Rude kid, do I misunderstand?

So I’m at the 1/2way point on last night’s ride. I’m passing a skateboard park and a kid yells “Hey, can you do a wheelie?”

So I says “I’ve been doing a wheelie for the past 4 miles”

So he says “No man… You suck!” (overflexing his little 12 yr old brain for a clever response.)

So his buddy says “Hey man, he’s just being an *sshole!”

So I says “believe me, that comes across”

My question to the youngsters on the forum: Do we mean the same thing? When I was a boy, a “wheelie” was riding along on one wheel. Maybe he wanted me to bunnyhop or 360…

How do you “do a wheelie” on a unicycle?

Sounds like he was just being a retard to me and then couldn’t get his pee brain to think as fast as his mouth :slight_smile:

Re: Rude kid, do I misunderstand?

Interesting question. Does a wheelie mean one wheel on the ground or one wheel in the air?

Next time do a gracefull dismount to the rear, keeping as much forward momentum as possible. Keep the wheel spinning and hold the uni up in the air in front of you to simulate the front wheel and run as fast as you can. After about 30 feet do a flying jump mount back onto the uni. Ride away like nothing happened.

Wasn’t it Zach who did this at UNICON? JF may have some tips for wheelies on a 12" uni.

Repetitive comments from onlookers

He probably thought he had asked you something you can’t do. On a bicycle a wheelie is where you lift up the front wheel and ride on the back wheel. Since a unicycle has no front wheel it would be difficult or impossible to pop a wheelie. I get that comment from time to time. Usually I reply with a slack answer like “nah”. Sometimes I perform something different from what was requested like some one footing or a 360° spin. I am not very talented and one footed riding is about the best trick I know. After reading the huge amount of unicycles owned by people in the “How many unicycles have you got?” thread, I thought of a new answer for “where is the other wheel”. It is not particularly witty or clever, but since people often ask it not expecting an answer (some may think they are the first person to ask you and expect you to be stumped by the question) - you could say “It is at home with my other unicycles”. On a website I looked at ages ago (maybe, there is a list of all sorts of silly replies for “Where is the other wheel” or “You lost half your bike”. Two of my favourites from there are “It will be along in a minute”, and “I don’t need a trainer wheel any more”. To answer your question I don’t think a unicycle wheelie is possible. I looked up Wheelie in the dictionary :
A stunt in which the front wheel or wheels of a vehicle, such as a bicycle or motorcycle, are raised so that the vehicle is balanced momentarily on its rear wheel or wheels.

Since I came back home from university, I’ve been riding around my neighborhood. In general, the kids are awesome. I’m not that good (I can ride, stop and bunny hop), but they think it’s great. I always let them try, and when they realize they can’t do it, they think I’m even better.

The one negative youth response came when some punk on a skateboard yelled, “Hey, look at that moron!”. I turned, smiled, shrugged and rode on. He then yelled, “I was only joking! I think it was really cool!”

I decided to ignore him to let him bask in his own guilt if he felt any.

There is a guy that’ll ride by my driveway and always yell, “don’t fall.”
I don’t really get it, I mean afterall the whole idea is not to. :slight_smile:

I always get that ‘hey, do a wheelie’ line…when I say ‘good one, buddy’, they usually think they are being real clever by saying ‘do a bunny hop’ … I dont think they realise how easy it is, and when I bounce up and down for them they usually get very excited and I leave them with a smile on their face.

today I dropped off a park bench…they were amazed.

When I let them have a go - they are even more amazed. I suppose its odd to find something you can’t do, even a little bit, straight away (something like rollerblading, skateboarding, waterskiing, bodyboarding…) the first time people uni, they usually fall off within half a revolution, which makes it seem even more amazing to them.

If he ever fails to do so, fall off, then admonish him for not reminding you… :slight_smile:


I get the wheelie request quite often during parades. Focusing on the “pulling a wheel off the ground” part of their thoughts, I do a couple hops which usually elicits shouts of “Cool” and other teenage verbage and satisfies their curiosity, especially when they don’t know what to expect.


