please comment

The following is an article that I have written for a local bike
association newsletter.

Any comments / feedback / copywriting would be most appreciated.

Thanks, Wayne.

The sound of one wheel turning

Can you remember how you felt when you first rode a Bicycle without
training wheels? The feeling is probably long forgotten as most of us
learnt as young children. For those with children you should have a
reminder of the excitement and liberation that is felt when riding a bike
is first mastered.

Sadly, as adults we never get to feel that way again. Or can we? Many
people rediscover the pure joy of learning a new physical skill when they
discover that riding on one wheel is not impossible.

Images of clowns soon disappear when people realise that unicycling is a
serious sport that requires focus, balance and co-ordination. The
unicycling image is changing from being just a quirky recreation cycle to
a highly manoeuvrable off road cycle and a space saving commuter machine.

To get started all you need is a unicycle, some hints in the right
direction and a few weeks in which to practice. Be careful if
purchasing a unicycle though as most bike shops sell budget unicycles
that are not designed to withstand the stress of being ridden. The
saddles on low end unicycles also deter the rider from progress as they
can cause bodily damage.

A good quality entry level unicycle starts at around $160-00 and is
available in Brisbane from Australian Unicycling Society President,
Wayne van Wijk.

As a special offer Wayne is offering free unicycling lessons to all Bike
Queensland Members who purchase a new unicycle. For more information
contact Wayne on 07 3891 3660 or 0417 949 117 or visit www.jester.com.au

Wayne,

I vote “Very Well Written!” You put into words what some of us were trying
to figure out how to say when questioned by pre-unicyclists. I have always
been curious though about the European spelling of the word “learnt”. In
the U.S., we don’t usually regard that spelling as proper so I’m wondering
if it’s a cultural thing.

Bruce http://move.to/daup

Wayne van Wijk wrote:

> The following is an article that I have written for a local bike
> association newsletter.
>
> Any comments / feedback / copywriting would be most appreciated.
>
> Thanks, Wayne.
> =============================
>
> The sound of one wheel turning
>
> Can you remember how you felt when you first rode a Bicycle without
> training wheels? The feeling is probably long forgotten as most of us
> learnt as young children. For those with children you should have a
> reminder of the excitement and liberation that is felt when riding a
> bike is first mastered.
>
> Sadly, as adults we never get to feel that way again. Or can we? Many
> people rediscover the pure joy of learning a new physical skill when
> they discover that riding on one wheel is not impossible.
>
> Images of clowns soon disappear when people realise that unicycling is a
> serious sport that requires focus, balance and co-ordination. The
> unicycling image is changing from being just a quirky recreation cycle
> to a highly manoeuvrable off road cycle and a space saving commuter
> machine.
>
> To get started all you need is a unicycle, some hints in the right
> direction and a few weeks in which to practice. Be careful if
> purchasing a unicycle though as most bike shops sell budget unicycles
> that are not designed to withstand the stress of being ridden. The
> saddles on low end unicycles also deter the rider from progress as they
> can cause bodily damage.
>
> A good quality entry level unicycle starts at around $160-00 and is
> available in Brisbane from Australian Unicycling Society President,
> Wayne van Wijk.
>
> As a special offer Wayne is offering free unicycling lessons to all Bike
> Queensland Members who purchase a new unicycle. For more information
> contact Wayne on 07 3891 3660 or 0417 949 117 or visit www.jester.com.au
> =============================

I stand corrected. The dictionary allows the spelling of “learnt”. Now I
hesitate to offer the next couple spelling corrections:

realise to realize manoeuvrable to maneuverable

Pleas foregiv mee if I hav steppt on cultural toes agin.

Bruce

Bruce Edwards wrote:

