RE: Anybody want unicycle racing to get faster and more interesti

I agree with John. 24" is a mostly useless size except for certain
performers. I have long advocated letting riders use any crank length they
want. With all the varied body shapes and sizes, why should we all have to
use the same equipment. I would think it is more dangerous as we go up in
wheel size and helmets should be required. Wrist guards strongly

-----Original Message-----
From: John Foss []
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 1:43 PM
To: ‘’
Cc: ‘’; ‘’
Subject: Anybody want unicycle racing to get faster and more

Let’s talk about unicycle racing. Here goes…

I think we should start racing on 700C wheels. Adults racing on 24" wheels
no longer makes sense. It did when that was the biggest size available for
unicycles, but not any more. Now anyone with a phone (in the USA or UK
anyway) can order one with a wheel size up to 28" or 29". That’s 700C.

700C is the size designation for road bike wheels. It does not represent
millimeters or centimeters. It’s more just a designation.

700C wheels were used in the Ride Across Minnesota. They’re great for road
riding. There are tons of choices of rims and tires. All you need is a
longer unicycle fork.

Why not race Cokers? Though I also like big wheel racing, it doesn’t work on
a track. If you’ve ever tried to ride a big wheel unicycle around an
athletic track, you may have noticed a difficulty in keeping it in the lane
on the curves. I think it would exceed a reasonable level of safety, as well
as be much harder to get permission to do it on tracks. Big wheel racing
should be done on the road.

700C racing would be faster, more exciting, and more fun to watch than 24"
racing. Yes, it would be more dangerous as well, but not by much, in my
opinion. You will still be going within the range of running speed, and the
types of crashes we have would stay about the same.

A move to 700C racing might get people to decide how serious about racing
they really are. I think most of us are not, and yet we take up three days
of track time at every UNICON and a good two days at NAUCC. Maybe a lot of
us are only entering because it’s the only thing on the schedule for those
times. Adding a new wheel size might help us see who’s really interested in
track and who isn’t.

I’m saying that because I think we can have a lot more fun at our
conventions than by cramming the schedule with competition events. I’d like
to see less of those and more fun stuff for everybody.

I propose we add one or more 700C races to the next (2003 and later) NAUCC
and UNICON. An informal demonstration might be possible at the conventions
this summer, but I was not planning on that (nor are the hosts). I don’t
even own a 700C unicycle yet. We would have to work out the details.

What do you think?

Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
2002 NAUCC and UNICON Referee

Go to NAUCC and UNICON 2002!

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone

(Mind where you grind)

RE: Anybody want unicycle racing to get faster and more interesti

> Is the ultimate goal of unicycle racing to demonstrate who
> can GO the fastest or who can PEDAL the fastest?

For the moment, it’s to see who can go the fastest on a relatively level
playing field. The reason we have always had limitations on wheel size and
crank length were to keep that playing field level. In other words, if we
set 125mm as the crank length, people can buy those cranks. If we unlimit
crank length, we will see handmade 3" cranks and whatever, with an advantage
going to people who have access to them. Same for wheel size. If we have
unlimited rollout, as Dustin suggested, the advantage will go to whoever can
find an obscure tire that’s bigger than everyone else’s. Like the German guy
at UNICON VIII who raced the marathon on a 30" wheel (which was legal in
that race), that’s great for him, but we can’t get those wheels.

So for the track, I don’t think we’re ready to go all-custom. We probably
need, at least for the near future, a standardized set of dimensions. Most
other mechanized sports have similar rules to limit the machines used,
including bike racing. By doing it that way, it is a contest of athleticism
rather than a contest of hardware. Track racing, to me, is supposed to be a
contest of athleticism.

But this doesn’t mean we want to stagnate on hardware. We have our unlimited
road races, where anything goes. The same is true for all the MUni events,
as well as (for NAUCC and UNICON 11) Trials, Orienteering, High Jump, and
Long Jump. Experiment away!

Of course assuming we do keep limits on wheel size and crank length, we will
have to establish what they are. This should be determined with an
understanding of the products that are available in the world’s major
unicycle racing countries.

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John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
2002 NAUCC and UNICON Referee

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RE: Anybody want unicycle racing to get faster and more interesti

> Somehow i don’t like the idea of changing the standard wheel size.
> Too many people has been using the 24" wheels for too long and will be
> hard to change that now.

Not for me, and I’ve been racing longer than most of you. Times have
changed, and 24" wheels are no longer the “big” ones.

