> So, does someone with more knowledge than me want to make a guess as to
> how many people can ride an UW? John Foss maybe?
I know I can’t…
A lot of people have been getting on my case about ultimate wheels lately.
I guess that’s because I have ridden just about every unicycle type I’ve
ever heard of, but still haven’t mastered the UW. Every year I try to ride
one 30 meters at NUC or UNICON in the Ultimate Wheel race. Sometimes I
make it and sometimes I don’t. I have one, so I should practice. Now I
have a friend (Terrell Williams, the guy who did the seat post on my ATU)
who’s getting into it and wants me to come practice with him, so I should.
So how many people? That goes into the whole question of how many
unicyclists are there? I don’t think anybody knows. But this is a very
common question of media people.
An article on MUni will be in the National Geographic Adventure magazine
in October or November. They called me many times for fact-checking, but
the big question was how many people do off-road unicycling? I told them
basically nobody knows, but then I thought about it. If somebody’s
supposed to know, shouldn’t it be the president of the USA or IUF? Hmmm.
Unicycle manufacturers are very reluctant to give out sales data.
Basically they don’t. But maybe we haven’t asked them the right way. As
our unicycling organizations become more businesslike, perhaps they will
pay more attention to us. But that’s only part of the story. If 10,000
people buy unicycles, how many people actually ride them.
And what counts as being a rider? Surveys and statistics on people who do
sports for recreational purposes usually come out with bicycling as one of
the top activities. To get this status, people must ride their bikes at
least twice a year, or something like that. So to count ultimate wheelers,
it should be anybody that can ride one, basically, whether they do it
often or not. This should be taken as a percentage of the overall
So I still have no idea. What percentage of unicyclists can ride an
ultimate wheel? A safe bet is probably between 0 and 3. Pretty low. Maybe
less than a thousand people on the planet. I’ll say 3000 as my guess, but
don’t know how many people do it in big unicycle countries like Japan,
where unicycles are fairly common but I don’t know about ultimate wheels.
Now to go and practice…
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone firstname.lastname@example.org www.unicycling.com
“The difference between a winner and a loser is character.”