Starting a club

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Good morning!

There are a growing number of unicyclists in our local area who’d like = to
start a club. Are there any published guidelines for starting a USA = chapter?

Best regards, John Drummond

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Re: Starting a club

I need to findpeople to ride with before I can think about getting a club going
in Tulsa.I was actually thinking about this last night. Here’s what I think
might work in my case.1. Join a bicycle club.
2. Pretend to be interested in 2 wheeled contraptions.
3. When they start to trust me, one at a time trickthem into trying unicycles.
4. Start a sub-group of unicyclists which remains in the bicycle club as
a “cover”.
5. Grow and also accept non-bicyclists as wanna be unicyclist and also attract
“former” unicyclists.
6. Widespread random acts of unicycling all over theplace. I’ve had a hard time
trying in the past to convert people to unicycling because they are
intimidated byme.(not sure why? :-)). Do you’ll think my plan might work?
The only potential downside is they might convert meto bikes ha ha ha! -Mark
— John Drummond <unicycle@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> Good morning!
>
> There are a growing number of unicyclists in our local area who’d like to
> start a club. Are there any published guidelines for starting a USA chapter?
>
> Best regards, John Drummond
>
>


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Re: [Re: Starting a club]

Here’s what I think might work in my case.1. Join a bicycle club.

<snip>

Your method sounds excellent! I have plans on using the following one:

  1. Find a school with a very nice gymnasium and some spare funds.

  2. Persuade them that unicycling is a great way to develop a child’s self
    esteem, co-ordination, perseverence skills etc, etc.

  3. Offer to teach a class for free! All they need provide are the unicycles.

  4. About 25% of people taking classes will want to continue so you have a basis
    for a club.

  5. Con their parents into riding (make sure the parents have been helping the
    kids to learn to ride.

  6. Advertise.

I figure if you repeat this process with different age school groups it should
take a year or two to develop a decent sized club.

If I use it in conjunction with the other suggested method things may happen
even faster.

Any other suggestions out there?

Peter

o o Peter Bier o O o Juggler, unicyclist and mathematician.
o/|\o peter_bier@usa.net


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RE: Starting a club

> 1. Join a bicycle club.
> 2. Pretend to be interested in 2 wheeled contraptions.
> 3. When they start to trust me, one at a time trickthem into trying unicycles.
> 4. Start a sub-group of unicyclists which remains in the bicycle club as a
> “cover”.

Not to say your idea won’t work, but there isn’t a lot of crossover between
traditional “club” type cyclists and unicyclists. Your average (road) bike club
consists of people who like to put in lots and lots of miles on group rides.
Also they don’t have a gym or other place good for teaching people to ride or
learning tricks.

Others may have had other experiences, but my endeavors here and there to get
bicyclists interested in unicycling have generally been disappointing. For the
most part, I believe the “bicycling” community has nearly the same interest
level in learning to unicycle as the rest of the active population in general.

Once I went to a BMX Freestyle competition (Long Island, 1986) and did a little
demo. Kids were doing the most amazing flatland and ramp tricks. But upon seeing
some unicycling, the first thing out of many mouths was “I could never do
that!” Even from kids who I’d just seen coasting on their rear wheels and doing
other amazing balancing feats.

Don’t get depressed yet. There are more potential unicyclists out there than
ever. But on average, most of them are not cyclists. You will have better luck
among a group of jugglers. Or college students. Or circus people. A little
better at a clown convention, but most “convention” clowns are older and not
interested in doing actual “skills”, believe it or not. Not to mention that the
better your clown shoes are, the worse they are for unicycling…

I’ve gotten a bit better impression from mountain bikers. Many people have seen
us on the trails and not only seemed interested in learning, sometimes even try
the unicycles on the trail. Plus I’ve met a few former unicyclists who were
still able to ride after 10+ years. For some reason seeing us on the trails
inspires them.

So to attract riders, I think the best thing you can do is expose it to the
general populace as much as possible. If you can, find a practice place that’s
public, where lots of people see. Go in parades. Hand out lots of cards.
Advertise in all the local bike shops.

Hope this is useful, and also generates some interesting arguements!

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone (reply to jfoss@unicycling.com)
http://www.unicycling.com

Not only found the MUnis, found the possible thief!

