Making and Finding "Uni Buddies"

I’m sure this is not unique to me, but after more than two years of riding muni I still 99% of my time riding alone with my dogs. Granted, my son used to ride with me once a week, but even he’s lost the interest. I taught some folks to ride, one of whom is quite talented, but they all seem to stray back to the dark side: mountain bikes.

I have gotten my wife to ride a bike while I’m on the trail, maybe once a week, but other than that it’s just me. Though I love to ride, and most of the time I don’t dislike riding alone (it’s peaceful), I do miss riding with other uncyclists.

So how can we network better as a sport? Is there a better way to link folks using this forum?

I have been riding 32 years and have never ridden with anyone. I have talked with people that say they ride or used to ride but I have only seen first hand 5 other unicyclists in person. Every time I have seen other unicyclists I have not had my uni with me.

That’s a shame, man, that makes me wanna pack up and head out to ride with you! You know, there are a bunch of folks in the Seattle area as well as some in Portland (Brycer). You should look them up and plan a ride.

Seriously, I have ridden with folks every so often and the “high” is so awesome, watching other riders do what you’re doing, learning some new moves, just sharing the ride with a like minded person.

I think the festivals are cool, need to make sure I get to one this year; missed the Asheville, NC Muni Fest this year.

So how can someone ride for 32 years and never meet someone else for a ride? Are unicyclist so few and far between or is there something about our psyche that makes us standoffish or unapproachanble?

Okay, I got an idea:

Would it be possible to get UDC and KH, for instance, to do a fifty state tour?

Crazy, maybe, but thjnk how cool it would be to have them stop over in a major city in your states (Knoxville or Nashville for TN), do some clinics and go for a local ride. I’d pay money for that!

It just seems to me like we need something to “unify” us :slight_smile:

i would love that to happen i would love to test out something other than a dx and cheap Lerner uni.

Tricky, I find the same thing. Unicycling does tend to be a lonely sport. My own solution was to start a club. It’s sorta working. I know of other unicyclists in the area, although most are more “enthusiasts” of the sport then actual riders. It’s also taken work to find the handful that I have in an area that supports 500 000 people. At this point there are “group” rides comprimising of 2 of us at the same time and I can see that increasing to a point.

I went into the members area of this forum to try to find who was close to me. I was frustrated to discover that we could not search on location. Sure would be nice to be able to search for members of this forum who are close by.

The forum user map is a good way to find other unicyclists in your area. If there’s someone near you send them a PM and offer to meet up for a ride.

agreed … though I often ride Muni alone for different reasons:

  • I tend to ride slowly so I can’t keep up with people that could be half my age and ride twice faster … I just like to stop, breathe and enjoy the woods without going at top speed
  • I love bad weather and now there are lot of mud and snow and other unicyclists just stay at home … the contrary is true when it’s too sunny and hot (I stay at home).

I’d go on a fifty state riding with people/helping learn/demo tour if I could afford it. It’s 3 degrees here, anyone want to pay me to start next week, preferably in a non-snow state?

That’s kind of odd; I know of a few unicyclists who used to be MTBers and stopped riding them after getting into Muni.

You have to ride more often, and in more public places with a lot of people around, to get peoples’ interest. Mix up your rides and don’t always ride in the same place, and ride on popular trails.

When you come upon people on the trail, stop and get off the unicycle and let them pass, and smile and say hello. This gives them the perfect opportunity to ask you questions about Muni, if they choose to do so. Otherwise if you just ride past them, there’s very little opportunity for interaction.

Eventually when you do all these things, more people will get interested and they may start riding with you. Just be patient.

i’m just getting into the sport and me and one other guy are the only ones in the town that have unicycles. neither of us are very good but were getting better. It would be nice to ride with more people. It gets kinda boring trying to find places to go Muni or find places in town to go ride. so if there was some sort of club that was close buy or that 50state tour thing i’d go to as many as i could!

Everytime i see a younger kid like me or even people older that ride bikes or do other things they say that they want to try and i go to hand them my uni they just look at me with a blank stare like there scared of it. its crazy how many people wont try it.

Not so odd here in Knoxville, TN:

I ride 2-3x a week on a variety of local trails, stopping often to talk with people I meet. SOmetimes I stopped too much, which can make me late for dinner.
I have tried to get local bike shops interested in unis
I have taught a number of people to ride, one of whom is very skilled, but they seem to lose interest after a few months.
I offer rides at the trail head if there is anyone even remotely interested in riding.
I have offered free riding lessons on our local biking forum
I have a loaner uni that has been out more than two dozen times.

Trust me, I’m involved, all the mtbers know me as the unicycle guy, but that seems to be about as far as it goes. What I’m asking about is not how to get more interest in local uni but hjow to get more existing riders together.