And no, this is not because my racing unicycle got stolen in 2000, though
it may have led me to question the idea of racing on 24" in this day in age.

> Not a lot of people have 700Cs,

Yes there are very few 700C unicycles out there today. But consider this. If
you want to get somewhere fast, on a unicycle, are you going to use a 24"
wheel? Only if it’s the biggest one you’ve got. People who really want to go
places, today, get bigger wheels. There are now lots of choices.

My expectation is not that everyone will get 700C wheels. Instead, my
expectation is that people who are serious about unicycle racing will get
them. I’d like to see races for both serious, and casual riders. Right now
we have way too much racing by casual riders. Eventually I’d like to see
700C (or whatever we call it) as the main wheel size, with a lot less age
groups. But we should always keep the smaller wheel sizes, and have events
accessible to all ages. I’d like to see some fun events for everybody, but
for them to be something separate from the “serious” races that I would
not like to see everybody entering.

I believe that if we can present a unicycle convention where there are
activities other than whole days at a track and whole days watching artistic
performances in a gym, we will not only get more people to these
conventions, but everybody will have more fun. Races will become “watchable”
spectator events. There will be more workshops, fun events, and time to

Ever notice how the Expert races never get any press? I can’t think of an
example of this ever happening, even when we have published the approximate
time for the 100m in advance. This is because the press comes to the track
and either snaps a few pictures of whoever’s racing at the moment, or gets
bored after a while and leaves. You would have to be related to one or more
riders to sit and watch unicycle racing all day.

So I believe it’s time to work for changes. The goal is to have a better
convention, that attracts more people, is more fun, and makes money instead
of losing it.

> and besides… it is not fair to have
> different wheel sizes on races (28" & 29").

Agreed. We would have to agree on, and specify the size.

> Of course, I don’t object adding open events if the organizers don’t
> mind (but I see it unlikely since we have been so tight in
> our schedules).

Tight is right! And adding more races is definitely not a solution. Though I
expect 700C will start as a demonstration event, my hope is that it will
replace most of the 24" races, and with less age groups, for an overall
result of less hours on the track and more hours doing stuff that more
people can participate in.

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John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
2002 NAUCC and UNICON Referee

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RE: Anybody want unicycle racing to get faster and more interesti

> I think so too. most Japanease unicyclist doesn’t like it.
> Maybe, many woman can’t ride 28,29 inch unicycle.
> People of Asia are smaller than Europeans and Americans.

This must be considered. Japan and China, for example, are major racing
countries. If riders there don’t have access to 700C unicycles, we may have
to wait. Or, we can set an example by introducing it at USA conventions.

> How does the danger accompanied by it cope with it? and
> If the chenge rules, How can we get 700C?

I think the danger level will be about the same. The speed will be higher,
but when crashes happen, I expect about the same types of injuries. Japanese
riders might want to consider wearing safety equipment at events other than
UNICON. If they do not, I cannot understand any worries about safety.

How to get 700C is the question. Before it can become the main racing wheel
size, it will have to be available to riders in Japan, China, and elsewhere.

I think perhaps if Miyata sees us racing on them, it will not take them too
long to make one. I also believe that most Japanese teenagers and adults
will not have a problem fitting on a 700C wheel, as long as the unicycle’s
frame is not too long. This should be easy to figure out based on the
average seat height on the Japanese racers of today.

Thank you for joining in, Kato-san.

Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
2002 NAUCC and UNICON Referee

Go to NAUCC and UNICON 2002!

This won’t affect me as I’m not going to be at the events mentioned, but… could I suggest a comparison with sailing?

In small boat sailing, they have (basically) 3 types of class (but many many classes):

  1. One Design’ where the boats have to be virtually identical. The comparison here might be a unicycle race with everyone on a standard Nimbus 24. Indeed, it would be easy for a small ‘fleet’ to be assembled, and the uni’s allocated to the competitors by lot.

  2. I don’t know the correct term, but ‘Open Class’, where almost anything goes. The boats might have spinnakers, bowsprits, aerodynamic masts etc. For unis, you could say, ‘Fine: race on a Coker, a 28, or a 24, but parts of the course will suit one size more than another.’ his would not be suitable for a flat closed oval track, though.

  3. Most usefully: formula classes, where there are limits on waterline length, sail area, width overall etc. For uni racing, you could say, ‘Wheel no larger than X; cranks no shorter than Y’ and allow people scope to modify and improve within those limits.

There are similar ideas in motorcycle (and car) racing. The formula idea is well known; motorcycles have one or two very strictly defined ‘one design’ classes, mainly for keen amateurs.

This approach would allow racing for a wide range of people, from novices or purists in the One Design, to real headbangers in the Open Class, to techie types in the Formula classes.

Jus’ an idea.

RE: Anybody want unicycle racing to get faster and more interesti

> Bring it on!
> John, any chance this is a ploy to set some new world records? :wink:

Of course a change like this will make for new records. The question is, who
will set them? Surely not someone of my advanced years?

> If we are going to continue towards Olympic glory I think we
> need to make technological advances as well.

Hmm. The Olympics is also a place where athleticism is what they want to
see, and not technical advantage. In other words, as long as we’re thinking
Olympics (which we are), we probably have to stick with some sort of

> If we can relate more to the bicycling industry, we will
> improve our chances of recognition and
> development of equipment.

I like the sound of that.

> A couple of my thoughts regarding potential rules:
> *eliminate crank length restrictions. If we’re weeding out the not so
> serious racers, those are the ones who wouldn’t take the time
> or effort to optimize their unicycles.

On the plus side of doing this, I’m sure we would find that different crank
lengths work better for different people. Plus, there are plenty of crank
sizes available now from places like, such as 89mm, 102mm,
110mm, 114mm, 125mm, etc.

The thing I like about a limit on crank size is that it keeps things fairly
simple. If we open up crank size, I think a lot of serious racers will be
changing crank size for nearly every race. Of course that’s up to them, but
it sounds messy…

> *I think we might even be able to eliminate the “roll out” for wheel
> diameter for the same reason, just as long as the wheel has a
> 700c size classification on the side…

I’ve thought of this for 24", but you never know when someone is going to
come along with some wacky tire that’s way bigger. Or if someone decides to
custom-make their own tires with the necessary information molded into the
sidewall. So I think we’re better off to stay with a number.

The way we did it with 24" racing was to look at all sorts of 24" tires,
measure them, and add a little bit. From this we ended up with 24.333
inches, or 61.8 cm. So far this has worked without any problems, including a
racing tire used by Michael Kirsch at UNICON VIII that was marked 26", but
was just under 61.8 cm in diameter. This tire was legal under our rules.

For 700C we will have to do similar research based on tires available around
the world, and find out the diameter we think should be the maximum. Then,
as an improvement on our existing rules, we will offer a maximum
circumference dimension along with diameters. This is to ease in actual
measuring. Ever try to measure the height of an assembled unicycle wheel?
It’s so wide, you can’t really be accurate unless you build a jig to do it
in. Instead, I’d like to have a flexible tape measure that can be wrapped
around the tire for an exact measurement.

> Or it might be nice to restrict people to the narrow, high
> pressure, high performance wheels that are found on the
> cycles used in the Tour de France.

I don’t think I’m ready for the price tag on that kind of hardware. We can
pretend, but we’re not professional racers, and we don’t have sponsors to
pay for stuff! :slight_smile:

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John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
2002 NAUCC and UNICON Referee

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RE: Anybody want unicycle racing to get faster and more interesti

> One thing to consider is that it is more difficult to fly with a 700c
> unicycle than a nice compact 24" unicycle. Could be an issue
> for some,
> especially if you need to bring a 20 for freestyle, a 24 for wheel
> walking races, a 700c for track, a muni, and a novelty uni. That’s a
> lot of baggage.

I already have that problem. Good point, but I don’t think we should let
travel problems determine what size wheel we race on. Apparently you can fly
with a Coker, though I don’t look forward to doing it someday… :slight_smile:


RE: Anybody want unicycle racing to get faster and more interesti

> A decent rider on a Coker will beat the best rider on a 24" in a speed
> race every time.

Definitely, as long as the course is relatively straight and not the IUF
Obstacle Course :slight_smile:

> Two riders of equal ability on a 28" vs. a 29", who do
> you think will win?

Assuming two truly equal riders, clearly the rider on the 29". But what is
your point? Everybody knows bigger wheels are faster. My question is how big
should that wheel be, for the practicalities of racing (on an athletics

> Technological advancement has destroyed tennis and is in the
> process of destroying golf.

Destroyed how? They still look about the same to me. In other words, in what
way has technology been “bad?”

