogs alongside him (the pace is perfect), Peck will furnish an hour-long disquisition. He will expound on Alaskan geology. He will talk about unicycling up street curbs, and about the appropriate pedal positions for optimum torque, and about the time he beat a pair of bicyclists up the steep Crown Point Mine trail. He will insist that it is possible to unicycle nearly any surface that can be walked, provided one has the right unicycle.

Peck estimates that he has spent $2,000 on his current unicycle--but he is still unsatisfied. About once a week he visits Ron Henderlong, who helps to improve his unicycles. Henderlong Enterprises is a welding shop located in a garage not far from Peck's house. Henderlong is shorter than Peck but probably twice his weight. The lower half of Henderlong's face is devoted to a terrific beard and moustache, between which is inserted a steady stream of Marlboros. He wears a patch over his right eye. On the floor of his garage is a masking-tape outline of a body, with a wrenchlike shape stenciled in the body's right hand. "That's the last guy who went into my toolbox without asking," he says. According to Peck, Henderlong is a genius with hot-rod engines and cuttingedge unicycles. He customized Peck's shock-absorbing seat post. The two men can talk shop for hours; Peck always leaves with a new idea or two. "I'm tired of giving him six-packs of beer," Peck says, "but he won't take any money."

If you really want to make Peck mad, ask him if he is a clown. "That word makes my teeth set right at the top," he says. The image of unicycling, Peck fears, automatically brings clowns to mind. He has been asked more than once if he works for a circus. Some have wondered if he entertains at birthday parties. One person questioned whether riding a unicycle is an appropriate activity for a judge. "Unicycling is at the very bottom of the respectability curve," Peck says. "Nobody would accuse me of being irresponsible if I were a skier or a rollerblader. I'm trying to get as far away from clowns as I possibly can." He tries not to use the term "unicycle" anymore: too circusy. He prefers to call what he rides a cycle.

SOMETIMES Peck thinks that if he can only free his sport from the clown associations, nothing will stop rough-terrain cycling from becoming the next big thing. He likes to point out that unicycling has been around longer than bicycling: one of the original cycles, the "penny-farthing" with the giant front rim, was little more than a unicycle with a training wheel. Combine modern materials with the old idea, toss in a few log jumps, and rough-terrain cycling should be Olympics-bound: "Bored teenagers in California will be hopping their cycles over their Volkswagens."

Then he thinks better of it. "Cycling is safe and slow," he says, "and safe and slow are unhip. People want sports that are like video games. Maybe that's why there are so few riders." Peck estimates that there are perhaps 200 muni participants worldwide, including a club based in England and a Frenchman, Thierry Bouche, who has unicycled down a 20,000-foot peak in South America. No company in the United States sells mountain unicycles (with so few riders, there's no incentive to manufacture them), and without good cycles available there won't be many more converts.

The sport is nearly certain to stay tiny. And in Seward, at least, it is likely to remain a solitary pursuit. Peck hasn't let this discourage him. Recently his cycling entered an entirely new phase. He acquired a contraption called an ultimate wheel, which is a unicycle without a seat--just a wheel and two pedals. It looks impossible to ride, even when Peck is riding it. It took a month of intense ultimate-wheel training, combined with the skills of years of unicycling, for him to balance on the thing. He says he's glommed on to it. Carol says it's a new level of obsession. He and Henderlong are sure to re-equip it with sturdier parts. And Peck is already riding it up and down Alaska's mountains.
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Old 2004-07-10, 12:55 PM   #172
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I Hope all these havent been posted b4.


People Weekly Nov 13, 1995 v44 n20 p111(1)


His clowning glory: thanks to Mr. Twister, it's now legal to feed parking meters in Santa Cruz. (Santa Cruz, CA, clown)(Brief Article)



Full Text: COPYRIGHT 1995 Time, Inc.



RED NOSE. YARN HAIR. PURPLE high-top sneakers. This perp didn't fit the usual profile. Neither did his crime.

Mr. Twister, a clown in Santa Cruz, Calif., spends his days performing magic, riding a unicycle and making balloon animals. Okay, nothing suspicious--so far. Now the weird part: Mr. Twister takes some of the change donated by passersby and drops it in parking meters. Other people's parking meters. This saves them from getting tickets. "When I leave the house in a clown suit," says Mr. Twister--Cory McDonald, 26--of his philosophy, "I want to see 100 smiles every day."

In Santa Cruz, though, the law frowned on anyone--including Mr. Twister--putting coins in other people's meters, a fact of which he was apprised in September when a traffic enforcement agent spotted him, told him he was breaking the law and ticketed the car anyway. Irked, Mr. Twister went up and down the street feeding expired meters. The agent followed, ticketing cars.

A week later, McDonald hit the pavement again, this time in mufti. As he was doling out coins, a meter maid called the police, who gave him a $13 ticket. McDonald, who lives with his mother and stepfather in a trailer in nearby Capitola and supports himself performing at parties, was determined to test the law. So he enlisted the help of Ben Rice, a local criminal defense attorney, who took the case on what he called a pro Bozo basis. When the council met on Oct. 24, Mr. Twister appeared in full regalia, along with his friend Sprinkles, a lady clown, his lawyer and about 40 boosters. "I urge you to vote this unfriendly law out of Santa Cruz," exhorted Rice. "Mr. Twister is a gift to all of us, a genuine human being." In the face of such eloquence--and petitions from Mr. Twister supporters--council members voted to repeal the law, enacted eight years ago to increase business turnover. Then, in a show of solidarity with Mr. Twister, they all donned red plastic noses. McDonald couldn't have orchestrated it better. "When you find someone being nice," he says, "you should support them."
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Old 2004-07-10, 12:56 PM   #173
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Entertainment Weekly Jan 27, 1995 n259 p55(1)


Uniracers. (video game)(Evaluation) (Software Review) (Brief Article) Strauss, Bob



Full Text: COPYRIGHT 1995 Time, Inc.