> Wayne,
>
> I vote “Very Well Written!” You put into words what some of us were
> trying to figure out how to say when questioned by pre-unicyclists. I
> have always been curious though about the European spelling of the word
> “learnt”. In the U.S., we don’t usually regard that spelling as proper
> so I’m wondering if it’s a cultural thing.
>
> Bruce http://move.to/daup
>
> Wayne van Wijk wrote:
>
> > The following is an article that I have written for a local bike
> > association newsletter.
> >
> > Any comments / feedback / copywriting would be most appreciated.
> >
> > Thanks, Wayne.
> > =============================
> >
> > The sound of one wheel turning
> >
> > Can you remember how you felt when you first rode a Bicycle without
> > training wheels? The feeling is probably long forgotten as most of us
> > learnt as young children. For those with children you should have a
> > reminder of the excitement and liberation that is felt when riding a
> > bike is first mastered.
> >
> > Sadly, as adults we never get to feel that way again. Or can we? Many
> > people rediscover the pure joy of learning a new physical skill when
> > they discover that riding on one wheel is not impossible.
> >
> > Images of clowns soon disappear when people realise that unicycling is
> > a serious sport that requires focus, balance and co-ordination. The
> > unicycling image is changing from being just a quirky recreation cycle
> > to a highly manoeuvrable off road cycle and a space saving commuter
> > machine.
> >
> > To get started all you need is a unicycle, some hints in the right
> > direction and a few weeks in which to practice. Be careful if
> > purchasing a unicycle though as most bike shops sell budget unicycles
> > that are not designed to withstand the stress of being ridden. The
> > saddles on low end unicycles also deter the rider from progress as
> > they can cause bodily damage.
> >
> > A good quality entry level unicycle starts at around $160-00 and is
> > available in Brisbane from Australian Unicycling Society President,
> > Wayne van Wijk.
> >
> > As a special offer Wayne is offering free unicycling lessons to all
> > Bike Queensland Members who purchase a new unicycle. For more
> > information contact Wayne on 07 3891 3660 or 0417 949 117 or visit
> > www.jester.com.au
> > =============================

Bruce Edwards wrote:
> I stand corrected. The dictionary allows the spelling of “learnt”. Now I
> hesitate to offer the next couple spelling corrections:
>
> realise to realize manoeuvrable to maneuverable
>
> Pleas foregiv mee if I hav steppt on cultural toes agin.
>
> Bruce

Hi Bruce,

Wayne is just teaching you English. :wink:

Australians know how to do it. I believe Canadians do too. Come on guys,
give it a go, you know you want to. :slight_smile:

Regards, Mark.

Fujitsu Telecom Europe Ltd,| o Solihull Parkway, | In the land of the
pedestrian, /|\ Birmingham Business Park, | the one-wheeled man is king.
<< Birmingham, ENGLAND. | O

Great article! I like the fresh approach. If the goal is to attract
serious bicyclists to unicycling, this might be a way to do it. I won’t
go into spelling comparisons as I know the English language not only
breaks lots of its own rules, but allows for different spellings
depending on where you
live.

Consider the purpose of the article. Is it to draw people in? You told
what a great feeling of accomplishment you get by learning, and
advertised yourself as a source to buy them. I think the next two things
people might ask are:

  1. How hard is it to learn (how long will it take)?
  2. Is this just an advertisement for your “store?”

I know you’re not, but the article implies that you are in the unicycle
business, and you want to steer people away from all the bike shops, where
they buy all their cycling stuff, to you. If you sell unicycles as a hobby
it would probably help to mention this. You could offer that you are
selling them only because quality unicycles are hard to find.

For question 1, people need a little more whetting of their appetites.
You’ve told us what a great feeling it can be, but all anyone knows who
has ever tried it is that it’s impossible. A word or two about what you do
to learn, and how long you can expect it to take, will fill it out nicely.

Lastly, from my experience I have not found bicycling clubs a great source
for recruiting new unicyclists. These people already have a hobby they are
very involved in, and always seemed to regard us unicyclists as slightly
(or mostly) cracked people that they tolerate, but don’t understand.

Amazingly, I have gotten similar reactions even from the BMX crowd. I once
went to an indoor BMX Freestyle competition, where riders coasted on the
back wheel and did lots of other totally amazing tricks. Observing me
riding past, these same riders commented, “I could never do that.”

But I think the BMX/skateboard crowd is a much more likely place to find
future unicyclists as the sports have more in common, and the riders are
more youthful.

Your Web site looks great! Very clean and professional. Alas, there are no
unicycles for sale. I recommend one of two courses:
3. Rephrase the bottom of the article so it is clear people must call
for unicycle information, and that the URL is there for more info
about you.
4. Change or remove the “under construction” pages. My general advice to
any commercial Web site is that the words “under construction” should
never be used. If the page is not there, the link to it should not be
there either. You could do that, or change the graphic on there to add
some information about what to do if people want a unicycle (or
downloads).

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
www.unicycling.com

Frisbatarianism (n.), The belief that, when you die, your soul goes up on
the roof and gets stuck there.