Re: Rude kid, do I misunderstand?

and the conversation was going so well untill that point

your very correct response must’ve thrown him so much that he felt he had to resort to confrontational behaviour to save himself from losing face
kinda sad when that happens
i normally respond to the ‘do a wheelie’ comment by doing a couple of bunny hops and then riding off
if i could do the running mount, i’d go with unibrier’s suggestion
that will look so kewl

i see the ‘do a wheelie’ comment as one of the ‘better’ ones of the repetitive set
to me it indicates someone who’s realised that u r doing something extraordinary and in a (normally playfull) attempt to ‘level the playingfield’ asks u to do something they imagine must be impossible given the design of your machine
by lateraly circumventing this imagined ‘drawback’ (by hopping, with a big smile on your face)
u can, (as playfully) ‘put them in their place’ and go about your bussiness

i have to go now
i think i’ve run out of ’ ’ ’ 's

OK, so that would equate to my old version of “Pop a Wheelie”

In order to “Ride a Wheelie” the unicyclist must levitate and hover down the street. (USA Level 17)

been done

“Let’s see you do a wheelie,” is a fairly common response, mainly from kids. I see it as a definite stage UP from 'where’s your other wheel?

A bit of psychology/anthropology:

Everyone wants to be noticed. They want to be acknowledged. They want their position in the social order to be confirmed or reinforced - even if that position is as an outsider. People like to know where they stand.

Many (most?) people have little to pick them out of the herd as individuals. They do nothing unusual or creative. Therefore they identify themselves as “a Man U. fan”, or “a rate payer”, or, “a mother of three”, or “an unemployed bricklayer”, or whatever.

By way of contrast, I identify myself as Mike Wilkinson. I unicycle, I Morris dance, I fence, I settle insurance claims, but I only refer to myself as a unicyclist, Morris dancer, fencer, insurance assessor when it is relevant. It is something I do, not something I am. I suspect most of the people in this forum would tend to my approach rather than the other approach.

So you come along on your unicycle. You are unusual. You present a bit of a challenge to the other person’s understanding of the social order. They have to react. They can react by:

(1) Ignoring you. Pretending you’re not there. Stare straight ahead. This ‘non-reaction’ IS a reaction because it is NOT natural to ignore the unusual. This confirms the social order and their place in it by simply denying an anomaly in the social order!

(2) Expressing an opinion. This confirms the person’s position in the social order as they see it. Some people do nothing but have opinions, so all they are is the sum of their opinions. We’ve all met 'em. “As a rate payer of 50 years…”, “Well, I’m a Yorkshireman/Texan, and…” and so on.

(3) Fitting YOU into the social order.

(4) Competing. They see you as a threat or challenge. They try to establish themselves as equal or superior to you.

(5) This list is not exhaustive.

The inane and predictable comments we get mainly fall into categories (2), (3) and (4).

Now: let’s take a category (2) reaction - an expression of opinion:
“That’s good!”
“Well done!”
“How childish!”
“That looks difficult.”
“How dangerous!”
“You shouldn’t be doing that here!”
“Haaahaaahaaaahaaa” (exaggerated laughter)

Some of these are pleasant. Some are hostile. Some are articulate. Some are not. The comments mirror the personalities and intellects of the people who make them. But all of the comments do one thing: they express an opinion, and by doing so, they help the person commentating to establish/reinforce his or her identity and place in the scheme of things. They are saying (not in the same order):
“I am a nice and liberal minded person with a sense of humour.”
“I am a cool type of guy who talks to unicyclists.”
“I am qualified to appreciate the difficulty and skill involved, so I share in the understanding of it.”
“I don’t need to show off like that. I’m cool.”
“I’m a grown up who deprecates childish behaviour.”
And so on.

Now category (3) Fitting YOU into the social order.

Some people have no strong feeling of self-identity, but they do know where they fit in the social order. To confirm their own validity, as an individual, they need to confirm the social order. So perhaps they say:
“He’s a clown.” (All unicyclists are clowns. Well known fact!)
“He’s a nutter.” (Anyone who does unusual things is a danger to social stability.)

