unicycle culture

A friend of mine found this post, and sent it to me. It was posted in 1992
by someone at my college. Well, I found it interesting:

begin quote----
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Date: 1992-10-27 07:01:00 PST

                         UNDERGROUND UNICYCLE CULTURE

Being one of the very few people who unicycle regularly to classes here
at RIT, it gives me a special distinction as I speed past people. All
the people who witness my skill all gape and some of the more crass ones
shout, “doesn’t that hurt your testicles?”

I’ve been photographed for at least a dozen photography assignments
(they all probably got F’s), and I was a big hit in parent’s weekend. I
would speed toward them, and “realize” they were in my way, and turn
sharply around them. Heh heh heh.

But somehow I think I’m missing something. The only other unicycle guy
goes to night classes, and I’m here during the day. The skateboarders
have their own culture, as well as the rollerbladers and the dirt
bikers. But not for unicycles.

So I’ve thought what it would be like to have a Unicycle culture. Would
we have our own music, slang, and assorted unicycle chicks? I can
imagine how an exhange between fellow Unicycle ethusiasts would go:

Oh, freem, dude! It was schruluggy! I cranked my Uni to a twisty 
but I crunched, man!

(Translation: Oh my! It was quite embarrasing. I attempted to turn
sharply on my Unicycle, but unfortunately lost my balance
and fell).

We would have our own industrial music for unicycles. Lyrics would go
in the likes of:

                         HYMN OF UNICYCLE MAN 

                     Unicycle man glide in the night
                     Crankin his wheel 'cause it's right
                     Lookin' down below on a 12 foot Garaffe
                     The world's so puny, he's gotta laugh..  


or something of that nature. With lots of synthesizers to mask the
lack of talent in the band.

But what we really need is the hordes of unicycle chicks like the kind
that hang out with the skateboarders. The chicks don’t actually skate
as far as I can tell, but that’s fine with me. The unicycle groupee
chicks could wear leather jackets, black tights, and have “Cure” tee
shirts just like the thrasher’s girlfriends.

But the ultimate would be a Unicycle movie. The touring bikers got
theirs with “Breaking Away”, and the rollerbladers got theirs in
“Prayer of the Rollerboys” (a real classic, like Star Wars or something.
Trust me, it’s the best movie in the history of the universe. No,
really.) And the skateboarders got theirs in all three “Back to the
Future” movies.

The awesome unicycle movie would have to star someone like River
Pheonix or some teenage heartthrob. The plot would center around some
basically good teenager who is just misunderstood. However his one
outlet in life is his unicycle, and when something totally bad
threatens him or his loved ones, he rides his unicycle around and
solves the problem. And he gets the girl at the end, too. How can
it not be a smash hit?

Perhaps part of the problem is that I’m not encouraging others with
my polyester shirts, plaid pants, wingtips, greased hair, and thick
plastic glasses. Mabye I should get rid of that HP-48sx calculator
and put on an all-leather outfit, dark glasses, and a German World War
I helmet. I would curse and snarl and make people uneasy to watch me
pass by. That would recruit at least a few aimless freshmen looking
for a role model they can identify with.

                                              UNICYCLE NAKED


  • Derrick Williams Rochester Institute of Technology

Sent via the Unicyclist Community - http://Unicyclist.com

River died the year after this post… perhaps following Derrick’s fasion advice in a feature film was just too much for him… or maybe it was the ‘cool uni dialogue’. Still: it’s good to know that previous calls for uni-onics had fallen on deaf ears…


Aside from the unabashed sexism of Derrick’s message, it raises some interesting

I would think already that if some sociologists and anthropologists descended
upon groups like the Cokerheads in Austin or the TCUC in Minnesota where large
numbers of unicyclists congregate frequently, they would be able to identify
aspects of what is called here a “culture”. They would surely have distinct
flavors, but perhaps even some similarities.

Whatever that culture is like, I believe it would reflect the uniqueness and
specialness that unicyclists feels about themselves. This comes from an analogy
in music: unicycling is more like playing the violin than the guitar. Which is
to say that one can pick up a guitar and strum a few chords very quickly and
progress slowly and not very much but still be able to play a bit and say you do

  • something like skateboarding. (No question though, to get good you must

However, the violin takes much more of an initial investment. You can’t just
pick it up and make some pleasing sounds. This is more like unicycling. For most
it takes at least a few days to get beyond the “I’ll never be able to do this”
stage. Such being the case, once some mastery is attained, there is a feeling of
real accomplishment and one immediately becomes part of a group who have
overcome some real obstacle and are rightly proud of it.

And I would further say that artificially creating a culture for unicyclists
modeled on a biker or skateboarding world is impossible and pointless (and it
does seem from below that the writers main motivation for suggesting this is to
attract women). The culture, with the increasing popularity of unicycling, is
developing (whatever its characteristics may be) on its own.

It’s been debated here just how popular unicycling will ever become, but
assuming it becomes popular enough to include large groups in most major cities
and a smaller but equally devoted groups in less populated areas, it will surely
develop its own identifiable culture.

Blah, blah, blah,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

In article <3C5EB4BA.2DF7E8F3@library.lucent.com>,
Raphael Lasar <raphael@library.lucent.com> wrote:
)And I would further say that artificially creating a culture for unicyclists
)modeled on a biker or skateboarding world is impossible and pointless (and it
)does seem from below that the writers main motivation for suggesting this is to
)attract women)

I’m sure women in the skateboarding/BMX culture do just fine at attracting
men as well.