New Unis in Norwich

Hi all,

I’ve just got back from the British Juggling Convention, where I had the
chance to try out a couple of interesting new unicycles.

The first thing to catch my eye was a diamond frame uni, built only last
week. The guy who built it had bent the front fork on his bike and decided to
make a unicycle with what was left. The result, if you can picture it, is a
chain driven diamond frame unicycle (with 1:1 gearing) with the wheel at the
bottom point (i.e. the frame is rotated around 90 degrees from the bike
orientation), the pedals at the front, the saddle on top and a handlebar just
behind the saddle. He’s planning to put another saddle on the back, so that
he can also ride with the pedals down and the handlebar in front.

I managed to get on the machine after a few tries (holding onto a pillar),
which was considerable more than most people could manage, but I couldn’t go
anywhere. The guy who built it was riding around quite happily and even free
mounting by the end of the weekend. It’s actually very comfortable - almost a
recumbent unicycle. And it looks incredibly stylish. I’ve a feeling I’ll be
seeing more of them at conventions to come.

The highlight of the convention for me was a 27" uni geared up to 42"
equivalent. It was built by Bob and Sam Knight, the same guys who built the 3
speed giraffe featured in The Catch last year. Sam actually broke his arm
soon after building the new machine, when he fell off and couldn’t run fast
enough to catch himself. He did a lap of the running track on Saturday - the
thing goes like a bomb. Like the previous machine, I managed to get on but
couldn’t go anywhere, though I suspect that if the saddle had gone half an
inch lower or if I’d been wearing thicker soled shoes I may have done better.
The real problem is that it’s very difficult to hover. The uni just goes
shooting off backwards.

  Another thing that caught my eye (in the Traders' Hall) was the new
MUni from the Ugly Juggling company. It looks much like a DM Ringmaster,
 except that it had square shoulders. And the thing I really loved was
the braze-ons for a water bottle. All for the bargain price of 95 quid.

And in one of the gyms I saw a uni with a kick stand. This rotates around the
axle. A square of plastic held on by a metal fork flips down, allowing the
uni to be held up by the fork. When it’s not in use, the stand flips up and
the plastic square slots around the post.

Cardiff next month. I can hardly wait.

| Danny Colyer | | To drop is human, | University of Bath |
| ----------------- | To juggle is divine. |
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