Unis at the Inaugural Parade

Jigiwigy will probably post some more comprehensive videos of the Gym Dandies at the Inaugural Parade (at least, I hope he does), but I thought I’s post a link to a clip from the C-span site.


Congrats to all who participated in this great event, and thanks from all unicycle riders for a great job promoting this sport!

I haven’t been able to find anything else out there. WGME news in Portland this morning had a shot of them in perfect formation with rows of unicyclists going to alternate sides of the road. It looked great. But I haven’t been able to find it online.

They had this whole routine they had practiced, but that seem to have dissapeared. I guess it is hard to look at the President in keep the lines straight and even. :slight_smile: There were alot of big smiles - it is a trip of a lifetime. Unfortunately, my daughter couldn’t go.

The parents I heard from said the kids really enjoyed it.

It was fun to watch it. We were streaming it live and watching on CNN. Fortunately we were streaming it, because CNN went to commercial when the Dandies went by!

Ok, one posted from the crowd and added to the GD facebook page.

Sorry to hear your daughter couldn’t go.
Thanks for posting the info on the event, it was great to see.


Seeing all those young ones on six footers and having the time of their lives brought tears to my eyes. They were terrific.

I read where they had to be there at something like 9:30 and then wait until 5:30? Wow, what patience.

Great work on a cold, cold day!

They woke up at 4:30 and sat in a large tent from 9:30 to 5:30. I hope they brought some books to read. The course was also rough. By the time they reached the viewing stand it was dark, there were alot of pot holes along the way, and glaring bright lights. Occasionally, I will ride at night and the combination of street lights and dark spots really can thow off my sense of balance. Several kids fell along the route. They are young so they bounce. :slight_smile:

I am looking forward to the next board meeting so I can get all the details.

Great bunch of kids.

Hopefully they will be able to go again in four years. Then my daughter will go and my son.

Now I am helping them get ready for UNICON in 2014!

Potholes certainly are a constant danger when unicycling anywhere, anytime. But wow, when you are unicycling in formation you just can’t swerve around them all! Yep, great bunch of kids…and lots of good unicycling going on there too.

Every parade I’ve watched seems to move along like a slinky toy.
Goes for a bit then stops for a bit then on again. What do the unicycles do during the stop? Is there a loose plan to mingle in loops or something until they get moving again? The giraffes don’t dismount/mount so easy so they need to keep moving it would seem.

Well, for the Gym Dandies, the loop back. The left group in formation turns back to the left and the right group turns to the right. They also do sometimes do zig zags to slow them down - the front will slowly proceed to the left and the next row will proceed to the right. it looks very nice. I saw them doing it in this parade really on a news cast but haven’t been able to find a link. But this is what it looks like.
It eats up a little forward momentum.

When there are 20 inch unicycles in the parade they do loop backs as well as snakes - follow the leader. Here you can see the 20 inches snaking as well as the giraffes doing a loop back (Cherry Blosson Parade).


The group also practice alot of slow riding and the 20 inch group, at least, do a lot of slow races (last one to finish) during practice. One kid who wasn’t in this parade decided it wasn’t worth his while to ride a 20 inch in a parade. So he worked hard to learn all that was needed for a giraffe - like idling, riding backwards, etc. Anytime a 20 inch parade came up he would skip it. He made giraffe and in his first giraffe parade he kept falling off. He still falls off the most. He nevered learned to slow ride by being part of the 20 inch group and paying his dues.

The giraffes riders have it tough. They mount with assistance and so their ride starts 5 to 10 minutes before the parade starts. Then they stay up the whole parade. For every mile the parade travels they probably ride 3 miles. I have to put a gps on one of those giraffes to see if this is actually true.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving parade was really hard from what I heard as every group stops to perform for the cameras. At the least this parade kept moving.

“When there are 20 inch unicycles in the parade they do loop backs as well as snakes - follow the leader. Here you can see the 20 inches snaking as well as the giraffes doing a loop back (Cherry Blosson Parade).
210_2 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Link doesn’t seem to work.
Try this:
210_2 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

It really is an impressive unit. I look at it and try to imagine myself in there. I would be like the first Domino falling, knocking everyone else over. Yeah it wouldn’t be pretty. There is so much skill involved. Thanks for sharing.

Those kids must have loved every minute!

Have you heard any more good stories from the inaugural parade?

I assume everyone is back to “life as usual” and I was hoping some more stories could be shared!

I have talked to several of the kids. One of the kids I talked to Saturday night and her eyes lit up when I asked her about the parade. She said it was great! Obama looked right at her. Another kid juggling stopped when Obama waved to him so he could wave back. From what I hear all the kids said that Obama made eye contact with everyone of them. I guess that is what makes a good politician. :slight_smile:

The bands ahead of them and after them were very loud so the front and back leads had trouble communicating over the noise. Usually the director will say something like ‘circle back’ and the person in the back repeats it. Then the front gives the ‘break’ command and they do a circle back. They have mega-phones but it didn’t matter. It was still too loud. A circle back puts space between them and whoever is in front.

So when they turn to ride in front of the president there is this blinding spot light shining on them from straight ahead. That would throw off my balance. Then the band in front slows way down. The band in back is taking the space behind them and they have no way of communicating for a circle back. So they ended up scrunched together. Then as soon as Obama waved they all wave back.

The kid juggling on the the three wheeler saw Biden first, then Obama. He was right there in front of the glass and not too far from them. He saw Biden first and realized who it was when Biden was looking directly at him. You can see how close he was in the video.

Even if they didn’t get a chance to ride the performance they practiced they looked great anyway. It sounds like quite an event. All the kids had a great time. The police escorted the bus, with lights on, when they arrived back in town the following night.

I hope they can do it again in 4 years!

Thanks for your response, Jigywigy. We are having a unicycle day at our church on Sunday and I will share your comments with all the riders.

I watched the first video again and, once again, got choked up. I am so excited for the group. I love the part where they show Obama and he mouths the words “Don’t fall off those things!”