THE UNICYCLING LIST CHALLENGE

THE UNICYCLING LIST CHALLENGE:

Everyone, over the next month, please write and send us an interesting or
humorous story, poem, article, book, or just a short paragraph about unicycling.
Let’s see if we can get a contribution from each member on the list.

A story that is usually very interesting is how and why you became interested in
unicycling. Another describes your experience of learning to ride a unicycle;
include details that are unique to your learning experience. Tell us of a
unicycling experience that you recall form time to time; just sit down in from
of our keyboard and let them flow into it so, the rest of us can enjoy your
experience too.

Please don’t tell yourself “I’ll do it later.” Just say to yourself “I’m not too
busy to write a paragraph or two, besides from where I’m sitting now, it will
take just a keystroke to get started, I’ll enjoy the experience of writing that
special unicycling memory and share it with other unicyclists.”

Stay on Top,

Ken.

Ken Fuchs (kfuchs@winternet.com)

Re: THE UNICYCLING LIST CHALLENGE

> Everyone, over the next month, please write and send us an interesting or
> humorous story, poem, article, book, or just a short paragraph about
> unicycling. Let’s see if we can get a contribution from each member on
> the list.

OK, here’s a short story to begin with. Once we were outside on our unicycles
and our 4-wheeler lay on the ground (The 4 wheels are in a diamond shape and it
can be ridden just like a 3-wheel giraffe). A little boy came and said to his
mother: “Look at this strange bike”. The mother replied:“Well, it is for
handicapped people!”


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            Rolf Sander

Re: THE UNICYCLING LIST CHALLENGE

On Tue, 30 Aug 1994, Ken Fuchs wrote:

> THE UNICYCLING LIST CHALLENGE:
>
> Everyone, over the next month, please write and send us an interesting or
> humorous story, poem, article, book, or just a short paragraph about
> unicycling. Let’s see if we can get a contribution from each member on
> the list.
>

Well, I posted the news on rec.juggling, but I didn’t write much about
it. I rode my uni (DM Ringmaster, 20" wheel) 30 miles along the cyclepath from
Bath to Bristol and back at the weekend.

I’m a 21 year old biochemistry undergrad. I started juggling during the
Christmas vacation, 1992. I started unicycling in July this year. I was lucky
enough to have excellent conditions for learning to ride a unicycle. I got
the uni on a Friday afternoon and spent that weekend at the Wessex Juggling
Convention, so there were plenty of people around to give me advice. I spent
hours practising in the car park. The following Tuesday was the first time I
unicycled to work.

I’ve ridden along the Avon Valley Cycleway a few times by bike. I decided it
was time to do it by unicycle. It was a bank holiday weekend, so I could do
the ride on Sunday afternoon and then rest on Monday. The weather was good,
so there were quite a few people around. Fortunately though, the path tends
to be busiest on bank holidays themselves rather than at the weekends.

I meant to leave by noon, because I wanted to visit the Bristol Exploratory.
But, when I got up I couldn’t remember why I had planned to leave early. So I
finally left about 1.30.

After a few miles I started to ache a little, despite my padded lycra shorts,
but I only had to get off for a few seconds and I was ready to go again. In
the first few miles I had to cross a couple of bridges, both of which were
unsheltered and windy. On the second I got off for a rest, so I had loadsa
fun trying to get back on again. :frowning:

At one point it started to rain. Fortunately I had my umbrella (the major
advantage of a uni over a bike) and I was sheltered from the wind by trees on
either side.

In the middle of the cyclepath there is a stretch of a few miles which is
unpaved. A fair portion of this is unsheltered. I was glad to see the end of
that stretch.

All the way I heard comments along the lines of “that’s doing it the hard
way.” A couple of groups of cyclists slowed down to talk to me, both wishing
me luck after asking if I was going all the way. The only “where’s your other
wheel” joke I had while on the cyclepath was from a girl in one of the groups
who slowed down. The comment was met with some scorn from her friends
(“where’s your originality?”), and she followed it with “I bet people say
that all the time.” One bloke asked what possessed me to ride to Bristol and
back on a uni, I told him I wanted to see if I could do it.

Pedestrians occur all the way along the cyclepath, but they are most common
towards the Bristol end. As I entered Bristol a group of teenage girls walked
past and called back “Nice legs!” Who am I to argue with their opinion? :slight_smile:

The path crosses roads at a couple of points, so I had to get off and
remount. I take on average 3 tries to free mount, and I wanted to free mount
as much as possible. One time I was particularly lucky - I managed to free
mount on the first try in front of a group of 3 teenage girls. Not that I was
trying to impress, but can you imagine if I’d taken a dozen tries? Hell hath
no fury and all that. They asked how far I’d been. I told them “From Bath to
Bristol and this far back.” At this point that meant about 20 - 25 miles. One
of them said “you’re mad.” Naturally, I thanked her.

