Anyone else take up unicycling mainly because it's weird?

I just finished assembling my new Nimbus II, and can’t wait to get started with it tomorrow. As I was putting it together, I was thinking about my reasons for wanting to ride a unicycle. I never really pondered them before I made the purchase. What I eventually realized is that I mainly want to ride a unicycle so I can immunize myself, once and for all, against giving a rat’s ass what people who see me out exercising think of me. I do a lot of outdoor workouts, and some of them are kind of hippyish (yoga, etc.), and I must confess that I’ve not yet gotten to that level of self-assuredness where I can just start doing the Sun Salutation in a crowded park without giving a thought to anyone else’s opinion of it. What I need, I think–what I subconsciously knew I needed–is to jump headfirst into the deep end of the “offbeat exercise” pool and learn to smilingly accept whatever reactions I provoke.

Does this resonate with any of you?


I think I took up unicycling because I’m weird.

Some people on the forum have a chip on their shoulder about being associated with clowns. One rider wrote that he refused to learn to juggle while unicycling, in the fear he’d be associated with a circus. Other unicyclists try to relieve the stigma of weirdness by asserting that the unpopularity of unicycling is due to the steep beginner’s learning curve. Perhaps it takes a certain strength of character (we’re full of it!), perseverance (so full of it!) and problem solving skill (unbelievably full of it!)…to ride the unicycle.

I ride because it feels really good to ride. It entertains both mind and body.

Unicyclists gets used to people watching, but we’re usually gone before we get too much attention. With (weird?) stationary stuff like Yoga people get to observe you for as long as they want. So when it comes to whats the deep end of the “offbeat exercise” pool, I think you’re already in it. :slight_smile:

Good luck on your unicycling project.

(though I have to concede I sometime act as a “ham actor” -is that a correct term in english? I am not a native speaker-)

I didn’t take up unicycling because its weird. As a kid it was just another challenge. As an adult I ride the unicycle most specifically for stress relief. I juggle while I ride and have some tunes cranking and I am in my own world, although I am very much aware of my surroundings. I draw a lot of smiles from kids and elderly people, which always feels kind of good. I am at an age where I am not too concerned what others think.

I started unicycling because it seem the next thing to do after learning some basic juggling (the juggling balls were a christmas’ present - not my idea). I thought it would be great if I managed to ride one and juggle at the same time - I also thought that the feeling of riding one would be great, sort of floating on air. So I bought myself a cheap ebay one… I didn’t realise then how big the world of unicycling was (Muni, 36er, Trials etc…), and neither how much exercise you do when riding one. Now I’m really hooked.

Weird is just the majority opinion. For me i like the way it is challenging. I like the way the world expands as i grow. The end of the street, around the block, the next town off road etc. I like that i can do 50 km easily but struggle when learning how to idle. I do not like sports where you get tired but get bored while doing so like running.

Really? We do look weird on one wheel?..I quickly forget.
I foget how weird it appears to others, that we’re sitting on top of one wheel going straight down the hiking trails.

To me it feels more normal than being on a mtb and less scary

Before starting unicycling, I was big into street luging, which is an even more niche sport than this. I’m a bit of a speed freak, and there’s nothing like blasting at 60mph three inches above the ground in full motorcycle gear on a giant skateboard. It’s more intense than going 120 on a sportbike.

“Weird” is maybe not the word I’d choose, but “unorthodox.” I gravitate toward unorthodox.

While I still love luging, it’s a difficult thing to get into in my area. The good hills are few and far between (a downhill slope is a requirement), and taking the effort to load up my gear, drive fifty miles, and then walking back up to my vehicle was really keeping me from enjoying it to the full extent - especially after losing touch with the single friend who would go with me and be a safety driver.

I wanted to find something similarly challenging, uncommon, and fulfilling. Then, one day I was relaxing in a hotel bed with my girlfriend, watching the TV equivalent of fail videos, and suddenly there’s a shirtless guy on a unicycle attempting to pedal grind as he smashes his crotch on the railing.

“Yup, that’s it.”

For what it’s worth, I’ve never had any interest in juggling and don’t think that will change. More power to the people who can do it - it’s just never been interesting to me as something I wanted to pick up.

Another thing: When I was younger, I had a close friend - four years younger than me - who was really into BMX. He was really good as well - always buying parts, wrenching on his bike, and going crazy at the skate park. I always really respected him for that, but up until that point I was never good at anything with tricks involved. Skateboards, BMX bikes, rollerblades… never really my thing. But I still respected his dedication to his favorite hobby.

He killed himself around three years ago, totally out of the blue. When I first started riding unicycles, I couldn’t help but think that my friend would really enjoy seeing the progress I’d made, especially knowing I was never good at anything like this in the past. Maybe he would have tried it too. Maybe seeing something so out of the ordinary do something so cool would be enough to give him some inspiration to keep on going. That still runs through my head sometimes, and it makes me want to keep getting better.

To a degree. I started unicycling because it was something different, & I thought it would be nice to be able to do something that not many people have the patience or determination for. However, after I started to become a decent rider, I realized that there were a slew of other reasons I enjoy it too.


I unicycle while juggling 3 clubs for miles, or while walking my dog. Do “plain old unicyclists” think that’s weird, even by their “odd” standards?

Listen, and understand! That Unicycle is out there! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And i absolutely will not stop, EVER, until i can ride.

Kyle Reese (Sergeant, Tech- Com, DN38416) on unicycling

I started because my friend bought me one as a joke birthday present… so yeah I guess… :smiley:

Not to mention that I’d wanted one since I was a kid, and my mum wouldn’t let me have one (Which is why I got the birthday present) :roll_eyes:

I have to agree with you. The reason I started learning to ride last month (Im 39 now) was because I had actually been thinking about it for many many years. It seems magical to balance on one wheel, a bit like flying (though my legs still hurt after a few hundred metres) But actually also because it is practical. My mountainbike fits in my car, but then there is no space for anything else. A unicycle is not seen as a bike according to the Danish and Dutch law and as such I can take it on the train without having to pay extra for it.
And when other people think it is weird, well that is their loss. I love it and will do it the rest of my life.

I took it up because somebody told me that I needed to find balance in my life… I guess I took it too literally!

Other than that… I just wanted to see if I could do it. :slight_smile:

Me too, I just got addicted after we bought one for the family (they don’t ride now). It was a sort of logical progression from MTB, the next challenge. I used to get hassled out for distance running by a woman around the corner, and one or two other people, but no one has hassled me for unicycling anywhere.
I always feel great as soon as I start riding and it lasts the rest of the day.

People hassle you for distance running but not unicycling? You must really have some bizarre neighbors!

Here too. Started it as its quirkiness and rather niche aspect had an appeal, before realizing that there was more than just that, that even each little step of the learning experience was a giant step in terms of feeling.

Hmm, not sure about what you mean by that. What would it be in French?