How Popular should Unicycling be?

   As I read a lot of these messages, there is one point that keeps
   getting brought up. I keep seeing people trying to get the sport to
   grow. Although I really enjoy riding with others, I like the fact
   that there are not TOO MANY others. One of the reasons I was
   attracted to unicycling in the first place was that it was a unique
   hobby. I like to know that if I am riding my Coker around the loop
   in Central Park, the chance of seeing someone else on a uni is
   pretty slim. I like unicycling to be thought of as somewhat of an
   art, but I am afraid that if it becomes too popular, it will loose
   some of its charm and appeal. Criticism is expected and welcome. I
   am interested to hear how the rest of you feel about the popularity
   of unicycling.

-Dave Kaplan

I think this thread came up a few years ago and I wrote a response along
the lines of . . .

I too love unicycling partly because it is relatively special, difficult,
unusual and makes people stop and stare occasionally. I like the fact that
it is becoming more popular, because it gives me more people to ride with.
However, I doubt that unicycling will ever lose its novelty simply because
of peoples inherent laziness / fear / lack of patience. This means that a
large proportion of the population will either: (1) never even give it a
go; (2) try it for 5 minutes, inevitably fail, and give up forever.

I’m all for encouracing anybody and everybody to have a go though -
as long as they don’t expect to be able to jump tall buildings after
5 minutes.

nic

On Wed, 23 May 2001 JFatSmokes@aol.com wrote:

> As I read a lot of these messages, there is one point that keeps
> getting brought up. I keep seeing people trying to get the sport
> to grow. Although I really enjoy riding with others, I like the
> fact that there are not TOO MANY others. One of the reasons I was
> attracted to unicycling in the first place was that it was a
> unique hobby. I like to know that if I am riding my Coker around
> the loop in Central Park, the chance of seeing someone else on a
> uni is pretty slim. I like unicycling to be thought of as
> somewhat of an art, but I am afraid that if it becomes too
> popular, it will loose some of its charm and appeal. Criticism is
> expected and welcome. I am interested to hear how the rest of you
> feel about the popularity of unicycling.
>

> -Dave Kaplan

Dave, I agree that part of the fun of unicycling is the fact that it’s so
rarely seen(at least most places). I also think that a lot of people are
scared to try unicycling or give up too quick trying to learn because they
assume it’s too difficult only because there are such few riders. I didn’t
ride for over 15 years & during that time span unicycling rarely crossed
my mind. It just didn’t come up in general conversation & I never saw
anyone just cruising the street. I think part of the reason I quit riding
as a kid was the fact that I didn’t have anyone to ride with. I would love
to do everything possible to expand unicycling. -Mark

As I read a lot of these messages, there is one point that keeps
>
> getting brought up. I keep seeing people trying to get the sport to
> grow. Although I really enjoy riding with others, I like the fact that
> there are not TOO MANY others. One of the reasons I was attracted to
> unicycling in the first place was that it was a unique hobby. I like to
> know that if I am riding my Coker around the loop in Central Park, the
> chance of seeing someone else on a uni is pretty slim. I like unicycling
> to be thought of as somewhat of an art, but I am afraid that if it
> becomes too popular, it will loose some of its charm and appeal.
> Criticism is expected and welcome. I am interested to hear how the rest
> of you feel about the popularity of unicycling.
>

> -Dave Kaplan

(A few words from the Social-Phobe)

I would love for unicycling to be much more popular, but on the other
hand, it gives me security in feeling one step ahead of the average
person …

AND the more people that ride, means more losers will ride. You know, like
your average criminals … then we’ll ALL get a bad rap from the
“unbalanced population.” You can just bet … most unicycling criminals
would probably ride Cokers. Totally_Flat_Black_Cokers with decals under
the seat that say, “My mom shoplifts better than your mom.” or “Your guard
dog is going to do my drugs tonight.”

