Fellow single wheelers,

Within the family of ways to fall off a unicycle, we have a new term – the term falls into the same family as a seat-bounce, though differs significantly in execution. As the subject states, it’s the act of being ‘plucked.’

The act of being plucked is much more likely to be experienced while following one wheeled rather than two wheeled riding disciplines. This is not because of the number of wheels touching the ground. Being plucked can happen to anyone who isn’t bound to their steed using more than groin muscles to hang on. It’s the unique side effect of our strange little sport that doesn’t require the use of handlebars for personal stability and steering that can lead to one being plucked is easier on one rather than two wheels

I took my Coker up into Portland’s Forest Park yesterday to see how friendly Leif Erickson Road would be to a 36” wheel. Since I started my ride at the Convention Center, I only went 2.5 miles into the park because the point at which I turned around only accounted for the first 50% of my day and getting home was definitely on the agenda. For those not familiar with Portland, OR area, the one way point to point distance is around 7 or 8 miles but who ever went straight on a unicycle? The total elevation gain was approx. 600 feet. I was heading out on the final downhill section a little prior to the Mile 1 marker. The trail had a manageable number of Sunday strollers and runners and I was really enjoying speed over the gravel road. I was riding a little behind a fairly fit runner and due to the extra traffic, was having trouble passing him with the aplomb necessary to avoid getting in his way once I got around in front of him. Finally, I saw my chance and stepped my speed up close to squirrelly-max as we rounded a corner. He stayed on the inside of the corner so following one-wheeled NASCAR doctrine; I drifted outside and poured as much speed into my cranks as I could muster across the gravel road. Hand gripping my seat and standing on the pedals to increase power, I rounded the corner leaning hard so as to not loose any speed. I estimate I was just shy of 20 mph.

My speed, the safely distant walkers and the running obstacle were all factors to be concerned with so I was more focused on immediate road conditions and missing the moving human pylons than watching for other distractions. My track took me under a gum tree hanging innocently over the trail when the new term became reality. Against all odds, a single branch met perfectly with the top left rear ventilation port of my helmet like a fishhook and summarily plucked me off my ride. My body stopped, dangling midway between horizontal and vertical by my helmet straps while my unicycle full of its own momentum kept its same pace. Time returned to normal as the tree bent enough to release me and deposit me lightly on the road with a minimum of fuss; when my helmet disengaged I was left more standing than not in the middle of the road. My unicycle, having suddenly been freed of my speed retarding efforts, discovered said freedom and took off down the trail towards a woman with a double-wide jog stroller filled with babies. The absence of my body caused the seat to be dragged across the gravel until the whole contraption succumbed to gravity and thankfully tumbled to a stop against the steep side of the road.

The runner didn’t even slow down. All I heard as he came past was, “Maybe now we have a good reason to log all the trees out of this place.” And he was gone. I’m quite certain he was spawn of Satan sent on a singular mission to tangle my day. I was back in the saddle with enough time to have and take one more chance to pass Beelzebub Jr. before I got to the gate.

My neck is a little sore today though I do have great head mobility. As I told a friend, “You know that spot on your back you’ve never been able to lick before?” I include a picture of the only evidence of what may be the world’s first plucking. It’s my helmet looking from the front towards the rear at the vent hole from which I momentarily dangled.


Wow! I’ve experienced the minor form of that, but that was the first I’ve heard of someone being physically lifted (separated) from their unicycle like that. Plucked indeed!

I thought the runner was pretty clever to come up with that line in such a short amount of time. Why blame him? I’m sure you’ll be more aware of your surroundings in the future… :slight_smile:

Nice. Excellent first post. Welcome, Ross.

Welcome, excellently presented tale…but the sort of incident that really requires a video. Must have been quite a shock to the system though.


Hi Ross!
Nice to see you on the fora and welcome!

I just love this story. I will think of it every time I brush my helmet up against a seemingly innocent weeping willow!

Thanks for posting it for all to enjoy.


Welcome to the forum Ross!

Glad you survived your plucking unscathed!

I have never been plucked, I don’t think I ride fast enough, but next time I’m riding in the woods I’ll be keeping an look out fo any low branches.

I’ve never been “plucked” but I witnessed an escape try from my Coker (I’ve told it before in another thread).
it’s just unreal to watch the thing still rolling while you have dismounted and it’s something very dangerous (that’s why I do not want to use my Coker in places where children and dogs may roam free).

Great story. One of those that made me laugh out loud. It seems that the coker has more free spirit than I gave it credit for.


that cool and sucks at the same time. To bad noone was videoing.

being plucked kinda suckes… i was plucked to a lesser degree awhile ago, and not from my helmet. its definatly a wierd feeling. i got that little loop on the top of my backpack stuck on a long flexible bushy branch thing… i wasnt lifted out of the saddle but i was pulled off of the back of my uni.

For your first post here, that was an awesome intro. Welcome to the forums.

Luckily you were plucked by means of the helmet and not your eye socket. :astonished:

Yeah those Gum trees can be painful back when I rode my Bike regularly I rode in the general area and was ‘plucked’ from my bike at a simmilar speed, I have since avoided all low hanging tree branches no matter how innocent looking after my first ‘plucking’ my helmet was completely destroyed the straps had cut into the foam and the plastic shell came off my mom made me throw it away the same day.

Re: plucked

Didn’t the gum tree branch poke into your skull?

I once had a branch grip my helmet ventilation opening like that, but
not nearly as fiercely as even coming close to plucking me. I merely
noticed being slowed down by the head, realised what was going on and
then by hand removed the branch while still going forward. This was on
a long hanging part of a tree, but it still grazed my bald scalp.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“I’m slowly but surely stealing Wales and bringing it back to my house on the wheel, frame and cranks of my muni. - phil”

i havent been plucked but ive been nocked off a bike from running into a tree branch on my bike.

it would totally sucked to be plucked off an airplane. wait… how would that happen?