pushed off a unicycle

Has anyone been pushed off their unicycle?

This afternoon I rode down to a local ‘Poi in the Park’ on my 29-er. This is a gathering of poi/staff spinners and jugglers. We had a good spin then did some fire spinning as it got dark.

Normally I would have ridden straight home but as it was almost 11.00 pm I called in the pub with some of the spinners so I could have some water and ride home when the streets had cleared a little.

Left just before midnight, a little wary as I still find the 29-er with its 125mm cranks not as easy to control as the muni, especially in the dark.

Was bemused to hear a muttered ‘your wheels missing…’ from some unimaginative passing drunk and rode on.

In front of me were a pair of couples, I assumed from their dress and presence on the street at this time that they had probably been drinking, so I slowed until a gap appeared and carefully rode past.

At this point I was noticed and the guy in couple one attracted attention of guy in couple two who started running after me.

Uncertain of his intentions I accelerated away but could feel his presence close behind.

At this point it occurs to me that therer is a fair chance he is intending to attempt to push me as this is the kind of thing that will occur to a drunk bloke and because I can’t think of another reason why he would be pursuing.

As you all know it’s not safe to do a front dismount in the streets if someone is behind, however, due to the fact that I’d tried to accelerate away I was going too fast to do a rear dismount.

At this point I know he is getting very close and I am feeling very threatened so I dismount, there is an impact as the wheel hits him.

Maybe I looked pissed off as I turn to face him cos he retreats; I immediately turn back, mount and set off.

Behind me I hear something that sounds like a vague threat, but they don’t run after me so I just ride off.

Part of me feels bad that I didn’t stay and maybe ask if he was ok, but another part thinks that, as there was two blokes, possibly drunk, that it could have led to something worse.

On the ride home after that I reflected on the two other occasions where someone had attempted to push me off.

One was when I was riding behind two 15 year old-ish girls, as I passed, the one on the inside spotted me and pushed her unsuspecting companion into me. Luckily I kept my balance and continued.

I didn’t stop and attempt to tell her what a stupid thing she’d just done (if the push had been harder or my balance less good I would have ended up in the road) because I could tell with one glance that it would have been futile.

The other time was when I was on the muni riding through town, up ahead were a group of ‘lads’ who, despite the fact that it was afternoon, had clearly been drinking.

They spotted me from quite a way off so I prepared myself for some ‘funny’ comments.

As I approach one of them adopts a crouched rugby tackle type posture, ‘how funny’ I think ‘he’s pretending that he’s going to rugby tackle me’.

As I get closer he squats more and starts to look very convincing, it in no way occurs to me that he could possibly do something so stupid, so I continue.

At this point his mate looks at me and says ‘he’s going to do it!’ and, with a feeling of horror I see him launch towards me.

There’s no time or space to dismount cleanly so I just kind of fall off before he reaches me.

Still not quite believing that anyone could contemplate rubgy tackling a guy on a unicyclist I quicky start to mount again, at which point he comes at me from the side, spoiling the mount.

Now I’m pissed off and, stupidly on reflection as they’re a sizable group of largish drunk individuals (and possibly rugby players), I fix him with the most sinister look I can muster and say ‘don’t do that again’.

Next, another member of the group approaches and asks for a go on the uni!

Normally there’s not a chance in hell I’d let a drunken guy attempt my steel spike pedaled muni, for fear that he may do himself some damage- in this case some evil part of my nature saw a chance for sweet revenge and I handed it to him with glee.

As he prepared to mount with the typical beginners mistake of having the mounting pedal forwards, I took pity (after all he wasn’t the one who’d attempted the tackle) and showed him what to do and held onto him as he got on.

In his few attempts at mounting I think we kind of bonded, him and his mates suddenly seeing how difficult riding a unicycle is, me perhaps seeing that no malice had been intended.

I noticed that his mates were starting to take the piss at his attempts, and I could see that one of them was lining himself up for some pushing mischief, so I said I had to go, told him he’d done well and walked off to continue my ride.

Three times sounds like a lot, but I’ve been riding a couple of years now, often on a daily basis, so it’s not as bad as it sounds and till tonights incident I’d totally forgotten the other two.

So, has anyone one else had someone attempt to push them off their unicycle?

I’ve never had someone push me off, but have had several cases of cars waiting until they’re right behind me to lay on the horn just for fun, which isn’t that much fun if you’re 12 mph plus on a Coker. Also twice on my Coker I’ve had people throw stuff (empty water bottle, etc.) at me out their car windows.

On my muni, never have had a problem. One reason might be I’m not on the streets, and people tend to feel more powerful when in the protection of their steel cages. Another reason might be I dress like the road warrior…

Other than extreemly viscous games of demolition derby, no I’ve never been pushed off my unicycle except by accident. I have had a confused dog pop my tire as I rode, though. Dogs love to bite my tire as I ride, but usually leave when I dismount. I guess I’m lucky.

Once again, I’ve never had anyone try to push me off (except for when on a unicycle themselves), but I have had things thrown at me and occasional vulgarities as well. I had someone call me over to their car, where they started to ask me a few questions about unicycles. I see myself as an Unbassador, so gladly talk to anyone who asks. This time, the people in the back seat threw a cup of water in my face and drove off. This wouldn’t have been so bad, except that this was in winter, and the temperature was probably about 20 degrees farenheit at the time.
Another time someone threw a Big Gulp at me from a passing car. The worst part is they missed by a long shot and wasted a full Big Gulp.