Too much coffee, Amy O amyoftenbirder@home.com (remove Ü in reply address)

<JFatSmokes@aol.com> wrote in message news:78.153b0a1e.283ddccd@aol.com
> As I read a lot of these messages, there is one point that keeps
> getting brought up. I keep seeing people trying to get the sport
> to grow. Although I really enjoy riding with others, I like the
> fact that there are not TOO MANY others. One of the reasons I was
> attracted to unicycling in
the
> first place was that it was a unique hobby. I like to know that if I am
> riding my Coker around the loop in Central Park, the chance of seeing
someone
> else on a uni is pretty slim. I like unicycling to be thought of as
somewhat
> of an art, but I am afraid that if it becomes too popular, it will loose
some
> of its charm and appeal. Criticism is expected and welcome. I am
> interested to hear how the rest of you feel about the popularity of
> unicycling.
>
> -Dave Kaplan

Definitively the unusual aspect of unicycling attracted me and played a
role while I was struggling to freemount & ride. It’s a balance - I like
to be the center of interest of the kids at the park, but too many
are-you-a-clown questions tend to be tedious.

Regarding the possible popularity of unicycling, I’m not sure it would
become a mass-market sport for the simple reason a) it’s hard to learn
, b) for an adult it’s like learning bike all over - many people would
give up. Trials seem to be a different thing & attract easily
teens/kids who are already dedicated to other ‘learning-curve’ sports
such as skate or bmx.

So maybe we’ll see soon a wave of young uni-trialers invading the streets
(that would be cool) :slight_smile:

my two cents :slight_smile:

Oli-

-----Original Message----- From: JFatSmokes@aol.com
[mailto:JFatSmokes@aol.com] Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2001 11:41 PM To:
unicycling@winternet.com Subject: How Popular should Unicycling be?

 As I read a lot of these messages, there is one point that keeps
 getting brought up. I keep seeing people trying to get the sport to
 grow. Although I really enjoy riding with others, I like the fact
 that there are not TOO MANY others. One of the reasons I was
 attracted to unicycling in the first place was that it was a unique
 hobby. I like to know that if I am riding my Coker around the loop in
 Central Park, the chance of seeing someone else on a uni is pretty
 slim. I like unicycling to be thought of as somewhat of an art, but I
 am afraid that if it becomes too popular, it will loose some of its
 charm and appeal. Criticism is expected and welcome. I am interested
 to hear how the

rest of you feel about the popularity of unicycling.

-Dave Kaplan

Jeff Lutkus wrote:
> I also got interested in unicycling because it was a thing that many
> people did not tend to do. However, I would never have learned to ride
> in the first place had it not been for a friend who encouraged me to
> ride, and even lent me his unicycle for a few months.

Hi,

I got interested in unicycling because of the challenge. Now I unicycle
because it’s still a challenge and it’s fun. I like the way that even when
you’re pretty good on a unicycle, you still need to be aware of the
terrain you’re riding over. I don’t like the attention that comes with
it. Positive comments are always welcome but I guess I’ve become jaded by
all the “it’s a clown” stuff. I’d like unicycling to become so popular
that I’m as invisible as any other cyclist. Besides, unicycling with
friends is always better than by yourself. The more the merrier,
that’s what I say. :slight_smile:

Regards, Mark.

Fujitsu Telecom Europe Ltd,| o Solihull Parkway, | In the land of the
pedestrian, /|\ Birmingham Business Park, | the one-wheeled man is king.
<< Birmingham, ENGLAND. | O

Part of the thrill of unicycling HAS to be its rarity. It definitely says
sth about you if you can unicycle. It says at the least that at some point
in your life, it was important for you to spend hours and hours learning a
tough skill that most other ppl would have given up on. The same is true
of juggling, but since it doesn’t require actually the buying – or
borrowing for an extended time – of a fairly expensive piece of hardware,
more ppl would tend to juggle; I also think juggling takes less time to
get the basics of.

I don’t think unicycling will EVER be very popular simply because it is so
difficult and its value is not perceived by the ppl who wold likely buy
one if they knew more about it. But then I hear that there are a lot of
unicyclists in Japan. I’ll have to investigate this one day.

By the way, one of the cool things about uni is the fraternity of
unicyclists. If I am not in a rush and I hear someone ask for a ride or
mention that (s)he used to ride, I always get off and let them try mine or
chat about unicycling or whatever. When you learn how to unicycle you
automatically join this fraternity. There are no dues and you have a
lifetime membership. The only requirement is that you be nice to other
unicyclists.