> We shouldn’t be Luddites and deny all advances, but
> neither should we expect everyone to buy a uni.5 just because
> they want to compete in speed races.

So you recommend …?

Thanks for responding,
Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
2002 NAUCC and UNICON Referee

Go to NAUCC and UNICON 2002!

RE: Anybody want unicycle racing to get faster and more interesti

> Any off the shelf part available anywhere in the world, is available
> anywhere else on the world, given a sufficient supply,
> willing shipping company and enough money to ship, pay for customs,
> pay for currency exchange and other fees. In other words, we must
> not get too concerned with what is locally available at reasonable
> prices everywhere around the world, otherwise we will be mired down
> by detailed lists of what can and can not be used.

This sounds good. But at least something should be relatively easily
available in all the major racing countries. In other words, apparently
there is no such thing as a 700C unicycle in Japan or China. These are
countries which are not likely to do large amounts of importing (especially
China). Though on the other hand, I’m sure the cycles will become available
within those countries if we decide to go ahead with 700C racing. This is
why it may take a few years to fully make the conversion.

> In my opinion, there should not be any limits on unicycle design and
> contruction of unicycles used in most competitions.

Someday we may get to that, but I don’t think we’re ready for it in the
immediate future. For now I like to think of it (track) as a contest of
athletes and not of their machines.

> Since, the rider is the engine, the rider will be
> the overwhelming factor in any best combination
> of unicycle and rider.

Definitely. But unicycling is still an easy-access sport, where you can show
up and participate without having to hand-make or customize your cycle. I
wouldn’t want to suddenly cut people off from this idea. We probably have to
approach this change one step at a time.

However the problem with one step at a time is adding races to an
already-packed schedule. I would not want to recommend adding without taking
some away. Hopefully we can address that problem at the same time.

> Currently, riders with long legs may have an
> advantage, since their optimal crank length is legal,
> while shorter rider’s optimal crank length is may not
> be legal, because it may be less than 5" (127mm).

The rider-height argument has been brought up many times over the years.
However I never see height classifications in regular athletics. Short
runners compete with tall runners, even though they have a clear
disadvantage. Therefore I don’t subscribe to the argument of rider size as a
reason to use different crank lengths. We divide riders by sex and age
(except for Experts/finalists), but I do not intend to divide us by size,
weight or any other factors.

On the other hand, if we’re introducing a new wheel size, it may be possible
to change the minimum crank arm length to something that allows wider
flexibility. In other words, if we set the minimum at 89mm (the shortest
size non-youth crank I’m aware of in the unicycling world), I think nearly
everybody will be happy. We will still have a limit, people will have
relatively easy access to those real-short cranks, and they can race on
unicycles that are really hard to stop if they want!

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John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
2002 NAUCC and UNICON Referee

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RE: Anybody want unicycle racing to get faster and more interesti

> Generally I support your opinion. But I would like to talk about
> the exact wheel size and not about the rim size.

I do not propose changing the way we define wheel size, just the dimension.
Currently we measure the outside diameter of the tire. The idea is to move
to the wheel/tire size of road bikes, and to figure out where to set that
size limitation.

> But in the rest of the world the number of Unicyclists is not
> that high and so we have not special good Unicycling tires
> also because theres no chance to get the tires from Japan!

This reminds us that just because a good product is available in one part of
the world, for export, doesn’t mean people can get it. Miyata seats in the
USA used to be another good example. Sure they sold them here, but the next
shipment might not be for six months, or more, even though there weren’t any
available in the whole country! This used to be the story…

> John, track races with this wheel size works very well!
> But I can imagine that people wich always used 24" have
> little problems to ride the curve with a 26" or 28"
> because in Switzerland we have some great 26" (comparable
> to 28" with little tire) racers wich just did not get
> how to ride on a 24" wheel. And most of the problems they
> have in the curve with the 24" wheel!!! And with the
> 26" they just ride the curve perfect!

Sounds like they didn’t practice for the 24" races. Yes, I have ridden
different sized wheels around a track, and my experience with big wheels
(36" or more) made it clear to me that the speeds and lane sizes are not
appropriate for such large wheels.

> But never, really never somebody hitted with the head on
> the ground. A helmet is for nothing because you fall to
> the front if you fall.

A helmet is for that one time in your life when you might need it. Exact
same reason as wearing a seatbelt in a car (except in a car it is likely to
happen more than once in a lifetime). Your brain is the only body part that
doesn’t heal. You can still function with a damaged arm or leg, but not with
a damaged brain.