The ride took about 3 hours there and 4 hours back (I was taking it really
easy riding home). It was getting dark by the time I got home, but I had my
lights with me. Overall, I reckon the ride was worth doing once but I doubt
I’d do it again without a bloody good reason.

----------------Hey, I can see the whole world from here!---------------
| Danny Colyer | bs1dwc@bath.ac.uk | To drop is human, | University of Bath |
| ----------------- | To juggle is divine. |
|GAT (!)-d+(++) -p+ c+ l? u e+ m+() s n+(—) h–(-) f g- w+ t+@ r y*|
-----------------http://www.bath.ac.uk/~bs1dwc/home.html----------------

Re: THE UNICYCLING LIST CHALLENGE

How did I learn to ride a unicycle? Well, it runs in the family: you
could say it’s an inherited behaviour. So, to learn about me, we have to
start with my father.

    My father, Miles S. Rogers, learned to ride a unicyle when he was a
    teenager. He used to hang out at a bike shop in West Los Angeles (this
    was before video game arcades :-). My father was a serious bicyclist,
    for that matter; when he was 14, he rode/hitched from Los Angeles,
    California, to Weiser, Idaho, and back via Portland, Oregon: a distance
    of 2600 miles (4200 km), of which 1200 miles were on the bike.

    He learned to ride a unicycle using a 4-foot high fence on an alley back
    of the bike shop. For a while he rode with a friend in parades, but
    after his friend dropped out Father moved on to other things (such as
    World War II). Eventually, he got married and had kids. I'm the oldest,
    followed by my sister Dawn, my brother Bruce (who's on this mailing
    list, too), and my sister Valerie.

    Now, Father had told Mother, at some point, about his former unicycling
    career. On Father's Day, 1961, she surprised him with a gag present: a
    unicycle she had bought for $25 from the famous Walter Nilsson, the
    first unicyclist to ride coast-to-coast across the USA. This unicycle
    was too small for Father to ride comfortably, so he went back to
    Walter's shop and had a 24" custom built for him (heavy-duty with
    balloon tires!). The small unicycle gave Father an idea: why not teach
    the kids to ride???!

    I'm sure you're thinking you know the end of the story: how could we
    avoid learning to ride? Well, there's still a bit more to tell.

    First of all, there's the question of where and how one learns to ride.
    The first few attempts (in 1963, when I was 7) had us (my sister Dawn
    and I) sitting on the unicycle while leaning against the side of the
    family station wagon. We were supposed to work our way along the car,
    and when we reached the end we were supposed to let go, ride down the
    rest of the driveway, and ride out into the street.

    I'm afraid we did more flying onto our hands or backs than riding down
    the street. We scratched the paint on the car. We didn't have fun. We
    didn't learn.

    A couple of months later the family moved from Westchester (near the
    Los Angeles airport) to what's now the City of Carson, a suburb south
    of LA. The new house had a short cinder-block retaining wall along the
    driveway. Dawn became interested again in learning to ride, and Father
    issued her a challenge: if Dawn could ride from our garage door to the
    sidewalk, turn a corner, ride to the neighbor's driveway, turn again,
    ride up to the neighbor's garage door, turn around, and reverse the
    route (uphill), all without falling, Father would buy her a unicycle
    of her own.

    After a few weeks, Dawn completed the test, and Father bought her a
    brand new Royce-Union unicycle.

    Well, I couldn't stand this. Here my SISTER was riding, and I wasn't. My
    SISTER had a new unicycle, and I DIDN'T. Furthermore, Dawn was teaching
    one of the cute neighborhood girls, Georgeanne Babros, to ride. You bet
    I got down to business and learned to ride in a hurry!

    The Wonderwheels Unicycle Drill Team was formed. Georganne, Dawn, Father
    and I were in our first parade in the fall of 1964. Incidentally, there
    we met the Concord Unicycle Drill Team, sponsored by the Children's Club
    of Concord, California, for many years one of the foremost performing
    unicycling teams in the United States.

    I started by saying that riding runs (or pedals) in our family. Let me
    tell you about my nephew, Jason. Father got Jason a unicycle, and
    recently gave him daily training sessions for two weeks. My brother,
    Bruce, issued a father-to-son challenge to Jason: if Jason could ride
    around a certain large tennis court area without touching the fence, he
    could go to the next NUC. What do you know, Jason made it the first day
    he tried! You'll see him at Bowling Green!

                                    Craig Milo Rogers