David Stone

lutkus@unicyclist.com writes:
>I also got interested in unicycling because it was a thing that many
>people did not tend to do. However, I would never have learned to ride in
>the first place had it not been for a friend who encouraged me to ride,
>and even lent me his unicycle for a few months.
>
>I still get a kick out of the fact that I am frequently introduced as
>“the unicycle guy” (if they were incredibly popular, that wouldn’t
>exactly work), but I feel the more people become interested in riding,
>the better it will be overall – the more people who ride, the more cool
>tricks they will invent.
>
>I’ve heard all the usual lines while riding around campus, but it totally
>made my day when I heard this one: two people were talking to each other
>as I rode by, and I heard one remark to the other, "oh, there goes
>another unicycle." That was so cool it was so casual, and by no means
>anything new. I suspect these people would have been more excited if they
>saw a blue car drive by.
>
>jeff lutkus
>
>— JFatSmokes@aol.com wrote: As I read a lot of these messages, there is
>one point that keeps
>>getting brought up. I keep seeing people trying to get the sport to
>grow.
>>Although I really enjoy riding with others, I like the fact that there
>are
>>TOO MANY others. One of the reasons I was attracted to unicycling in the
>>first place was that it was a unique hobby. I like to know that if I am
>>riding my Coker around the loop in Central Park, the chance of seeing
>someone
>>else on a uni is pretty slim. I like unicycling to be thought of as
>somewhat
>>of an art, but I am afraid that if it becomes too popular, it will loose
>some
>>of its charm and appeal. -Dave Kaplan

> (A few words from the Social-Phobe)
>
> I would love for unicycling to be much more popular, but on the other
> hand, it gives me security in feeling one step ahead of the average
> person …
>
> AND the more people that ride, means more losers will ride. You know,
> like your average criminals … then we’ll ALL get a bad rap from the
> “unbalanced population.” You can just bet … most unicycling criminals
> would probably ride Cokers. Totally_Flat_Black_Cokers with decals under
> the seat that say, “My mom shoplifts better than your mom.” or "Your
> guard dog is going to do my drugs tonight."

Maybe unicycling itself discourages many of the “losers”. Many criminals
are lazy & not given to “goal oriented” pursuits…& why would
criminals ride Cokers??? I can see the headline…“bank robber eluded
police & disappeared in the crowd on their big wheel”?!? -Mark

(a few words from another Social-Phobe)

I started unicycling for two reasons.

  1. I saw a guy unicycle down the street, dressed in a business suit, with
    furry dice hanging from the saddle.

a few months later
2) My doctor recommended it.*

  • Not directly - he actually said that in order to help me gain a sense of
    real achievement, I should do something entirely for myself. As you all
    understand - unicycling is the obvious choice.

I sincerely regret never seeing another unicyclist - not whilst unicycling
anyway. I saw one once but he was too far away even to say “hi” to.

One day I’ll find a UK club or something.

I imagine it must be great fun to unicycle with other - Suddenly the
(not-so-)wise cracker is outnumbered.

Andrew

You are so right - it is great fun to ride with other people. Other than
commuting and the occasional MUni ride, I don’t really ride alone as I
luckily have friends around who ride. One of the most fun things is riding
in a really big group as at a MUni Weekend or unicycle convention or
parade. Being near the end of a line of 80 people riding a curvy rough
trail gives you an amazing view! Ditto being in a parade with several
hundred unicyclists. Get yourself to a gathering somewhere soon.

Looking forward to Toronto in July and Idaho in Sept,

—Nathan

“Andrew Feldhaus” <Reply@Thread.please> wrote in message
news:9ejq5o$7c1$1@news5.svr.pol.co.uk
> (a few words from another Social-Phobe)
>
> I started unicycling for two reasons.
>
> 1) I saw a guy unicycle down the street, dressed in a business suit,
> with furry dice hanging from the saddle.
>
> a few months later
> 2) My doctor recommended it.*
>
> * Not directly - he actually said that in order to help me gain a sense
> of real achievement, I should do something entirely for myself. As you
> all understand - unicycling is the obvious choice.
>
> I sincerely regret never seeing another unicyclist - not whilst
> unicycling anyway. I saw one once but he was too far away even to say
> “hi” to.
>
> One day I’ll find a UK club or something.
>
> I imagine it must be great fun to unicycle with other - Suddenly the
> (not-so-)wise cracker is outnumbered.
>
>
> Andrew

Andrew Feldhaus wrote:
> I started unicycling for two reasons.
>
> 1) I saw a guy unicycle down the street, dressed in a business suit,
> with furry dice hanging from the saddle.

