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.