A window on the past - Unicycling 1976

I just came across this little piece of history.
A 15 minute film (not video), from 1976.
Not all unicycling, but I found it fascinating just the same.

Thanks for posting! That’s a great shot pedaling down Janss Steps at UCLA at the 00:40 mark and riding around the campus.

I sent this to my daughter who just started at UCLA

Thanks for the link to a different time era


I was curious what ever happened to the rider, Tony Marienthal.
Unfortunately it looks like he passed away a few years ago. :frowning:



That was interesting, a little boring but certainly worth seeing.

I especially enjoyed the dialogue as he talked about his life and thoughts about being and getting old. So sad that he never reached the age of the older people he helped in his youth, all of whom are long, long gone.

The cars (VW Bug, Pinto Wagon, heavy metal), bikes with banana seats, Banana Board skateboards, the quaint low speed life that was pre-high tech California, those are things I’ll always remember.

Nice video, thanks for the stroll down memory lane :slight_smile:

+1, seems he was quite a guy.

The video linked to by the OP has moved. I found it here. It’s fun all around in a retro kind of way, but from a strictly unicycling viewpoint, the opening scene is also interesting because it shows Tony Marienthal riding down a long flight of stairs without ever grabbing his saddle horn, partly because they didn’t exist back then, I guess, but in any case I have never seen a ride down the stairs that looked so leisurely!

I love that video. It was one of the first unicycling videos I saw. I don’t want to be able to do weird fancy stuff on my unicycle, I just want to be able to ride it around without drama like that.

it says “video unavailable” …maybe thats just here in UK ???

I’m in the UK and I watched it again this morning from that link that Song put u.

Well, tricks that appear at first to be weird and fancy are often quite helpful for day-to-day riding down the street! If you learn to idle, ride one-footed and ride backwards, you will find it much easier to shift your feet around on the pedals when you need to, and you will also become steadier and more confident all around. Hopping is also an extremely practical skill- at least if anything one does on a unicycle can be called practical!

Being able to ride down the stairs nonchalantly would also be nice, but I can’t do that yet. I also need to learn how to pick objects up off the ground without dismounting, as that, too, seems very “practical.” Apparently it’s quite easy, but so far I have neglected it.

The other reason to learn all these skills, of course, is that it’s fun!

Thanks for updating the link. I like the video a lot because it brings together the simplicity of the unicycling and of living.
I remember that someone posted that Tony Marienthal had a very Zen-like way of riding. I agree with that statement and often think about it when I’m riding on smooth payment and my body is twisting to one side more than I’d like it to be twisted. Then, I try to get myself centered and concentrate on my body position, my pedal pressure, my seat position and the flow of the road and think how smooth the kid ‘Tony’ could ride. All the skills that we are working to achieve add up to a better rider; however, when we are not working on a new skill just getting out and riding is sometimes all we need to do.
Thanks again for bringing this video to our attention.

To all, be well and keep searching for your ‘center’

(Hopefully more permanent than youtube links.)