Interesting Countries for Unicycling?

Hi all,

I am applying for a Watson Fellowship ( Basically, a fellow is given $25,000 to do whatever he/she wants for a year in a place that is not the U.S. The example of projects can be found here:

My plan is to investigate:

  1. how unicycle communities around the world were founded,
  2. how people in different cultures interact with unicycling differently, and
  3. how do people understand the physics behind unicycling. Do riders understand it? Would learners be more or less confident to learn to unicycle if they understand how it works?

I am working on my proposal and I have two question that people in this forum might have great answers for.

  1. If you have $25,000 and a year, what are the countries in which you would definitely go to unicycle? What makes that country more unique than others - in terms of unicycling?
  2. What would one learn from unicycling for a year in random countries? (I have some ideas but I want to see if there is anything else I should put on my proposal.)

Thanks for your helps,


I would probably shoot for places I haven’t been. Any country is good for unicycling, but for the purposes of your study, it should be a mix of countries that have long-established unicycling activities, new ones and some countries with no organized unicycling. I would recommend Japan for one, as they have the most unicyclists of all, and perhaps the most firmly established “foothold” for unicycling in elementary schools there.

How much your crotch can take. :smiley: But seriously, it depends what you want to learn. If about unicycling, you would learn how you are perceived there. Remember, you’d be a foreigner riding a unicycle, not just a regular local on one. That will affect how people perceive, react and interact with you.

I wanted to comment on this one. My opinion is that, if anything, knowing more about the physics of unicycling would be a turn-off. It would tend to make it seem harder to people.

As for me, I “understand” the physics of unicycling from an intuitive point of view, but certainly not from a math point of view. I never took a physics class, but unicycling has helped me to understand a lot about bodies in motion, which I’ve applied to many other things in life.

Belgium :slight_smile: Gent (place where I study now^^); good unicycle spots and from monday till thursday/friday there are tons of parties, danceclubs,… so cool! :slight_smile:
and a special bonus in Belgium! When you come to this country, you are in the country who has the world record of ‘period without government’ ^^ we almost reached 500 days without government (old record was 250-300days in irak I think xD)
France: : Buthier: awesome trial park!!
tolouse: nice trial park + yoggi lives there :slight_smile:
Spain/catalan: : girona: beautifull city, nice people, and awesome uni spots!
sabadell: best trial park of europe (30min from barcelona)
hongary/czech: nice to unicycle, good unicylists and cheap beer,…

Thank you for the inputs.

More specifically, I plan to go to two types of countries:

  1. places where unicycling communities are well-established and the general public have seen unicycles

My list now has Japan, Germany, and Italy (for UNICON XVI).

  1. places where people have not been exposed to unicycling much at all

My list now has Bhutan/Tibet/Mongolia, some country in South Africa or Arab, Madagascar.

I’d really appreciate if you could tell me more about unicycling in these countries or if you have any country that I should add to the list.

Increasing the destination list: Domincan Rebulic, Haiti, Northern Canada (meaning the upper Territories), Greenland, Kenya etc. Places where they are either economically of geographically remote.

I do believe that the one consistency you would find is the a real relationship between other riders. Something a little less tangible then this forum, but just as real.

Update: Jeep officially got the fellowship. Sounds like he’ll make it to Unicon and several other destinations in the coming year.

Here’s to a year of traveling the world studying unicycling! Hopefully he learns lots of stuff and brings uni to new places.

if you like muni:

  • country with unicyclists: Spain -> sierra de guarra, sierra nevada
  • country with almost no unicyclists : Morocco -> atlas mountains, tafilalt …
  • (those two are close …)

Hey Jeep, good job, this should be a fun “academic” learning experience.

So I took a look at the current “theses” and it would seem that location is not really so much an issue as is formulating you purpose.

Do you have a thesis?

If not, that would be the first step, THEN pick a country or countries to use as a means to complete your research.

What comes to mind when I consider unicycling and international travel is how urban vs rural, young vs old, first world vs second/third world perceive you as a rider, foreigner, white kid (I’m assuming here), on a unicycle. Additionally, you need a common task that you perform in each place, so you have a basis for comparison.

When I was in the academy, my thing was rich narrative, i.e qualitative research, so if you are into collecting narrative, you could gather people’s reactions in video or audio format, then use the human reactions to tell the story.

To make it easier on you and to reduce the cultural “confusion”, you should probably limit your country choices to english speaking Western nations.

If I were travelin to muni, I’d pick Australia/New Zealand, UK, and the US, that way you have people to ride with. But I think you live in the US, so maybe Iceland or New Foundland. Of course travel costs are going to eat you up, so see if you can book your travel with hops as long stayovers. Also, consider making contacts before you go, then stay in each place for a longer period of time (weeks vs days) to. Improve the depth of your interactions.

You should bring along a learner uni, something you can use to teach others.

I terms of air travel with a uni, I bought a large bike wheel box, I am able to get everything in the box including riding gear and still be under 50#, it’s a great way to carry the uni and I don’t get oversize charges.


Keep in mind Brazil has lots of good place to ride,states like Minas Gerais,Rio de Janeiro,Santa catarina offer nice trials.
The Brazilians knows how to give a good hospitality…
And if you need partner let me know…lol
(Sorry about my English,I’m learning)


How about Nepal, Israel, Panama or Vatican City, a wide interesting mix.
:slight_smile: :thinking: :astonished: :roll_eyes: :sunglasses: :p;):D:o:(