You wouldn’t happen to be near Tunbridge Wells would you? I used to
regularly ride around Tunbridge Wells in a business suit with furry dice
hanging from the saddle.

> One day I’ll find a UK club or something.

If you are near Tunbridge Wells, try Tunbridge Wells Juggling Club
http://www.twjc.co.uk ). I believe there’s still plenty of
unicycling there.


Danny Colyer (remove your.mind to reply)
http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/danny.html “The secret of life is
honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made” -
Groucho Marx

Andrew,

If you are looking for other unicyclists in the UK we are not that hard to
find. Where are you?

Roger

                     The UK's Unicycle Source
                   <a href="http://www.unicycle.uk.com/">http://www.unicycle.uk.com/</a>

----- Original Message ----- From: “Andrew Feldhaus” <Reply@Thread.please>
To: <unicycling@winternet.com> Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2001 9:15 PM
Subject: Re: How Popular should Unicycling be?

> (a few words from another Social-Phobe)
>
> I started unicycling for two reasons.
>
> 1) I saw a guy unicycle down the street, dressed in a business suit,
> with furry dice hanging from the saddle.
>
> a few months later
> 2) My doctor recommended it.*
>
> * Not directly - he actually said that in order to help me gain a sense
> of real achievement, I should do something entirely for myself. As you
> all understand - unicycling is the obvious choice.
>
> I sincerely regret never seeing another unicyclist - not whilst
> unicycling anyway. I saw one once but he was too far away even to say
> “hi” to.
>
> One day I’ll find a UK club or something.
>
> I imagine it must be great fun to unicycle with other - Suddenly the
> (not-so-)wise cracker is outnumbered.
>
>
> Andrew

> > I started unicycling for two reasons.
> >
> > 1) I saw a guy unicycle down the street, dressed in a business suit,
with
> > furry dice hanging from the saddle.
>
> You wouldn’t happen to be near Tunbridge Wells would you? I used to
> regularly ride around Tunbridge Wells in a business suit with furry dice
> hanging from the saddle.

!!!

Yes.

I actually live in Pembury (born in Pembury Hospital, ‘educated’ at
Pembury County Primary, then The Skinners’ School, Tunbridge Wells) but
when I was on my way back from my lunch break, to my (then) place of work
on Tunbridge Wells High Street, I saw said unicyclist as he passed me
opposite the station, outside Hoopers.

:smiley: - You’re my inspiration!

Want to know something even more conincidental? - for a short time (before
dropping out for reasons of mental health*) I was studying Electrical and
Electronic Engineering at… you guessed it, the University of Bath. I was
ee9adj@bath.ac.uk (adj since I was Andrew Jones then, not Feldhaus as now)
and I ‘lived’ in EastWood.

Small world.

> If you are near Tunbridge Wells, try Tunbridge Wells Juggling Club
> http://www.twjc.co.uk ). I believe there’s still plenty of
> unicycling there.
Hmm. I might - though I really want to avoid the whole circus-arts-side of
things. Even though I juggle (badly), I look upon the unicycle as a unique
mode of transport rather than a form of entertainment or ostentatiousness
(I make up words from time to time). Probably worth a look though.

  • Andrew
  • compounded by the institution’s non-acceptance of the humble unicycle
    (my sanity and last thread of stability, ironically enough) as a
    day-to-day form of transport.

Interestingly enough, the same type of discussion is going on over at
rec.juggling.

This is not a new topic for us (I am professional juggler working in Las
Vegas, but I also enjoy unicycling).

The whole can of worms regarding “is it an art or a sport” has again been
opened, and again there is discussion on whether or not juggling should be
in the Olympics.

I think that unicyclists may find the discussions at rec.juggling
interesting since our interests are so similar and the questions
are the same.

Kindest regards,

Joel Heidtman

> I actually live in Pembury (born in Pembury Hospital, ‘educated’ at
Pembury
> County Primary, then The Skinners’ School, Tunbridge Wells) but when I
> was on my way back from my lunch break, to my (then) place of work on
Tunbridge
> Wells High Street, I saw said unicyclist as he passed me opposite the
> station, outside Hoopers.

