Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Whether you like it or not, here’s another sports article. Everyone can ride a bicycle (at least those over the age of five), but how good are you on just one wheel? Are you willing to take the unicycle challenge?

Firstly, I would like to give you a small history lesson on the advent of the unicycle. It is said that the contraption is an improvement of the old penny-farthing (or “Ordinary”) in the 19th century. Since the crankarms that transformed the power in your legs into movement were directly connected to the drive wheel, the rear wheel would normally rise into the air. Eventually some mad-man decided to whack off the latter half of the frame and just leave the front wheel and handlebars. Thus the unicycle was born.

However, before I lose anymore bored listeners, I want to inform you that unicyclists aren’t just for bowling pin juggling clowns these days. Below are the innovative variations of the standard machine:

Offroad unicycle (MUni or muni)- Mountain unicycling that requires larger wheel diameter (usually 24”-26”) permitting the rider to more easily traverse varying terrain. The seat is thicker and more comfortable (for obvious reasons guys), and sometimes brakes are applied for use in descents.

Ultimate wheel- Two pedals attached to a wheel. Extremely difficult to learn.

Giraffe unicycle- Taller version of a standard unicycle mostly used for entertainment purposes.

This one-wheel wonder has gained so much notoriety that sports based off the device have sprung up everywhere including basketball, hockey, and handball.

Common brands are Kris Holm, Nimbus, and Torker. For an even more geeky description on the art of unicycling visit http://www.unicycle.com/. Thanks for reading and be safe out there (trust me…you’ll fall a LOT before you start to get the hang of it).

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