First Wheel Walker?

I learned to walk the wheel in 1979 (RTUC), and I
don’t remember to many people walking it back then.
Does anyone know who the first wheel walker was?
(and we learned by holding the handle of the
dumpster and just going for it. (No ceilings))

I don’t know for sure, but I read in a post way back in the archives that some unicyclists were doing sideways wheel walk back in the 1940’s, at which time it was called “barrel roll.” In all probability, the first wheel walker was some performer from the vaudeville era, and thus possibly as early as the 1920’s.

That was Ken Woods, who was pictured on the cover of the USA Newsletter, around Fall 1977 or so.

I’m sure it was old hat by then. My minimum guess on when wheel walking was first done is 105 years ago. Of course these were performers, not people out riding with friends and exchanging tricks.

It sure would be a fun hobby project for someone (else) to research old variety entertainers and see which are the earliest unicyclists they can find, and any descriptions of their performances that can be dug up…

For us in “organized” unicycling, I can remember when the wheel walk race was 10 yards (3’) in distance. In early races there were ony a few finishers. My friends and I fixed this in the early 80s, with times of 3.5 seconds or so. Then it was extended to the current 30m, which I still think works as a good, challenging sprint distance.

Re: First Wheel Walker?

On Thu, 3 Mar 2005 11:40:46 -0600, “johnfoss” wrote:

>race was 10 yards (3’) in distance.

Just to avoid confusion: 1 yard is 3 ft, so 10 yards is 30 ft. I’m
sure John knew and meant this.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

people who unicycle are shyly exhibitionistic - GILD