And a variant of (3) is the person who doesn’t have to CONFIRM the social order or fit you into it, but they have to satisfy themselves as to how/why you don’t conform. It’s a bit like those puzzles with two pictures. Can you find 10 differences? It’s hardly an intellectual challenge, but some people can’t help but find all 10.

These people see the unicyclist and think:
“That’s different… what’s different?.. Ah… only one wheel… usually two, but this time only one… got it!” And they triumphantly announce their success to the world.
“You’ve only got one wheel!”

The “only one wheel” comments, however, usually overlap into category (4): competing with you.

These people think:
“That’s unusual… what’s different?.. aha! only one wheel… usually two… that’s a bit clever… I’m the comedian round here… better say something…” Then they say:
“Do you know someone’s stolen your front wheel?”

Look at this carefully. It’s a step up from pointing out that there is only one wheel. They have moved on to propose a humorous explanation. They have established themselves as a bit of an extrovert, LIKE YOU.

If this is done pleasantly, they are really only competing to the extent that they are staking a claim to sharing your territory. You are a bit of a character, but so are they.

If it is done nastily (same words, different emphasis) then they are competing aggressively. They can’t climb up very high, but they can climb so far, then pull you down. This type of person makes his (it is usually a male) comment for public consumption, rather than addressing it to the unicyclist.

And the wheelie comments? I’d say they fall into the ‘competing’ category, but they are a level more sophisticated than “someone’s nicked your other wheel.”

“Someone’s nicked your other wheel,” says, “I’ve noticed you only have one wheel; I’ve noticed it’s unusual; I’m marking my territory by humorously/aggressively suggesting an explanation for why you only have one wheel.”

“Let’s see you do a wheelie!” means, “I’ve noticed you only have one wheel; I have considered the implications of this; I have made a comparison with the more conventional situation of a cycle with two wheels; I have worked out that you could not do a wheelie; the idea of doing a wheelie on a one wheeled machine is absurd; I will mark my territory by pointing this out humorously/aggressively.”

Gosh, sometimes I bore even myself.


makes way to much sense to be boring

besides, if u can memorise mike’s post and recite it to yourself everytime u feel like smacking some idiot who makes some daft comment, u’ll do a lot for the image of unicycling

You need to write a book !!!


When confronted with the wheelie request, I usually say “It is a wheelie.” Sometimes I will humor them with a bunny hop (which saves them from asking me to do one). This thread has made me think up a slightly more sophisticated answer: “This is my back wheel.”

My brother and I did the hover thing in 1980 or 81, with a super-8 camera and its animation feature. I hopped down the street, while my brother clicked the single-frame button each time I was in the air. Result–a flying unicycle! More of a hover unicycle, as I was only a few inches off the ground.

I think it was 1980 because I was still riding a Schwinn.

“hey it’s that unicycle guy”
“hey he lost a wheel”
“hey do a wheelie!!”
“is that hard?”

“nice. that’s a mountain biking unicycle”
… (what?)

that last one caught me off guard. i was getting the other responses too often. then this guy comes along and actually says something intelligible? i was too weirded out to say something intelligible as well… so i said,“definitely.” i still don’t know why i said it.

‘Youve lost a wheel!’

‘OH MY GOD! YOU’RE RIGHT! i HAVE TOO’ - the proceed to fall off dramatically.

Re: Rude kid, do I misunderstand?

On Fri, 9 May 2003 14:19:22 -0500, nosabe332
<> wrote:

>“that’s a mountain biking unicycle”

A few weeks ago I heard one kid saying exactly (well… in Dutch) that
to his mate when I passed them.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

"A walla-walla scene is one where extras pretend to be talking in the background – when they say ““walla-walla”” it looks like they are actually talking. "

I quite often carry my impossible wheel while unicycling to our weekly rides. Then I never get a “Where’s your other wheel?”

It’s tiring though after lap after lap of a 24hr course. I’ve said it before, but whenever I passed this one little camp, they’d ask me to do a ‘bunny hop’ and gave a big cheer when I did. By the end I was only hopping about 10cm high. :slight_smile: