do you "show off" and is that okay?

I know this is going to sound weird, but this seems like the correct group to ask since I’m sure you have been there / done that.

This weekend my work is holding a walk/run marathon for 5k to raise awareness for PTSD.

The walk/run is taking place on the exact location that I ride everyday at lunch. I asked them is I could do my 5k on a Unicycle and they said sure.

I think this will make a lot of people smile and I’ll get to show off in front of hundreds of my co-workers.

Then, as soon as I say the work “show off” it makes me think that I should NOT do it. What kind of person shows up at an event to say “hey everybody - look at me!”

The point is that you would not be doing the event just to show off but rather because you like to ride you unicycle.

Beyond that, yes, riding a unicycle does attract attention and you have to either be okay with that or ride places where nobody is so no one sees you. So if you ride somewhere where you know there will be a lot of people, then you just have to accept the attention: usually it’s overwhelmingly positive but of course there can always be one or two people who find it totally stupid or silly but you just have to deal with that (you can’t make all the people happy all the time anyway),

I think it just has to do with your own position, image and self-confidence. If you do the ride then you will be the “unicycle guy” and people may talk about it for the next year. If you don’t want that then don’t do it.

I work on a University Campus and ride all around campus for about 40 minutes every day. I also ride down a popular road near my house and a lot of people see me. Everyone that sees me smiles, gives me a thumbs up, etc. I don’t think I’ve seen or heard anything negative. It’s a big boost for me since I have hated exercise for 50 years and now I’m doing something that makes me feel super human. Instead of people looking at me like “geez, look at the old fat guy trying to run” they say “holy crap - you go dude… you’re awesome.”

So, I’m 95% sure that the crowd this weekend would enjoy seeing some guy riding around on a unicycle and give me high fives. I just have to stop for a minute and say “you know… if you had to leave your unicycle at home you probably would not go to this event and walk/run…”

Of course you should show off and enjoy the positive response from the crowd.

Right, you shouldn’t have to feel like your showing off. If you’re good and enjoying it, it’s more like you’re exuding confidence, whether somebody likes your presence or not, it doesnt really matter. Unicycling is not for the timid. Just get to the level of where you feel like you “own” your unicycle, that’s all that really matters . At least for me, anyway :wink:

I can freemount, dismount with Uni in front (most times) and ride as far as I want without stopping. I typically ride 1.75 miles. Stop to stretch my legs and then ride 1.75 miles back… I’m able to ride up and down all the sidewalk wheelchair ramps and over several bridges on campus.

I cannot hop, idle, ride off curbs, or anything else above level 1. But, to people that cannot ride at all Level 1 is pretty amazing!

Are not all those unicycle videos that we love just people “showing off”? At least to some extent, but I don’t think anyone who makes a video is vain, particularly when I see all the fails at the end.

It’s not wrong to do something because others are watching, just remember why else you are doing it too.

That is really well said. I love to unicycle, but I’m not yet there that I can say I “own” it. I reckon that is also a positive thing as it means there is still heaps to learn.
I am a very introverted person, but I kinda like the attention when uni-ing around town :slight_smile: Just being able to ride on one wheel is like showing off to most people already. No need to do anything fancy.

I’ve been unicycling so much in the last year (and mostly on the 36 on which I am about 220cm tall or over 7 feet tall) that on the occasions where I take the bike instead I am surprised/shocked/forget that no one looks at me as being crazy/special/coo/wacky or whatever. I think I’ve gotten so used to seeing people’s faces react to me as I ride by (and often with a comment - everything’s possible from “whoa”, did you see that", “huh?”, etc.), it’s really strange on a day like today where I commuted by bike instead and no one reacts at all.

I participated in a “community” bike ride last spring - after 8 years of construction on the inner city ring the new tunnel was finished (i.e. like the Big Dig in Boston) and a few weeks before it opened they had the cycling event where you got to ride through the tunnel (now it is again cars only). The really good thing is that there were two of us, me on a 36 and a girl on a 29. It was a huge event with 2000+ cyclists and everyone was cheering and ringing their bells and asking us about the unis. At one point a group on penny farthings passed us: wow those things are even bigger, 48" maybe? and made my 36 look small.

Have fun!

I love riding my unicycle, and on top of that I think it’s pretty cool that it makes most people smile. If I catch someone’s eye I’ll give it that extra push of speed or do some weaving or something. I like to show people what you can do on a unicycle, and that it’s fun. I wish the sport wasn’t seen as showing off just by doing it, and I regularly downplay how hard it is (because it’s not really that hard, let’s be honest) in hopes people will give it a try.

It’s OK for me to show off but it’s not OK for you to. You need to be more serious about what you do and how you appear.

My son is in the same boat. He is quite introverted, especially if he is not confident in his ability. He likes unicycling now as it is dark by 5pm and no one sees him unless they are walking past. He can manage 300-400 metres which for a 10 year old isn’t bad, but he does not tell his mates, even though all the reactions to him from passers-by are positive. He has a thing about “showing off” and likes to keep this sort of thing private. I hope that as time goes by it will bring him out of his shell and he will gain the confidence to do it in the daylight!
Have fun, enjoy the attention and positive reactions you are bound to get!
If its for charity, take a bucket, you’ll be surprised how many people want to donate to “the unicyclist”!

It’s a charity ride, of course you want to stand out. When collecting money from sponsors make sure you mention that you will be riding a unicycle. All the top fundraisers at the events I have gone to have had something to help them stand out.

When I unicycled the MS Bikeathon I was able to raise considerably more than when I biked it. More people were willing to donate more money when they saw I was missing a wheel.

it’s not a charity ride - it’s just an “awareness” ride. So, there will not be any money getting passed around…

I’ve never heard of an “awareness ride.”

