unicycling

Hi to all,

As a new member of your mailing list, i would like to introduce myself. My name
is Bob and i am an engineer working for a large R&D firm in the
Baltimore/Washington area. I have been unicycling ever since a friend of mine
introduced me to the sport while we were in college. While in college, i owned
three unicycles (one normal size, one very tall, one with a small wheel for
stunts) and tended to use each of them on almost a daily basis. Now that I am a
family man with a full time job, i have much less time to ride, and money/space
considerations have forced me to sell all of my unicycles except the normal-size
one. My one remaining unicycle sits in my garage now, and is used once in a blue
moon. I do, however, still thoroughly enjoy riding it, and try to take it with
me whenever i go on vacation, or to a party where people might enjoy watching or
trying it out. I would like to teach my son to ride in a couple of years so that
i will have someone to ride with (first he needs to master the two-wheeler).

It is very easy for me come up with a story for the “Unicycle Challenge.” There
is one story that really stands out in my mind. It is the story of how I
acquired my very tall (10 feet?) unicycle. So heres how I got it. …

I was in college, and the first time I saw the 10-foot unicycle in the local
bike shop, I knew I had to have one. I would still ride my standard-height
unicycle most of the time, but i wanted the a tall one to ride on special
occasions. The problem was the price tag; i could not afford it, and I knew i
could never justify the expense if I should happen to come by a windfall. I
decided that i would never own a tall unicyle.

While in college, I was an avid bicyclist. In he winter of 1979, I trained
intensly for a cross-country ride, and in the spring of 1980, I rode across the
country with no problems. That was an incredible journey, and could be the
subject of another story. Shortly after returning from that ride, i read an
announcement in local newspaper that said that the local bike shop was
sponsoring a bike-a-thon to support MDA. The article said that participants
should get sponsors, and that their would be prizes awarded for

  1. most money collected, and 2) most miles ridden. I signed up for the
    bike-a-thon, and proceeded to get several sponsors (which did not add up to
    that much money, but it was something, and it was a noble gesture) There were
    several problems with the date that the cycle shop had chosen for the
    bike-a-thon. The biggest problem was that they had chosen the day of one of
    the biggest rivalry football games that our school played each year. There
    were very few students who were going to be willing to miss this game. Also,
    the weather was really lousy on that day, and the organizers had failed to
    make provisions for a rain date. Anyway, for all of these reasons, and due to
    some lousy advertising, the bike-a-thon was a complete failure, and I was one
    of only five people who rode the event. The other four participants were all
    young girls, one of whom actually had training wheels on her bike. Since the
    organizers had set up a rather nice course, i decided to treat the day as a
    training ride, and rode straight and steady from the first minute of the
    event to the last minute of the event. As I was in such good shape from my
    cross-country ride two weeks before, I racked up a number of miles which
    really amazed everyone around. Needless to say, I won the category of “Most
    Miles.” I was informed that I should contact the cycle shop to make
    arrangements to pick up my prize, a bran new ten-speed bike!

Although I was delighted to have won anything, I really had no use for the bike
that they were giving me. I considered giving it to charity, and then I thought
about that 10-foot unicycle that i had seen at the cycle shop. I called the
store and asked them if they would consider giving me the unicycle instead since
it was worth approximately the same. I was told “We will get back to you on
that!” When they called me back, the owner of the store explained that he would
be glad to give me the unicycle instead, but that there was one condition. He
explained that when I came to get the prize, the local newpaper wanted a picture
of the store owner presenting me with the prize. I was told that the store would
be presenting me a ten-speed during the photo session, and that I could exchange
it for the unicycle after the photographers left. That is exactly what I did,
and that is how I got my tall unicycle!

I will be looking forward to neat stuff out of this mailing-list. See you
later, Bob

Re: Unicycling

Welcome - good to hear there is another die-hard fool out there.


Wayne van Wijk

wvanwijk@gil.com.au

<read between the lines>


> From: DBr1998 <DBr1998@aol.com> To: unicycling@winternet.com Subject:
> Unicycling Date: Thursday, April 16, 1998 6:21 AM
>
> I too just started and can only ride about an hour a week. Anyway,
turning
> wasn’t a problem for me , but going in a straight line. I have found that
if I
> look in the direction I want to turn I will go. At first it will be a
very
> wide turn, but once you get the feeling try rotating with your thighs.
Next
> you have to lean, ever so slightly, in the direction you want to go.
Don’t
> lean over to far or down you go.
>
> Next come to a stop and twist your hips in whatever direction you want to
> turn. Don’t be concerned about how far you turn just start pedaling
again.
> After awhile you will be able to turn 90 degrees.
>
> Last but not least just keep trying and you will do it. You might also
try
> facing a wall and just practice turning around in circles holding onto
the
> wall. this should help your body understand the movement.
>
> Good luck ;-).
>
> Now for my problem. While riding I seem to be always facing slightly to
the
> left. I ride a 24" Miyata and the wheel is offset to the left, facing
forward.
> I was wondering if this was the cause. I also notice that my left leg
pushes
> harder than my right and no matter how I try I can’t seem to correct
this.
>
> I began riding in January after the article on Mountain Unicycling. Three
> years ago a crushed my right leg which is weeker than my left. I feel
very
> comfortable riding and ride to work once a week. The rest of the time I
ride
> my regular road bike. the farest I have ridden so far was 20 miles in 2
1/2
> hrs.
>
> A footnote for all those complaining about saddle sores. Try using a
product
> called Butt’r, (818)781-0287. This lubricates the rear end and does not
clog
> the pores. I have used it during the Race Across AMerica where I spent 22
out
> of 24 hours on a bike for 9 days straight. I had no problems with the
rear
> end.
>
> This is getting a little long for my first e-mail so will cut it short
here.