searching for a unicyclists paradise

Hello, I’m the guy who tried to organize the trials competition in quebec that never generated enough interest to pull off :slight_smile:

I am totally into unicycling and have been accepted to circus school, but as it turns out, I am the only unicyclist there. Kind of depressing. That is, many people can unicycle, but I`m the only one who wants to specialize in it. I am wondering where I should go where people practice unicycling 5 days a week at least 3 hours a day and where group freestyle is practiced regularly? So far the twin cities unicycle club seems to be the place to be… is there anything else? circus schools specializing in unicycling… circuses with a strong unicycling component?

Mike :slight_smile:

I believe the Twin Cities Unicycle Club ( is the place to be! We have practices usually 3-5 times a week, plus parades, weekly MUni rides, street rides, hocky once or twice a week, group practices once a week, etc.

Yup, TCUC is way ahead of anything else in the US or Canada for high quantity and high level technical unicycling. I’m not even sure what comes close. What TCUC may lack from your perspective, and what they could greatly benefit from, is more experience from an “entertainment” or “theatrical” point of view.

Don’t get me wrong, TCUC have done uncounted hundreds of shows as a group, and individual riders and smaller groups may have even equaled that. Plus they can boast a long list of national and world champions. But the emphasis there has usually been on “doing a unicycle show” and does not necessarily address some of the aspects that can elevate a good performance to a great one.

In other words, a seasoned TCUC rider could still learn a lot at a professional circus school. Probably not any additional unicycling skills, but more about how to present them. Intros, outtros, building an act, etc. So maybe what you need is some time in an intense unicycling environment, like TCUC, followed by a return to a place where you can develop and polish a professional act to perfection.

The world needs more high-end unicycle performers out there! There are very few who specialize in unicycling, and for each one it can help to dispell more of the whole “clown thing.” Uh, unless you want to do comedy, which is great as well.

Ironically, what you said (john) about the tcuc not putting emphasis on the theatrics and presentation is actually a major point in favor of them from my point of view. I have a lot of abilities under my belt, way more than anybody else here in quebec, but I still don’t see how I could put them together into an act that I would consider beautiful. To put some perspective on things, I recently saw a video of nomad, a performance of cirque eloise which had in it what was apparently a very high quality performance. It encorporated many abilities that I have and many that I do not yet, and clearly a lot of time and effort had been put into it. It was very artistic and fine tuned. It didn’t inspire me though. It was more like, hm… that`s interesting… he’s really good, I can’t do that yet… good for him… next!

Anyway, point is, I have some ideas in mind of the kind of things on a unicycle that would really impress me and inspire me in a circus performance, but the basic abilities I will need before I can start to attempt them will take at least a year, more like two (practicing every day) to master. I started that process this spring and have been practicing that hour every day for the last three months with satisfying results, but now back at circus school it`s wierd because yes, I can do some really impressive things (stand up coasting ~2-6 meters), and people are really impressed, but nobody jumps up inspired to practice the unicycling themselves. I’m the only one. One of the best experiences of my life was when I was working as an assistant coach for a small circus class (a completelly enthusiastic and passionate and green coach). I succeeded in communicating my passion for it to the kids, and we has an absolutelly amazing, magical in the best sence of the word, I loved the kids, they loved me, we were making incredible progress… three months, and a whole bunch of the community was saying how they had heard wonderful stories about me, etc. That’s the kind of environment I want to be in, the kind of spirit I want to have around me, people who are jenuinelly passionate about unicycling, love it, think it’s the best thing in the world, and love nothing more than accomplishing new tricks and abilities, and working with others to put on crazy performances! This circus group was one (the only major) price I had to pay by comming to quebec. I can’t work with them while I am here. Attendance is the only really strict policy they have.

Don`t get me wrong, this school is an incredible place, full of trampolines, tumbling mats, jugglers and a flying trapeze, and I have had great times here, I recomend it to everybody, and the unicycling instructor is a world champion acrobatic bicyclist. However, one person whose specialty is not specifically unicycling and who has not been in the action for a year or two can’t replace a community of people who have amoung them currently recognized world class unicyclists and who have just brought home the world championship for group freestyle. The passion and group spirit I want to inspire back home, and the kind of community spirit that will allow me to tripple my efforts toward my goal.

I suppose one benefit of working alone is that nobody can steel my ideas and perform them before me (I may be getting good, but whether that is a result of natural tallent or passion driven stubbornness I don’t know), and I will be unique and special at the school, but those seem to be dangerously brittle points in favour. What I would most prefer would be to be able to declare to the world what my dream is, then dedicate myself to it with their encouragement. Not have to wory about somebody saying: ya, you’re right, that’s a cool idea, actually, now that you mention it, it isn’t that hard, and goes on and does it. Great. So much for that… then again, if, without community support, my drive to accomplish the impossible fizzles and nobody every gets around to doing the great tricks, then that’s even worse.

One of the frustrations with the school is that they will not consider it a good thing focussing all my time and effort on what they will see as one trick because as they will rightly point out, that one trick will not make a money making performance. However, what if that one trick is the foundation required for an entire number? How do you explain that to them? I am really starting to feel like it would be better to hang out at a place like twin cities for two years, participate in a unicon, then take the skills I have develloped back to the circus school to put together the final number… Unfortunatelly, I find it has never been a good idea to change directions to suddenly, and I strongly suspect that it will be very difficult to convince myself or anybody else that a sudden move to twin cities is in my best interest, especially now that the circus school year has started. I should visit or chat with the folks from tcuc… see what they think…

Mike :slight_smile:

that sounds totally awesome! I have never rode mountain because the unicycles were too expensive (worst excuse in the world)… basic freestyle you can learn on a 15$ uni… (looking back I can hardly believe I learned to ride that thing! -the seat woud twist while riding, and I learned how to twist it back while riding… go figure :slight_smile: )

I can`t say I’m much into hockey, even on a unicycle (never been good at team sports), but hell… why not?

I guess the question is: what would I do with myself when I wouldn’t be out riding with the gang? I suppose I could get a job, continue university, give circus courses (install an ariel tissue, trapeze, tumbling mats, trampolines…)… I suppose anything is possible… depends on what resources are available. :slight_smile: