The challenge

Hello to all,

I have been reading this list with great interest. Although I suppose I am more
of an armchair unicyclist than a real addict, you may be interested to hear how
I got my uni.

As a recumbent cycling addict, I am already regarded as somewhat of a nutter. So
when I read an ad in the local free paper about a new juggling shop, I felt I
could go there and stay in character. In fact, the shop is real fun. It is tiny,
but the walls are completely covered with juggling gear, from bean bags to
knives to torches, there are kites and…unis. The guy that owns/runs the shop
is called Oddball (yes, I am told that is really his name!). He insisted on
demonstrating any item I layed my eyes on. Then he asked me if I was happy,
where I was from etc. I told him I was Dutch. He then asked me if I could do
something for him (no, this is not a dirty story, no religious stuff either). He
told me he wanted to export some of his gear to Belgium. But to do that, he
needed some instruction sheets translated into Dutch and French. Translating is
fun but a lot of work, so I said, surely we can make a deal out of it. I will do
the sheets and you can give me a uni. I was just joking but he agreed!! So I
translated the sheets, well over 40 hours of work. He then offered me a 20"
SEMcycle, the kind with the pressed forks. Although it was used it seems to be
in good order. I did not have any one to help me, so I just started off in the
park. So far, I managed to free mount, ride about 100m, make gentle turns. So I
am still sub level one, but maybe one day… Riding is not particularly
comfortable though. Maybe I should try padded shorts or something. Or a
different saddle. Pointer appreciated.

Whilst riding in the park the reactions range from the obvious ‘have you lost
your other wheel’ to ‘I did that when I was a little girl’ from a 85 year old
lady who watched me struggle with a shine in her eyes. Also, a lot students will
say ‘almost there’. I presume they are on Oxfords uni-hockey team. Chinese
people look at me with pity, I suppose they are spoiled seeing their acrobats.

Kind regards,


Cycling is fun, even when there is no sun.