Happy New Year from UNICON XV!!!

It’s the last day of the year, and the last day of the decade. Hundreds of unicyclists spent the day enjoying it in Wellington with members of the public. UNICON XV ran a public ‘learn-to-ride” workshop, which had dozens of people turning up to Frank Kitts park to try out unicycling! Many were able to get on, and even go a few metres, after expert instruction from the worlds best unicyclists.

We had a live Unicycle Demo for the public at Civic Square, with The Berkeley Uni-basketball team showing off their best moves, our Street Champions doing various jumps over each other, and The Japanese Freestyle Team providing a crowd pleasing performance.

For the first time in Unicon history, hundreds of unicyclists from around the world gathered to count down the New Year in style!

Check out the UNICON Gallery

I turned up at Civic square too late for the unicycle performance, and it was pretty cool riding amongst the people in the square, but after a short while I was harassed by security gaurds, telling me that riding is a health and safety issue, and to think of the children. That was a ridiculous thing to say, because it is the children who would be entertained most by having unicyclists riding. I left the Civic square well before the countdown to New Year because it is no fun being a unicyclist told not to ride, and it is far more fun being free to ride where you please. Juggling and riding through crowds on the streets was much more stylish than standing in the square in my opinion.

The Civic Square area was cordoned off as an alcohol-free zone for the New Year celebration. As the crowds got denser, it made perfect sense for police to disallow unicycles as there was less and less room to ride (and less light). The rest of downtown Wellington was as open to unicycling as the rest of NZ; moreso because of the presence of Unicon. How amazing to be in a city with unicycling in the center of it, where the population all seem to be aware of the event, and coming to the competitions to watch!

I disagree. I got there when it was dark and the flood lighting was sufficient to see. The crowds were not that dense in most places- and surely you know how to balance on a unicycle amongst people by now. It was perfect for unicycling! Plenty of room and plenty of light. Generally the public seemed unaware of what was going on, continually asking why there was so many unicycles around. The rest of Downtown wellington and the rest of NZ is open to unicycling thanks to Sugra “the Juggler” Morley, moreso than Unicon (which scheduled a non-Unicycle new year gathering). Sugra battled in the high court for our rights as unicyclists, and if harassed on the footpath or road we can refer his case to the Police to avoid wasting more court time.

Maybe the drunken new years unicyclists should have been breath tested and told not to ride, but the sober riders were told “health and safety” unfairly.

Thanks Ken, I wouldn’t call myself the best though. One girl smashed her head backwards on the concrete wall due to the cramped style of the teaching location and left crying, and a woman re-injured her knee and had to be wheeled off on a bicycle unable to walk. Heaps of people had fun. I managed to coast down the hill at Frank Kitts park and I made it past the bumpy bit where the path crosses and down to the bottom of the hill! Thanks heaps to George from Australia who helped me pack up and store my unicycles at the end when everyone else bailed.