Who is the oldest unicyclist?

Don’t quit

I’m 51 I don’t know I’ll ever stop either. least I don’t plan to. When I’m riding I also do’nt think about age I feel I’m 20 or so. I don’t do the stupid things I used to and I doubt I’ll ever be more than a level one (I only get on and off one way). I do like to off road though I still like a beer in one hand and lots of water at the end. My mother rode a uni on her 60th birthday just to say she could. Then she rode her BMW boxer up the Alcan hiway. I think she liked two wheels and power better than one and peddling. I’ve only known her to be wrong about one thing.

Guess I qualify. I hope to be riding for another forty years. And for the record, I practically LIVE on a computer. :smiley:

If you read the posts you see we’re already over or around 90.
So already before eposting your contribution wasn’t really a contribution.
Besides that; have you witnessed him riding in his 80’ies?

Pat, you may hold the honor of being the oldest member of this forum. That’s great! I hope you keep it up for another 40 years too!

I was hoping some of the people who have been involved in unicycling for a long time could chime in on this. I’d really like to know who the oldest unicyclist is/was. If anyone has any tips, post them and let’s get to the bottom of this!

Rumsfeld

For the record, Donald Rumsfeld will turn 75 on July 9th. I can’t find any evidence that he still rides.

Reading of folks riding into their 90s is inspiring. I hope to join them.

as far as I know the oldest poster was until recently uniWitold …
but I have not read him lately (he went over 70!) … hope everything is ok.
ping Witold ?
(ah yes we also have in the south of France one rider who is around 70 but his english is poor
and he does not post here)

For a brief moment I thought the topic of this thread was ‘Who is the oddest unicyclist’. and I was wondering why it only had two pages.
This place is full of odd people!

Then I read it right.

Oddest

Oddest might apply after all. Check out my gallery below.

I have a picture in one of my old JUA (Japan) Newsletters that says “Blind children on unicycle.” It shows two kids, roughly age 10, riding holding hands. There was a guy from the Mobile Unicycle Club, hosts of the 1989 USA convention (Alabama) who was severely visually impaired. He was given the Bill Jenack Award that year for unicycling despite his challenge of almost no sight. I’m sure there have been others.

I know several deaf unicyclists as well, including my neice.

I would love to see or read evidence that Donald Rumsfeld could actually ride a unicycle. All I’ve seen is a single picture of him falling off one. This could have been his one and only attempt, ever, or it could be a bad shot of a guy who could actually ride. I think the jury is still out on him and the unicycle…

There was a guy in the Phoenix Unicycle Club who was reportedly 93. He came to the USA convention in Washington in 1999. I remember seeing him but I didn’t get the chance to meet him or see him ride. I did see a woman from the club who was learning to ride at approximately age 72. I believe the 93, and think that may be the highest age number I’ve heard of along with stories of actual riding.

I’d love to have that title… in about 50 years

my grandpa just turned 100. I don’t think he could ride today even if he was a great unicyclist when he was younger. which he wasn’t .

John, thanks a lot for your response. I knew you’d be the guy to tell us. Is there any way to get this gentleman’s name? That’s quite a feat, riding at 93! Just in the name of record-keeping, it’d be good to know who he was. Maybe if there are enough sources of information I could write up an article on this topic and submit it to the uni mag.

About the blind unicyclists…that to me is also really incredible. It must be a great feeling for them to ride, maybe even closer to the sensation of flying than us who have our sight can get to.

Hi everyone.
This is my first post, but I have been lurking here for about 12 months or so. I am the oldie that Peter Bier mentioned in the above quote. I am 71yrs 9mths old now and live in Hamilton, New Zealand. I don’t seek publicity but as I was mentioned in the NZ Forum, I felt obliged to reply there. Here is a link to that thread if anyone is interested:

As it has happened again (here), I guess I should respond in this forum also.
My ‘story’ is as follows: (some of it will be in the above link also)

Unicycling was one of my boyhood dreams ever since I saw them in a newsreel at the local picture theatre, (in black and white & probably about 1945 - 1948?). It showed 3 unicyclists riding along a street somewhere in America. I was really captivated by that.