For example, one of the tracks we raced on in the past had a concrete curb
on the inside lane. All somebody had to do was to fall in the right place,
and maybe tangle with another rider, or roll, or stumble and fall, and a
head could have hit it nice and hard.

But we don’t have a helmet rule in the IUF, except for a few events (listed
below). However please note: All riding at the Summit Hiking and Biking
Center (MUni and Trials) at UNICON 11 will require helmets. This is their
rule, not ours, and you don’t have a choice. They will have some helmets for
rent, but I’m not sure if it’s enough for everybody. If you have a helmet,
bring it along.

The IUF rulebook requires helmets for the following events, all of which are
optional events:

  • Fast backward
  • Downhill Coasting and Gliding
  • Unlimited races (on track or off)

I also highly recommend helmets, if not for racing in general (I wear mine),
for High Jump, Long Jump, Trials, and anything else off road.

Marc went on to describe the common ways a rider dismounts when riding fast,
and the unlikelihood of head injury. This is true, our years of experience
show how unlikely it is. However when multiple racers are close together and
going at maximum effort, anything can happen. It can also happen when
they’re not. The reason to wear a helmet, if you choose to do so, is
obvious. As is the reason to require them, at a place such as the Summit
Hiking and Biking Center.

I wear mine for a second reason as well: to protect my increasingly balding
head from sunburn!

> When I fall on the 26" in Full speed I always have to do
> a gymnastic roll for not to risk an injury. To use even
> shorter cranks would be dam critical and very risky.
> Then you can not run if you fall down and I don’t think
> there are many other unicyclists wich learned to fall
> down as good as I had to.

So you’re good at falling, eh? :slight_smile:

Just kidding. Being good at falling is one of the best skills you can have
if you’re pushing your limits or learning new things. Kris Holm falls like a
cat. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be able to survive his local riding
environment. But thanks for describing what we’re getting into as we race
faster. Shorter cranks on bigger wheels definitely reduces control, and will
increase the incidence of crashes.

Obviously, if you are rolling more, it increases the risk of a head injury
as well.

> But realistic we have do it more spectacular but not
> silly risky.

I like your wording. My point exactly.

> I agree with Dustin that all the Japanese can ride
> the 66.8cm wheel.

Where did you get the 66.8 cm size? Is this from measuring tires? If so, how
many did you measure? Someone needs to go to a bike shop and measue a bunch
of different wheels…

> A solution could be still to do 24" races for the
> young people? 20" from 0-10, 24" from 11-12 Years.
> and a category 28" 0-14 Years? Then people can choose.

Yes, I would stick with something similar to what we have now, and maybe for
the years of transition have fewer age groups, but with a choice of 24" or
28"/700C for all adult ages.

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John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
2002 NAUCC and UNICON Referee

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RE: Anybody want unicycle racing to get faster and more interesti

> I recommend keeping the 24" race around, for backwards
> comparisons as well as so everyone doesn’t have to run
> out and buy the Big Bertha unicycle to be able to compete.

Thank you. I understand your arguments.

> A larger-wheel race should probably start with a
> fairly strict definition of an acceptable unicycle. An
> “unlimited class” is probably not that interesting.

When we race unlimited these days, it’s always fun. People bring what they
can, but because it’s only one race (per convention) and not considered real
important (not counted for overall points or anything), I don’t think many
riders actually build or prepare cycles for these events.

But those are mostly road races, in my experience. I have also competed in
one or more unlimited 100 meter races on the track. These are interesting as
well, because you never know if the big wheel will beat the 26" or what. I
think the winner of the one of these that I can remember was on a 26" wheel.
I was on a 28" and did not win. Obviously the goal in that race is pure
sprinting speed. In a road race, the ride itself is more of an “experience,”
even if this is only because it takes so much longer. It’s hard to compare
it to a sprint race.

I agree with Tom’s idea in that I’d rather not let the hardware define the
sport. If we have unlimited everything, every time a bigger tire, shorter
pair of cranks, or similar product comes on the market, the serious racers
will have to buy it to stay competitive. So for the main races, I think that
for my own opinion, we should continue to have wheel size and crank length
limits. We still have our unlimited road race and any MUni events for
wide-open experimentation.

Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
2002 NAUCC and UNICON Referee

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RE: Anybody want unicycle racing to get faster and more interesti

> I’ve been racing now for more than 10 years with big wheels
> around the track. But yes never with a 36". But I don’t
> talk about 36"!