Hey Max, if you can get here, we’ll go riding, no such low temps here, just wet. Rode last night in teh snow, 23 deg, awesome conditions. Last week it was in the upper 40’s and I rode for hours and hours, all weekend long :wink:

My 10-year-old rides with me sometimes, and I really enjoy that. My next efforts to establish riding buddies are my 12- and 9-year-olds. However, as you’ve noted, riding with kids has inherent limitations - attention span, other interests, and a preference to spend their free time with their friends.

Interesting you mention riding with your dogs. I’ve never had a dog (although my dad got one a few weeks after I went to college), but I’ve been considering getting one to serve as company when I ride. What size dogs do you have? Do they have any trouble keeping up, or with the distances you ride?

Back on the human side of the topic, I’m grateful for this forum. Without it I’d really feel isolated in this sport, and probably would not have gotten into it nearly as much. So I think the forum is a good start for making uni-buddies, even if we rarely see each other in person. And I’m considering doing more travelling to try to meet up with other riders - I’m only a day away from Seattle or Portland, so I might pursue some motorcycle/uni trips next summer. Shorter term, I’m going to try to meet up with unipilot in a few weeks for a ride in Seattle.

+1 on the idea of riding multiple trails, and just getting out and being seen. I also put a UDC bumper sticker on the water bottle that I carry around. I’ve now gotten to the point where people have seen the water bottle, then ask if I’m that guy they saw on the trail. I’ve now met two other guys who can ride that I’m working on for muni prospects; not bad for just one year of regular riding in a community of about 65,000.

So I guess kids, dogs, virtual buddies, an openness to travel, and patience in recruiting others are my thoughts.

Yeah, dogs are relaly great riding buddies as long as you train them well. I have two Australian Shepherds, Matty is 5, Sydney is 3. They are excellent runners, midsized (45-50#), very durable, keep their coats clipped so they’re easier to clean. Biggest issue for the dogs is water during the hot months, but I usually ride where there’s water. I run them both off lead, rarely have issues where I ride, all wooded and remote from roads and houses.

If you pick a dog, it’s best to get one that matches your personality and home situation. Aussies require a ton of exercise, so I get them out to ride or run every other day, we also have a 1/2 acre fenced yard. I’m partial to Aussies, but any working dog wouldbe a good trail dog. Some folks like Standard Poodles, which make great runners, fairly smart, and no shedding.

I had a great riding partner in my son, he ride with me 1-2x weekly until this past year, but has now discovered freinds and such are far more fun than riding with your dad :o

So yeah, at least I have my dogs.

nothing to do with the topic, the more your son will one day realize that his ride with dad is way better than going out with friends, hopefully not too late
I really regret not having played, rided, anything with my father, at least now I leave whenever possible to do something frivolous with my friends and I will stay with him in whatever activity haha:)!

Just editing : In my city i´m the only one who rides a unicycle and pratice some trials , street and flat stuff , the opther people who rides unicycle are the clowns jsut to earn money on the squares :frowning:
I never see in my front more than one unicycle , sometimes is good , when i do some muni trails with my KH 20 just for fun , alone , is peaceful , but with some buddies is always more funning! , maybe onde day i Convince one person to buy a uni and ride with me :slight_smile: by now , is just me and my unicycle , but I liked the idea: ride with the dogs , i have a poodle , and she does not leave home often , I Will start with short rides with her , little by little increasing distance, but all within the bounds of her, already has 7 years :smiley: will be funny and interesting people reactions will be blast awesome :smiley:

95% of the time I ride “alone” (in terms of unicyclists), but I ride at the skatepark with all of the bmxers and it’s great. They can see really creative lines and stuff that I would’ve never thought of, and they motivate me a lot too.

If you guys want to ride with others come to NAUCC this year! It’s in Madison Wisconsin and it’s gonna be sick.

I’m lucky because I have a buddy who has been unicycling for at least ten years and also has a muni, giraffe, and plays unicycle basketball. Most of the time it’s the two of us but we sometimes have a bigger group, especially during our two juggling/unicycling club days. We’ve gotten together 3x3 basketball and had 10 unicyclists (and a gorilla) in a holiday parade a couple weeks ago which is pretty good for the small area I live in. I think it certainly helps to publicize your interest in unicycling as much as possible and be open to answering questions when people show interest. I run into lots of people on the trails and on the street who ask questions and often tell me they used to ride a unicycle. Just last week I met someone during a pub crawl who had a giraffe and could do something as advanced as gliding. (Of course this was a pub crawl where everyone dresses in clown makeup so perhaps the odds were a little skewed.)

I used to ride with 2 buddies. One of them just keeps getting last second excuses to not ride, so I’m not asking him again, and the other one wants to ride, but he’s always gone. I’ve ridden alone all summer long, I’d really like riding buddies that would be as much in the sport as I am, but it seems like no one wants too. It would be cool if there would be more occasions for unicyclists to meet other riders, I guess it would just be dreamy for the ones that are always riding alone!