This reminds me.

A) I think a plug for the uk_unicyclists yahoo group is probably in order
as I don’t remember it being mentioned for a bit:-

basically its a mailing list for uk unicyclists to discuss uk specific
things or announce uk events etc.

from the page itself:-
> "http://groups.yahoo.com/group/uk_unicyclists/
>
> 1) For announcing upcoming unicycling events in the UK
>
> 2) For discussing the possible formation of a UK unicycling
organisation.
>
> Note: general unicycling queries and discussions are more
appropriate on the > rec.sport.unicycling newsgroup. "

and B) Most sundays through the summer I’ll be doing some form of muni
thingy somewhere south of London. We’ve currently been doing stuff in the
Dorking area and have also had a bit of a play in Swinley Forest near
Bracknell. This is basically me and my mate who is also Joe (who is still
riding a cycle with one too many wheels) plus anyone else who turns up
having a big blast on off road techniques etc. Anyway, if anyone wants to
come along, drop me an email before a Friday afternoon or give me a call
on my mobile (07905 353 362) any time beforehand to see if we’ve got
anything planned. We’ve usually got a pretty full car with a bike and a
unicycle in it, so you’ll need your own transport or public transport + a
ride to get to wherever we’re starting. I ride either a coker or a 26in
depending on where we’re going and if any distance will be involved, some
places are good for smaller wheels, montys etc. So, if you’re anywhere
near London or coming down to London and want to go do muni, then give us
a shout. If you have cool ideas about new places to go we’re always up for
trying new trails.

Joe

Andrew Feldhaus wrote:
> :smiley: - You’re my inspiration!

<warm glow>

> > If you are near Tunbridge Wells, try Tunbridge Wells Juggling Club
> Hmm. I might - though I really want to avoid the whole circus-arts-side
> of things. Even though I juggle (badly), I look upon the unicycle as a
> unique mode of transport rather than a form of entertainment …

TWJC used to have a unicycle hockey team, many years ago. It’s a couple of
years since I left TW, but we always used to play a couple of games of
unicycle gladiators at the end of the evening, they may still play it. I
think most members ride, but in particular you’ll meet Beth Tichborne, a
natural unicyclist and one of the founder members of UUU (actually I think
all the members so far are founder members aren’t we?), a few of her
friends who she’s taught to ride, and Joe (how old is he now Beth, about
10?), who was great fun to watch as he fearlessly learnt to ride.

I think the closest unicycle groups would be Hastings (contact Andy on
01424 813144 or Tim Murray on tim_murray71@hotmail.com ) and Horsham
(unfortunately neither Mini’s nor Rogers clubs pages include contact
details for them, but someone else here is bound to be able to help).


Danny Colyer (remove your.mind to reply)
http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/danny.html “The secret of life is
honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made” -
Groucho Marx

Jeff Lutkus wrote:
> From this, I quickly discovered that there are few things I cannot learn
> so long as I put in some effort. I also discovered that learning, in
> itself if quite fun, and it’s just awesome each time you’ve mastered a
> new skill.

Precisely. The number of people I’ve seen learn to ride a unicycle - and
the increase in confidence and self esteem as they achieve something they
weren’t convinced they’d ever be able to achieve. That’s something that
many more people should be allowed to experience. :slight_smile:

Regards, Mark.

Fujitsu Telecom Europe Ltd,| o Solihull Parkway, | In the land of the
pedestrian, /|\ Birmingham Business Park, | the one-wheeled man is king.
<< Birmingham, ENGLAND. | O

Thought I’d jump in on this one:

Unicycling should be as popular as possible. I have to say this, as I’m
president of the USA and IUF. But I think that’s fine. There are enough
limitations built in to keep unicycling from becoming too “mainstream.”

Basically anyone can learn to ride. This was proven at schools like St.
Helens in Ohio in the 70’s, and in thousands of elementary schools in
Japan. In many Japanese schools, unicycles are just another piece of
playground equipment.

But everyone does not learn how to ride. As transportation it is
inherently far less efficient than a bicycle. As exercise it is far harder
than many other activities, if people just want a workout. Riding a
unicycle is hard. Even if lots more people do it, it always will be.

