I found out there was a guy that lives about 20 minutes from me who unicycles for a living. I gave him a call and asked if he could give me any help/lessons and he invited my right over and we worked on some stuff. He had a room in his house just for unicycling. Real cool guy, he even let me borrow a 24" so I could take it home and practice on it (I have a 20")!!
He’s more of an entertaining unicyclist/juggler/stilt-walker/etc. and tried to say he wasn’t really that good, but he was impressive to me, then again he’s been doing it for 30 years. He gave me a lot of good pointers and I was really impressed that he invited me over on a whim like that. Some of the “older” riders like John Foss will know him, but I am not sure he would appreciate me posting his name so I won’t.
John, PM me if you want to know who I am talking about.
It is great that the uni community has such cool people who are willing to help you and the sport!! I thought the Mountain Bike community that I spend a lot of time in was friendly, but I think Unicyclist might have them beat.
I can appreciate you not posting his name w/o permision, but if he is an entertainer it is just free publicity. Even more interesting would be how did you find out he lived in your area?
I was up at the Local Bike Shop buying a knobby for my 20" Stealth…the shop owner said, “You know there’s a guy right here in town that rides unicycles for a living?”
I thought he was joking at first…
The same thing happened to me. One of the local bike shops near the trails I ride told me about a guy who rides and has a club at the school where he is a coach.
Well, I looked him up and for the past few months my son and I have been attending his weekly club get togethers. He’s a member of the USA, and has organized school clubs and parade rides since 1969. His daughter was a national champ in her age group 5 times. He’s a great guy, George Pringle. He’s taught loads of people to ride over the last 30 years.
Here's the kicker, his school is about two miles from my house!
Say hi to George Pringle from me! See if he remembers me. I think I first met him at the NYC Bike Show in 1985 (same show where Semcycle debuted the Semcycle). I don’t remember why he was there, but he was well known all over Florida as a unicycle teacher.
I wonder who the guy in North Carolina is? I can’t think of any riders from there, but he may be an import. If he performs for a living, I can’t think of any reason why he wouldn’t want his name mentioned. Just don’t give out his email address
“Coach” Pringle remembers you very well and has shared with me his memories of your skills and performances. He said you were one of the smoothest riders he has ever seen. He’s told me about the finale of your freestyle performance where you would spin around with your finger on the ground. Could that be the “UNI-CYCLONE”?
He has had wonderful things to say about you.
Just last night we were talking, and although he likes to ride trails, he feels that unicycling seems to be heading more towards an “Extreme” sport. He doesn’t think that is a bad thing, he just doesn’t want the skills and competition end of the sport to suffer. He loved going to the meets and wishes that there would be another a bit further South. He wants to enter some competitions himself but doesn’t think that they have the age divisions like they used to.
He’s a mean unicycle polo player, we have a lot of fun.
And yes, I will definately say hello for you.
John, I don’t think he’ll really mind either I just was not sure but as you said being an entertainer he likely won’t. Anyway I think he’s a N.C. native but I could be wrong, his name is Mark Lippard and you’d probably remember him more for his juggling than his unicycling. I believe he was a top ranked juggler back in the 1980’s. You may also remember him because he had a 16 foot giraffe back in the day
and he’s not from around here
that 6wheeler is pretty impressive
are those 12" wheels?
No, he’s not a big internet kind of person from what I gather, so he’s never been on this forum…
I think they are 16" wheels, he didn’t have it out though when I was over there… You’ll notice though if you look closely that it is really only a 5 wheeler so you don’t have to pedal backwards, the top wheel is a dummy wheel…
This is just typical. Because I was wondering if this person would show up in past OOWs that I’m indexing, I convince zod to share the name with me privately while solemnly swearing never to reveal it. And what does it take for zod to buckle? Well, not much.
I’m weak, what can I say…besides I trust John’s judgement
Well, you’re safe now; he has a big fat Web site!
And an excellent one to boot. Definitely one of the very best entertainer Web sites I’ve ever seen. Very nice. And I couldn’t find a link on there to whoever made it!
His six-wheeler obviously has 12" wheels. Obvious to me, anyway. I rode a similar one once. It belongs to Jean Ascher of Denmark, and a picture of me riding it is in the Complete Book of Unicycling (wearing a dorky pointed hat). Mark has a real nice bunch of unicycles! I noticed a tall chrome giraffe, a tall red one (maybe the same one at different times), a 6-wheeler, a 3-wheeler, and tennis shoe wheel.
I’m not sure where I originally know him from but we’ve definitely met. I think it was back when Jenack Circus Corporation used to go to clown conventions in the late 80s, to sell equipment and do workshops. There was a convention in Virginia Beach, VA, where we judged a juggling competition, and I believe Mark won it. If that’s true, I think he also was listed in the Guinness Book at some later time, for bounce-juggling 10 balls, or something like that. A very good technical juggler!
“Hi” back to Coach Pringle as well. I now remember he was one of the competitors at UNICON II, in 1986. He came to the smallest of UNICONs. But rest-assured for him, the USA still has stupid-lots of age groups. He should come to another convention and see how we’ve grown!
Yes, Trials and MUni are getting the lion’s share of the press these days. The other aspects of unicycling, like Freestyle and track racing, have been very quiet. Part of this is the press’ interest in extreme sports. The other part is a seeming lack of growth in those areas. We’re not hearing much from those people, either here in the newsgroup, in On One Wheel, or in the work being done to grow the sport and conventions.
I found this cartoon of Mark Lippard to be quite amusing, especially the part with him in bed. It reminds me of when I got my latest unicycle, one of my friends asked me if I sleep with it.