Monday, March 8, 2010

Welcome! You can do it!

To learn to unicycle you really just need three things; desire, persistence, and a unicycle, but the first two are the most important! It takes the average person 5 to 10 hours of practice to be able to balance on a unicycle for more than one pedal revolution, so only the most determined souls stick with it. At first, progress is measured by the half revolution or by the sidewalk square, not by the mile or even the yard.

I learned to unicycle by clinging to the chain link fence in an empty tennis court. Since I didn’t know any other unicyclists at the time, I didn’t have anyone to demonstrate new skills to me. Instead, I found tons of helpful unicycling tutorials on sites like Youtube. I compiled the most helpful video tutorials (in my opinion at least) on this website in an effort to help others learn to ride and experience the fun of unicycling.

Need some motivation?
Most people learn to unicycle in their teens, but mature learners can get inspiration from Terry Peterson (aka the Unigeezer) who (re)learned to ride at 50 and is a huge advocate for the sport of mountain unicycling.

Most unicyclists may be males but that doesn’t mean women don’t get obsessed with the sport, too. Here are two examples:
An interview with a team of female unicyclists who are preparing for a relay race from one end of Nova Scotia to the other.


A young female unicyclist who can knock the socks off just about any guy I've ever seen a video of.


So once you learn to unicycle what can you do with it?
One of the great things about unicycling is that there’s always something new to learn or try so it will never get boring. Here are some of the more common activities:

Mountain unicycling (aka Muni or rough terrain unicycling)
Dan Heaton is a pioneer of Muni and explains its appeal in this clip.


Kris Holm is perhaps the best known Muni rider in the world, and he is a huge advocate for the sport. He even has his own unicycle brand. Here he explains what he likes about off-road unicycling.


Street/trials/freestyle/extreme unicycling

I admit that as a intermediate level unicyclist I haven’t figured out where one of these unicycling styles ends and another begins. They all basically have to do with jumping, dropping, hopping and spinning around on pavement and over obstacles. Dan Heaton and Kris Holm show some of these techniques in their videos above, and here is another entertaining video highlighting 3 extreme unicyclists.


Unicommuting
Why not save some gas, turn some heads and unicycle to work?!


Unicycle hockey
That's right -- hockey sticks and unicycles (no ice though)!



Unicycle racing

You've got to see it to believe it. These guys are moving at speeds approaching 20 miles per hour!


Every two years unicyclists who enjoy every form of unicycling converge at one spot in the world for Unicon.  In 2012 Unicon 16 was held in Brixen, Italy.  Here's the trailer of a documentary created by Jess Riegel showing what took place at Unicon 16.

 

You’d be surprised at the things that have been done on a unicycle. Many of those brave enough to admit their escapades are enshrined in Unicycle.com’s “Been there done that” page.

Ill-advised unicycle stunts have also been archived here for your amusement.