RE: city riding
> I think unicycling in the street can be dangerous because drivers are not used
> to this.
Yes. And doing anything on the street puts you at the mercy of cars. People
have the windows rolled up, the radio cranked, and they’re talking on the phone.
They certainly are not looking for, or concerned about, YOU. The good drivers
you don’t have to worry about. I’m describing the problem ones.
Then there’s the common driver who makes a mistake, as AJ described, and knows
it, but gives a dirty look instead of an “oops” or apologetic one. No matter. We
all know who was wrong. And the car always wins (except against a truck or
train), so don’t make an issue out of it.
> They may have no clue what you might do next, and sometimes drivers get
> distracted just watching you since you look unusual.
This is true, and there have been many times when I’ve noticed lots of
drivers paying too much attention to me (or the people I’m with) and not
enough to the road. But I can’t think of any examples of accidents that
happened because of this.
> Legally, I think you are supposed to walk bikes (and unis?) across crosswalks.
This may be true, but with infinite variations under local laws. In a crosswalk,
you are in the space reserved for pedestrians. On most sidewalks you are not
supposed to be cycling, and this includes the crosswalk. However there is a big
gray area between street and sidewalk as far as where a unicycle belongs. Part
of this is related to how solid a rider you are. If you’re good, and fast, you
belong in the street (following bicycle rules). If you’re an unstable beginner,
you belong on the sidewalk and not near people! People expect unicycles to
fall down any second, but we don’t want to reinforce that idea by showing them
in-your-face examples of this…
> but I think you should always assume someone will come flying around the
> corner in their car and not see you. No matter how much in the right you may
> be, it won’t help you when you’re on a uni and they are in a two ton weapon.
Good advice. Don’t play games with physics. Here are some good general rules for
surviving around traffic:
- The heavier vehicle always wins
- Assume they do not see you
- Expect the traffic to make mistakes
- Expect doors to open on parked cars
- Expect your unicycle to be a distraction
- Expect cops to be suspicious of you (especially with lots of
- Do not expect to win in court
(On the court thing, in most car-bike accidents the driver is not charged. As a
unicyclist, you have even less legal weight, and are unlikely to succeed. This
is not optimistic information, but I think it’s accurate)
Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone (former driving instructor in New York)