Impressing Nonriders with Unicycle Tricks During Family Weekend

I worked extremely hard on this video, from editing, to trying way too hard to impress girls. I know it’s long, but if y’all could watch the whole thing and let me what you like about it, and what I could improve with these videos, I would seriously appreciate it. Thanks!

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That was a very entertaining video! Great job. As a fellow college unicyclist, I appreciate seeing that I’m not the only one that gets ignored. I’ve watched several of your videos and Instagram reels. I enjoy your format and the college-unicycling content. Keep it up!


At 5:25, that is how to impress people, they looked. Do your “normal” tricks in private or with other unicyclist. Do some good crashes and get some blood flowing to get some reaction from non-riders. Otherwise you are just a S.A.


Thank you I appreciate it! We were really hoping for more interaction. When I was a freshman and even last year as a sophomore, people were really nice and I got a ton of interaction. But oddly enough, it is very hard to get conversations going with this freshman class I noticed, with or without a unicycle.

Yeah lol I thought the fails were pretty funny. Also, what’s S.A.? Some other people that saw my video were asking the same thing.

S.A. = smart-ass. Maybe a better word would be show off: a pretentious display of one’s abilities.

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Ah okay gotcha. Yeah that makes sense. I mentioned in the video that all the clips were done in one take, and I used almost the entire footage (including fails). I was hopeful including everything, even fails helped mix it up.

What I might try in the future is go for harder tricks, or do something I’m still learning and need to start from a wall in order to do (like Julien ride for example). That might get some laughs from people walking by.

in the future I would make these videos much shorter. I didn’t realize we had that much footage.

Dude, don’t waste your time doing this in public.
You should be practicing with German unicycle competitors or something. Where everyone can challenge themselves to do more. I don’t think you learned all your tricks riding in public like this, right.

When non-riders see you they just see somebody on a unicycle. Some of them are scared that you might hit them. Most of them “wish” they could ride a unicycle, but can’t “show” or acknowledge this. Psychologically, this “lowers” their self esteem, because you are doing something they could never ever do or imagine doing.

It ain’t that you need to do more tricks for “this years” freshman. They don’t know jackshit about unicycle tricks no more than last years freshman. They just are more “jaded” about other people doing cool stuff.

If you haven’t already you might want to start a unicycle club on campus. Just getting people to learn how to ride is a big deal for the person learning. That’s where you might meet more people and network outside of your major. I assume you are an engineer or mathematician. You will be surrounded by same technical people all your life, it’s nice to meet people outside.

Anyways, your unicycle tricks are magnitudes above what I can do(basic idle, SIF and backwards). Keep on.


Is this just a generation thing? Clearly those freshmen are the generation that grew so close to their phones, and is only used to interact with the friends they already know. So novelty is scary and they’d rather avoid any eye contact, because you know, everyone is a serial killer out there:wink:

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Hi, @slamdance, you mentioned starting a unicycle club. As someone who has been considering doing that, I’m curious. Do you have any experience, tips, ideas, or recommendations for doing so?


I actually learned quite a few of my tricks practicing outdoors in public areas. When I go home for breaks, I can sometimes practice in the gyms near my house, but I often work mornings and they get busy later, or I have other commitments so it can be hard to find gym time.

I tried starting a unicycle club freshman year, but grad students took over the rec center spring semester sophomore year and they wouldn’t let us practice in the gyms anymore. That reduced membership of 5-12 people per meeting to basically just the two of us in this video, and some of my other friends that occasionally come mostly just to hang out and talk.

I think it is a generation thing. As I hinted at in the video, my freshman class and the class after (current sophomores and juniors) were far more social. The uncomfortableness had absolutely nothing to do with being on camera, or that I had a unicycle. This has been my experience this whole year trying to interact with the current freshman class, and it is pretty sad. I’m not saying all of them are like that, some are really nice, but the vast majority are like that.

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You make people uncomfortable and scared you might run into them.

You make a lot of people yield.

You followed people, that didn’t behave as you wished, creep up on them and bother them again.

Quote: “at this point I’m trying everything to get a reaction out of these people”

You don’t show much respect for people that don’t want to be bothered by you.

You make a video about people that didn’t choose to be in the video.

You publish that video on the internet, without all those people’s consent.

You comment negatively on these non-consenting people’s behaviour and attitude.

You hog a public walkway where people can’t even avoid you, your posing and filming.

I think people are uncomfortable regardless of whether I have a unicycle or not.

That was my practice space freshman year (and my friend’s who was in the video). I practiced there some sophomore year too. It always started conversations and prompted people to try the unicycle.

That is not the case this year. I have been over there a few times this school year to practice with my friend. I know this video was excessive with me following people around, but typically we mind our own business. People either ignored it (which is fine) or were straight up rude.

