Well, yesterday I brought my trials unicycle into class. I brought gloves and wore my usual hurley boardshorts.
right away i’ll say sorry to you all that i don’t have any pictures. but i feel they wouldn’t have been worth it. if you read my last thread i mentioned coming down with a cold over the weekend. this didn’t keep me from riding. i was committed to my word. but a head cold doesn’t help one balance properly and ride good.
i tried to illistrate what trials riding was, and what a trials unicycle is, and Doc (the professor) wanted to see some action. I mentioned my cold to the students, and said that I’ll try to do something worthwhile. So, I hopped up about 8 steps two at a time. I rode down about six of them. I was riding near students, and didn’t trust the slippery quality of those generic school floor tiles to test my limits. When I got to the bottom, I went to the center of the front of the room, and did a large static hop (heard a few kids saying ‘whoa’). I then rode across the room, found some space (which was hard because there were a lot of tables in the way), and did a sketchy flat 360 on said slippery surface.
I was out of breath by this time, which is very shocking to a person who can ride hard with little breaks for 2 hours. damn head colds, anyway.
i think my little demo went over well, though. i said if people wanted to see more they could watch my youtube video, and if they wanted to be floored they could look up ryan atkins’ videos on the same site. i told a little story about how i started riding. about a neighbor letting my try riding his dad’s one halloween night, and how the next morning i saw kris holm on ripleys believe it or not and wanted to be able to do what he could do (well, the trials parts anyway. i don’t ride muni. the lower penninsula of michigan isn’t very mountainous last time i checked).
Second, not sure if you know it, but in Pinckney, MI, northwest of Ann Arbor, is a kick-ass MTB trail called the Potawatomi. It’s a semi-technical 17-mile loop with shorter options, plenty of ups and downs. I never uni’ed it but biked it a bunch - it’s a blast.
Threadjack: If anybody goes there check out Hell, Mi. (where a nice day in Hell is a good thing :D).
I heard about it while listenting to NPR. They have basically have been celebrating halloween year round for a decade or two. The story about how the town got named, in the 1800’s, was pretty interesting (sounded better on radio though.
Being out of breath after such a short time might not just be due to the head cold. I have noticed that when I am performing (or when a lot of people are watching and I am trying really hard not to look stupid) it makes me a bit nervous and then I start to breath harder subconsciously. I think being nervous also makes you more tense which can help eat up the oxygen in your blood.
Thanks for doing your best and giving unicyclists a good name!
I live 1.8 miles from the middle school I teach at and just got a 26" Muni to do the job of commuting.
The first day I rode it to school I hid it under my desk in my classroom so as not to cause a distraction, but the students naturally found it (eighth graders frolic and run about everywhere, seeing angles of a classroom that you never though imaginable.)
Given that the class was lost anyway, I started riding around the room, and while I’m nowhere near as gifted a cyclist as TrialsUni, I did notice that while atop a unicycle, there were no disruptions and I had their attention like you wouldnt believe.
On my ride home from school that afternoon some of my students were skateboarding in an abandoned parking lot, so I went over and jumped up some stairs (one at a time) and then rode back down to their wild cheers. I havent had a single behavior problem from the skateboard population of students since then.
Moral of the story: add ‘classroom management tool’ to the long list of a unicycle’s capabilities.
i used to ride to middle school about four years ago. still today people come up and are like “your the kid that rode that to HP?” i just laugh because it was so long ago. no one ever forgets unicycles.
haha, i enjoy the remarks and all of the additional little stories in this thread.
oh man, i forgot to mention NAUCC 93 and 99, John. I lived in Adrian then, but had no clue that those events even went on here! Then again, I wasn’t within the city limits (a mile out), and didn’t ride until October 31rst 2000.
Ironically I taught Physical Geography at the University of South Florida* in the early seventies. I had learned to ride a uni in the mid sixties but had gotten away from it. I would have welcomed a demonstration such as yours!
*Ranked #2 in the AP College Football poll! They didn’t even have a football team when I was there.