Try This!

Try This!

In the recent discussion on the validity of unicycling skill levels, a number
people posted ideas of alternative things to try on unicycles. I have compiled
most of them below, and would be interested in keeping a list of others;
whatever you can think of. You might list these ideas under the subject of :
“Try This!” Allow me to briefly speak my piece on the skill levels, as one of
the contributors to the set of 10 that we currently have. Skill levels are not
for everybody. Many of us are happy just to ride forward and have a good time.
If you don’t like the idea, do the same thing you do with a bad TV show. Don’t
throw the TV out the window, just change the channel. For people interested in
doing skills, this system is intended as a rough way of measuring one’s skill
against a given standard, no matter where in the world you are. It’s also
intended to give people ideas of what to try next if they are out of ideas. It
is not intended as a complete listing of unicycling skills. For a larger list,
in the IUF Competition Rulebook is the IUF Standard Skills List, a listing of
all skills which can be performed in an IUF Standard Skill competition routine.
This is not a complete list of unicycling skills either, but is much more
comprehensive (it also includes descriptions of the skills). Last but not least,
the 10 skill levels were specifically designed to be performed anywhere and
without props (except the 10cm block), so there are no jump ropes, curbs,
stairs, etc. All of these are valid and useful unicycling skills, but just
aren’t part of this list. Originally there were 4 skill levels, written by Jan
Layne of the USA Inc. These levels included riding down a 6" curb, and riding
one mile in under 6 minutes.

Below is a listing of things to try, outside of the 10 IUF Skill Levels, along
with the name and address of the people who posted them:

  1.  Jump rope (Paul Goodrich <psgoodrich@bpa.gov>)
    
  2.  Pick items up off the ground.
    
  3.  Free mount a giraffe unicycle.
    
  4.  Carry people on your shoulders while you ride.
    
  5.  Commute to work or school.
    
  6.  Take your dog(s) for a run.
    
  7.  Ride on narrow surfaces (ledges, rims of fountains or planters,
     curbs, etc).
    
  8.  Ride down stairs
    
  9.  Hopping up stairs
    
  10. Rotate either direction while hopping.
    
  11. Crush coke cans by hopping. Try to do several in a row, hopping from one
    to the next.
    
  12. Juggling
    
  13. Hills - up or down
    
  14. Snow! Snow and Hills!
    
  15. Uni basketball - especially fun with a giraffe on each team.
    
  16. Uni diving - ride off the end of a diving board on a unicycle
    
  17. Uni jousting - use boffers (PVC pipe covered in foam pipe insulation
    covered in duct tape
    
  18. Uni jousting, version 2. AKA Uni demolition, or simply, "bins" - each
    unic gets a two-wheeled trash bin and pushes it around in front of
    him/her, ramming into the other from any direction, trying to get the
    other to fall off. You can get hurt, even with no opponent!
    
  19. Uni jousting, version 3. AKA Tank Bins, or Armored Pike Bins. Much like
    regular bins, except now each bin has an occupant wielding a boffer
    staff or spear, which is stuck horizontally out between the lip of the
    can and the lid, leaving a very small slot. The occupant tends to be
    blind, and must rely on instructions from his/her unic to know where to
    swing the staff.
    
  20. "Pinwheels"
    
  21. Slalom - anywhere there is a row of pillars or posts! Do it as fast as
    possible (you might want to start slow and work your way up - posts,
    unlike people, don't dodge when you fall towards them).
    
  22. Race bicyclists through the slalom - either side-by-side if there are
    two sets of posts, or for time if there aren't. Using the same set of
    posts simultaneously is NOT recommended! Sort of like TIE- fighters
    chasing the Millennium Falcon into the asteroid field - they try to go
    fast and catch up, then WHAM! Solid object. (Of course, I'm really not
    sure why the Falcon seemed to be more maneuverable than the TIEs...)
    editor's note: The Falcon is more maneuverable for the same reason that
    100 Stormtroopers can't shoot Luke & Leia
    
  23. Get your shoelace wrapped around your axle while reaching into your
    backpack with both hands - While this is probably not "fun" for most
    people, maybe there are some masochists out there who'd get a real kick
    out of it. (John Stimson <jstimson@muddcs.hmc.edu>)
    
  24. Get a small old BMX wheel and a bike pump. Ride along looking
    frustrated, pumping madly - as though you are only riding on one wheel
    until you can get this other blasted wheel pumped up.
    
  25. When you get bored of that, get an old steering wheel, and hold it in
    front, while making brrrm brrrm noises and pretend to use it to steer.
    Making appropriate honking noises when pushing on centre of the wheel.
    (Julian Orbach <julian@cs.uq.oz.au>)
    
  26. My grandad told me of a friend who used to join two unis together with
    inner tubes, to make a bike with a flexible frame. That's something I
    might try one day, when I can afford a second uni. (Danny Colyer "Akuma"
    <bs1dwc@bath.ac.uk>)
    
  27. I've taken a hobby-horse (horse head on a stick) and attached it under
    the seat. Then, don your chaps, spurs and six-shooters and go for a
    ride. A little exaggeration to you idling and it looks like you're
    riding a bucking bronco. (Jerry Carson <jcarson@mcgh.org>)
    
  28. Hula Hoop (Dennis Kathrens <d.kathrens@genie.geis.com>)
    
  29. Ride up & down curbs (Christopher Lamb <clamb@sirius.uvic.ca>)
    
  30. Bend down, put hands on ground, press into handstand, bring wheel back
    to ground, pop upright, and ride away. (Mark Sands
    <M.R.Sands@iasos.utas.edu.au>)
    

John Foss, President International Unicycling Federation unifoss@cerfnet.com