# How many unicyclist are there in the world?

How many unicyclists are there in the world?
I live in Houston and I’d estimate there are around 70 unicyclists in my city.
Does anyone know the world total?

I think you would be surprised how many there are.

I lived in Dallas when I first started riding. A couple of people who used to be regulars on this forum started a unicycle club. I found them and joined. There were only like 6 of us. It was organized on Facebook (this was 2010. Don’t judge). Over the years we kept finding people who used to ride when they were kids, or who just learned and wanted a group to ride with, or were interested and would learn to ride with us. By the time I moved away in 2013, there were more than 200 people in the club and maybe 10 or 15 would show up to ride together at the park every week.

We did stuff like the 4th of July parade and I was always amazed at how many people would walk up and say “I used to ride 20 years ago”. We would let them try, and it would take them almost no time to figure it out again. Once a unicyclist always a unicyclist.

I guarantee there are more than 70 unicyclists in Houston.

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On a popular marketplace for used goods in Austria there are 350 unicycles listed and 65000 bicycles. About 70% of cyclists have their own bike and 98% of the population can ride a bicycle.

Among owners of unicycles probably maximum half can actually ride it.

So I would estimate that 350/65000x0.98/0.7x0.5x100% of the population are unicyclists. That would be 0.38%.
Or in other words: 3 to 4 people out of 1000 can ride a unicycle.

BUT: If you can ride a bicycle, you can usually ride a bicycle quite well. With unicycles it seems to be different. The number of those who can ride well is probably lower by a factor of at least 5.

So there should be around 5000 people in Houston who ride unicycles quite well.

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For Norway the numbers are 7 and 12 829 which means that 3 to 4 people out of 10 000 can ride. Could be right, but of course with only 7 unicycles for sale, it’s hard to tell.

In Czech Republic there is a FB group for unicyclists that has 537 members. Based on that, the estimate would be around 5 people out of 100 000 can ride. However, it’s hard to tell, how many of the people in this group can ride and how many riders are out there who are not a members of this group.

However, judging from the fact that it’s exceedingly rare to spot a unicyclist in the wild in Czechia, I would think that 5/100 000 could be a reasonable estimate.

We need it as a census question. Its vitally important to know.

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I can confirm that there is at least one - unlesd the forum counts as social media.

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There are a lot of riders on Facebook and nothing else, and also a lot of riders who are not on Facebook.

I’m always surprised when I find new local riders who have no idea that there are local Facebook groups, but I’d say it’s more common than not, even if they do actually have Facebook.

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This makes sense

We’re still around on FB, Aaron. A few of us still get together and ride some, but nothing like when you were here in 2013ish.

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Millions, just in Japan alone.

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It was fun to be part of a group that met regularly. I’ve missed that since moving away from Dallas. I’ve gotten together with other unicyclists since then but it was always just a one off. People are busy or lose interest or are inconveniently far away. It’s tough to get a group started.

To begin to answer this (worthy) question, we must first agree on our definitions/parameters. What counts as a unicyclist? At least two factors must be taken into account:

1. What qualifies you as a unicyclist?
2. What, if anything, disqualifies you as a unicyclist?

Number 1 may be the easier to agree on. Some might say IUF Skill Level 1. But that includes a freemount. Many people ride for years and years and don’t learn the freemount. This may include a sizable percentage of those millions of riders in Japan. So perhaps the first hurdle is to decide if it’s a requirement (my opinion is no).

Number 2 requires us to decide if, and when, someone stops being a unicyclist. If you’ve been around unicycling for many years, you’ve probably experienced someone getting back on one for the first time in 20+ years. Some ride away on the first try, and others get it within a few minutes. So they weren’t riding, but they can still ride. Do they count? In my opinion, yes (the more the merrier!).

What about someone who learned to ride in elementary/primary school, but dropped it after that and never rides again? This may apply to the vast majority of those millions of rider in Japan. So that one matters possibly more than the previous questions. Say someone stops riding at age 30, lives to be 100 but never get back on one. In one scenario where former riders are counted, we realize we have a problem with “canceling” riders.

Personally, one of my long term goals is to ride a unicycle on (or after) my 100th birthday. The bonus part of accomplishing this will be making it to 100 in the first place. Then, hopefully, I will be able to claim any intervening years since I previously rode. Of course, to do the birthday ride right, one should start preparing ahead of time. Better still to stay in practice…

If I count 1976 as my first unicycling year, I’ll hit 45 years this year. Usually I count from 1979, the year I really started riding rather than scraping around trying to learn on a Troxel. There was no riding between those two years; the Troxel broke.

Have there ever been any people who have ridden a unicycle over 95 or 100?
They would have to be in amazing health.

Maybe we can define an active unicyclist as one who has ridden in the last 12 months.
Don’t need to be able to freemount. Must ride over 100m non stop to qualify. (Yes, I’m using metric… the US is in the minority with still using miles, feet and inches)
I think that’s fair.

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I knew someone who rode one in his 80s. It’s still a long way to go.

I am the only unicyclist in my small world. My wheel turns not. It is fixed in the center of the universe. Everything else rotates around me. I have only stumbled upon one other unicyclist while on a solo ride. He turned out to be someone I knew from group rides.

My eight year-old neighbor asked me the other day if I played the guitar. I told her she would say “yes, you play guitar” if she heard me play. But I would never call myself a “guitarist”. Maybe “guitar player”. The bar for “guitarists” has been set pretty high in my mind.

Maybe being a unicyclist is most simply defined by how much time a person spends riding.

I think the oldest one I’ve heard of was 92 or 93, a guy in the Phoenix (AZ) Unicycle Club in the early 2000s or so. My grandfather tried my unicycle at age 83, just with two spotters, he wobbly balanced without going anywhere. His quote, roughly: “Now I know why those things are hard!”

At a uni meet in Syracuse, NY (either the 1983 NUM or Unicon I in 1984) I took a photo of Hank Luken and Ken Britton, riding, both aged 79. Ken used to have the NY license plate “UNICYCLE” on his Cadillac. When I moved to NY I picked up “UN1CYCLE”. He got a parking ticket that was meant for me…

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Hi John, how old is George Peck and is he still riding? I saw a picture of him and his family riding unicycles a few years ago.

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ok that’s the challenge! I will note this in my goals list ! First one past the post wins! (I’ll have to wait for year 2048 but things are going fast now)