Something tells me that people in wheelchairs are no different than anyone else we might pass by.
We are sort of assuming that they might feel bad about not being able to uni–but that is only because WE love to uni, and so naturally we assume that everyone must secretly have the same desire, even the ones who make the dumb jokes like “hey, where’s your other wheel.”
The difference is only for ourselves–when we see someone in a wheelchair, we naturally assume that they will be forever barred from the unicycle and thus we pity them because as unicyclists, they have become hopeless, unlike all the other bipeds walking around and shouting silly jokes at us.
But they are no different from anyone else. Whatever issues they have had with their own bodies has probebly been hashed out and resolved by the time they are out in public. They probebly think the exact same things that walking people think when they see us one-wheelers zooming by–envy, indifference, contempt, laughter, and of course, the circus song…
I ride past people in wheelchairs every day. I don’t feel any worse for them when I’m on a uni than I would if I were walking. They’re human beings–they don’t want our pity, and it is not nice to give them any–people hate to be condescended to, and I know that if I started to “feel sorry” for people in wheelchairs simply because I am riding past them on a one-wheel would be condescending and it just leads to a lot of awkwardness and embarressment where there shouldn’t be any at all.
The sight of a person in a wheelchair DOES remind me to be careful in traffic. And to wear a helmet.
The odd thing is this:
I am sure that somewhere, someplace, there was a unicycler riding by a person in a wheelchair, and that person in the wheelchair yelled out, “Hey! Where’s your other wheel?!”
How would you answer THAT?
Instead of racing a person on a wheelchair, how about a basketball game…between…you guessed it…a unicycle basketball team VS a wheelchair basketball team!
Now that would be something! A lot of crashing chrome!