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Old 2010-09-30, 09:21 AM   #1126
MT High
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The Australian Mountain Bike magazine published this article about muni recently:

http://www.andharris.com/wp-content/...0p042_MUNI.pdf

The pictures were taken at Lysterfield Park in Melbourne.

I love muni
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Old 2010-09-30, 12:55 PM   #1127
Klaas Bil
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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!”
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Old 2010-09-30, 01:00 PM   #1128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT High View Post
The Australian Mountain Bike magazine published this article about muni recently:

http://www.andharris.com/wp-content/...0p042_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.
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Old 2010-10-04, 12:18 AM   #1129
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This was an article which appeared prior to a MTB race 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.
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- a few uni race write-ups
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Last edited by steveyo; 2010-10-04 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 2010-10-04, 11:40 PM   #1130
uniShark
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Originally Posted by steveyo View Post
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!
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Old 2010-10-11, 04:55 PM   #1131
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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.

Quote:
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.)
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Old 2010-10-14, 12:16 PM   #1132
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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.
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Old 2010-10-14, 12:17 PM   #1133
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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
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Old 2010-10-27, 12:12 PM   #1134
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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.
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Old 2010-10-27, 12:13 PM   #1135
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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.
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Old 2010-10-27, 12:44 PM   #1136
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Article in The Gainesville Times (Gainesville, Georgia)

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/sect...article/40135/

Fundraising still continues, and the website is: www.rideforgary.com

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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!

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Old 2010-10-27, 04:03 PM   #1137
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That's a shame. Good luck with the ride on Friday and raising your goal.

What distance did you manage?
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Old 2010-10-30, 09:22 AM   #1138
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Finally got it done...

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.
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Old 2010-11-11, 01:09 PM   #1139
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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
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Old 2010-11-11, 01:10 PM   #1140
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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.”
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