As a unicyclist, you will always be a member of a community that consists
of people who are willing to take on hard challenges, and who have proven
to themselves that they can do things they might have once thought
impossible. I think we’re a pretty cool group of people. I like
unicyclists, and I would like to have more around me.

Perhaps riding a unicycle makes you a better person. It certainly forces
your brain to work fast and hard. I think it’s good for you, mentally as
well as physically.

With my involvement in MUni in the last few years, I have seen much
greater acceptance of unicycling. That is, much less of the circus
comments and clown perception. Slowly, the unicycle is being recognized
more as a piece of sporting equipment and less as a circus prop.

I look forward to the day when people on the street will no longer ask me
if I’m in the circus just because they see me on a unicycle. Proud as I am
to be an occasional circus performer, when I am riding down the street I
am not in the circus.

Stay on top, John Foss President, Unicycling Society of America President,
International Unicycling Federation jfoss@unicycling.com
www.unicycling.com

Thought I’d jump in on this one:

Unicycling should be as popular as possible. I have to say this, as I’m
president of the USA and IUF. But I think that’s fine. There are enough
limitations built in to keep unicycling from becoming too “mainstream.”

Basically anyone can learn to ride. This was proven at schools like St.
Helens in Ohio in the 70’s, and in thousands of elementary schools in
Japan. In many Japanese schools, unicycles are just another piece of
playground equipment.

But everyone does not learn how to ride. As transportation it is
inherently far less efficient than a bicycle. As exercise it is far harder
than many other activities, if people just want a workout. Riding a
unicycle is hard. Even if lots more people do it, it always will be.

As a unicyclist, you will always be a member of a community that consists
of people who are willing to take on hard challenges, and who have proven
to themselves that they can do things they might have once thought
impossible. I think we’re a pretty cool group of people. I like
unicyclists, and I would like to have more around me.

Perhaps riding a unicycle makes you a better person. It certainly forces
your brain to work fast and hard. I think it’s good for you, mentally as
well as physically.

With my involvement in MUni in the last few years, I have seen much
greater acceptance of unicycling. That is, much less of the circus
comments and clown perception. Slowly, the unicycle is being recognized
more as a piece of sporting equipment and less as a circus prop.

I look forward to the day when people on the street will no longer ask me
if I’m in the circus just because they see me on a unicycle. Proud as I am
to be an occasional circus performer, when I am riding down the street I
am not in the circus.

Stay on top, John Foss President, Unicycling Society of America President,
International Unicycling Federation jfoss@unicycling.com
www.unicycling.com

Thought I’d jump in on this one:

Unicycling should be as popular as possible. I have to say this, as I’m
president of the USA and IUF. But I think that’s fine. There are enough
limitations built in to keep unicycling from becoming too “mainstream.”

Basically anyone can learn to ride. This was proven at schools like St.
Helens in Ohio in the 70’s, and in thousands of elementary schools in
Japan. In many Japanese schools, unicycles are just another piece of
playground equipment.

But everyone does not learn how to ride. As transportation it is
inherently far less efficient than a bicycle. As exercise it is far harder
than many other activities, if people just want a workout. Riding a
unicycle is hard. Even if lots more people do it, it always will be.

As a unicyclist, you will always be a member of a community that consists
of people who are willing to take on hard challenges, and who have proven
to themselves that they can do things they might have once thought
impossible. I think we’re a pretty cool group of people. I like
unicyclists, and I would like to have more around me.

Perhaps riding a unicycle makes you a better person. It certainly forces
your brain to work fast and hard. I think it’s good for you, mentally as
well as physically.

With my involvement in MUni in the last few years, I have seen much
greater acceptance of unicycling. That is, much less of the circus
comments and clown perception. Slowly, the unicycle is being recognized
more as a piece of sporting equipment and less as a circus prop.

I look forward to the day when people on the street will no longer ask me
if I’m in the circus just because they see me on a unicycle. Proud as I am
to be an occasional circus performer, when I am riding down the street I
am not in the circus.

Stay on top, John Foss President, Unicycling Society of America President,
International Unicycling Federation jfoss@unicycling.com
www.unicycling.com