RTL: How I started unicycling. Steve Relles, Team Personal Rollercoaster

ā€œI left college in 1984 with a degree in math and a lifetime passion for Ultimate, a fast team sport using a flying disc. I programmed computers and sprinkled in some ski-bumming, and, in 1990, I met an Ultimate player named Rose. We got married, traveled (including in Nova Scotia), kept playing disc, and had two children. In a big tourney in Oct. 2003, I blew out my ACL (r. knee) in what I thought were my invulnerable knees. I had surgery to repair it, but recovery was so traumatic that I thought Iā€™d never walk again, let alone play Ultimate, which had been my athletic identity. It truly led to a mid-life crisis and I was extremely depressed.ā€

Personal Rollercoaster, winter qualifying for RTL.

" To try something new, in July 2004, I bought my first unicycle and taught myself to ride. It was so much fun it replaced Ultimate as my main athletic interest and also brought my leg muscles and knee back to their original strength. Now I unicycle in off-road bike races and various mountain climb events. I mountain unicycle (muni) a few times per week and do longer road rides on my 36ā€ wheel when I have the time. I still play Ultimate, but not when it cuts into my unicycling."

Team Personal Rollercoaster (l-r) Vince LaMay, Roland Kays, Steve Relles, (support)Howard Relles.
In the Time Trials, on Day 3, Steve finished 52nd, Roland 11th, and Vince, 6th. Personal Rollercoaster finished RTL in 4th place, one hour, eleven minutes and fifty seconds behind the winning team. Roland Kays, about how he started unicycling: " I started riding the uni two years ago (2006) when my friend Steve loaned me his after extolling how FUN it was. It looked like good exercise, although I was dubious about the fun part. Turns out he was right. The most fun comes from improving; I learn something new every ride. The exercise bit is true, too. This keeps me in shape for my day-job as field biologist and curator of mammals at the New York State Museum."

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