Thursday, December 16, 2004


Gads, nearly 3 years ago I received a unicycle for my birthday. The party was rad, Mary set it all up as a surprise down at the beach house. Best 30th birthday party ever.

Anyway, I got a unicycle because I'd had the hankering for doing something new and different, and unicycling always seemed cool. This from the guy who thinks telemarking, single speeds, and the hammered dulcimer are all just the neatest things since sliced bread.

The actual goal of the unicycle wasn't just to ride around the neighborhood. The two little girls that lived across the street from the duplex Mary and I used to rent could do that. They were always taunting me, riding by on one wheel. I had to learn.

Plus, years ago I'd seen some footage of Kris Holm riding around the North Shore on Vancouver Island, B.C. Now, if you don't know about the North Shore, the bikers up there decided that single-track just wasn't interesting enough. Instead, they modified the terrain by adding bridges made of 2x4's (and I mean that the bridge was 4 inches wide), teeter totters, huge drops, and all sorts of crazy structures. These trails would be hard to walk, let alone ride with two wheels, forget about riding a unicycle. Well, Kris rides this stuff with his unicycle - I saw footage of him taking a 6 foot drop. Apparently he did not suffer damage to the family jewels.

Just take a look at some of these pictures of Kris from his 'best of' album: tall bridge, Bhutan, wire bridge, santa cruz, hand rail, vegas baby, and prow wall.

Wow. Seriously, take a look at all of those pics.

Anyway, I decided that my goal would be to get good enough to do some basic mountain unicycling (aka muni). And I would define success as being able to ride up Bald Hill.

Well, it's been two years, and my longest, unaided, ride was about 30 feet. And I haven't been on the unicycle since early spring.

Mary was talking to someone who's husband rides with the local unicycle (and juggling) club. Actually, he's so into it, that he got a bunch of guys from his work to start unicycling at lunch and doing muni on the weekends. So, I'm going to give the club a shot. I'd figured it was a bunch of kids, but now that older farts (like myself) do it I'm not so intimidated.

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