> =============================
>
> The sound of one wheel turning
>
> Can you remember how you felt when you first rode a Bicycle without
> training wheels? The feeling is probably long forgotten as most of us
> learnt as young children. For those with children you should have a
> reminder of the excitement and liberation that is felt when riding a
> bike is first mastered.
>
> Sadly, as adults we never get to feel that way again. Or can we? Many
> people rediscover the pure joy of learning a new physical skill when
> they discover that riding on one wheel is not impossible.
>
> Images of clowns soon disappear when people realise that unicycling is a
> serious sport that requires focus, balance and co-ordination. The
> unicycling image is changing from being just a quirky recreation cycle
> to a highly manoeuvrable off road cycle and a space saving commuter
> machine.
>
> To get started all you need is a unicycle, some hints in the right
> direction and a few weeks in which to practice. Be careful if
> purchasing a unicycle though as most bike shops sell budget unicycles
> that are not designed to withstand the stress of being ridden. The
> saddles on low end unicycles also deter the rider from progress as they
> can cause bodily damage.
>
> A good quality entry level unicycle starts at around $160-00 and is
> available in Brisbane from Australian Unicycling Society President,
> Wayne van Wijk.
>
> As a special offer Wayne is offering free unicycling lessons to all Bike
> Queensland Members who purchase a new unicycle. For more information
> contact Wayne on 07 3891 3660 or 0417 949 117 or visit www.jester.com.au
> =============================
>

Wayne van Wijk wrote:
> Any comments / feedback / copywriting would be most appreciated.

Very well written. I think it’d be interesting to post it to
uk.rec.cycling, perhaps changing:
> A good quality entry level unicycle starts at around $160-00 and is
> available in Brisbane from Australian Unicycling Society President,
> Wayne van Wijk.

to direct people to Unicycle Source UK instead. Is it OK if I do that (I’d
better have an OK from Roger, too, if I’m going to advertise Unicycle
Source)? I think it should go down well (I’m a regular poster, so can
probably get away with going slightly OT).


Danny Colyer (remove your.mind to reply)
http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/danny.html “The secret of life is
honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made” -
Groucho Marx

Nice article Wayne. I especially like the phrase: “budget unicycles that
are not designed to withstand the stress of being ridden”. What a concept!

—Nathan

“Wayne van Wijk” <wayne@jester.com.au> wrote in message
news:00a501c0df64$3726fec0$0c322fca@pavilion
> The following is an article that I have written for a local bike
association newsletter.
>
> Any comments / feedback / copywriting would be most appreciated.
>
> Thanks, Wayne.
[article snipped]

That is a disgraceful piece of blatant advertising…

(Remind me I owe you a pint when I see you next Danny)

Roger

                     The UK's Unicycle Source
                   <a href="http://www.unicycle.uk.com/">http://www.unicycle.uk.com/</a>

----- Original Message ----- From: “Danny Colyer”
<danny@speedy5.freeserve.co.uk> To: <unicycling@winternet.com> Sent:
Friday, May 18, 2001 7:14 PM Subject: Re: please comment

> Wayne van Wijk wrote:
> > Any comments / feedback / copywriting would be most appreciated.
>
> Very well written. I think it’d be interesting to post it to
> uk.rec.cycling, perhaps changing:
> > A good quality entry level unicycle starts at around $160-00 and is
> > available in Brisbane from Australian Unicycling Society President,
Wayne
> > van Wijk.
>
> to direct people to Unicycle Source UK instead. Is it OK if I do that
(I’d
> better have an OK from Roger, too, if I’m going to advertise Unicycle
> Source)? I think it should go down well (I’m a regular poster, so can
> probably get away with going slightly OT).
>
> –
> Danny Colyer (remove your.mind to reply)
> http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/danny.html "The secret of life
> is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made" -
> Groucho Marx
>
>

Very enticing! I like the call on the memory of your audience’s sense of
joy and achievement when they learnt/learned to ride a bicycle. Also, the
way you picture unicycling as a serious sport rather than just a pastime
of clowns is absolutely great. Only at the end many unsuspecting readers
might see their perspective flip around: aaargh, another commercial
advertisement. I agree with John Foss that you need to do some rephrasing
there. John actually made some good suggestions, in addition to which you
might consider mentioning that as a unicycling buff you have a genuine and
sportive interest in spreading the hobby (if it is true). What actually IS
the reason for you to sell unicycles?

