The extraordinariness of unicycling

How much do you think it has been a desire to be extraordinary, unique or special and the quiet gratification that that provides that have been your underlying (perhaps unconscious) motivators to go against the odds and learn unicycling?

As children we are taught to stand out from others, to excel. I think unicycling is a tangible and very visible proof of the achievement of this extraordinariness or uniqueness and exceptionalness. Therefore, I think it would be no surprise if it is this quality that is the most attractive in unicycling as a hobby, and if it is a need to be exceptional that is the unifying characteristic among unicyclists.

Although I hate to admit it, yes, this is pretty much the biggest reason I took up unicycling. “Doing it for the wrong reasons, blah blah”, but I have a big ego that needs to be satisfied!

My friend and riding companion “Reinhart” made an amusing statement about this. He said, “If no one is looking, are you really unicycling?”

I did (do) it for the personal challenge. I have to admit though, I do like the weird looks and comments I get (especially off road). Positive or negative, attention is attention.

I’m a childhood cancer survivor, that was told after having my left kidney removed, that I shouldn’t ever play contact sports. My dad worked 2nd shift for most of my life, and I lived in the country. Because of my medical condition, and my dad being at work when I came home from school, I didn’t really think learning to throw a ball was important. I really didn’t have an interest in sports.

My first contact with unicycling was probably the Super Nintendo game Uniracers. I don’t recall ever seeing any clowns unicycling, except for on TV in cartoons, shows, perhaps. I thought unicycles seemed pretty cool/looked pretty cool. My mom, though pretty conservative and traditional, raised me to be open minded to a lot of things, and gave me the desire to look information up and have a drive to learn about things.

I think, all along, with the huge focus there is on sports in my little town, I wanted to find something that was for me. BMX was tried, and so was skateboarding. I still greatly respect both of those sports, but could never progress as fast as I wanted to, like with unicycling.

I don’t think I’m different, but my peers quickly pointed it out to me. Since I couldn’t play a lot of sports, and didn’t have the desire to participate in any others, I got interested in other things. Never having to try to fit in with the crowd, it just didn’t really fully happen.

In middle school, when the XGames became popular, I got interested in other sports, and came home from school to check out things like Bluetorch TV, and the like. Around then, I lived in a neighborhood, and the kids around me had all sorts of different things to try, like stilts, and pogo sticks. One kid’s father had a unicycle. After having a lot of fun learning stilts and doing tricks on a pogo stick, I had begun thinking about what else there was to do that involved balancing skills. It would only been a matter of time before I got into the sport. I started riding when I was 15.

People continually remind me about how unusual it is. It’s easy to forget, when you think about it, do it, talk about it, watch it being done. I don’t care what people think about it. I’ve been praised, and made fun of. Who cares. For me, it has always been fun, and a way to stay active, and express myself.

At 21, the doctors told me that the risk of kidney injury all along was so low that I could’ve played any sport I wanted to. It’s too late, and I already found my sport that I love.

Enough about me.
I hope other people share their answers as well.


With me it started out by wanting to incorporate it in performance. I was showing off.

Then I became interested in it as a sport. I like the individuality of the sport, and the focus that it requires. I love the flow of a perfect bit of single track - like dancing with gravity.

And having started by wanting to show off, I would now rather ride for hours without seeing a stranger.

P.S. Extraordinariness? Extraordinarity? Extraordinarihood? Er…

For me it is actually a personal thing and I don’t want or need attention from others from it. I sometimes hide from mountain bikers so I don’t have to explain about Muni and get all the questions and comments and break my concentration. I really get very Zen when I’m riding and sometimes it’s OK to talk to people about what I’m doing but usually I’d just rather not have to.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why I’m riding, and how I decided to try. I can’t really come up with anything, it kind of just happened. About 8 years ago I saw a guy riding one, I think he was commuting. Seeing that guy somehow etched into my brain and off and on I thought about it, then more often, and finally I bought one.

I’m with Jeffsssmith, I also dislike the attention and am happiest riding by myself. The comments have been overwhelmingly good, but they are starting to get old (and I may just snap one of these days when I hear someone sing that circuis tune). I still am amazed with the feeling of riding a uni, when your balance is spot on and you might as well be sitting on a chair, nothing can make you fall… It’s mindblowing to me.

Depends on my mood, some days I just want to concentrate on my riding, others I love the attention :slight_smile:

I did it for the challenge, and yes, the personal satisfaction in doing something unique.

I started out riding to incorporate it into juggling, mainly to make it harder, because . . . I was peaking out at numbers juggling and needed something more interesting, or difficult in a different way. (I guess I should note that I do not perform, and juggle for sport)

Then I found out about coker unicycles after riding my 20" beginner ride for a week or two. . . . I knew I wanted one. I’m a long distance biker, and commute by bike, and it makes it more interesting, and difficult. I love how unicycles are more simple mechanically, but increase the complexity for the user by it’s simplicity. Like trying to juggle 5 club singles (for the jugglers)

Idk, I got hooked, and it’s only been 3 months O.o

I must admit, the attention you get riding a 36er is kinda cool, but can also be annoying at times n.n’

I originally did it because I realized that as a junior in high school, I somehow had no hobby. I had tried skateboarding, scootering, a few different sports, martial arts, and none of them stuck. Cycling was fun, but pretty expensive and too ‘ordinary’. So yeah, I picked up unicycling partly because of the personal satisfaction of doing something unique.

And while a lot of the reason I ride is because it is extremely fun, zen-like, and technically challenging at times, a big part is just the desire for attention. I’m a college student and ride from class to class every day, and the looks and comments I get each day never get old.

Though I will say that I’m thinking of getting into muni a bit more heavily just because there’s more general solitude and time to enjoy nature.