RE: Starting a club

John Drummond wrote:

> Are there any published guidelines for starting a USA chapter?

None at all. But there should be. Not necessarily any requirements, but a source
of helpful information to get people started with local clubs. There is a lot of
experience scattered around the country, but I’m not aware of a good place
people can go to make use of it.

There are also a lot of gymnasiums and other rooms that have had unicycles
riding around in them for years, without injury, floor damage, or liability
problems. If we all got together and shared our evidence, we could provide solid
documentation that unicycles indoors are fine.

What USA could really use is a “Club” or “Affiliate” coordinator. Someone who’s
job is to gather and provide information so unicycle clubs can learn from each
other and flourish. It could be one of the director jobs.

Just like the Tidbits book that Dirk Iwema has been rewriting for us, USA should
have a booklet with information on clubs and promotion.

And another book on teaching.

And another book on convention hosting.

Anyone want to get involved in this?

Stay on top, John Foss President, Unicycling Society of America Director,
International Unicycling Federation (reply to jfoss@unicycling.com)
http://www.unicycling.com

RE: Starting a club

I had to laugh at Mark’s covert plan to infiltrate the local cycling clubs, but
I agree with John Foss - hard core roadies don’t seem to have much interest in
unicycles – many of them even turn their noses up at “unusual” two-wheeled
bikes, like recumbents, or loaded touring bikes, or bikes with old technology
like downtube friction shifters.

I once belonged to the local touring club, and went on group rides and morning
jaunts with several members. When I got into unicycling I was needless to say
very enthused and excited about it. But I could never seem to get them excited
about riding one and that always saddened and mystified
me. The excuse was usually “I’d kill myself on that”, but I never could believe
it - these are people that think nothing of ripping down a winding mountain
road at 50 mph with their feet clipped into the pedals of an 18 pound bike
with skinny rock hard tires. If they find that to be exhilarating rather
than scary, why the reluctance to try a unicycle? My love of unicycling was
treated with a sort of bemused tolerance (he’ll get over it) until my
friends found that I had less and less time available to ride with them - I
wanted to ride my unicycle instead. It literally got to the point where
they were looking at me like I had gotten sucked into some weird kind of
cult or something.

I’d love to get a dozen unicyclists together and just drop in on one of the
local club rides - kinda like a “critical mass” demonstration. That would
be a hoot.

Here’s a great line that I heard in on vacation in Florida. I was out riding one
morning and was overtaken by a couple roadies. It had rained the night before
and there were still puddles on the road. One guy said to the other “Hey Bob,
there’s something you should try” “Yeah,” said Bob, “at least I wouldn’t wind up
with a stripe of mud down my back riding on one of those”.

Re: Starting a club

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On 18 Feb 2000 07:39:01 -0800, mark stephens wrote about Re: Starting a club:
> 1. Join a bicycle club.
> 2. Pretend to be interested in 2 wheeled contraptions.
> 3. When they start to trust me, one at a time trickthem into trying unicycles.
> 4. Start a sub-group of unicyclists which remains in the bicycle club as a
> “cover”.
> 5. Grow and also accept non-bicyclists as wanna be unicyclist and also
> attract “former” unicyclists.
> 6. Widespread random acts of unicycling all over theplace. I’ve had a hard
> time trying in the past to convert people to unicycling because they are
> intimidated byme.(not sure why? :-)).

Good luck converting cyclists. I think There the hardest to convert.

So far, I’ve taught seven people in about seven years but want to increase that
rate. I’ve met three other unicyclists in my area and now seven of us rider
regularly (some more than others.)

Most people have been interested but they won’t follow up on it by themselves.
Ask people for there email and write it down when you find poeple interested on
the trail. Most people are quite willing to get a little more info.

This year, I’m going to teach a group of wanna be unicyclists if I can get
enough people interested(10). I’ve found if you are willing to give them the
information on uniing, they are suddenly WAY more interested.

We ride difficult trails and often visit the rockies (near clagary) for 1/2 day
trips and that helps us get the most interest.

Anyway, I think it would be a great idea if there was more information on
starting a uni club. It is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

This year, we will are planning to create a film for a film festival (Banff) on
unicycling. We should have a group of 7 Uniers for this on several mountain
trips/trails.

Anybody done this before??? Have some advice?

Enjoy the ride, off to the snow I go… Mike