what am i?

Going around town on my uni I am not sure what I am and where I should
ride. I sometimes ride on sidewalks and on pedestrian paths, sometimes
on bicycle paths. I don’t feel very good on either. The pedestrians look
intimidated as I come on my 24" helmet and all. They keep themselves on
the fringes and gaze at me with fright in their eyes. On bicycle paths I
become worried for my own safety. It is not always easy to check up
behind my back before doing sideways movement (also known as a wobble)
and if there is a fast bike coming up from behind in that moment …

I e-mailed the authorities here in Sweden and they claim that a uni is
to be counted as a one-wheeled bicycle. That should take care of my
identity crisis but I will probably continue to ride where it feels
best. Sometimes even the streets are the best option.

I always ride where I consider it to be most sensible. On the road if it is quiet, on the pavement if the road is busy. Cycle paths are ideal but not very useful over here. These days I mostly ride off-road anyway :slight_smile:

I have pretty good control now so pedestrians don’t - and have no reason to - panic when i ride by them on the sidewalk. If you aren’t that comfortable on the uni, maybe you should practice some more before riding close to people.

So, when i’m on busy streets, i stick to the sidewalk. When i’m on side streets, i usually use the road, but the sidewalk is just a good.

Just practice so that you are comfortable riding perfectly straight, making quick turns to get around people, and riding slow enough so that when you can’t get around people you can tail them without falling off.

That’s my advice anyway.

If you search the forum, you will find various threads on “Unicycling and the law” and that type of thing. The law varies from country to country, and from state to state, or province to province, so there is no universal answer except to use common sense.

My rule of thumb is: if you look like a cyclist, and act like a cyclist, you will be treated like a cyclist. If you look like a pedestrian and act like a pedestrian, you will be treated like a pedestrian.

You must always bear in mind that you are the unexpected. You might frighten pedestrians, or you might irritate motorists. The onus is on you to avoid coming into conflict with other people who are going about their normal business in a legitimate way.

I tend to act as follows:

Back lanes and quiet roads: Coker or 28, with cycle helmet and, where appropriate, fluorescent top. Ride sensibly, with plenty of margin for error, and dismount if in any doubt at junctions or crossings.

Cycle paths: pretty much the same.

Pavements/sidewalks: OK on a 24. Always give way to the pedestrians. Dismount if in any doubt.

I have ridden a 24 with very short cranks on the road. It attracted hostility from the less highly evolved motorists.

Too much safety equipment can give a bad impression. I think commuting or road riding requires a helmet and wristguards. I think if you were armoured like a knight of old, you’d attract adverse reactions.

And if a police officer or other person in authority stops you, don’t try to give a clever legalistic answer. An apology and a smile will keep you out of trouble more often. Look like you’re meant to be there, look like you’re riding safely, and look like you’re being courteous and considerate, and you should be OK.

Re: what am i?

“Golden Chicken” <babedrummer@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:babedrummer-831469.13580324082004@newsc.telia.net
>
>
> Going around town on my uni I am not sure what I am and where I should
> ride. I sometimes ride on sidewalks and on pedestrian paths, sometimes
> on bicycle paths. I don’t feel very good on either.

I think the idea is to keep the pedestrians on your side. Let them think you
are an interesting novelty. If you are not super smooth or if the pedestrian
is old and/or likely to be frightened easily then, if at all possible, stop
and lean on a fence or tree until they have passed by . Certainly do not
weave expertly and rapidly between them: they have no idea of your
competence, and inherently regard a unicycle as a piece of circus
equipment., And circuses are where people do dangerous things. Therefore
what you are doing is dangerous. QED. You can see their logic and you
cannot blame people for their lack of knowledge, why should they have any
reason to understand or research this pastime?

It may offend some unicyclists, but if told off for riding on the
pavement by the authorities I would emphasize to them the dangers of riding
a “wobbly toy” on the roadway. If told off for riding on the road then I
would suggest that it is frightening to pedestrians to be riding on the
pavement. Convince everyone that you care, as indeed you should, but
exaggerate and twist the argument in your own direction. And ride where
you think there is greatest safety for all. Choose if possible lightly
populated walkways. Choose your machine carefully: a coker at full blast on
a pavement would worry a fully grown Brahma bull, were it walking along that
same pathway. Unicycling seems to be growing in popularity, and if it gets
any sort of status amongst teenagers then Roger is going to make a fortune
and we will need to have the ground rules established. A skateboard is I
think far less threatening than a unicycle to Joe Average, and look at the
bad press the boarders have managed to achieve.
Lets not get ourselves that bad reputation, once (if the teenagers en masse
arrive, it will happen anyway: one reason that I, for one, am not too keen
to see the sport expand rapidly. I do not want the local council to spend
my council tax building me a unicycle park, an indian reservation for one
wheel.

Naomi

Re: what am i?

In article <hecklar.1bi2qs@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com>,
“hecklar” <hecklar@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com> wrote:

> Just practice so that you are comfortable riding perfectly straight,
> making quick turns to get around people, and riding slow enough so that
> when you can’t get around people you can tail them without falling
> off.

Good point. Especially about being able to go real slow. I am not there
yet.

>
> That’s my advice anyway.
>
>
> –
> hecklar
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> hecklar’s Profile: http://www.unicyclist.com/profile/6917
> View this thread: http://www.unicyclist.com/thread/34701

Re: what am i?

On Tue, 24 Aug 2004 11:56:14 GMT, Golden Chicken wrote:

>I e-mailed the authorities here in Sweden and they claim that a uni is
>to be counted as a one-wheeled bicycle.

Firstly, that is a contradictio in terminis, and secondly, it doesn’t
help unless either the law explicitly states that that one-wheeled
bicycles have to follow the rules for regular bicycles, or if there
are specific rules for one-wheeled bicycles (but the latter I dare to
doubt).

In the Netherlands, formally, a person riding a unicycle seems to be a
pedestrian, the unicycle being a toy. However, I tend to behave as a
bicyclist, especially when I am on the 29’er since I go at bike speeds
with it.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“The more you think, the less you have to do. - Leo Vandewoestijne”

When in doubt dismount. Sometimes I juts stop riding and walk past the pedestrain coming the other way. If there’s space I ride on the grass next to the sidewalk. If the road isn’t busy I ride off the sidewalk. I’m lucky to live in a small town, and people are starting to get used to me, and what I do on and off road… but the fall semester is starting, which means a whole new bunch of university students to amaze (or at least sing the circus song ;))

I use a rear-view mirror fastened to my glasses to see behind me. That may help with the bicyclists. You can also get them that attach to a helmet.

Re: what am i?

In article <412c0d02.3767885@newszilla.xs4all.nl>,
klaasbil_remove_the_spamkiller_@xs4all.nl (Klaas Bil) wrote:

> On Tue, 24 Aug 2004 11:56:14 GMT, Golden Chicken wrote:
>
> >I e-mailed the authorities here in Sweden and they claim that a uni is
> >to be counted as a one-wheeled bicycle.
>
> Firstly, that is a contradictio in terminis,

Not in Swedish where a bicycle is called a cycle (cykel).

> help unless either the law explicitly states that that one-wheeled
> bicycles have to follow the rules for regular bicycles, or if there
> are specific rules for one-wheeled bicycles (but the latter I dare to
> doubt).

I guess legislators have little experience from unicycles, what they are
and how they behave. And the range makes the phenomena even more
complex; a uni being anything from a 16" up to a coker. Or a giraffe!
Now, where are you supposed to ride a giraffe through town?

This wide diversity in itself speaks for dealing with unis the way you
deal with bicycles from which there also are many kinds; tricycles,
tandems, velomobiles, recumbents, tallbikes, kids bikes, special models
for disabled persons etc etc

>
> In the Netherlands, formally, a person riding a unicycle seems to be a
> pedestrian, the unicycle being a toy. However, I tend to behave as a
> bicyclist, especially when I am on the 29’er since I go at bike speeds
> with it.
>
> Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict