Parade Training

Rode in 2 parades this week end with the MUC in Memphis. Imagine riding down the middle of the streat in a major urban center - police keeping cars at bay- with 20 of the nicest cyclists you’ve ever met. Sweet! Highly recommended- if you can get out to one, do so.

These events are a great reward for freestyle skill developement; my list of must-have skills has grown markedly since Friday. The compulssion to perform helped push my marginal skills to greater refinement; wheel walking, backward riding, seat out front are all much improved by a few hours in the spot light. Frustrated by a such a small stable of tricks, I made headway with spinning- something I had only dabbled with in the past- and momentarly entered a piroette.

Most of us just cruzed around and did our own thing; I can see now how coreographed group performance would add a good deal to audiance enjoyment.

Tommy made effective use of the ‘Some body stop me, I’m out of controll and might go careening off into the crowed’ act, turning away at the last moment, much to the appreciation of the slack-jawed on lookers. My thanks to John Foss for the idea of looking pained after a jump or kick-up mount, then transitioning to seat-out-front- laughter can be a bigger reward than ‘ewws’ and ‘ahhhs’.

The flashy cloths and flashy lights things is great! The Maxwells wired me for lights, and I think it will probably stay that way tell well past New Years.

If you have any crowed pleasers to contribute, I’d love to hear about 'em!



Parade routines

Congratulations on successfull parades, they are fun to ride.

We joined a club last June and did several over the summer. We usually get 15 to 20 that can make it. Our typical parade set up is:

1: Banner

  1. Drill team: 8 - 12 riders, at a minimum they are strong level 2 & 3 riders, do what we call circle drills, line drills, figure 8’s, etc. The leader is an experienced rider with a whistle, they call out the drill and time it with the whistle. We don’t have a set routine or order, but I would like to see more choreography next year.

  2. Specialty riders: The more advanced riders come next doing what ever comes naturaly: Juggling while riding, juggling on giraffe, jump rope, wheel walking, seat out, jumping over their mom, etc.

4: New riders and young riders (a 5 yr old is as much a crowd pleaser as a wheel walker) cruise around waving.

  1. Boom Box: Big cart mounted speaker blasting out the parade music. Ours is pushed by a unicyclist who has a microphone, he will introduce the club, draw attention to some of the specialty acts and works the crowd with some comedy.

  2. Support people: Some parents follow along to help with the young/new riders, water jug, juggling equipment, and handing out candy.

The crowds are always really supportive.

Edit: I initally attached an image but it was too big so I deleted it.