It was not until 1959 that I actually saw one in real life, (at age 24). The owner loaned it to me for one day and I managed to ride it by the end of the day. I didn’t get the chance to ride it again. 46 years later, at a bit over age 70, I got my second chance to try to ride one again. It took me about half an hour against a wall and then I managed about 4 metres away from the wall. I bought the 20" entry level uni then, knowing that I would progress further with practice.

I feel privileged that I have been able to give it a go now at my time of life. One of these days, no doubt something will happen that will stop me, but I don’t focus on that as currently I am having too much fun learning various aspects of riding, I just love it.
This forum and the NZ one are great and I have learned a lot from them in the last twelve months or so. (& thanks Peter Bier for the idling tips, I am working on them still). It is good to see that there are lots of other oldies unicycling too. Some of you 50+ year olds are doing incredible things that I can only wish to achieve. I would love to be able to do even a little bit of muni and some longer distance riding, but I doubt that will happen. I’m fairly happy with my progress during the last 18 months though.

Just for the record, here are my riding abilities to date:

(I am short, 5’2" [157.5cm] in bare feet, (not that I ride in bare feet though :smiley: ) and weigh about 57kg [127lbs])

I don’t feel particularly relaxed when I first mount and ride off. It takes about half an hour or more before I settle down. I am self conscious within my own neighbourhood and much prefer secluded places with no onlookers. As I progress I am overcoming this a bit. My upper leg muscles ache a lot at times, especially on gentle/moderate uphill slopes. I put this down to learning to ride without enough pressure on the seat and am trying to overcome this.

Currently I can static mount ok, jump mount well (even managed a 28"), suicide mount with caution, rolling mount a little, ride backwards about 10 metres (33ft appx), ride down an 8 inch (200mm) drop - scarily, very infrequently do a successful kick-up mount on the grass - just starting on concrete now, go from seat-in to seat-out and back to seat-in over a 10 metre distance (I think my bad learning habit of not enough weight on the seat helped with this), briefly rode a 5 foot giraffe on two occasions (a demo model), I can ride about 1 to 2 kms with brief stops/dismounts, once I did a 5km round trip on the 20" with lots of stops-that took it’s toll.

Basic things I can’t do are; idling, the roll back mount, jump up a curbside, hop more than about 8 times (did 20 once), ride more than three times up and down a 40 metre 11(?) degree slope-that really makes me sweat, or ride smoothly in right-hand circles.

Things I have experimented with whilst holding onto a railing are: Sideways hop up and down 8 steps, one foot idling, one foot riding (scary when the pedal goes over the top-can’t get past that yet), wheel walking. There is a very slight possibility that I might achieve one or more of those. It’s fun trying anyway.

Cheers,
Peter.

Thanks so much for you reply, Peter! You are truly remarkable! I think I speak for everyone when I say that I sincerely hope I’m as capable as you at your age. You’re a more skilled rider than me and are certainly an inspiration. I’m sure we’d all be happy if you decided to stick around and post more. Take care and good luck!

Are you still riding only a 20" wheel? Maybe a 24" would be better for your legs and covering distances.

Thanks for the welcome and the comments jmando.

I do have a 24", but I don’t really like it much. I intend to perservere with it though. My aim is to be able to ride the streets without it being so strenuous and I know the 24" is the one for that. (The 20" has 125mm cranks, the 24" 150mm cranks). It will be because I used the 20" all the time when learning the different mounts etc, on a small secluded practice area near my house and shunned longer road distances mainly due to self consciousness.

My riding style is not as skilled as my posting seems to suggest though, as although I did do all those things I said, I am nowhere near as relaxed as I should be with normal riding. On a couple of occasions, after about a 2 hour solid practice session, lots of jumping etc, I came home and felt so good that I did some general circling around on my driveway. My lower body felt so relaxed and supple that I knew that was the feeling I need to strive for. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen very often. (perhaps it’s my age. :smiley: )
Cheers,
Peter.