[B]I have been pushed off a couple of times. Once it happened ages ago, in town at night. I wasn’t impressed and got back on and rode off.

Last night I was in town after completing a night ride, and I was going up a hill and there were two guys. I tried to go in between them but one tripped me up. I walked up the hill a bit, turned around and one footed down the hill towards him as if to kick him. He grabbed my foot, pulled me off my Unicycle and threw me to the ground. He could see me coming because I started one footing early for dramatic effect. Anyway I got up and told him to keep out of my way next time. Either him or his friend made a comment about how fat my setup is. Further up the street a bouncer told me he saw what happened and he would have looked out for me if the guy caused any trouble.

That kind of encounter would have never happened to me in the past because I used to ride with a formidable 3 D-cell Maglite instead of the tiny 3 AAA-cell Petzl.

I have been thrown off my Unicycle by bumpy terrain far more times than other people have pushed me off so it doesn’t bother me too much. I get far more positive reactions than those occasional odd ones.[/B]

Sounds like you all handled the various situations pretty well. I am very selective about where and when I ride in built up areas, and so far have never been pushed off. I hope you’re feeling OK this morning, Dave.

Years ago my (now ex) wife was pushed off her bicycle by two kids on a moped. When we’re Morris dancing, we get people walking through the middle of the stick dances. We once had a procession of about 100 dancers on a narrow road and a car tried to drive through, and deliberately ran into a young woman.

Remember, people are just monkeys whose ancestors got lucky. Einstein said, “Only two things are infinite: the universe, and human stupidity - and I’m not sure about the universe.”

It’s a jungle out there.

I’ve only really had one yobbish-pedestrian experience. I was riding in Hampstead Heath, a big park in North London where I ride all the time. The path I was on ran at the edge of a grass clearing where people tend to BBQ and hang out.

As I rode along, a non-hostile pedestrian alerted me to an approaching threat. A young man, shirtless and holding a stick about 3 feet long, was coming my way. I thought he couldn’t be serious, but when he came up right next to me and raised the stick, I couldn’t help but flinch. Fortunately, he wasn’t serious, and didn’t hit me. After the event, I was somewhat pleased that I hadn’t UPDed.

It is a jungle out there, but in my experience 99.9% of the monkeys are friendly. The most common contact I have with pedestrians is parents saying encouraging things because I’m amusing their kids.

Re: pushed off a unicycle

onewheeldave wondered:
> Has anyone been pushed off their unicycle?

While riding home at the end of Bristol’s Biggest Bike Ride last year, I
had a passenger lean out of a car and push me off my Coker, after
failing to reach the Coker rider behind me while trying to do the same
thing. I landed on my feet, but if I’d been a few yards further back or
further forward then I would have been pushed into a parked car.

Over the years I have cultivated the ability to memorise numberplates at
a glance, and I reported the incident to the police at the first
opportunity. Unfortunately my friend had been round the bend and out of
sight, our witness proved to be uncontactable and neither of us found
time to chase the police for progress. So I heard nothing back, except
for the standard letter saying “You’ve been a victim of violent crime
during the last 12 months, how do you rate our service”.

Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny )
Recumbent cycle page: http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” - Thomas Paine

Re: pushed off a unicycle

cjd wrote:
> I’ve only really had one yobbish-pedestrian experience.

Oh yes, pedestrians that reminds me of another experience that I’d
forgotten about. It happened many years ago, when I was riding my 20"
to university. An elderly gentleman pushed me off and objected to my
cycling on the pavement (US: sidewalk).

I had a chat with him, pointing out that I was within my rights to be
there (I had done my research and knew that it was legal to ride a
unicycle on the pavement back then), that I was moving no faster than a
jogger while getting better exercise, being more maneouvrable and
looking less silly. He smiled, agreed, apologised and we both went on
our way.

Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny )
Recumbent cycle page: http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” - Thomas Paine

Cheers for the concern Mike. I’m fine, I wasn’t actually particularly distressed, the other guy definitly got the worst of it, I hope he’s not nursing a big bruise this morning.

It’s been good to read other peoples experiences and sad that they’ve been put in danger by the studity of people whose sense goes out the window at the sight of a unicyclist.

I guess Mikes two stories show that maybe it’s not so much the sight of unicycles that does it but more the fact that some people are just out to do something idiotic.

cjd, I’d be very wary of anyone approaching with a stick as I have been asked by one of a group of teens what would happen if he stuck his stick through my spokes!

As there seems to be very little difference in the minds of these kind of people between verbalising something and actually doing it I would be inclined to dismount and walk by.

I haven’t had anyone try to push me off since I was 14. I always beat them to it by dismounting first.
People have “threatened” to push me, but it has always been obvious that it was clearly just to start conversation.
I told them that the worst case scenario if they pushed me was that they would get hit by the uni when I fell. I was on a 20", so I the risk of me getting hurt was minimal.
Of course it’s different when you’re on bigger wheels at higher speeds.

I was riding home form work on my 26" about a year back and was on a really wide part of the pavement well over to one side. There was a good 10’ left for people to walk but as I overtook three lads, one of them pushed me into the hedge.
The hedge was a sort of all enveloping swallow you alive, 9’ high job that broke the fall nicely.

I realised later that I was very lucky I was on the left of the pavement as If I had been on the otherside I would have been knocked right in to the path of the 17a bus on the busy main road.

The Fool