What does it take to start a club? I am on high school and it would be cool if I had people to ride with. I am almost certain nobody else here rides, Also I am pretty sure the school wouldn’t fund to buy any starter unicycles.
What town are you in? If you live in, let’s say, Onawa, you’re gonna have a hard time getting 3-4 people to join you. But if you live in Des Moines, you’ll probably find enough interested folks to get a club together.
I live in Boone which might be hard to get people I suppose.
Nathaniel, I accidently started one… I told my kids that I’d buy them uni’s, if they learned to ride them.
We now own a Torker, and a Club, and a cheap 45.00 ebay one, that they ran the wheel off of, and another one, homemade frame, with a Mongoose Squid wheel, that needs a new wheel. The Nimbus should be here today. My 13 yo is so happy, he cannot sleep!
My 13 yo also teaches uni now. He gets other kids, and starts them off. Eventually, we will have about 12+ unis.
How many and what types if unis do u have? If u have several (say learner 20, trials, & Muni) and willing to loan them out (unless they are good friends u might want to require some sort of deposit, once when I loaned one out I never got it back). A uni club I heard about who already had several people and unis to practice charged a fee (something like $15) it covered free lessonsa several unis to try at the club, rent of the gym, insurance and buying new unis for the club and at the time I read it he said they had 40-50 on most weeks (I think at first they met at a park or something)
Big thing is pick a time & place where many can prob make it (ok w/ property owner), say 1+ times a week for 1-2 hrs. U show up EVERY TIME & stay for the whole duration no matter what. U might want to make it where there’s a fair amount of foot traffic. We have our juggling club at a popular park we teach a few new people every week.
One club (I forget the activity) I heard of went for almost 6 mo w/ hardly anyone showing up and often it was only the leader. Because the meeting time and place was so reliable it grew to ~70 on most weeks. (You’d be lucky to get 1/4 of that in a moderate dized city w/ uni IMO :o) If u do all the above I bet u could get a couple of regulars w/ in a couple of months.
Have a family and teach them to uni.
I love your story Nate. And thanks for all the good information skilewis74. Getting unicyclists together is always a challenge, in my humble experience. I did have a family and got two boys to ride with me. That was fun. Now they are over 30 and in other cities. I have taught a lot of others to ride but it still is hard to get people together, although we have managed to keep a small parade unit going through the years. I even have loaner unicycles and have promised, on occasion, to buy them a new one for them to keep if they learn to ride. I get very few takers!
I wish you were in my town, brownnathanial. We would have a lot of fun together!
When I was in High School, I mentioned unicycling in a presentation that I gave and was approached by another unicyclist after class. We started unicycling together after school (doing trials with the skateboarders) and quickly picked up another two people who learned to unicycle with us. This was without any sort of official club or school-wide publicity. I think that you won’t have very much trouble getting people interested. Just for reference, my high school had just over 1,200 students.
Check craigslist in your area. You can get some decent starter unicycles for about 20-30 bucks.
Actually Boone may be an ideal spot–you’re right next to Ames, which has the ISU Juggling an Unicycling Club. Assuming they’re still active, you may want to check them out: https://sodb-stuorg.sws.iastate.edu/view.php?id=714
A school club needs a sponsor, we tried going the middle and high school, but didn’t get anywhere because a new club is competing for teacher support that is generally already taken by existing activities.
If I had to do it again, I would start with the Civic Center, develop a curriculum, and teach a community based unicycle class, then see where it goes from there.
The expensive part is putting together a quiver of unis to use in teaching and for loaning. You got to have loaner program, a class is not intense enough and often enough to promote learning.
When we move next year, one of my projects is to start a unicycle school
Wow, that’s amibitious.
I learned recently that one of our science teachers used to ride (She says she still can) I want to talk to her. I got some interest in the unicycle just by posting this picture on facebook. Thanks Llyod for pointing out the ISU club, I forgot they have one.
That’s great, good luck!
The family is still the BASIC building block of society.
Cannot trash it, without the roof coming down.
I am trying to start one in my area, but we keep getting rejected for insurance reasons. We need an indoor or even a consistent outdoor space.
Joe Merrill (NYCJoe) and I started the New York Unicycle Club in 2001 by telling a few friends and posting here on this forum (thanks, Gilby!). Eventually we had help from the Internet, thanks to Joe, Ken Springle, and a few other club members who were more tech savvy than I (meaning, more than zero). That was a huge help. Getting a little press and other notoriety helped, too. The club is pretty big now despite the fact that we’ve never had an indoor venue.
I’d say that the best thing you can do is to get a basic website going (basic, as in: when/where do you meet, etc) and maybe you can even get some radio or press exposure, too. That stuff will just happen, anyway. Maybe participate in parades or do some rides thru town.
Good advice. Do you meet in the winter?
Where do you meet? How did you find a decent outdoor space and ensure that it’s not being used when you meet?
At this point I would be the only one riding that I know of, but we have alot of adults and children who are interested in learning…
In these days of social media, a Facebook page can go a long way for a group. It makes it easy to post general details like those mentioned above, arrange meetup times, and post pics from events to create some interest.
Yes, we meet in winter. Of course, NYC winters aren’t as bad as some out there, and we were lucky enough to have great weather almost every meetup day at the start. I recall that over the first 5 years, we only had to cancel 5 dates (out of over 100).
The outdoor space we had was initially on a sidewalk, but we soon moved to a park. Later we found an even better space. It has decent parking (which is a huge plus in NYC) and a good amount of room for all of us. Those are some of your basic criteria. You’ll also want some curbs and steps and other stuff for people to ride on, once the club is established. We ended up with a lot of really solid street riders, and they loved using the stairs and the nearby playground.