Even so, it sounds like you’re doing really well. I haven’t been able to work up enough guts yet to try a suicide mount and I still can’t ride backwards, but it’ll all come with time…and judging by you, I should have plenty of time!

Do you wear any protection while riding? For me, when I have my helmet and gloves on I feel that much more confident. Maybe a good set of knee pads, elbow pads and shin guards would help you relax if you don’t use them already.

So, now the big question remains…are you striving to break the current record for oldest unicyclist? Only 22 years to go!

Wow

Wow! Your ability level is astonishing. I haven’t even tried most of the things you listed. I may have to get my 20" out of mothballs. You’ve inspired me to try to expand my repertoire which is limited to distance riding. Keep us posted on your progress!

Firstly, I hope I am not breaking any etiquette rules, rambling on etc, let me know if I am.

Wear any protection? Yes, always fully kitted out, see my new avatar. :smiley:
Just joking. That is me after a motor cycle trail ride on 15 Oct 2005. The 20" uni was only about 2 weeks old at that stage. (My off road motor bike is a 2005 Honda CRF 230F. Been at that for about 20yrs, ready to give it up now though, sort of been there done that)

I have had very few injuries with unicycling, lots of falling off, but mainly pedal whacks on the shins/ankles. I did wear elbow pads when learning the backwards riding. It was ok on the concrete with hand ready to grab the railing, (and I spent hours and hours trying), but when I launched out away from the railing I did have one backwards fall when I couldn’t get my feet off the pedals fast enough. It was backside on the concrete, then rolling on my back, then elbow and hand. Some minor abrasions etc but all ok after a couple of days. After that, like you, I always wear gloves and a cycle helmet. (but not elbow pads now, yes I know I should)

Most of my learning the different mounting methods has been practiced on the grass as you only get hurt when the uni gets in the way then. Now that I can ride backwards a little, I intend to find a smooth open grassy area to practice on.

Re 22 years to go to break the record, that will only happen if I change my official date of birth by deed poll. :slight_smile:
Hmm…, on the other hand, maybe I have been lying all the time and am really quite young and can’t even ride a unicycle.:stuck_out_tongue:

Peter.

Inspired you? that’s great, that’s what the forums do for me too. And I must say that I haven’t tried all the things your avatar is displaying either. I assume it is you. Quite impressive I must say. When I first discovered this forum I was attracted to your avatar(s) and studied them and thought, Gee! this guy’s talented.

The one of you with the larger unicycle makes me wish that I could do distance riding with ease too. That inspires me to do more street work on my 24" and try to improve my pedalling. I suspect that I could be applying some backwards pressure with one foot at the same time as applying forwards pressure with the other. Maybe not, but it should improve somewhat if I do lots of practice.

Cheers,
Peter.

Geriatrics…

The distances I ride aren’t all that great. The most I’ve done on a few occasions is 12 miles. I generally stop (intentional or otherwise) every two to three miles to rest. I’ve learned that if I consciously keep the weight on the seat and not the pedals, it’s fairly easy to average 6-7 mph on my 28".

And yes, I do follow a few other pursuits. Check out the three pages of My Gallery below for some I enjoy now and others that are only a distant memory. Sky diving for example was long ago. I logged a little over 2000 jumps from 1962 to 1976. Most of the other shots other than the barefoot waterskiing and TV weatherman shots are within the last ten years. I stopped doing standing back flips on my 50th birthday.

I keep my 20" uni in Vermont but will bring it back to Connecticut in a few weeks and try to learn hopping, idling, and riding backwards. I figured I was too old for those techniques but you’ve proven me wrong!

My pal Keith, head of the rather small Arizona club, told me that his club had a member who joined at 91 or 92. This gent spent a year teaching himself to learn before braving a ride on his own. He should be about 93 now. I wish I had more info. I hope this helps us locate the oldest rider.

Great story, Peter Kiwi! I’m only 40 but have plans to ride at my 100th bday. I am sure my bro will join me, but he’ll only be 97.