As I read of the great work many of you here are doing with unicycle technology, I can’t help but think that more of you should be writing articles. Harper’s work with gearing on unis, all the work with brakes and handle bars, etc, etc, etc. Not to mention documentation of the long distance rides - and not merely the comraderie, etc which is wonderful, but also the technical matters encountered; the Red Bulls, Powerades and other trials type rides.
There are several reasons for documenting these developments and events formally.
The act of writing it down entails organizing the material into a coherent narrative. Too often web versions are not organized for subsequent research and follow up.
Lot’s of people still don’t use the web and there is still a reluctance for information found on the web to be considered authoritative, particularly when it comes from a source that is not already established as authoritative in print and even more so when it comes from a web page slapped together by an individual
Publication involves having at least one other person review and edit the material for clarity
A published record stands a chance of being indexed for future use and retrieval
And others I’m sure I’m not thinking of now. I can’t imagine that On One Wheel wouldn’t welcome such contributions. We all love getting it and reading of others experiences, but wouldn’t it also be nice to see more serious technical material there, perhaps like Scott Bridgemans Dec 2000 article titled “Building a MUni” (pg 10). And frankly, some of what I have seen discussed here probably is suitable for some of the more serious journals dealing with transportation, for example Human Power, the journal of the International Human Power Association.
Anyway, I myself have been side tracked from my article on the Coker, but hope to get back on that project eventually. But many of you have done excellent technical work or participated in events that deserve to be permanently documented and that requires very little further research, but just some time to write up and submit. And I can tell you that from my limited experience there is a dearth of good writing on unicycles and unicycling but if the success of unicycle.com and unicycle.co.uk is any indication at least a somewhat growing audience. And given what has been achieved in the past several years in terms of off-road riding, improved and varied unicycle designs and distance riding there would probably be more interest from the readership of other types of cycling.
These are the words of a librarian who dreads being asked to find information he knows is not available in print or from an established and respected source. Anyway it’s just a thought.
Just to be clear, a unicycling newsletter does already exist. It is called “On One Wheel” (OOW) and it is put out quarterly(ish) by the Unicycling Society of America (USA). You can receive it by joining the USA for the very inexpensive price of $15. This $15 is per 4 issues of OOW not per year so if it takes a year and a half for 4 issues to come out your a member for that long.
Anyway, the point was that much of what I suggest could be published in OOW and if you are interested in contributing I’d suggest you join the USA so you’ll get it regularly and perhaps purchase a back issue or two. Go to http://www.unicycling.org/usa for more information.
not being an overtly adventurous mechanical type, i dont really have anything to add in terms of content
i am however dating a writer and i’m sure i can footrub a couple of editing sessions out of her should anyone need/want that kind of input before submitting a manuscript to any publisher
hopefully this kind of initiative will also lead to articles in the mainstream press reflecting unicycling from the inside as opposed to ones written by wide-eyed journos who will never commit to learning how to unicycle before writing an article about it
(i’m not suggesting they should be proficient at anything before writing about it, my point is that the viewpoint of a non-unicycling writer will always be one of ‘this is impossible to do!’)