Awesome article in paper!

The article I was recently interviewed for just ran in the campus paper, The Muse. It’s got some cool pictures, I figured you guys would like to see!

Text of Article:

Unicyclists balance fun and fitness
Circus arts gaining sport status

By Kate Dearness

A blue-haired lad wheels his six-foot unicycle around the Memorial campus, dodging onlookers and jokers who say, “Hey man, you’re missing a wheel!” David Cox has heard it all in his seven months of unicycling. Last winter, he saw a man riding one down the street. Intriguied, Cox asked for one for his birthday and has been atop his mobile pedestal ever since.

Cox is part of a local unicycling revolution set to prove that riding the one-wheel is a real sport and not just a circus art. Circus unicycles of the past would bend after being dropped. Today, unicyclists are the ones dropping - off ledges and other heights. These tricks adopted from bicycle motocross (BMX) have been made possible by using BMX technologies in the unicycle frames.

While the unicycle is stronger, its riders are also getting much better. “Riders are pushing unicycling to its technical limits”, said Cox.

There are five recognized categories of unicycling that explore its diversity. Mountain unicycling is just like its bicycling counterpart, as riders zip down steep wooded trails. There’s also distance riding, where unicyclists trek as far as possible on the open road. Street unicycling is very similar to street BMX, where riders use urban obstacles like rails, stairs, and ledges to grind and drop off. Unicycle trials are an opportunity for unicyclists to take their skills to the extreme. They consist of dropping off leges, balancing the cycle across narrow poles, and jumping over gaps.

Freestyle unicycling is basically a circus art, performing graceful figure skating-like pirouettes and gliding tricks. Although some say this is the only true form of unicycling, Cox disagrees.

“I guess I could juggle on my unicycle, but there’s so much other fun shit to do,” he said.

Yet, Cox did learn to juggle because one of the best places to learn to unicycle is at MUN’s juggling club.

There, he met juggler David Mercer, a performer with the Wonderbolt Circus who is responsible for the ressurection of the club.

Mercer started unicycling three years ago. One summer, he devoted three straight days to holding a pillar and rocking back and forth until he could let go.

“At first, I thought it was impossible, but then suddenly it feels like flying, especially when you first get it,” said Mercer.

Cox observes that since he started unicycling he is much stronger. In fact, his calves are too big to pull his tapered jeans over to show them off. Flexibility is key for Mercer, who stretches before and after each ride.

Mercer adds that core strength and strong abs are important, so as not to hurt your back. It’s physically demanding to unicycle, but a background in sports that require balance (like snowboarding) helps make the transition easier.

Many are taking up unicycling instead of jogging for general well-being because it doesn’t have harsh impact on the knees and feet. It is also excellent for the back and for posture, because riders sit at different angles than on regular bicycles.

While it still seems a little wacky to pick a unicycle over a regular bike, Cox shrugs it off. “The people who unicycle aren’t totally normal,” he said.

Cox and Mercer are both of slight build. “It is funny. At juggling clubs in other cities, you notice that a vast number of the people are tall, skinny guys. I’m not sure what comes first,” said Mercer.

His fitness goals are fairly modest, “We can’t all run marathons, but we’re in good shape.”

Although Cox and Mercer are just two spearheads of the sport, unicycling is growing in Newfoundland. New riders present challenges to the whole community of unicyclists, consistently learning new tricks and one-upping each other, which forces riders to improve faster.

Most unicyclists practice their sport in relative obscurity, which makes the MUN juggling club a hot spot for the activity. Practices are one of the few places peers are properly impressed by unicycling tricks. Anyone interested is welcome to come by for a break from regular workouts. The jugglers gather in the physical education building lobby around 7:00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at 2:00pm on Saturdays.

If you want a unicycle for Christmas, Canary Cycles sells them for about $200. Cox advises, “Just go buy a unicycle and find a pole and get to know that pole very well.”

For more information, check out

I think it’s some pretty awesome press. Combine that with the fact that there is a KH '05 in my house right now that is my birthday gift, (nine more days!) and I am quite happy. whee!

Pretty awesome, but what newspaper was this in?

“The article I was recently interviewed for just ran in the campus paper, The Muse.” It was in his campus newspaper.

That line made me laugh.

nice…we need more good press on how positive and fun and SAFE and good unicycling is for your body, mind and soul!!

you sure hit that nail square on the head. :smiley:

Cool article!

I’m glad BMX technologies in unicycle frames make it possible for me to do tricks. :slight_smile:

awesome article…our newspaper had an article about us once, but they made unicyclists seem like weirdos…I didn’t like it.