Unicycling on astro-turf & other nasties

>> Ever tried to uni on carpet? The twisting is quite violent on some
>> because the direction of loops in the carpet, I take it that the sidewalk is
>> not carpeted! but some surfaces can make quite a difference.

>I once rode a giraffe on astro-turf - a very strange experience. It felt like I
>was on the side of a hill! Try it for yourself… %^)

>Peter Philip peterp@foe.co.uk

The worst surface I ever had to perform on was wet astro-turf. It was at the end
of a rainy April day in Manhattan. The tent was set up in a wet parking lot as
part of a huge promotion for a new apartment or condo tower. I was one of 20
circus acts to be taking turns in the little ring. Wet shoes on wet pedals on a
wet mushy surface make for less than the best possible unicycling. I took the
pegged BMX pedals off my big wheel and put them on my regular unicycle for
better grip. In any case, the audiences seemed to like it, and I got paid, which
is what ultimately counts in those types of shows.

The second worst surface I performed on was lumpy carpet, in the Riga Circus in
Riga, Latvia. This was a 101 year old European circus building. Under the carpet
was lumpy rubber (the horse riding surface). They left the carpet down because
the bare floor was ugly. I was the first unicyclist of my kind to perform in the
(then) Soviet Union, and I somehow managed to pull it off with few mistakes.

Other notable performing surfaces to be avoided: A dry, dusty wood or linoleum
floor, with a dried-out old sun-beaten tire Soft, thick pile hotel carpeting
Grass (John Foss will now perform – on grass! Uh, that is to say, on a grassy
surface . . . ) actual ringmaster quote from a show Dirt with tree roots running
through it The very slippery Great Wall of China (so we ended up not doing a
show up there) A supermarket grand opening, where all the people wanted was to
buy their groceries . . .

Yes, the glory of being a professional circus performer . . . . . . . . . . .

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone unicycle@aol.com