I am currently traveling in Colombia, with my unicycle. In the three weeks that I have been riding here, I have only had positive reactions to the unicycle. At night I´ll and go ride in a local park and within a few minutes I find myself surrounded by a mob of kids and teenagers, asking me to do tricks and cheering me on. Once I stop performing the kids spend the next few hours fighting over who gets to try and ride my unicycle next – they just can’t get enough of it and really want to learn to ride themselves. One day last week I went to a school and did a demo for about 300 kids – they absolutely loved it and went wild with excitement. Afterwards they crowded around wanting to touch the unicycle! Everyone seems to want to learn to ride.
Problem is, even if people could afford to buy a unicycle, there simply doesn’t seem to be anywhere in Colombia to buy one. I have met one unicyclist, Randol, from Bogota - his unicycle was a gift from his aunt who lives in Florida. I have also heard about another unicyclist who lives in Tunja, he is an engineer and made his unicycle himself.
Randol has confirmed what I have observed - there is a huge interest in unicycling in Colombia. Randal wants others to enjoy the sport that he has come to love and wants to help promote unicycling in his beautiful country. He would like to go into schools and teach kids how to ride. But in order to do so he would need a few unicycles.
The main reason for this post is to put out a general plea for donations of unicycles for kids in Colombia. Anything would help – old scratched-up unicycles would be welcome as long as they were rideable. I don’t think that the kids there would care about the nasty uncomfortable seats that we all complain about. It’s expensive, but not prohibitive, to mail things there.
Of course, Colombia is not the only third-world country where there is an interest in and need for unicycles. There is already a club in Nepal with well over 200 members, which has a few unicycles but needs more.
So please, if anyone with a spare unicycle that they have no need for, could donate it to another country where they are not available, it would be greatly appreciated, ridden by many people and make many people very happy.
I do realize that actually getting the unicycles to their destination may be hard. I know that when the Toronto Unicyclists donated unicycles to the club in Nepal they had to find someone who was actually going there to deliver them as the mail was not only exorbitantly expensive but also totally unreliable. However, where there is a will there is generally a way and if there are unicycles offered for Colombia I will try to help work to find a way to get them there.
I will send some photos later of kids riding and watching me and Randol ride.