Falling off and introducing myself

Combining two threads into one, I will introduce myself, and tell about my
worst fall.

I have had a unicycle for about 2 or 3 months, I guess. I bought a cheap
unicycle (which I have described previously) as an extension to my juggling,
which I have been doing since March.

I am currently studying postgrad. Computer Science at the University of
Queensland (but that will be over soon) in Brisbane. I do most of my unicycling
around the university, often at very strange hours of the night or morning. My
longest unbroken ride, of about 1 km, was made at around 4:30 am.

I am 23 years old (but that will be over soon too. Beirne, I suggest you store
the birth years in the roster, instead of the ages, so that it doesn’t keep
getting out of date) - my birth year is 1970.

My worst fall to date was just a few hours ago. I was practising my juggling on
a unicycle. I got my best run so far - 33 catches of a three ball cascade. It
goes without saying that I had no witnesses to see this feat.

I decided it was time to try a 4 ball fountain on the uni for the first time. I
guess I was wrong. I started poorly - after only two or three catches, I
dropped one.

It fell right in front of the wheel.

This has happened before, and resulted in me falling off onto my feet. I don’t
know why this time was different; perhaps I was too distracted and was still
trying to catch the remaining balls. Perhaps my choice of footwear (shoes with
deep ridges on the sole which catch in the pedals) was not the best. Whatever it
was, I fell with the unicycle, landing fairly flat on my chest, arms

Now, the palms of my hands, and my elbows and knees are covered with cuts,
scrapes and antiseptic. It could have been a lot worse; no major damage, no
damage to clothes, and I can still type with no problems, which is important at
this time of year. Just stinging pain every time I forget I am hurt, and I bump
something the wrong way.

What has been interesting, though, is people’s reactions to the damage. A
passer-by (of course there is going to be a witness for a fall, it is always the
way,) was laughing before I hit the ground. “Ho! You really rolled it there!” -
Gee thanks for checking first if I was unhurt.

Fellow unicyclists have been going “Ooh! ooh! That must hurt. How did it happen?
FOUR BALLS? Wow!” and making all the right pacifying noises.

However, my so-called friends who do NOT ride unicycles having been laughing.
One said “All I can say is that it serves you right.”

Another, after hearing I had been attempting 4 balls, and while watching me
apply temporary band-aids until the bleeding stopped, wanted to know if I had
ever tried riding downstairs. There is just no satisfying some people.

In non-unicyclists minds, fallen unicyclists don’t seem to warrant any sympathy.



– Julian Orbach (julian@cs.uq.oz.au) – University of Queensland,
Brisbane, Australia