mainstreaam unicycling yes or no?

The prices of good (not best, bet really solid) unicycles would almost assuredly drop. But more importantly …

The availability would definitely go UP! The state of affairs today is something like this: the KH24 has been out of stock for 5 months now, the KH20 for ~2 months, the Onza24 for ~2 months. The supply in this sport is terribly inconsistent/limited. Currently the cheapest splined hub muni unicycle.com can ship is around $800, but there are at least two spined hub muni’s available for about 1/2 that price - except they are not available!

it is awesome, the way skaters, i dunno, see uncycling. it’s not like they see us in the same light as the razor scooter kids, and the rollerbladers. They do not seem annoyed by unicyclers in the skateparks. but at the same time they see unicycling as something almost impossible. the skaters that do want to try to ride my unicycle always start by trying to step on the front pedal, then get immediately intimidated by it.
I am confident that even if unicycling gets more popular unicyclers will never be the “annoying razor scooter kids.”
-mike

onetrack:

are they truly that supportive? I can imagine going to a skatepark or something and getting delt a bunch of crap from skaters “too cool” for unicycles, or trying to defend their territory. How often does this happen to you?

-grant

I’m not sure about onetrack but the skate park near my house is fine about unicyclists… we wait our turn for lines, they’re conversational, interested in what we do… I’ve yet to have a problem at a skate park.

never had a problem at a skatepark, except mabey once off someone who couldn’t actualy skate,

skater are actualy the same kind of people as unicyclists, people obbsesed with something fairly pointless, as such they apriciate the stupidity of unicycling and recognise it as similar to their own obsession.
they just happen to skate rather than unicycle.

I think you meant “Except for Lola.” Though I am no expert, I do believe the song is about the author’s encounter once upon a time with a transvestite.

I agree with Mikefeule on the possible “branding” of unicycles if they were to go mainstream. People would pay for brand and not be knowledgeable enough to know if the quality was commensurate.

But we would.

I think the area where we would see the biggest improvement is in the mid-level unicycles. Today we have the cheap ones, some nicer cheap ones, a pretty big gap, and some real expensive ones with the small-production-run parts on them. Increased popularity would make “better” unicycles a lot cheaper than they are now, and make room for even cooler ones at the top of the line.

Out-of-shape non-experts, if they continue to buy products, continue to fund the development of the better models. Just like mountain biking. We need rich non-experts buying the high-end bikes to help pay for the continued r&d into the new ones!

I think that unicycling would have a very very hard time going mainstream. One of the big thing that makes a sport mainstream is all of the posers that adopt the sport. It is not possible to be a unicycle poser. The commitment it takes to learn to uni is much too great for people who only want to do it for the image (whatever strage image that may be).

     At this point I love the way it is. I love having enough riders to be able to talk to them on the forums about things, but still to have so few riders that everybody you see is so surprised and impressed at the fact that you can balance on one wheel. Then the people arent impressed change their mind as soon as they try to ride once or twice. I love this sport and its uniqueitude.

-Samus

I suppose that’s right. Pretty much anyone can get on a skateboard, go forwards a few yards and call themselves a skater, without exhibiting any skill, or any commitment. It’s an entirely different matter for someone to learn to do the same on a unicycle though, never mind all the tricks that can be done on both.

Well, let’s see.

We have this lyric:

“Well I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
Why she walked like a woman and talked like a man”

which certainly opens up the question.

Then we have this lyric:

“Well I’m not the world’s most masculine man
But I know what I am and I’m glad I’m a man
And so is Lola”*

which is actually ambiguous. Is Lola also glad he, the teller of the tale, is a man, or is Lola a man himself?

So, I guess we’ll never really know. :wink:

Of course, this potentially raises the question of unicycling within the transvestite/transgender community. Any statistics there?

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

*I’ve always thought the lyric was:

“Well I’m not the world’s most masculine man
But I know what I am and what I am is a man
And so is Lola”

in which case it’s not really ambiguous at all.

that applies for old ladies and little kids but unfortunately not for the 16-30 age range, which are the people who are usually responsible for “where’s your other wheel” and other jokes. if unicycling grows more, we might start getting respect from people like this. go to a trials bike forum and search for unicycle. you will turn up pages filled with comments like, “trials unicycling is gay” “boring” “stupid” etc. while people respect the fact that we can ride ten feet on one wheel, not that many can relate to, understand, or respect the fact that we can hop around on picnic tables. people think that they cannot do it because they cannot ride the first ten feet, but they are sure if they could, they would have no trouble hopping 4 feet in the air or gapping 8 feet. if everyone knew how to unicycle, but didnt learn to do trials, then they would respect us more. since everone knows how to ride a bike but so few learn trials, trials riders are really respected for their skill. people think, “wow! i know that is hard” while they see some hopping on a uni and assume its hard but really have no idea. if unicycling was mainstream, it would not mean every house would have a trials unicycle parked out front. think of japan where almost every child leans to uni. as soon as they reach a certain age they forget their uni altogether. here we learn to bike but the second we get a car we rarely ride our bikes again. we all know the dedication it takes to learn each new trick. even if 100% of the population could uni, there would still be few trials riders but then they would be respected.

edit:
i am friends with some Japanese exchange students at my school and they do not know one person their age or older that still unicycles, but they all leanred how when they were young.

I hope for a world where people understand that unicycling is something anyone can learn if they want to and work at it. Non-riders can still be impressed with us, but if there are more riders out there, They will have a better understanding that we’re not kooks, not superhuman, but just people who like doing our chosen activity, which is hard to learn.

Imagine what it must be like in Japan, where unicycles are in the vast majority of elementary schools and huge numbers of kids learn to ride them. Their peers know they could have learned to ride if they wanted (I hope). The general public probably looks at unicycling in a very different way than most public does in the rest of the world.

Do any of the people in Japan that learn, get REALLY good?

I know, and have seen some awesome freestyle stuff by them, but what % of people carry it on do you think?

Also, is there any/many Japanese people do trials/muni?

Joe,

MUni is pretty new in Japan. I think it’s harder to get access to trails in such a crowded country, but they do have tons of steep mountains.

How many riders stick with it after elementary school? Most of them don’t, but there are plenty of amazing adult riders over there. And moms & dads too. Today I got the final list of age groups for the main racing events at Unicon. Check this out:

(not counting the smaller wheels)
0-13, 14-15, 16-18, 19-29, 30-44, 45-65, 66+

I have my doubts about the number of 66 & older riders, but I know there will be some. That’s pretty cool!