bad (& stupid) publicity

I think Tony Melton posted a thread with some extreme ironing unicyclists in it a while back- can’t seem to find the pics though.

Oh boy! A semantic argument. Which is more extreme, unicycling or bicycling?

What does “extreme” mean?

The every day definition of extreme is “at or near the limit” but it doesn’t specify which limit. So, unicycling might be extremely technical, and bicycling might be extremely risky, or whatever. The weather can be extremely cold, and a film can be extremely boring.

In the vulgar parlance of modern youth, however, “extreme” seems to mean something like, “fast, furious, exciting and rather dangerous.” When you get to my age, another translation would be, “Verging on stupid”. <I jest.>

So, on this basis, I’d say that top level mountain biking is more “extreme” than top level unicycling.

Which requires more skill? As someone said, any activity performed at sufficiently high level requires the same amount of skill. Is mountainbiking more difficult than playing the violin? Is formation skydiving more difficult than carving a block of marble?

But there are fair comparisons to be made. The bicycle has momentum. That is a friend and an enemy. Give a bike its head and it will find its way through or over many obstacles. A unicycle has to be steered, balanced and nursed every inch of the way. But a misjudgment on a unicycle is usually at 5 - 15 mph; on a mountainbike it could be at 50 or more mph.

So, the bicyclist has a bigger “footprint” - he “occupies” 25 or 50 metres of trail, possibly more, whereas the unicyclist only “occupies” 5 metres or so. That is the distance that the rider has to read, and the distance which is threatened, or is a threat, in the event of an error.

But the unicyclist’s footprint is deeper. He has to read his few metres of trail like a lawyer, examining every twig, pebble, ridge and root. The bicyclist can ignore much of the detail, but must watch the big stuff. A unicyclist is unlikely to take into account the radius of a curve on a wide forest track when judging his speed; failure to do so could be fatal for the bicyclist.

Another comparison: a Formula 1 car driver on a wide smooth track, with all the other cars going in the same direction, at 200 mph; a rally driver who has no other vehicles in sight and only has to contend with the topography and road surface at 90 mph; an ambulance driver trying to get to an emergency in rush hour traffic at 30 mph on a busy road with traffic lights, other vehicles, and pedestrians.

I compare unicycling to fencing with foil; mountain biking is more like kendo.

i used to skateboard and i would say unicycling is more dangerous but the people are totally different in unicycling people wear alot more protection so are less likely to get hurt!And have not seen the posts were people have broken arms and legs!!!

I think the guy who said about the tuba and basoon is right.
i mean… the injurys on a bike are usually worse because you have more stuff to tangle your limbs in. But to be honest… i dont think unicyclist unicycle because it is “extreme”. Its just something a bit different.

(didjeridoo is really hard)

Why do motorcycle trials blow? There’s not much in the world of ‘extreme’ sports that has impressed me more than motorcycle trials!