towns for unicycles

Last year I went to Milton Keynes for a week to see my brother and his family, I took the Muni.
Milton Keynes has a bit of a rep for being dull, partly cos it didn’t evolve like most cities, but was designed (in the sixties I think) and built from scratch- so it’s based on a precise grid of roads etc.
It struck me as being a cyclists paradise because it has a system of paths for pedestrians and cyclists which are entirely seperate from the roads (called ‘greenways’), you can get from any part of the city to any other part on cycle paths which are, in the main, going through parks/countyside. It’s also very flat.
I remember thinking that I wished I had a Coker, it would have been ideal. Milton Keynes is a place for Cokers (it’s also not dull!)
Sheffield, on the other hand, is a place for Muni’s; you can’t ride for more than 5 mins without encountering a major hill, in addition, the state of repair of sheffields roads and footpaths makes them as challenging as many off road trails. Plus it’s near to the peaks (as a non car owner I don’t take full advantage of that).
Why have I posted this? I guess I was going to suggest some kind of discussion on which towns are best for which uni’s- I now see that it was a silly idea, but, having wrote it I’m posting it. Make of it what you will.

I definitely agree. For one reason or another I’ve been trekking across the country on a number of occasions just recently and it suddenly struck me how rubbish Lincoln and York are for riding.

In these two cities, there’s the pedestrianised, very busy streets in the middle, and large streets further out… with very little in the middle. There are very few park-like or larger paved areas that aren’t right in the middle, covered in people.

On the other hand I went to Plymouth last weekend… Plymouth is a more more spread out city, with loads of space very close to the centre but out of the way of the shopping mobs.

I ended up walking around thinking that these Plymouthians just don’t realise what they’ve got. I managed to avoid running up to them shouting “why don’t you ride a unicycle, dammit!!!”, fortunately…

Equally I went to Cardiff a month or so ago, in the process of finding a job… Mum asked whether I was taking the muni before I left, as I was playing with my new fireball an hour before I went. I didn’t take it, but I really wish I had when I got there.

More parks!

Phil

New Plymouth could possibly beat Old Plymouth

New Plymouth has almost everything you could want for Unicycling. There is a foreshore thing which goes for miles with smooth concrete near to the beach. I don’t have a coker but if I did that would be a cool place to ride it fast. There is the BMX track and the skatepark. Most towns probably have these but there is no harm in having designated places to ride. There are heaps of public walkways which can offer some interesting scenic rides. Pukekura park is awesome. It has multitudes of tracks and is a great way to navigate through town while avoiding the roads. At night you see glow-worms on the sides of the tracks, you just have to mind your head for branches while riding a giraffe. During the christmas holidays they hold the festival of the lights and hang lights from many of the trees in the park. It draws thousands of people and it is fun to check the lights out while weaving through the swarms of walkers. There are signs that say “No Cycling” (with a picture of a bicycle) at the entrances to the park so I guess I shouldn’t ride there, but I have never had any mishaps and I have not yet been told off for riding in the park. I have had a few confrontations in town with uneducated policemen trying to tell me to get off the footpath or wear a helmet but after setting them straight about the law they mostly leave me alone now. Not many places have both a beach and a mountain. New Plymouth has several nearby beaches which are only a few minutes ride away from where I live, and the mountain is a half hours drive away. I am yet to take a Unicycle for a spin on Mt Taranaki but it is an interesting prospect for the future.

taranaki.jpg

Missouri has the Katy Trail which is an old rail road trail they turned into a bike/hiking trail made mostly of finely crushed limestone which feels almost like pavement under your wheels. Because it is rail trail you never get an incline or decline over about 6% grade. It is 225 miles long and goes thru some cool old towns!
My dad lives near it and I have ridden it on a bike but never a uni, that being said it would be perfect for a big coker!

http://katytrail.showmestate.com/

http://www.mostateparks.com/katytrail/

Re: towns for unicycles

There is apparently an organization trying to build an uninterrupted “greenway” from Maine down to Florida (the east coast of the United States).

That would be quite a nice ride to do.

A unicycling acquaintance of mine has made a video about the project. I don’t see it linked to from the site, but if he says it’s ok, I’ll post one.

By the way, New Plymouth, New Zealand…well, that much unspoiled beauty…it makes me shudder. Looks like paradise from over here in NJ.

Cheers,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

Re: towns for unicycles

The acquaintance is named Robb Kushner and here’s a link to the video he produced about the East Coast Greenway:

http://www.greenway.org/video.htm

Cheers,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

The best places for unicycling

It looks like it from here too. Some locals affectionately rename Taranaki as “Taradise”. It is not perfect as it is occupied by humans and they are prone to making errors of judgement. Luckily for us there is less impact on the environment here than in many places due to colonisation only happening relatively recently. We have to work at keeping our environment unspoiled because human progress has a tendency to destroy natural beauty. I can’t help myself but to post an image of Taranaki in winter, because I love it.

taranaki with snow.jpg