All my talk of problems with lane size and turns was in relation to big
wheels. A big wheel is something larger than a normal bicycle wheel.

> spectacular events for the public. That means for example:
> 28" for the “experts” and 24" for the fun people.

This might work, but you need a way to separate those two groups. Do we just
believe what people say when they show up? We need some kind of evidence to
prove the experts are worthy of those events. Or possibly limits on the
number of competitors from each country, but I don’t think our sport is
ready for that yet. You might have 10 experts from Switzerland and only 1
from Zambia, but if only 5 competitors are allowed, 5 Swiss experts have to
watch 4 Zambian beginners on the track. Do you have an idea for dividing the
riders? One idea, for starters, is a higher registration fee for those
events. It will help pay for the awards.

Holding preliminary races is a possibility, but not with our current full

> But I don’t see to do all this races for the untrained people.
> We could just do a 400m or something for the 24"
> and then we have more time and more tight events.

This is the idea I would like to work on. I think of the people who race at
our conventions in three basic categories:

  1. Casual racers - The majority of riders on the track are having fun, have
    a degree of skill, and may have practiced some. But they don’t take it real
  2. Serious racers - These people have practiced, timed themselves, and
    worked hard to be competitive in the races
  3. Beginners - These people want to participate, but have never tried the
    event before, or barely have the skills to complete it

Groups 2 and 3 probably have about an equal number of participants, making
up less than 25% of the total. I think there are very few actual serious
racers out there, and that we devote a disproportionate amount of time at
our conventions to racing.

Racing is fun, but I think a lot of people wouldn’t mind not doing it, IF
. Since the schedule is so filled
up with competition events, there’s nothing else going on. The hosts have to
worry so much about getting all the competition events to work, and fit the
schedule, they often have no time or energy left to worry about other

Plus, what bothers me the most about this (especially at USA conventions
where there are even more age groups), is that when the expert events
finally come around, they just seem to blend in with all the age group races
of slow and casual riders. They get neither the attention, nor the care in
running those events, that they deserve.

So I believe we should always have some events for everybody, with multiple
age groups and all. But not all of them! Do we really need a Walk the
Wheel race for 0-6 year olds? When the one entrant in that race crosses the
finish line, she’s the champion of what?

This is the area I’d like to work on. I think there’s potential there to
transform our conventions into something much more desirable for
non-competition-oriented people to go to. Maybe we need to start out with a
survey of riders, to see which races they like the best, and which ones they
don’t care about…

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John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
2002 NAUCC and UNICON Referee

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RE: Anybody want unicycle racing to get faster and more interesti

Jack Halpern wrote:

> Before doing suchg a survey, I wonder if someone can suggest
> criteria. Do you only count “active unicyclists”? What is
> “active”? Should we also count “closet
> unicyclists”? How do you define “closet”?

These are good questions. My most common “unanswerable” question when
talking to the press, which I do a lot, is “How many unicyclists, or
mountain unicyclists, are there?” This question can’t be answered accurately
because it depends on the level of activity the person is expecting, on top
of numbers of riders that we don’t know.

We can look at unicycle sales, membership in unicycling organizations, and
word of mouth. But none of these things tells us exactly how many people are
riding in the way we intend.

In Japan, my experience with school unicycling was my visit to a school in
1987. This was one of Japan’s earliest adopters of unicycles, and there were
about 50 of them on racks in the school yard. They were treated as
playground equipment by the kids coming out for recess. Lots of kids clearly
could ride them, others were learning. But other kids were on the swings and
other equipment. It might be hard, even in a school, to know how many
unicyclists you have.

Any survey that is done to find out these numbers, should try to address all
angles. It should include questions such as:

  • Can you ride a unicycle more than 5 meters?
  • If no, could you in the past?
  • When was the last time you rode a unicycle (multiple choice)?
  • How often do you ride a unicycle (multiple choice)?
  • What types of unicycle activities do you do (list)?
  • What year did you learn to ride?
  • Where/how did you learn to ride (multiple choice)?
  • Why to you ride a unicycle?
  • If you no longer ride, why did you stop?

Have fun with this, I wish we could do one everywhere!

Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone <>

“This unicycle is made all from lightweight materials. But it uses a lot of
them.” – Cliff Cordy, describing a very heavy new prototype unicycle he
brought on the Downieville Downhill