Call for Unicyclists to ride in Utah parades this summer

I posted this info in a Utah thread in one of the non-unicycling discussion forums, but I haven’t gotten many hits over there, so I figured I’d try here.

My kids and I are riding with some unicycle friends in at least two parades this summer. As of right now, we have 8 riders, with a 9th rider who is a maybe. That means there’s room for more riders – lots more. We’d love to have you ride with us. Even if you primarily ride muni, don’t be scared away by the fact that this riding will be on the streets – the crowds love unicycles of all shapes and sizes. One of my friends periodically stops along the route and does simply hopping; the crowds usually cheer at how cool it looks, blissfully unaware how easy it is. This is my third summer riding uni in parades, and I love it. The best vantage point to watch a parade from is the seat of a uni! You can ride up and down the parade route, throwing candy and doing tricks.

Uinta Day Parade – Saturday, June 8, 2013, at 10 am

Uinta is a small community south of Ogden, nestled at the mouth of the canyon where Highway 89 meets I-84. The parade route is only 1/4 mile long, so it’s perfect if this is your first parade. I’ve been told that the city will be providing us candy to throw, so we don’t need to bring our own. This will be my first time riding in this parade, but I was contacted by the parade organizer through this forum. Yes, he subscribed to just so he could send me a PM to see if we would be willing to ride our unis in the parade! How cool is that?

Kaysville 4th of July Parade – Thursday, July 4, 2013, at 11 am

I’d have to look this up on Google maps again, but I think this parade is about 1.5 miles, give or take. This will be my third time riding this parade. For a small-town parade, this one has really good sized crowds. The spectators are very friendly (especially when they see you holding candy). :slight_smile: Like many cities in Utah, Kaysville has very wide streets (thanks to the original Mormon settlers), so unis have an advantage in throwing candy that the regular floats do not: closer range! You can ride right out to the edge of the crowd and throw the candy from there, so the candy lands where we want it. Sometimes, when I see someone I know in the crowd, I will throw the candy right to them, over their kids’ heads; I’ll chuck two or three pieces and then ride off like I’m done, but then flip back around and chuck a whole handful to the kids. This usually gets a lot of laughs. On the other hand, the people throwing from the floats often land half their candy on the street. From a uni, you could even set the candy in kids’ outstretched hands instead of throwing it if you wanted to; in fact, sometimes kids will hold out their hands for a high five as you ride by – especially if you double back for the high fives after throwing candy.

Let’s Ride!

If anyone wants to ride in either parade, or both, please drop me a PM and I’ll let you know additional details about where to meet and what time, as well as exchanging contact info with you. Don’t think about all the reasons why you don’t want to do – just do it! You’ll be glad you did. :slight_smile:

Hey Darth Elevator,

Sounds like fun! I probably won’t be able to make it, but it’s great you have good relationships in place with the parade organizers. Maybe another time… Good luck!

-Jon from Utah County

Jon – where do you live? I’m in Provo…

Not enough control to ride this year. Still working on consistent mounts and riding where I want to - let alone doing so in front of crowds. Definitely post here again next year, and I’m sure to join you.

Thanks, Jon!

Sounds good.

Hey neilth, I’ll send you a PM. I’m always on the lookout for people to ride with, maybe if I frequented the forums a little more I’d have better luck!:smiley:

The parade Saturday in Uintah was tons of fun. We had five riders. The 4th of July parade is right around the corner, so if anyone is on the fence deciding whether to ride or not, just do it! You won’t regret it! :slight_smile:

Just a reminder that the 4th of July parade in Kaysville is just around the corner for anyone who’s interested. I think as of right we should have 9 riders or so.

For anyone up in the northern part of the state, a few of us are riding uni in Logan’s Pioneer Day parade this Wednesday, July 24. PM me if you’d like details.

Here’s a video clip from the 4th of July parade:

It’s almost parade time for anyone who’s game to join us. Uinta parade on June 14 (a short, slightly downhill route that is a great warmup parade); Kaysville 4th of July parade; and Logan 24th of July parade.

