Coker in newspaper

I was in the Daily Herald newspaper in Lake County Illinois. The article is on-line, but no photos. I will try to scan and post. Here is a link;

only available for 7 days

Here is the text;
Fun for one
Man enjoys unicycling for fitness, relaxation

By Jason King
Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It’s big.

It’s yellow.

And it’s not for the faint of heart.

But Bruce Williams loves his unicycle.

“I guess I do it for the challenge. You’re always in an adrenaline rush,” Williams said. “With a unicycle, you have to stay awake.”

Lake County residents have likely seen Williams, of Lake Villa, peddling his “Coker” unicycle in and around the bike trails and some neighborhoods in the area.

An avid cyclist who often logged 5,000 miles on his two-wheeled bikes each year, Williams saw a television show three years ago that showcased the sport of “MUni,” or mountain unicycling, a cousin to mountain biking.

“I thought if they can ride and jump logs and things like that, I should be able to ride around here,” he said.

After a few Internet searches, Williams decided to start with a standard 24-inch unicycle.

The hardest part, he said, was getting on the thing, but after a week he could ride the distance of his front yard, and within a month he was riding it around the block.

His confidence, and gumption, grew.

“I knew that once I rode around the block I could ride one forever,” he said.

But he quickly found out that peddling a 24-inch wheel was a lot of work.

“Five miles on that little one was a lot of effort,” he said.

So he went back to the internet and found his “Coker.”

Named Cokers after the company that makes the huge, 36-inch tires, they’re unlike most unicycles people have seen.

When you see Williams riding, you know it’s him. Ignoring the fact that he is, as far as he knows, the only Coker distance ride in Lake County, you can’t miss him.

The formerly chrome frame of his unicycle is bright yellow, and has flames painted on it. Williams had it custom painted.

He’s typically wearing a brightly colored cycling jersey, cycling shorts and wrist and knee pads. Because his “bike” doesn’t have a frame, he wears a hydration pack on his back.

With the size of the wheel, and his own height, it’s not far of a stretch to say he looks like a psychedelic, high-speed giraffe.

He admits he gets plenty of attention when out riding.

“You wouldn’t believe how many people honk and wave or hang out the window taking pictures with their cell phone,” he said.

Equally attention grabbing is the way he mounts the bike.

After setting the pedals a certain way, Williams takes a standing leap, shoves the seat where it should go and then puts his feet on the pedals and takes off.

“That’s the hardest part,” he said. “You have to just sort of jump and get your feet on the pedals just right.”

The unicycle is outfitted with a cycling computer, which keeps track of things like distance and speed. A check of his computer showed Williams had pedaled 420 miles so far this year. He also noted he averages around 12 miles per hour on it.

“Last year I put 1,503 miles on it,” he said. “This year I’m hoping for 2,000.”

But Williams, a computer programmer and married father of three, said the hobby isn’t solely about fitness. Fitness, he said, is often times the secondary benefit of it.

“It’s about relaxation. I can get out on the trails and mentally relax,” he said. “My wife says, ‘How is that relaxing?’ But it’s the most peaceful hour of my day.”

Sweet maybe more will uni now!

Good to know Bruce is still up and riding. He hasn’t checked on the forums in a while.

Good article too.

nice story! kinda wierd how they kept calling it a bike though…
it was too bad that there wern’t any photos. thanks for posting!

Great story

To bad no pic, I get more attention, thumbs up kind of things, on the 36, then on smaller wheels. I think we should start wearing large black top hats. :slight_smile:

Photos too - Scan of article

Finally I was able to piece the scan together 3/4 of a page and resize to limits here!