B.C. wheel origins?

I had always thought a BC wheel was called that because it first came about in British Columbia. Then last night I realised they always ride BC wheels in the comic B.C. So where did the name come from? Was it the province, the comic or some place else?


the comic

They are sometimes called ‘impossible wheels’ but as they clearly aren’t impossible BC wheel is usually used


B.C wheels is another name for imposibble wheels. The reason they are sometimes called B.C wheels is because of reference to a similar type of transport in early cave man drawings. (B.C - Before Christ)

B.C. was taken from the Johnny Hart B.C. comic.

It was originally called an impossible wheel because it was really hard to ride.

With riders like Jeff Grove and Ryan Atkins poineering new and unreal tricks, impossible is not the right name for it any longer.


I always thought they were called BC wheels because when the Romans rode them as a means of escape from the invading Vandals they were said to be fleeing “bocifus hic calmus” or “vociferously yet calmly”, i.e BhC, shortened to BC.

I never would have guessed it would be as simple as a comic book reference.

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

For anybody out there that hasn’t tried the new generation of BC wheels, GET ONE!!!

They are incredibly fun, and not ridiculously hard to learn. I just got one and have found that the major initial challenge is getting up the nerve to land confidently on the thing. Once you’re going it’s perhaps slightly harder than gliding but a lot easier than coasting. Of course what Jeff and Ryan are doing on this thing is taking it to a whole new level, but basic riding isn’t as bad as you might think.

Hoping one day to be half as good as Jeff and Ryan…

I thought the original question is where did they originate? Yes, the name comes straight from the Johnny Hart comic strip.

The first one I ever saw was one with Sem Abrahams on it, at the 1980 USA National Meet in Kokomo, Indiana. That was also the first unicycle convention I’d been to. I think at the time it was fairly new to the convention community.

The origin of that type of “vehicle” probably goes all the way back to the invention of the unicycle, if not earlier. I’m sure there were early vaudevillians who used something similar to today’s B.C. Wheels in shows by the late 1890s at the latest.

Is it impossible to learn if you dont know how to glide? Also, if you do learn it before gliding and coasting, does it make gliding and coasting alot easier to learn?


no, it is not impossible to learn without knowing how to glide or coast. I learned in about an hour, and I cannot glide or coast at all. as for if it helps with glidign and coasting, I couldnt tell you. I havent tried either after learning to ride my B.C. wheel. I would imagine not, because your center of gravity on a unicycle crown would be totally different than the center of gravity on a B.C. wheel, as you are about a foot higher (depending on wheel and frame size) on the uni. So I would guess maybe a little, but not too much.