Old story of my trials performance

Last year, I wrote this up, but lost the disk that I saved it on, until now. It’s a vivd description of some riding at the end of the 5th grade talent show, as I attempted some simple trials. I am a teacher not a student.

I wasn’t really ready to perform, and I hadn’t brought any boards to ride. But I made an impromptu set-up with two desks. The were student side-by-side desks. They were set narrow end to narrow end with one 6” higher than the other one. I didn’t know if I was going to go on until 10 minutes before the end of the talent show. I got the high sign, quickly changed and did a quick warm up in the parking lot. I hopped the stairs up and down outside the back of the auditorium while the door was closed, beforehand. I had planned on hopping up and down the stairs up to the stage inside the auditorium, so this was the practice. I hadn’t done stairs in weeks. Between acts and before I went on, I walked down one aisle from the back of the auditorium, with the MUni. Boy did that cause a stir. Kids were turning their heads from everywhere. I heard, lot’s of “Hey, look at Mr. Wylie. He’s got his unicycle. WOW! That’s cooooolll!” I was in full armor with my helmet under my arm. I calmly tried to ignore the attention. I grinned inside.

It was my turn. I walked forward to the mike. I made a speech about this being my hobby and how much I love it. I also explained what I was going to do. Some simple skills, hop up the stairs and down then try to do a hop up to the lowest desk. I then made the all important speech about helmets and how kids should wear them whether they unicycle, skateboard, or ride a bike.

I then fastened the chin strap. Step over mount and up. I rode forward across the floor in front of everyone. Cheers everywhere!!! I then circled around and rode backwards across the floor. Okay, so that’s it for my tricks. Cheers again, a roar! Dam, I am digging this!
I ride over to the stairs at the base of the stage. I am sweating and panting. I think, hop pause, hop pause, hop pause at each step. I try to match the beat of the music- a quick CD pick just for atmosphere. I end up doing the rapid multi bounce at each step. I am nervous. I can’t blow it, I am thinking. I get to the top, more cheers. I smile! Then it’s hop down the stairs. I quickly extinguish any thoughts of riding down the stairs. There are 8 of them. I haven’t done that in months. I might screw it up I think. Go for the easiest. I hop down. I make it, no problem.

Now, I have to decide, do I go for the vertical hop up to the top of the lower desk. It’s set at 20”, but I had built up a platform using large paving stones I found in the garden to close the distance. I look at it twice as I idle in front. No, I decide. The distance looks like just over one foot. It’s just out of my range. I decide to mount ON the lower desk. By now, I am sweating profusely, still nervous and panting, yet I have only been riding less than two minutes. My hands are shaking and wet from sweat. I get up on the MUni and have to idle on the desk. The rear of the tire moves almost near the back edge of the desk. I have a desk just like this at home that I practice on – I think “I won’t roll off the edge”. I idle yet more, thinking, I am crappy at idling, I gotta move. I turn to the side to do a side hop up onto the higher desk. I am tired and the audience is cheering and roaring. I bounce too often. It’s sapping my energy. I am out of breath. I gotta do THIS! I hop to the right, Damn, my legs feel like lead. I somehow just make it to rubber onto the higher desk. The cheering reaches a cacophonous roar. Everyone in the audience sees what I am about to do. I inch hop-after-hop towards the edge of the desk. I am facing the audience, but looking down at my tire as it approaches the edge. I get right up to the edge. Hey, I think, I have never dropped off this height before. Too late, I drop, God, that was far, I hit solid, and bend forward more than I ever have in the past. But, manage to land the drop and ride forward. They are cheering and cheering. I decide to ride up one of the side aisles and then circle around the top and back down the other side in a sortof victory lap. I have a big ass grin on my face. I did it, I think!! I circle back around and high five some kids near the bottom as I ride by. I then do a nice dismount and face the crowd and bow.

It was GREAT! Yeah, but… In hindsight. I never should have done the stuff on the desks. I wasn’t ready, really. My colleague Ryan had to hold the taller desk, as it was sliding like it was on ice. That concrete floor was slick. I think back on what it would have been like had I crashed. It was too much too fast. I got lucky. Next time, I plan for it and do things closer to the ground. It scares me to think about, it, but the experience is a keeper in my mind, forever.

Great story Rod! I was sweating profusely and had butterflies just reading it. I don’t think I could have handled the pressure.
I was afraid I would get to the end of the story and you would say “and then I woke up to the sound of my alarm clock…” or something. You have done that to me before ya know.


A great piece of writing. Not exaggerating to say I could feel the tension physically - the butterflies… will he make it? And the inward cheer when you did.


Never mind crank length, tyre sections and spoke lacing, stories like this remind us why we ride.

Great story, Rod. It’s great that you kept your composure in front of all those students and faculty :smiley:

Re: Old story of my trials performance

I was holding my breath as I read that, and then laughed out loud in
relief. Great write-up!

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“When it comes to the family jewels, you won’t be having fun until they’re having fun. - Jake D”


I have always admired your writings about unicycle jaunts. They are always a pleasure to read. Your comments are very well respected:) Thanks.

Scott, Kenny, and Klaas,

Thanks for the kind words, too.

Cheers, Gentlemen!