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.