I guess now I am aware. :stuck_out_tongue:

EDIT: Sorry to go off-topic, but how does a run raise awareness for PTSD?

Just go out and do it and have a blast, afterall, it’s only 5k. Piece of cake right? As long as you’re not constantly falling off every hundred yard, I think a majority will enjoy seeing the one-wheeler.

If I may, let me elaborate on my personal experience of “owning” it.
On my 26er Oregon, I feel like I own it. I can ride 3+hrs muni, climb as high as the mtb’ers can. Throw the wheel in all directions. Ride narrow single tracks next to cliffs. Ride down 3-4ft ledges without problems.

On my 36er with my 165 cranks I believe I own it. I can do muni trails. Torque and throw the wheel around pretty darn well. Overall really nice control.

Then, then not too long ago, I changed to the 145mm. I definitely did not feel nearly of owning it, for quite a while. I could ride it. But straight on paths was what I was only good on. Very lack of control that I was looking for. In fact, it got so bad, that I forgot how capable I was at muni when I was with the 165s. Not until just last weekend. I did a 26.4 mile. But still, I was only good enough on non techincal bike paths.
But sure, the good distance built good thigh and calf muscles for sure.
Not only until today, I felt the extra burst of conditioned muscles kick in. Did muni on it today. Practiced throwing the wheel ever so nicely. Much, much better control after practicing slaloms and twisting the wheel around nearly 90° in both directions. I actually felt that feeling of having on SPD’s again, like I did on the 165s. I practiced hops, and on going real slow, at slow walking speed. Climbed much better than ever, able to twist to recover balance… It felt almost as if I were on my 165s, but faster. I didnt think it was possible, but it happened.
From now Im good for muni on 145s. Yeah, that was the control and confidence I was seeking for. It shows too, a hardcore runner running uphills, gave a boost of a cool compliment. Well worth earned, i would say! :):wink:

I was talking with a co-worker about it and he thinks “awareness” events are stupid. I understand his point. Basically, it gives an organization on campus an opportunity to educate the campus about PTSD. They will probably have flyers there at sign-up and people will be encouraged to ask questions and talk about it. Think of it this way - if they just said we are going to meet in room 101 and talk about this they would probably only get 1/20 the turn out.

Start by asking yourself why you want to ride a unicycle in this event instead of run/walk it. Skip past the stuff about running/walking is boring, slow, bad for your joints, etc. You could do that and be a “normal” part of the event. So why the unicycle?

Possible reasons are because you want to do more. As an “awareness” event you can also raise awareness of unicycles. But not in a negative way. Because you can ride a unicycle, it may help motivate people. Not necessarily to ride one, but to feel better while they work their way through the event. If you think of yourself as a motivator for the other runners/walkers, you are helping the cause. And then, it’s also okay to be a showoff. :slight_smile:

Yes, a 36" penny farthing would be for a child. Back in the day, if you were an enthusiast you would get the largest wheel that would fit you. That was your gearing. Sizes went up over 60", but at that point you have to be fairly tall to reach the pedals. I’ve ridden a 63.5" unicycle, but I was only just barely able to reach.

It generally isn’t. That is the perception of the viewer. Some people see you doing something they can’t, and that they believe they could never do (which is wrong). If they choose to be haters they may then call you a show-off, ask about your other wheel, etc. Other people will see something cool, whimsical and difficult, and be entertained or just impressed by it. If doing it with a group of run/walkers, if you are one of them, you can have the effect of boosting them up!

But beware of taking it too far. Doing exactly the same thing dressed as a clown, will get more reactions to the clown (example: “Look at the clown!”) and less reaction to the unicycle (example: “Look at the clown!”).

Examples of showing off, from images I had already sized for these forums. What a bunch of show-offs:





As John Foss demonstrated (thanks! Esp. the wheelbarrow walk and the “spare unicycle” on the car made me laugh…), showing off can be very okay! And why wouldn’t it? From a somewhat psychological point of view: What’s bothering you about showing-off, what about show-offs… and why?
For example, I know of an amateur singer who’s been very self-conscious about performing, in part because she was taught in childhood not to take herself too seriously. What a shame! When she basks in the admiration of her audience, she actually gives them a good time. She’s not conceited, just enjoys the audience’s attention, the looks and surely also the admiration. The audience is there voluntarily, so why not? It’s a good deal for everyone.
In my opinion, showing off is fine if the show-off doesn’t “force” his audience to watch or admire him… doesn’t do it excessively… and if he’s not arrogant or conceited about it. Then it just clashes with one’s self-concept of being that guy who doesn’t strive for looks or admiration, bummer.
But who cares about my opinion–what matters is when you think it’s fine.

Not talking about Uni_que’s son (!), just using this as an illustration: Some people who don’t like to perform in front of others are just shy… others fear they’re not good enough to impress–and anything less is not enough in their eyes!
So what’s more “okay”: The guy who loves his uni and will give a little show-off performance for a cheer or make a dazzling Youtube video and watch with pride how many views he gets… or the guy who works his tricks at night because he won’t embarass himself until the distant day he’s going to show all the world what a great guy (he thinks) he is? Who’s really more full of himself?

PS: Yes, obviously there are also people who unicycle despite the fact that they’ll get attention. As I understood it, that wasn’t the question, was it?
PPS: I like the “awareness” run. It’s much more European I guess… (asking for donations for doing a run is a very strange concept for most Europeans I know)

A few years back I was riding my 36 on a main road when a young boy shouted, “Show off!!”