The issue goes deeper than just that. I’ve noticed a social deficit this year with the current freshman class. Every time I go to class, people walking are glued to their phones, completely oblivious to what’s going on around them. Every time I go to eat, same thing, everyone sitting by themselves on their phones. And when you try to talk to them, or simply look at them, they get uncomfortable. Same thing when holding the door open for people. There’s no manners, and nobody says thank you anymore.

You see when I was a freshman, we sat with anyone at dinner, and were best buds after 30 minutes of eating and talking. I never sat alone for a meal freshman year that I can recall. We played outdoor sports together. If someone brought their switch, we’d play Mario Kart or Smash Bros.

The unicycle would start up conversations all the time. I knew just about everyone in my entire hall freshman year. When I would walk through the building that connected all the nearby dorms, I would almost always see at least one person I knew, even if I was passing through for just a brief second.

Even as a sophomore, the new freshman class was really nice. The unicycle would start conversations, and I would let people try. Although I sat by myself more for meals as most upperclassmen don’t eat at the dining hall (some still do), people were still very social when you tried to talk to them.

But it is not that way anymore. Being able to interact and hold a conversation is a life skill. Is it really my fault if I make people uncomfortable? I don’t think so. When I try to interact with people from the current freshman class, they always get uncomfortable around me, regardless of where I am or what I’m doing. Does this say anything about me? No, because it’s just that freshman class. Myself and the people I met freshman and sophomore year are still best buds. I can still make quality conversation with new people I meet from the current sophomore class and above.

It’s not the entire freshman class that is like this, but it is the majority. It’s because people are addicted to their phones. I’ve made some great friends from the current freshman class this year, but those people are few and far between. It really is a generational thing, and I’m not the only person that has noticed it. Covid probably has something to do with it.

I also wanted to address, that technically by being in public, you consent to being on video. I wasn’t sure about this which is why I was hesitant for so long to making a video like this, but I asked multiple people multiple times if this was okay before doing it. And other people thought this would make an entertaining video, which is why I went ahead with it. Now, just because something’s legal doesn’t mean it’s nice. It’s really hard to find a boundary between what’s appropriate and what’s not. Many of my favorite YouTube channels film publicly and don’t involve getting consent from every single person in the video. I did get consent from the two people that I had a conversation with. If someone explicitly told me they didn’t want to be in the video, I would have not included it, but this didn’t happen.

My intention is not to be negative about people’s attitude. The intention was to be funny. People used to go wild over the most basic tricks, but now nobody reacts to anything. I think I tried too hard to poke fun at the difference in atmosphere. This aspect of the video would have only been understood as funny if you went to A&M with me freshman or sophomore year. And many people have picked up on the change in vibe, and understand the humor of the video. But that is such a small audience.

I think it’s perfectly reasonable if I want to practice in a public space. I think it’s perfectly reasonable for me to want to be goofy in a public place in attempt to interest other potential riders. In fact, the majority of my income the past year has come from street performing unicycle tricks at events. So don’t tell me people pay big money to see this only for it to be weird or uncomfortable.

And I’m not sure how visible it is in the video with the voiceovers, but I did ask quite a few people if they wanted to try. Everyone said no. People used to say yes half the time, but that was last year and the year before.

Making this video wasn’t about making me look good. Everything was done in one take, and I showed plenty of fails. I understand how the following people around may have came off as weird. I don’t feel like I was obstructing them in any way, but I understand that it may have appeared that way.

My intention of this video was to bring back the quality interactions I used to have as a freshman and sophomore. I often find myself looking back fondly on my freshman year, missing those times. That didn’t happen, and I know for a fact it wasn’t because of the camera or the unicycle, because this is how it is everywhere now.

Making this video hit me hard with nostalgia, filming tricks in my freshman year practice spot, getting other people interested in trying, and all the memories of the quality interactions I had back then.

I guess how people perceive this kind of thing differs. Here’s what unicycling is to me: It’s a fun thing I do in my free time. It’s also a performance art. I am less familiar with it from a sport side, as I have been to one NAUCC and two Mondos. Freestyle is non-existent where I live. Juggling friends from back home and that I’ve met at conventions have been very supportive and encouraging when it comes to my journey with learning new unicycle skills. While it is hard to be involved with the unicycling community because of my location, I can only hope the community is this way too.

I am so sorry if the video didn’t have the perception I intended it to. It is understandable how this may have come off as disrespectful/weird. I have had a handful of people say they really like it, but if there becomes a lot more negative feedback, I may consider taking it down. Would you be interested in seeing a video like this in the future, and if so, how could I make it less weird? Someone else suggested having a sign to get more interactions. That way people understand what’s going on and they know they’re not in the way. If anything I’m in their way. I like that idea.


intersting. could it be with covid less social people in the new levels?

Impressive riding, and also an impressive social experiment!

I admit I have some sympathy with the point of view expressed by @newuser but I think you should NOT take down this video - I think it is a valuable trigger to many discussions about trick difficulty perception, entertainment value, video ethics, working an audience, and riding the fine line between being a slightly threatening weird nuisance and being a safe and interesting sight for passers by.

