Searching for a cross country unicyclist from 1978

I am hoping you can contact me with an unicyclist I met in Baker, Oregon
back in 1978. I was riding cross country with a friend east to west on
bicycles and met a unicyclist riding west to east. The date would have
been late July/early August of 1978. He was riding a custom Jim Merz

Thanks for your help,

Keith Andrews
Batavia, New York

I don’t think it was me as I was busy being born that month :stuck_out_tongue:

Good luck with your search, it would be fantastic if it was Unicyclist on here :slight_smile:

Sorry, not me. I spent most of that summer hanging out at the youth club and going to rock and roll clubs and heavy metal discos in Nottingham, UK. Oh, and not doing any school work. Good luck, though.:slight_smile:

Keith, I live in Rochester. Do you ride?

This thread might interest you:

Wally Watts, a Canadian unicyclist, traveled the world on a unicycle in the late 1970s. He crossed the United States heading west to east in 1978. His journey was chronicled in a number of issues of the Newsletter of the Unicycling Society of America. Unfortunately it is sketchy on details regarding his itinerary.

What I can say is that he arrived in New York City on or about October 8, 1978. His plan was to set off for New York from Los Angeles. Nothing I have found indicates that that’s where he did set off from. And I don’t know what if he did that would mean in terms of passing through Baker, Oregon. He was riding a 43" unicycle with a solid rubber tire that he himself it is reported to have constructed.

probably not your guy, but it made me think of this early pioneer crossing america on a 24" uni with a very innovative handle/load carrier set-up


THAT IS SWEET, i want a unicycle like that

There was a online account of his journey- don’t know if it’s still up.

It was years ago when I read it, but I recall a lot of it was about pain :slight_smile:

It really sounded like a brutal trip, and, of course, this was in the days before cokers/big wheels, muni tyres atc.

So he was essentially riding a 24" freestyle uni across a continent, totally self-supported (hence the elaborate unusual handle/load carrying setup).

Keith, Do you know where the guy was from.

I had no idea who Jim Merz was, but websearch finds he’s a frame builder.

There is a facebook page for a James Merz from Portland, OR, have you tried to message him?:

Cross country unicyclist

Thanks to all who have replied. Although I have never met Jim Merz
in person, I did own a Merz custom touring bike. I have been in contact
with Jim … in fact, that is the reason I am trying to find this cyclist.
I also recall reading an article somewhere on the net, but cannot find
this article now.

If anyone does hit on some additional information … please reply to
this post … and again, thank you!!

Could it be David Berman?

I’m sorry to find this is from his 2009 obituary:
“In 1978 he rode across the United States on a unicycle”

for posterity:

A poor quality picture and caption in the Lodi News-Sentinal newspaper.

Also from the Lodi News-Sentinal.




This is not my unicyclist … but

This is not the same unicyclist I am looking for, but it is very interesting
to see yet another person riding cross country that same year. The
individual I am looking for rode from west to east, not east to west.
This gentleman also was traveling farther south. Wouldn’t you love
to see two guys riding cross country on unicycles in opposite directions
cross paths some where in Kansas!

Like the famous passing in the african jungle of Stanley & Livingstone. :smiley:

Keith, Did you see JJuggle’s suggestion of Wally Watts?
He seems like another good candidate.

Here’s a pic I got from here.

1973-05-26 Wally Watts.jpg