For me it was nothing short of a boredom solution that turned into something awesome. It was the summer before my 8th grade year in the mid 80’s, and I was spending a week with my grandparents in a small town. There was absolutely NOTHING to do, and there weren’t any kids to play with. I dug my cousin’s old Schwinn unicycle out of my aunt’s garage (it was in pristine condition never having been ridden). Within a few days, I was able to freemount it and ride it on the street, and I found I really enjoyed it. When I got home, my parents took me to the Schwinn store and I bought one for exactly $168.86. I have no idea why I remember that, but I guess it was important to me. That was a lot of money back then, and we weren’t exactly rich. For some reason, my parents were really proud of me for learning to ride one, and that purchase was a sort of reward. I think the challenge of it and the uniqueness of it kept me interested, but frankly, anything with wheels has always appealed to me. Somehow, riding the unicycle became addictive. I had stopped riding for many years with my career getting in the way of just about everything, but I finally kicked that to the curb like a bad addiction, and I’m back into unicycles, rollderblading, biking, and even Tai Chi again. Once again, I’ve found myself addicted to riding the unicycle, and even in my early 40’s I’m doin’ tricks on it and pushing myself to do more. I just love the fact that almost every day I see some sort of improvement, and after all these years, I’m still fascinated to see my shadow or reflection of me on just one wheel! Somehow that’s just magic!
Always optimistic, I’d like to ask, “How’d that work out for you?” (or How’s that working out for you)
The unicycling was more interesting than the girl
I looked to see if I could find any Dr. Seuss illustrations along those lines when I made that post but I couldn’t find any good ones. I don’t remember any specific ones but I know they’re in there somewhere.
I don’t really remember what the guy at the gas station was doing, he might have just been riding through. I think I remember him going inside though so he was probably using it as a convenience store.
wubble a type of unicycle.
I have found unicycling fascinating for years and I distinctly remember Bears on Wheels as the way I discovered unicycles. As I grew up, I’d occasionally think "how the hell would you even ride on one wheel? That has to be nearly impossible. Fast forward about 15 years, and I was set to volunteer as a camp counselor for Mid-Atlantic Burn Camp (a camp for burn survivors between ages 8-17), and was trying to think what I could do for the talent show. It quickly occurred to me that I’m pretty untalented.
In that moment of despair, inspiration passed me on the bike trail as I was biking home from work. A guy on a unicycle passed me (the first time I had seen one in the wild), and I was convinced that I had found my new talent. I went home, told my wife (who proceeded to laugh at me for this idea), researched unicycles, and ordered a Sun Classic 24". I proceeded to practice for 2.5 months, and did a small performance during the talent show dressed as Thing 1.
The kids loved it and the counselors were shocked and watched with mouths wide open. My unicycle and I were a hit! Everyone wanted to give it a try after the talent show.
So I think I vaguely remember Bears on Wheels from when I was a kid (I think we didn’t have a copy, but I saw it either at relatives, friends, school or the library).
Anyhow, I just ordered a copy for my 2 girls (1 and 4 years). A few months ago I bought a 16" unicycle for my oldest which she will get for her 4th birthday in a few months (may or may not be able to ride for a year or so, but she started biking at 2 1/2 and does really well on the bike and wants to learn to unicycle as she sees me riding almost every day, so it’ll be ready whenever she wants to learn/try). She loves to read and she already likes a few Dr Suess books, so should be a great addition. The book should be here early this week, so we’ll see how she likes it.
It was a Christmas gift when in 1st grade. Age plus attention span plus the unicycle itself, it took three years to actually learn to ride it
It was from either Montgomery Ward or Sears. For those of you who have never seen or ridden one on these (yes I still have it), you didn’t miss much. The wheel is solid rubber, the seat hard as a rock, and it came with two poles that you were supposed to use like ski poles. It’s amazing any of us actually learned to ride! It was replaced a few years later with a 24 inch, also from Sears or MW but with a real tire with an inner tube! Wow what an improvement! Unfortunately the seat was still miserable but it gave many years of good service and with a new seat my son and his friend learned to ride with it.
It has been many decades of fun (and stealing from another thread, yes walking the Old English Sheepdogs while riding:))and the stable now sports a variety of makes and sizes from UDC with Muni being the current favorite.
Mike Boyd - Learn Quick
For me it was this video above that made me want to try it. I picked up a virtually new orange Qu-Ax Luxus 20" “show model” for €40,- at bike store nearby and started practising last saturday. After a little less than 3,5 hours I can ride comfortably around a (slightly uneven) parking lot for about 100m/333ft now.
I never thought I’d be able to learn how to ride it and I try to ride at least a half an hour every day now. (Also because of the slightly unrealistic fear that if I don’t ride for I day I suddenly lose all ability I gained so far… :o )
Because my son wouldn’t. And middle age…
I bought a unicycle when I was a teenager but never learned to ride it. I thought it would be fun.
Fast forward 40 years… My son had a psychology class in high school, and one of the assignments was to learn a new skill. He picked the skill. He chose the unicycle. Like most high school students do, he procrastinated, and procrastinated. And procrastinated.
So I thought I’ll learn, and show the kid that if his old man could learn, so can he. I watched a bunch of you tube videos, remembering the one where the guy learned to ride in 2 hours 38 minutes. So I figured, I could do it in 5 hours. Sure enough, in secret, without telling anyone in the family, I went to the tennis courts, where there was a fence around it to grab onto, and figured it out …
One day when my son was working at the local department store rounding up carts, I took the whole family and showed everyone what all the mystery was about. That gave him the kick in the arse to get him motivated to learn. He figured it out, too, and he got a good grade for the assignment.
MId life, and my extra weight brought me extra aches and pains and then more extra pounds. Everyone was telling me this comes at my age… I just wasn’t ready to accept that! I was at my all time highest weight, and just decided, I needed some exercise- any exercise. SO I never quit unicycling.
Then the spiral: I exercised, I felt better, aches & pains disappeared, dropped weight, felt even better, saw improvements in my unicycling ability, dropped more weight, learned to free mount, more improvement, etc.
I don’t know when I got hooked, but I am. To date, my farthest ride has been about 8 miles. I started about April 2017. 4-5 unicycles later, It’s time to learn another way to mount, the rollback mount is too hard on a 32". I assume I’ll never be able to roll back mount on a 36".
Bottom line, I feel at least ten years younger. And unicycling is to blame!
I think the first time I had a thought of giving it a try was when I had started to work as a software developer in 2000-something. In our team we had made a whole world of Dutch political figures who actually were aliens and one of them was an evil clown that rode on unicycle. But that thought never came to something substantial.
Then in 2015 I decided I needed to change my life as I was single and only filled my time with work, playing computer games and watching films and then I read about unicycling that anybody can do it as long as you are persistent. I took the challenge and now I’m hooked.
I guess it was Spite.
My mrs and I saw a 20" uni advertised in Aldi magazine. She said to me at the time jokingly … surely your not going to buy it… and that did the trick for Jimmy…4 years later Jimmy is riding 50Km per week on the 36. Funny thing is Spite triggered the urge and then when I started to Google and understand the health and posture benefits and it looked cool, plus where I live is flat and apt for riding, investing the time and effort into learning to ride …altered the motive from I guess Spite to enjoyment… jimmy
When I was learning to fly helicopters the instructor said learning to hover was like learning to ride a unicycle. Well I’m here to tell you he must have never tried to ride a unicycle! A number of years later a friend bought a couple at a surplus school auction so of course I had to try and of course I couldn’t do it so I was hooked.
Now my high tech carbon fiber tri bike as flattened cracked tires. My fixie stuck in the corner of my office gathering dust and I probably haven’t missed more than a handful of days riding since June 10th. Oh yea and I deactivated my smart phone and bought a new flip phone a couple months ago! There’s a lot to be said for simplicity.
I’ve said it before that if it was easier to learn it would be extremely popular. I find it very much like snow skiing and every day after I go out at noon I think how fortunate I am. Heck it’s like being able to go snow skiing for an hour each day year round.
A good friend of mine got a 20" Unicycle for a surprise birthday present. Now this friend is very competative. Ie gets good at something, then likes to challenge everyone to have a go. So i thought i would get one up on him.
I bought myself a 20" cheapo of Ebay and the plan was keep it quiet until i could ride it. Then when my mate started throwing out challenges it would be really funny. The reality was my mate gave up very quickly and i got hooked just as quickly. 11 months later my mate sold his and i have 4 different sizes from 20" to 36"
Many years ago there was a tv show called the Unbeatable Banzuke that had a unicycle obstacle course. I was amazed at the skill these people had. I figured if people could learn do all that then I could at least learn to ride in a straight line.
I still watch episodes on YouTube occasionally.
I’m now pretty obsessed with unicycling and ride every day.
Thanks crazy Japanese game show.
I like to learn new things, especially if it gives me a skill not everyone can do. I am also interested in not injuring myself and having to put up with decreased mobility and pain as I age. It is one thing to be a hot shot at something when you are young, and a wreck when you are older, or before your time from taking an unnecessary risk. So I follow examples of old people who are successfully fit and healthy and mobile, and try to learn from that.
I was motivated primarily from the nice guy Stephen Jepson of www.neverleavetheplayground.com. He learns something new every year and has an impressive array of agility and balance skills, in his 70’s.
I became very overweight for various reasons, and practicing unicycling gives me a killer workout, and has helped me lose a ton of fat so far. I started unicycling last year close to 400 lb, and so far under 300 lb, a long way to go. I am under 6 ft and was once very muscular and physically strong.
Was looking to do something other than lifting heavy weights, had zero endurance and little stamina. I am still a wall dependant beginner, and have to limit my practice sessions, but I notice that the lighter I get, the more I can practice. One day it will just click.
After I get the hang of this, and much lighter, I will see how far I can get with trials and mountian uni. I used to ride motorcycle trials and other dirt biking long ago. I enjoyed the challenge of obstacles and balance, was very serious about it. After I get decent at unicycling I intend to pursue other balance and agility disciplines.
I like that unicycling costs so much less than other things I was into, is environmentally friendly, and takes up so little room. I don’t need a big vehicle or trailer and large space to store them. Seems to be a very satsfying pursuit. Wish I took it up long ago.
A ten dollar unicycle at a garage sale about four years ago reminded me of an unrequited vision I had of riding a unicycle when I was a kid.
This week I bought my fourteenth and fifteenth wheels. I wanted the Nimbus five foot giraffe but it came with a UDC Club 20. Both needed some love having been neglected at the back of a shed for a few years. They came up quite well.
“Hello, my name is OneTrackMind and I am a uniholic”.
I was introduced in a school of performing arts (think “Fame”) that I attended in high school. We were doing the show " Barnum" , so naturally, the director wanted us to learn tricks. I learned to flip in the air, one other gentleman learned to ride a unicycle we had in the dance room. I decided to give it a go, as I was an avid bike rider, I figured it would be easy. I was promptly dumped on my @ss. I decided this uni wasn’t going to get the better of me, so I bought my own, watched tons of youtube videos and began learning on my own. Now I can just about freemount and I’m going to be upgrading to a Nimbus Oracle 29 soon!
when i saw an old video of my favourite japanese actress riding a unicycle. right that very moment, i decided to learn riding a uni. i thought if she can do it, i can too.