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?