Re: Will mass appeal wreck unicycling? (was:Anyone Tried to get a good Unicyc…
— brokenframe <email@example.com> wrote:
> i dont understand, inst the US, one big comercially ownned country? this
> is the part of me that is ignorent, and not knowing of everything, but
> you say that the “usa is not a buiness, and not run by people looking to
> make it grow and be successful” well what about George Bush Jr. like
> the US, is the most powerful country in teh world…
Umm, the President of the “USA” is John Foss, just to make things clear. =)
Seriously, this is a really interesting string.
— ChxWitBrix@aol.com wrote:
> If go mainstreem it must, we
> should at least tread very very carfuly while we still have the control. Be
> very very carful about where exactly the publicity is placed and who its
> aimed at.
I could not agree more with this. Growth inevitably brings problems as well as benefits. Here
are a couple of thoughts:
Media: This is a difficult one because ultimately it is impossible to control. I’ve done a
lot of interviews and my general strategy has been, where possible, to place the unicycling in a
broader context that relates it to issues everyone can understand, like how it’s really good for
learning focus and determination, or that it’s great cross-training for other sports, or that it
provides an opportunity to visit cool places I’d never otherwise have gone. This may not come
across word-for-word in the resulting article, but it establishes a rapport with the journalist,
and increases how seriously they treat the topic.
Directing the growth of the sport.
This is VERY important, because some sports have been really screwed up by growth. I personally
have some big criticisms about how snowboarding and mountainbiking have grown, for example, where
issues such as sponsorship and $$ have permeated most aspects of sports that were way more
appealing when they were more grassroots. Often you meet people in these sports who’s primary
goal is to “get sponsored”, as opposed to doing the sport simply because they like it.
That said, it is VERY important that we look outside our sport to learn how other sports grow and
try to avoid the mistakes that have been made. I still think that Climbing is a really good model
for this because it has a long history with strong roots in individualism, where adventurous,
sometimes eccentric people just like to do their own thing- kind of like unicycling. You said:
…Rock climbing (being a rock climber personaly) I feel has totaly lost the appeal
> unicycling currently has. And I feel that it is because of its popularity.
> It is true that it does not have the celebrity aspect of other mainstream
> sports, which helps a little for the “your just another climber” appeal, but
> it doesnt have the community and the uniqueness appeal anymore.
What has happened in climbing is that as it’s grown, its diversity has increased. People get into
it for different reasons, from urbanites who use a climbing gym like they would a weights gym, to
people whose motivation is for pure adventure in remote wilderness. There is still a strong
community- it’s just more diversified. Amongst this diversity, the people with the strongest
connection to the grassroots part of the sport (and in my opinion the people who have retain the
most important aspects of it) are:
a) people who know and respect the history of the sport.
b) people with a strong connection to adventure and the environment. This is often lost by
people, for example, who climb exclusively in a gym or at sport crags.
c) people who pursue the sport primarily for personal reasons, not competition.
In the last point ©, often these are people who climb at a very high level but do not compete.
One of the best things about climbing, and one of the most important models of this sport to
unicycling, in my opinion, is that both competetive and non-competetive aspects of the sport are
equally respected, even at the most elite skill levels. This is not anti-competetive- it’s just a
refreshing change from most sports that hold competition as the exclusive pinnacle to strive
In unicycling, I think we will grow in a healthy way and continue to be “grassroots” if the above
points stay strong parts of the sport.
> In a message dated 6/20/02 11:55:27 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> > OK but I don’t personally think that will be a problem. Two examples within
> > other sports:
> > 1)Telemark skiing- a harder free-heeled version of skiing that somewhat
> > similar relations to
> > Alpine skiing as unicycling compares to bikiing. This sport has roots in
> > the historic origins of
> > skiing, but as recently as 10 years ago the equipment was incredibly
> > primitive compared to Alpine
> > skiing due to lack of popularity. A large increase in popularity over the
> > past 10 years has led
> > to better equipment but the sport still has not lost its grassroots appeal.
> > I telemark ski, and
> > when I run into other (still relatively rare) telemarkers a a ski resort,
> > there’s always a
> > camraderie there that was lost to Alpine skiing back in the 70’s.
> > 2) Rock climbing. Rock climbing used to be “alternative”. Now it’s
> > relatively mainstream and
> > definately considered “fashionable”. But with the arguable exception of
> > some sport-climbing
> > circles, there is still a grassroots appeal to this sport that has never
> > been lost- no matter how
> > good you get your just another person hanging out at the cliff with your
> > friends.
> Trevor andersen
> Trevor andersen
Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! - Official partner of 2002 FIFA World Cup