Klaas Bil

On 17 May 2001 23:51:40 -0700, wayne@jester.com.au (Wayne van Wijk) wrote:

>The following is an article that I have written for a local bike
>association newsletter.
>
>Any comments / feedback / copywriting would be most appreciated.
>
>Thanks, Wayne.
>=============================
<article snipped>

“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked
automagically from a database:” “Kursk, FBI, Peter Earnest”

Klaas Bil wrote:
>

> Also, the way you picture unicycling as a serious sport rather than just
> a pastime of clowns is absolutely great.

I’d like to state for the record that I am a great admirer of clowns. Sure
there is a stereotypical image of clowns, but many clowns are wonderfully
original and put on shows that are exciting to watch and full of
surprises, even for adults. Just get ahold of any Cirque du Soleil video
to see what I mean.

I realize that many unicyclists are in it for the sport and get tired of
the clown association. Nevertheless when I am out unicycling and someone
of any age asks me if I’m a clown, I always respond that that is what I’d
like to be when I grow up (I’m 40).

I also think that “serious” unicyclists as well as jugglers can be quite
jealous regarding their precarious position in the world of the sports and
entertainment hierarchy. This leads to bitterness.

But the fact that the majority of the population is a tad ignorant
regarding an activity that clearly stands on the periphery of mainstream
skills should not lead us to belittle the talents or contributions of
clowns, some of whom are skilled in the very activity we ourselves
engage in.

I think it unlikely that there are many among us who do not make our own
false assumptions about some other group based on a limited understanding
of their lives, preferences and activities, many of which are much more
serious and detrimental than assuming a unicyclist is also a clown.

Lighten up, I say.

I now step down from my soap-box, will put my beautiful daughter to bed
and will hopefully have some time to ride or juggle later.

Cheers, Raphael Lasar Matawan, NJ

> Klaas Bil wrote: I realize that many unicyclists are in it for the sport
> and get tired of the clown association. Nevertheless when I am out
> unicycling and someone of any age asks me if I’m a clown, I always
> respond that that is what I’d like to be when I grow up (I’m 40)

I’ll admit that the “clown comment” rubs me the wrong way (by only the
tiniest bit), but it’s certainly not because I have anything against
clowns. I have nothing but admiration for someone that has the courage,
motivation, and creativity to be a clown; it is certainly something that I
could never do very well.

It just seems to me that when someone says “are you a clown?”, it is like
they are assuming that riding a unicycle is something that can’t stand on
its own, as if they are thinking “why would you be doing something like
this unless you are in the circus?”

That’s what bugs me about the comment.

-Rick

On Fri, 18 May 2001 20:06:59 -0400, Raphael Lasar
<rlasar@lucent.com> wrote:

>Klaas Bil wrote:
>>
>
>> Also, the way you picture unicycling as a serious sport rather than
>> just a pastime of clowns is absolutely great.
>
>I’d like to state for the record that I am a great admirer of clowns.
>Sure there is a stereotypical image of clowns, but many clowns are
>wonderfully original and put on shows that are exciting to watch and full
>of surprises, even for adults. Just get ahold of any Cirque du Soleil
>video to see what I mean.
<snip>

Re my clown statement I apologise if I stepped on Raphael’s or anyone’s
toes. I certainly don’t want to talk with disdain about clowns. Actually I
love to see good clowns performing and I even dabbled in clowning myself a
bit - but that was like 15 years ago.

What brought me to making this statement is the ubiquitous clown (or
“circus” for that matter - and I love circus!) comments that I get when
unicycling in the open (park or whatever). I’m sure that these people have
no bad intentions at all, and mostly they will think they are original and
funny. Indeed I cheer back at them no problem. Yet to me their comments
seem to have undertones of not taking the activity of unicycling
seriously, as if I would be practicing something that achieves its full
value only in a clown or circus setting. I guess it bothers me to some
degree that they fail to recognise (or even detract from) the joy that I’m
having of unicycling per se.

Klaas Bil

“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked
automagically from a database:” “Syria, biological warfare, Cuba”

On 18/5/01 5:22 pm, John Foss posted:

> 2. Change or remove the “under construction” pages. My general advice to
> any commercial Web site is that the words “under construction” should
> never be used. If the page is not there, the link to it should not be
> there either.

Absolutely… one of the web’s worst habits.

Trevor Coultart (Anecdotal and/or amusing quotation currently unavailable)