Why not modify the video with an edit at the start stating that it is a social experiment and then follow up with some more videos with variations? For example, you could do almost the same but make a chalk line “performance area boundary” and see if that makes people (especially younger girls?) feel safer and more willing to stop and look.

As a “boomer” I sympathize with “kids these days - always got their heads in their phones”, but a lot of people in the video were just walking purposively or talking to a friend. Maybe when you were a sophomore and you were just practicing, people felt the vibe and knew you were one of them. Maybe you didn’t do it on “family day” and people had more time to look.

On the other hand, yeah - covid might have been a “butterfly effect” which changed the social climate!

Regarding the “interest factor”, it is clear from other activities like juggling that simply doing something flawlessly which is technically difficult is not always perceived as being difficult or interesting - but throw in some deliberate near misses and saves and the audience is engaged. Maybe someone like @johnfoss or others who have done a lot of street unicycling before the advent of mobile phones could comment on how the nearby public engaged (or not) without these distractions.

And finally, I can’t resist a bit of a pun, @Discrete_Integral - maybe sometimes being discreet is integral to an engagement with members of the general public.

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I think I was the one that suggested this, but I also intended it as part of another suggestion I made - to ride in some visibly delineated area that people could easily avoid if they want to. i.e. invite interaction and participation instead of trying to push it onto people.

In that earlier conversation I raised basically the same set of concerns as @newuser. I don’t think any of this is super serious or that you should feel obligated to take the video down, but TBH it made the video difficult for me to watch from second-hand social anxiety, and I do hope you keep this perspective in mind and think a bit about how to be a little more respectful of people’s boundaries in the future.

Great riding as usual and I look forward to future videos!

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Here’s what I think it is. The current freshman class were freshmen in high school when covid happened, and then the following school year many schools were fully online still (not mine thankfully). So they basically missed out on a lot of social interaction during their first couple years of high school.

I’ve had this conversation with quite a few people as so many people notice it, not just me. That’s what other people have told me for why this is. I think it makes sense.

Totally agree. I think @newuser definitely made some good points. While it was not my intention, it could easily be perceived that way.

Interesting idea. That reminds me of one of my gigs I had, where I had to stay in a certain area (which often still involves being in very close quarters with other people). That’s not always how it is though. Sometimes I have freedom to move around, and I think smiling and nodding at people adds personality. I tried to do that in this video, but not much of a reaction. I did get a few laughs though, which was nice, even if they didn’t talk at all.

I don’t think YouTube allows me to modify a video post upload, does it? What I think I’ll end up doing is making a follow up video, restating what my intentions were, how the video was received (positively and negatively), and my plans on how to make these videos better in the future, based on feedback I’ve received. This was my first time making this style of video, so it makes sense that I would fall short in certain areas. Ideally, I would get better with time.

I think it could be both. The current freshman class can definitely tell I’m older, so they may be less inclined to talk to me, but then again, when we were freshman, we talked to upperclassmen. Whenever I said “Howdy!”, people would exclaim “Howdy!” back, when I was on my unicycle or not, not mumbling or ignoring like people did in this video (and do regardless of whether I’m filming or not). It is likely that people had plans during family weekend and didn’t want to stop to talk, though the effect it had on lack of interaction was probably minimal.

And it’s fair that a lot of people were just minding their own business doing their own thing. A lot of them were on their phones, but a lot also weren’t. I think in groups people are more confident, so usually doing a trick in front of a group of friends walking by has the best chance at starting a conversation. That didn’t happen in this video, but I still think the culture change is the reason for that.

I agree. And people tell me a lot that nobody will appreciate the difficulty of what I’m doing. But for me it’s about showing the general public about what I think is cool. If I didn’t show it to the public, they wouldn’t know it’s possible. While the general public doesn’t understand the exponential gap in difficulty between juggling 5 and 6 balls, they are definitely more impressed with 6 balls. 5 looks like 6 to them, and 6 looks like a lot, they can’t even count it and often say “How many balls is that?”. I think making stuff look hard though engages the audience as you said. One time, I did a bunch of tricks for a group of kids at summer camp. The thing they were most impressed by was probably me pretending I couldn’t ride the unicycle, needing help getting on, and then riding forwards and backwards flailing my arms and pretending to be completely out of control.

Funny! Generally I think smiling and nodding is good in a street performance setting at an event, but I think what you said is definitely true in this case. And even in a gig setting, I go where the crowd is, but I don’t follow people like in this video. Great points, and I’m looking forward to seeing how I can make these videos better!

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Yeah thanks for all the feedback! I might try one of the other dorm areas on campus. The pavement splits between a median, so it should be pretty easy to avoid me, while still maintaining visibility. I think the sign idea would really help. Something like “Gig 'Em if you’re impressed”.

Also sorry about 3 replies. I don’t post here often, so not super familiar with all the features. I’ll try replying to everyone in one post next time.

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