4th of July

My 2 boys may be interested in participating in the Kaysville 4th of July parade this year. What would they need to know/do in order to do this?

The more the merrier! We are expecting several other first-time riders, so they’ll fit right in. We always have a wide range of riding ability; in fact, last week at the Uinta parade, we had a kid ride with us who had only been riding a week!

The Kaysville parade lines up at the DATC (on the roads and in the parking lots); I haven’t received our exact line-up spot yet, but I expect to get that in the next week or two and will post it here. If all else fails, your sons can simply show up at the DATC anytime before the parade starts at 11 and ask a parade staffer to look up where the unicyclists are lining up. The closer it gets to 11, the more crowded it gets at the DATC (and the harder it is to get in), so I’m telling most people to try for 10:30 at the latest. I’ll also send you my cell number in a pm so you’ll have it. You are welcome to walk along the parade route with your sons or ride a bike. It’s usually pretty hot, so we always bring water bottles. We also bring candy to throw, although that is not required.

Some people decorate their unicycle wheels by weaving streamers in and out of the spokes; some choose to not decorate; either is fine. Being able to freemount is helpful, but not necessary; one of my kids still can’t freemount, so she just grabs somebody’s hand to help her get going again. If anyone gets tired, they can stop and walk a bit, or even stop and sit in the crowd and rest awhile. Last year, my youngest had had enough by the time we got to where the rest of the family was watching the parade, so she just stayed there while we kept on riding.

If you have any other questions, you can ask them here or give me a call/text.

I’m considering this this year. What’s the pace like?

That would be awesome if you rode with us, Keiffer! It averages walking pace most of the time, with occasional faster stretches when the float ahead of us speeds up to catch up with the float in front of them.

We’re allowed to travel either direction along the parade route, so – as the mood strikes – some of the riders will split off from the rest of the group and either pass the floats ahead of us to finish early or double back to see what’s behind us (or both, just going back and forth the whole time). The last couple years, I’ve stayed with the group until I get to the end of the parade route, and then I’ve gone back and forth along the route until I’ve had enough. One year, it was so hot that I stopped when we got to where our family and friends were sitting and chillaxed for a few minutes with a cold beverage and then rejoined the parade. There’s also a water fight section that brings up the rear of the parade, so if you want to cool down, you can ride past those vehicles and get soaked (or try to soak them if you bring a watergun). :slight_smile:

I forgot to mention that you’re welcome to borrow my Coker for the parade, as I again won’t be riding it this year because I’m still not consistent with freemounting, especially when I get tired. The Coker’s definitely not anywhere near as sweet a ride as the 36 you used to have, but thanks to the sheer size of the wheel compared to any other unicycle that’ll be there, it’ll definitely turn some heads along the parade route. And it has a pretty comfy KH seat. And the last 2/3 of the parade route is a really wide road, so there’s plenty of room for turning around.

Not sure if you’ve ever ridden a giraffe, but you’re also welcome to try my giraffe. You could borrow it over the next couple weeks and see if you get comfortable enough to tackle the parade on it.

Cliff, I have a giraffe and can ride one.

If I decide to ride in it, I’ll be on my 700c uni. Just need to see what I’ve got going that day. I may be bike riding or Muni riding already.

I received our parade lineup info. We are entry number 25. Our lineup spot is parking lot B, as marked on the map.

The participant drop-off spot shown on the map is at 250 S 600 E. But if that particular spot is crowded with a million other people getting dropped off, you can also park along 500 E a few blocks up and walk down to 300 S to enter the DATC grounds.

The parade route ends at 100 S 200 E, and usually the block east of there is not blocked off if you need a spot to tell people where to pick you up. We usually don’t get picked up, though; we either ride back along the parade route and join our family to watch the rest of the parade or else or else just walk back to wherever we parked earlier.

Don’t forget to bring water and sunscreen. And we’re allowed to throw candy if we want. I like to grab a handful of candy and hold it up so the crowd can see it real well; then I like to pretend that they’re cheering for my unicycling skill and rock solid abs, and not just so I’ll throw them the candy. :slight_smile:

parade lineup.jpg