The first unicycle racing game is both maximalist and minimalist--maximalist because it was programmed with the same Silicon Graphics workstations that contributed those stunning 3-D effects to Donkey Kong Country, minimalist because its small, riderless wheels execute high-speed flips and loop-de-loops against abstract backgrounds. Uniracers has its unique charms, I suppose, and I'm sure some younger players will find it absorbing, but the whole concept seems excessively twee --which, come to think of it, is my reaction whenever I see anyone riding a unicycle.
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Old 2004-07-10, 01:00 PM   #174
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Ill post the rest that I’ve found once these ones have some time to "soak it".
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Old 2004-07-12, 01:08 PM   #175
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Ah ha, found a new one....nice article Jess and Zack!!

http://www.sacbee.com/content/sports...10825060c.html
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Old 2004-07-15, 01:00 PM   #176
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Montgomery Extra
Reckless Skateboarders Targeted

Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Staff Writer
558 words
15 July 2004
The Washington Post
FINAL
T03
English
Copyright 2004, The Washington Post Co. All Rights Reserved

Rockville officials are considering a proposed ban on reckless skateboarding, a move to increase public safety and reduce damage to private and public property.

"Skateboarders -- when they skate on marble, concrete and benches -- are just chipping away the material on public- and privately owned property," said city spokesman Neil H. Greenberger. "It's damaging and very hard to repair."

The proposal would ban the use of skateboards, roller skates, scooters, bicycles and unicycles in a "careless, inattentive or imprudent manner that endangers persons or property." Officials expect the measure to come before the City Council by the end of the summer.

Violators would be fined $400, and repeat offenders could have to pay as much as $1,000, Police Chief Terry Treschuk said. Police could also confiscate skateboards or bikes.

City officials say the cost of repairing the damage is significant, though they do not have exact figures. "Damage by skateboards is just not a line item in the budget," Greenberger said. Treschuk said that damage to private property is also extensive, resulting recently in $10,000 worth of repairs for one company that he declined to name.

Police say the majority of complaints are of skateboarders in front of the Regal Cinema on East Montgomery Avenue and the fountain at Courthouse Square in downtown Rockville. In addition to wearing away benches and steps, Treschuk said, the skaters often put wax or oil on public surfaces to help improve sliding.

City officials recently installed metal skating stops on the marble benches in Courthouse Square to make it impossible to smoothly skate across them. The next day, police said, the stops were gone.

"The skaters came with tools and removed them," said Burt Hall, the city's director of recreation and parks.

City officials say the property damage bothers Rockville residents. "When they start chipping off things and a person sits on a wooden bench that has been splintered, it's dangerous," Greenberger said.

Reckless bike riders also flummox passersby. Hall said cyclists sometimes frighten crowds on East Montgomery Avenue by riding fast. "We have kids going down that sidewalk cafe with tons of people at 20 miles an hour," he said. "That's nuts."

Hall said skateboarders should stay off public streets and head instead to designated skating parks. The city built a 10,300-square-foot skating area at Welsh Park, but older skaters tend to avoid it.

"Little kids go to the skate park, but no one I know goes," said avid skateboarder Jared Parr as two of his friends nodded in agreement.

Some Rockville teenagers say police have their priorities misplaced. "I think they should be going after real criminals instead of picking on kids," said Amanda McCullough, 16, who has friends who are skaters but is not one herself.

Parr, 17, said the proposed measure shows the city is more concerned with the appearance of public areas than the happiness of its teenagers.

"It's not going to work, and it's just going to make people more upset," he said. "Nobody is getting hurt by having people skate here."

He does concede, however, that a new ordinance would probably have some effect on skateboarding in Rockville.

"Skaters will probably run faster when they see cops," he said.
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Old 2004-07-16, 08:04 AM   #177
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Quote:
Originally posted by JJuggle
"Skaters will probably run faster when they see cops," he said.
it's very seldom that i find a single sentence as jointly distressing and pleasing as that one
just call me yin-yang-man
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Old 2004-07-16, 11:11 AM   #178
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Sorry for posting such an old article- I'm just doing a clean-up off all the files on my computer.

This is from New Zealand Mountainbiker Magazine, Feb/Mar 2004. Reporting on last Novembers NZUNI Weekend.

Enjoy!
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Old 2004-07-18, 06:52 AM   #179
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There was a good article in today's "Times-Colonist" (Victoria, BC, Canada) - here's a link to most of the piece. There was a large half-page photo, and the article spread over two pages. It was a pretty good write-up - somebody obviously did their homework.

http://www.canada.com/victoria/times...4-0981820c5b7d


Doug
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Old 2004-07-19, 01:19 PM   #180
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Here's a link to a thread for coverage of the 2004 NAUCC. It's to be hoped that additional articles will be added there.

Cheers,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ
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