Look Ma, no hands!


For the month of May I am take up the art of one-wheeled transportation. Several years back I learned to ride on a unicycle borrowed from a friend, developing the ability to not fall off too often when traveling in a straight line (but not much more). In the spring/summer of 2013 I bought a unicycle of my own, and rode it a little, although not progressing much past my prior ability.

Currently, I can successfully mount a unicycle without the assistance of a stationary object at least half the time. I can go almost indefinitely in a straight line without falling, and can make gradual turns. I can go quite fast or quite slow. In essence, I have all of the basics down, save for sharp turns, which is the first additional skill I shall work on. But this is unicycle we’re talking about! I need to be able to go backward!

Target Performance Level:

The most important thing at this point is to be able to do a tight U-turn—a three or four foot circle would be ideal. In addition, I would like to have the capability to unicycle in reverse, and of course I need to get my unicycle mounting ability up to at least a 95% success rate. In the off chance that I manage to get all of those under my belt before the month is out, I shall attempt to juggle while unicycling. That’s all that I have planned—no bagpipes for me!

The greatest challenge I face this month is that of getting in anywhere near 20 hours of practice. I missed several days at the beginning of the month, as I was out of State, which is bad enough. Add to this the fact that unicycle gives no rest, and you see the predicament. In order to balance, you have to be continually exerting a force on both pedals, giving neither leg any rest for the duration, and there is no coasting, like on a bicycle. Yes, it is possible to continue the activity mostly non-stop for 40+ minutes, but it is rather tiring.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the circus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *