Starting a club, any tips?

Hey everybody,

I’m trying to get a club started in the Durham region and was looking for any advice you can give. I’m currently trying to arrange a ride so we can all discuss the best day to meet.

Thanks a lot


I’m still in the beginning stages of a CLub, and here’s what I can offer. (Lots of advice of senior club runners)

Have one guy in charge of organizing rides, or he may have some one do the organizing, but it’s jsut a bunch of unicyclists going for rides, really. Once you have a lot of people, you can’t please them all. See what the group wants to set as a meeting date, and try to follow that.


Thanks Sofa. Are there any regular (didn’t start a club) unicyclists that could tell me what they are looking for in a club? And Sofa do you have any advice on finding a place to practice in the winter? I thought that the club could happen twice a week once on a week day (we would practice in a gym in the winter) and once on the weekend (we would go for an actual ride someplace ie. around town, Trials, muni.)


If there’s a juggling club, check it out for members.
It’s usually good to have a viraity of activities, such as street one week, muni next week, ect. Like sofa said, it’s good to have one guy in charge, but if that guy lives downtown, and another guy is next to the forests and rides there a lot, or someones in the outskirts of town, have the group leader figure out a time for them.

Hey nu_uni,

I’ve got tons of advice from what I’ve learned. Our club is less than one year old and has more than 40 members and a very exciting network that grows every week. We are just beginning! The coming spring will bring tons of participation for us inteh Memphis Unicycle Club.

I had suggested, to the organizing committee, to put a “How to Start A Club” workshop on the agenda for the Nationals and I believe that this is happening.

All it really takes is a core of about 2 or three riders and a little planning, PR, consistency in riding rendezvous and all of those closet unicyclists will come running to your door/park/gym.

Here are some random thoughts / ideas:

  1. Meet at the same public, visible place at the same time on a regular basis.
  2. Print out your contact information. Several of us had business cards printed.
  3. At the beginning, be vague about the numbers in your group. “We” can mean 2 or 200.
  4. When folks ask about unicycling, abandon your own desire to ride to, instead, talk and inform, encourage.
  5. Create a logo and a web site.
  6. Create flyers to put in libraries, bike shops, sporting goods shops, etc.
  7. Contact the newspaper with your meeting/riding time and place. Often there is a section devoted to “Things To Do.”
  8. Have identifiable t-shirts so that people who are too shy to ask will know that you are part of an organization. This makes you so much more approachable
  9. Seek the press for that photo-op.
  10. Contact local organizations that are putting on parades and ask to participate.
  11. Allow folks to try-it. Buy at least one “loaner.” It will be the best $80 investment your club will make.
  12. Know where to get uni related stuff to direct folks.
  13. In addition to your “normal” riding times/places, get a group together in a public gathering place - like parks, open shopping areas.
  14. Honor private property, ignorance and bigotry - don’t tick people off who see this as dangerous or some sort of hooliganism. You’ve got to be on guard about your image if your are trying to establish yourself. Get and keep kids AND adults involved. Nothing will disarm an abusive adult faster than the presence of another “responsible” adult.
  15. Smile allot and celebrate the joy of unicycling and sharing a passion for something that is zany.
  16. Familiarize yourself (and all club members) with how to talk to people about the advantages of unicycling - for kids and adults. The two are packaged differently.
  17. Scan local press for mention of unicyclists and unicycling. There are others there in your community that are unaware that a club is starting. Be a detective to ferret-out those closet unicyclists.
  18. Network nationally and internationally. I received (and continue to receive) great advice from others in our extended unicycling community that have established club experience. Do a net search of unicycle clubs and see what they have done.
  19. Follow links from various web sites to track down those who can help you. I will share all that I have concerning documents, flyers, rental forms, parent release forms, liability forms, etc., etc. Some of these I created myself and some were shared with me.
  20. Provide safety gear.
  21. Rent unicycles (never lost one and never had one damaged).
    22.Repeat number 15.


Through the advice of some clown (at a kids party) I contacted to local Parks ‘n’ Rec association,. They had various gyms available.

If you are in school, check with their gym

We don’t have any loaners, but lost of people have spares…they bring them, it works out good

We’re only in the gym until the snow melts, then i expect more public awareness

Ride in the Terry Fox Run. The year as a group will be way better than last year by myself

For $45 you can get 500 business cards made up.

Once again, thanks to all of you out there who start local unicycling clubs. You are doing a community service that very few have the patience, enthusiasm, energy, and talent to do. I admire your fortitude and dedication.

I’ve been networking with the local school district and volunteering at Brier Elementary’s uni group. I was surprised to find so many local school programs that had no idea there was an established club in their own neighborhood.

This also gives the opportunity to let them know about the USA,, and a LBS that has lot of unis.

Some good advice there, especially in the long list. But step back a bit…

Why are you running a club? Who will attend? What do they want to do? What is the club for? These are important questions.

At one extreme, you have this:
You become a local co-ordinator for a small group of friends. You agree to meet once a week/month. You take responsibility for organising rides, and nagging peole to come on those rides. Perhaps you book a hall for winter evenings. If the group grows, it develops. If not, 3 or 4 of you still ahve a good time.

At the other extreme you have a club with a formal name, weekly meetings, a committee, membership, subscriptions, organised events involving other clubs and so on. You start to worry about insurance and liability. You need club funds, and an account. Someone wants a newsletter. Everyone else has a much better idea how you could run for for them…

For a club to succeed, it has to provide something that people already want (e.g. a chance to meet other riders once a month) and if it does that, it will, in the natural course of events, start to produce new ‘wants’ such as a summer barbecue, a trip to a neighbouring club and so on. That’s great.

My advice is start small and let it grow organically. Don’t set up a Club and then try to get people to come to it, and don’t get 10 or 20 people all together and then start wondering what you can do with them.

I’ve never been in a unicycle club, but I’ve been in a LOT of clubs, ranging from our 12 man Morris team to a 1000 member motorcycle club and a 100 member dive club. Fit the club to the people and it will work; try to fit the people to the club and it won’t.

GOOD LUCK, because it is this kind of enthusiasm and commitment which encourages others and strengthens the sport and the unciycling community generally. I hope it works.

Re: Starting a club, any tips?

On Tue, 4 Feb 2003 06:37:10 -0600, Tmornstar
<> wrote:

>I’ve got tons of advice from what I’ve learned.

Wow Tommy that is a most impressive list! I have no desire nor time to
start a unicycling club but you made it sound so much fun that I
almost had second thoughts.

Klaas Bil

Armored knights raised their visors to identify themselves when they rode past their king. This custom has become the modern military salute.