Akira Matsushima's big wheel unicycle

I found this pic in a long forgotten moving box this evening.

It is from The Seattle Times Monday, July 13, 1992. (Andrea’s first birthday and Klaas Bil’s 39th). The caption states:

“Japan’s Akira Matsushima, 15, sets off from Newport, Ore., on a unicycle trip to Washington, D.C. His father, Koki, on bicycle, plans to accompany Akira on the 4,000 mile ride.”

He is mentioned on the Been There Done That page http://www.unicycling.org/unicycling/btdt/fhs.html .

Anyone know about his uni? Appears to be a pre-Coker pneumatic tire.

Jack? John?

I don’t have any info about the uni. He did ride across the country, presumably all or partway on that one. I believe this same kid had an even bigger wheel, with separate chain drives on each side to non-connected pedals. You know, a wheel bigger than he could reach the axle.

The one in the picture looks like it could be the same size as those old rickshaw wheels that have been used for big wheels in Japan in the 80s. I think they were 43" diameter, and made with real heavy duty (heavy) Chinese tank work bike-type rims. If so, it’s the same size wheel Takayuki Koike used for the 100 mile Guinness record.

If you were thinking of getting one for yourself, the problem is tires. Even if you can get some (don’t know if they’re still in production), it must be a pain when your tire wears out!

But a Harper hub on a Coker would up the speed… :slight_smile:

Thanks John. That’s what I wanted to know, I was just curious about the uni. The perspective was not clear but I thought it looked bigger than a Coker.

I’ll stick to the Coker and the refurbished club 40"er that should have the new hub on this afternoon! (I’m so excited).

I would love to have my own Blue Shift some day, I’d opt for a 29er though, not on a Coker. Faster, not higher; I’d rather deal with road rash than another broken foot… :astonished: