Has anyone been thrown out or banned from rides?

This past weekend I did my first 25 mile ride with bicyclists at a fundraising event for the bike trail that runs by my house. The Maine Lighthouse Ride. There were over 1200 riders.

It was great! The cyclist were, with a couple exceptions, very encouraging. I had a great time, even though it was over 90 degrees, and I managed to do fairly well with a finish time just under 3 hours. Not bad for me in that heat. I wasn’t sore and, that night, my kids and I did a unicycling halftime show for Maine Roller Derby - http://mainerollerderby.com/. (About as obscure as unicycling.)

But I was talking to a cyclist, who thought I was great, and he said he was told unicycist are banned from another ride - the Trek Across Maine. I haven’t confirmed that.

That made me wonder, has anyone showed up to a ride and were told “no unicyclist allowed” when you got there? I did email someone associated with this ride the year before and she ‘thought’ it would be ok, but wasn’t sure. I never heard back. I ended up not being able to make that ride, because it filled up. This year I just showed up. They were quite surprised to see me there. I was their first unicyclist and they loved it.

I really enjoyed this ride and want to do more large group rides. So I am looking around for other rides, but it sometimes hard to track down someone with authority to say yes or no. All the support is nice, not to mention the conversations with the cyclists.

So has anyone been banned, or told no, for a charity or non-racing bicycling event? Of course, it is easier to be banned from large rides that fill up. They can always find someone to take your spot.

3 years ago the famous London to Brighton ride which has about 60,000 bikes banned unicyclists on “health and Safety” grounds… it just shows they didn’t know what they were dealing with. I do get the sense that they think we are just fooling around.

Alan, has unicycling freedom been a significant element of the Scottish independence debate? On our TV news bulletin saw Gordon Brown pressing flesh and addressing reporters but he made no mention of it…

Don’t think its made the press at all, although I did have a TV company want to do an interview with me, but nothing came of it :frowning:

Suffice to say my 20 that I use for work has a yes sticker on it so you can guess where my X is going on the 18th!!

I haven’t heard much over the years about unicycles being prohibited in tour-type events. Those are ridden at a more comfortable pace, and also often on public roads that are open to traffic. In other words, it might be difficult for organizers to enforce such a ban anyway.

It’s another story for race-type events, or anything in a controlled environment, such as closed-off trails or roads.

I rode many times in New York City’s 5-Boro Bike Tour, starting in 1985. That event welcomes odd cycles, and if they know you’re coming you usually get invited to start at the front. I don’t think the organizers expected unicycles to actually finish the ride, so why worry? Most of the more odd/novelty bikes aren’t really suited to long rides, like a 10-person tandem, which only do a short part of the overall distance. And of course, that was before Cokers, when a lot less people had unicycles with big wheels. My friends and I rode it on 40", 45" and 50" wheels (with hard tires – ouch!).

bannned from park?!!!

Darned I was ticked off today…

Ok, the incident started about 3or 4 months ago, when I was still pretty new with riding. I had been practicing thoughout a local park. I would intensely practice riding all over covering as much area as I could, including this round picnic area surrounded by redwood trees of which I could practice riding over roots and bumps.
Then here comes this park ranger and telling me the picnic area was for " reservations only". But I wasnt using the picnic tables , and beside early in the morning, there are the occasional person sitting on the bench and reading , and that was 10 minutes ago.
Anyhow, I didnt want to further raise my blood pressure. It wasnt worth it. So I avoided the reserved area.

Then darn it, until today. He had the gall to flag me down again today. My first day on my Oregon. I was really upset for him to tell me to get off my uni and telling me that unis are banned from all parks within the city. I asked him why. His answer “its for health safety” WTF?!
I guess he’s an older Filipino and his English comprehension / translation is worse than mine. I guess he meant for “public safety”

Of course I got all hot headed ( which really wasnt neccessary, thinking back) I asked for his name and got it. Then I forgot to get his last name, went back and demanded it. I told him I would call up the city and look for his supervisor.

Called up parks and rec. Left a message for his supervisor Mike. 15 min later he called me back as he had a speak with the park ranger. Supervisor’s conclusion, " there is no such ban, its a one wheel cycle with a seat and no motor attached to it" . His excuse for the park ranger, “that he must have mistaken it for it being motorized”…

no, the guy knew there wasnt a motor to it and just wanted to give me a hard time. The supervisor told me that the next time the ranger see me he owes me an apology.

tomorrow I will return and ride around in circles,
around his fattie a#s.
Just to make my presence be known.

And to be clear, nobody around the park is offended by my presence. I only get wows and compliments.
And if so, its their irratence, not mine. I have all the rights as bicyclists do. So please, know your rights.
If not, call up your city—you pay the taxes.

My local State Park in Maryland is designated a wilderness area and consequently all mechanized forms of transportation are banned except on one service road. There are ‘no bicycle’ signs everywhere.

The one main trail is used by 95%+ of the Park’s guests and the other trails are hardly used at all. I had been enjoying them for muni- avoiding the high traffic main drag.

I started volunteering at the Park doing trail projects, tree plantings, maintenance, etc… and now know all the rangers. This was when I realized the other trails technically were off limits.

Now when out on those other trails I use the ‘excuse’ that I’m ‘patrolling’ them. This does actually make sense since I do remove hazards along the way or report them back to the Park staff and make an effort to interact with other Park users in a positive way. It also reduces the need to actually patrol the remoter trails on six wheel motorized Gators.

The Park employees and rangers appreciate my presence.

I pay lots of taxes in Maryland but also like to give back in kind. I only volunteer for causes I believe in where I feel like my time makes a difference (no Relay for Life for me- I throw money at that- each to their own).

Sure I get a lot of personal satisfaction from the above activity which is somewhat selfish but my point is making sure others know you are grateful for the resource, that you appreciate it as much as they do (well let’s hope), and are prepared to contribute to the continued success and reason for that resources existence.

Tomorrow I’m working a rest stop on a century ride that provides donations to the Semper Fi fund. I ride bikes with the local cycling club as cross training for Muni.

Back to the OP however… Other threads on this subject have suggested the same. If you feel passionate enough to participate in an event then also be prepared to support it in ways above and beyond just the entrance fee. This in turn should lead to greater acceptance of unicycle participation for yourself and others.

I know I’ve benefited from ground broken by other uni riders in the past. Thank you to those pioneers of the sport.

Paying it forward.


Last weekend, I completed the 47 mile ‘Pedal for Scotland’ ride for cyclists, from Glasgow to Edinburgh. I was the only unicyclist out of 8000 riders, and was on the receiving end of over 7 hours worth of encouraging comments and praise. It was quite tiring acknowledging them all!
I had previously contacted the organisers to see if they were happy with me doing it, and all they stipulated was that I had to finish by the time they shut the course, at 6pm.
I also had on the back of my backpack a sign that said ‘Please keep your distance - can dismount suddenly’ and a big warning triangle with a silhouette picture of a unicyclist in it.
There are other cycle events in Scotland that take place that need you to keep up an average speed of over 12mph - they say this in their literature, to ensure a decent pace is given to the event.
So, if you check out with the organisers ahead of the day, and can assure them of your average speed and that you are ‘in control of your vehicle’, then it should be ok.

And here’s a link to me crossing the finish line:

47 miles without handlebars!! That must have been a tough ride. Using handlebars would have helped you to save a lot of energy… Have you ever considered using handlebars. Btw., well done to you for completing the course…

P.S. What’s your set up. Are you riding a Schlumpf hub?

I would hope he’s Schlumpf’ed considering the small wheelsize! :smiley:

I might have to get one of these just for riding on the road… drivers round here think it’s hilarious to try and knock me off apparently :frowning:

Yes, I do indeed have a Schlumph hub on my 26" Muni.
I have ridden 50 miles on a Nightfox with handles, and I spent most of the time using the handles to keep my weight off the seat! However, I was trying out a new saddle configuration and having no handles was no setback at all.
I find that I can go as fast on a Schlumph (a virtual 39" wheel) as I can on a 36" wheel. Being able to change down gears for the hills, to overtake cyclists who were pushing their bikes up hills was also a highlight! And, at low speeds, I find the 26" more manoeuvrable than a 36", which was useful for the busier sections of the ride, when there were lots of cyclists about.

Not sure if this fits the thread; but my friend and I were banned from riding our ucycles to grade school back in '66 or '67. Admin said we were creating too much of a distraction to the students and the adults that transported them to and from school in their cars. Probably took me 30 years or so to get over it (just kidding).

I’d love to see that school assembly announcement.

The admin office called our moms and told them that we were no longer allowed to ride our ucycles to or from school. As I recall neither mom wasn’t too happy about it (I know mine wasn’t), but what could they do?

I dunno, tell 'em to F off? :smiley:

I suppose 50 years ago things were different, but I like to believe schools can’t really tell kids they’re not allowed to unicycle. I understand telling them not to do it in school grounds at dinnertime, I wasn’t allowed to skateboard in school, but they never told me not to skate TO school!

Hmmm…I should test that and have my son uni to school:)
As far as I know of, there is no such ban around here, that anywhere a bike is allowed to ride.
I ride around his school all the time, when he’s playing after school soccer get together. My presence there hardly gets any attention now. “Oh, here comes comes the man with the unicycle again”…ho hum, they just get back to their playing. .

So as an update to the park incident. Just this past Monday, I had a chance to return to that park. As usual, rode around. Twice, I had passed around him. Other days he would have been eyeing me like a hawk from 500 ft away. Funny how he could have missed in seeing me…haha…
Anyhow, that was fine and expected of him. He’d better not have given me a hard time again.

Anyway, I figured if I couldnt protect my rights to ride around, then how could I have protected my son’s rights.
So far I have only received compliments and never anybody else, or any park employee that had even come close to giving me a hard time.

At another park , few months ago, a jogger lady who out daily morning, says, “hey great job, I saw you when you first began at holding on to the wall at that building over there. Now you’re all over the place.Keep up the good work!”
Hey, its nice to provide service of putting a little smile in another one’s face:):smiley:

Certainly they can tell you what to do on school grounds, but not off. But how can you ride your unicycle to the edge of school grounds? A more flexible school would just say not to ride it on the property. But knowing that it would be brought onto the property for the duration of the school day, perhaps they were worried about the liability of having it lying around. If it isn’t locked up, kids are going to try it.

Formal unicycle bans, like that one, are bad because they are based on fear, not on any actual data. When in doubt, organizations tend to opt for safety, since if something bad were to happen, they don’t know what their “exposure” could be. As a facilities manager for a large building, there are a lot of things people aren’t allowed to do in there, such as heavy lifting and being on ladders. They let me be on ladders because of my job, and fortunately, they also let me ride a unicycle on the grounds (and in the building). :slight_smile: