Re: Unicycle articles (but wait there's more...)



J

JJuggle

Guest
JOHN'S A BIG WHEEL IN THE WORLD OF BIKES

By Stephanie March
400 words
22 November 2005
Canberra Times
6
English
(c) 2005 The Canberra Times

He can't juggle, but John Cooper can ride a unicycle, and he'll be
showing off his talent this weekend as a competitor in the Great
Victorian Bike Ride. The 60-year-old Ainslie resident took up the sport
3years ago after being inspired by a photo of a unicycle in the local
paper. ''I saw that there was a group in Canberra that taught you how
to ride unicycles, and it just appealed to me,'' he said yesterday.
Never before has a unicyclist participated in the 580km, nine- day
event which Mr Cooper intends to complete in the same amount of time as
an average cyclist. The Swiss-built custom unicycle

he will be using has the same size wheel as a normal bicycle and uses a
high and a low gear. ''It will cruise at about 18km/h,'' he said. It
costs $3000, as much as many two-wheeled bikes. Mr Cooper rides his
unicycle to his job as an IT manager at the Australian Taxation Office
and has been covering several hundred kilometres a week in preparation.
He and his partner, Cathy Chin, have been training together and she
will ride with him next week on a recumbent bicycle, on which a cyclist
lies back to pedal. ''We go at about the same pace, I go faster up
hills and she goes faster down hills, but we are pretty good at keeping
together.'' Mr Cooper admitted it could get get a bit uncomfortable in
the

saddle after a while, but he hopes to complete the longest leg of the
event in under 10 hours. The Great Victorian Bike Ride is just the
beginning for Mr Cooper, who is heading off on a unicycle tour of Laos
in January. ''A bunch of unicyclists from around the world, about 20,
are getting together to do the ride. It's being organised by a guy in
New Zealand, and it looks like fun.'' Mr Cooper says unicycling was not
really an ''old-person's sport'', but said anyone could learn with
practice. ''When you first start learning you'd swear that it wasn't
possible to ride. Learning to walk is quite a complex activity, but
once the brain works it out it does it instinctively. With the unicycle
it is a bit the same.''

5180144


--
JJuggle

Raphael Lasar - Matawan, NJ

Monday morning feel so bad. Everybody seems to nag me.
Coming Tuesday, I feel better. Even now your man looks good.
(ah-woo) Wednesday goes to show, (ah-woo) Thursday just wont go.
(ah-woo) Cause I got Friday on my mind.
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J

JJuggle

Guest
LOOK MA, NO HANDS! CONQUERING THE GREAT OUTDOORS ON ONE WHEEL

By JANICE PODSADA
Associated Press Writer
998 words
21 November 2005
00:00
Associated Press Newswires
English
(c) 2005. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Marta Zwierzynski knew the relationship was getting
serious when her boyfriend, Chris Wonderly, had a Unistar LX shipped to
her home in Hatfield, just outside Philadelphia.

It didn't have a doublewide, downhill rim or a 3-inch fat tire, but it
was street-legal and ready to ride.

"I thought Chris ordered it for himself," Zwierzynski says.

But no, it was her own unicycle. "It took me about three months to
learn, although I didn't ride it everyday," says Zwierzynski, a
25-year-old chemist.

One world, one nation, one wheel. While the first two may not be
attainable, there's hope for the third. Why waste valuable resources to
manufacture a two-wheeled bike when one wheel will suffice?

And just like rock beats scissors, cruising along on one rim nearly
always puts mountain bikers, skateboarders -- even motorcyclists -- to
shame.

Vroom, vroom. I'm hell on wheel.

While unicycling was once limited to sidewalks and sideshows, it now
embraces the Great Outdoors.

Like other beginners, Wonderly was content, at first, to roll along on
concrete -- until he veered onto the grass one day, and then onto the
dirt. After that, smooth surfaces lost their appeal.

"I just kept challenging myself," says Wonderly, 26, who began riding
about five years ago.

Most people can learn to ride a unicycle in about 15 hours, says John
Drummond, the owner of Unicycle.com, an online retailer based in
Marietta, Ga.

In the last decade, off-road, cross-country and mountain unicycling
have become popular with kids and adults, says Drummond, who learned to
ride when he was 12. He gave it up as a teenager, only because "you
can't pick up a date on a unicycle."

When he began riding again at age 40, Drummond took the family to the
National Unicycle Convention in Seattle in 1999 and discovered
one-wheelers who were bouncing down mountains.

Worldwide, he says, about 3,500 people engage in extreme unicycling.

A standard street unicycle costs about $100, but the skinny tire and
lighter axle aren't built to withstand a beating. Off-roaders should
plan to spend at least $300 or $400 for a unicycle, helmet, and the
very-necessary padding. A basic off-road model starts at about $200,
while a handcrafted top-of-the line model can cost more than $1,500,
Drummond says.

And lest you think one wheel is too dangerous for navigating rugged
terrain, think again, says Wonderly, a mechanical engineer from Exton.


The original "Look Ma, no-hands!" sport is safer than mountain biking,
he says.

A mountain bike can reach speeds up to 30 mph. Fall, and you can get
tangled up in the handlebars or frame, says Wonderly, a former mountain
biker.

"Every single mountain bike rally I was in -- at least one person got
taken away in an ambulance," Wonderly says. "It made me think."

And in a nod to Mother Nature and tree-huggers, a unicycle (top speed
10 mph) doesn't tear up the turf like a mountain bike, Wonderly says.
"When people ride mountain bikes, they tend to skid with their rear
tire and it erodes the trail. Unicycles can't skid," Wonderly explains.


If that isn't enough convincing, then there's the mega-cool factor:
Dang, if you don't look awesome -- padded up like a 7-foot tall Power
Ranger astride that single, fat tire.

"It looks like you're ready for combat," Drummond says. "Helmet, wrist
guards, forearm pads."

Real aficionados like Jeff Prosa, 27, of Cresskill, N.J., add a pair of
black, over-the-knee shin guards, specially designed for off-road
unicyclists.

Prosa tried other outdoor sports before settling on extreme unicycling.


Mountain biking? "I just couldn't get into it" Prosa says.

Skateboarding? "Not a lot to do there -- you're just rolling up and
down on ramps."

Unicycling with a friend in college, he found his niche. "I enjoy being
outdoors. The downhills are a lot of fun, and you can go a lot of
places a bike can't," Prosa says.

On a balmy September afternoon, Zwierzynski, Wonderly, Prosa and Mike
Malsbury, 26, of Horsham, assemble at Fairmount Park in Philadelphia to
conquer the bumpy trails and rocky outcroppings that hug the banks of
Wissahickon Creek.

"It's a lot more careful and meticulous than mountain biking," Wonderly
says. As the afternoon proceeds, that becomes apparent as Wonderly and
Prosa size up each new challenge.

Here, an 8-foot chunk of metamorphic rock; there, a 20-foot fallen tree
lying on the forest floor at a 30-degree angle. What's the slope, how
slick is that log? Which route won't kill us? Hop it or zoom it?

Hikers who encounter Wonderly bunny-hopping down a set of natural stone
steps, or Prosa gliding along a fallen tree, are astounded.

"To see these guys on a unicycle is extraordinary. It's like walking on
water," says Vince Romano, 49, of Philadelphia.

Wendy Foulke, 62, of Wyndmoor, watches as Wonderly executes a
slow-motion flight off a 4-foot rock ledge.

"Wow, you could be made into a woman if you don't land right," Foulke
says.

"I hope it's not that easy," Wonderly answers.

The trick, he says, is to lift off the seat and stand on the pedals.

You don't, however, have to pogo up and down rocks to unicycle the
Great Outdoors.

Zwierzynski, for one, prefers navigating the gentler stretches of trail
on her Torker Unistar LX while her fiance tackles the rocks.

Oh, did I mention?

After her unicycle arrived, it wasn't long before the ring showed up.

A year later, Zwierzynski and Wonderly are engaged, and she carries her
unicycle, at all times, in the trunk of her Acura.

"You never know when you'll need it," she says.


--
JJuggle

Raphael Lasar - Matawan, NJ

Monday morning feel so bad. Everybody seems to nag me.
Coming Tuesday, I feel better. Even now your man looks good.
(ah-woo) Wednesday goes to show, (ah-woo) Thursday just wont go.
(ah-woo) Cause I got Friday on my mind.
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View this thread: http://www.unicyclist.com/thread/22148
 
J

JJuggle

Guest
EXTREME UNICYCLING: WHERE TO BEGIN, HOW TO DO IT

By the Associated Press
292 words
21 November 2005
00:00
Associated Press Newswires
English
(c) 2005. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Facts about unicycling:

EXTREME UNICYCLING: The sport is known by several names; some call it
mountain unicycling or MUni; others refer to it as rough terrain
unicycling.

"Anyplace a mountain bike can go, a mountain unicycle can go," says
John Drummond, the owner of Unicycle.com, an online unicycle retailer.
If you already ride a unicycle, try rolling over the lawn (your own --
not the neighbors); then practice idling -- rocking back and forth--
and hopping.

Always wear a bicycle helmet. For additional protection, add the wrist
and forearm guards that are designed for inline skating. Mountain
unicyclists generally wear the same protection as mountain bikers.

However, you don't have to bounce over dirt trails to have fun. If you
want to learn to ride a unicycle, start with a standard street model.
Most beginner's models cost about $100 to $150. It takes about 15 hours
to learn. You can do it all at once or spread your practice sessions
over several weeks or months. Unicycling is great exercise and you can
get a good workout in a small area, Drummond says.

MEET OTHER UNICYCLISTS: Log onto http://www.unicycling.org The Web site
lists, by state, the e-mail addresses of unicyclists who're looking for
riding buddies. Plus there's lots of good information on learning to
ride, and buying a unicycle that fits your size and needs, plus
upcoming events.

WHERE TO SEE IT: On Feb. 18 and 19, head for the Motorama Indoor Races
and Speed Show in Harrisburg, Pa., to see unicycle agility trials, as
well as bicycle and motorcycle competitions. On the net:
http://www.motoramaassoc.com/motor--index.php


--
JJuggle

Raphael Lasar - Matawan, NJ

Monday morning feel so bad. Everybody seems to nag me.
Coming Tuesday, I feel better. Even now your man looks good.
(ah-woo) Wednesday goes to show, (ah-woo) Thursday just wont go.
(ah-woo) Cause I got Friday on my mind.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
JJuggle's Profile: http://www.unicyclist.com/profile/24
View this thread: http://www.unicyclist.com/thread/22148
 
J

JJuggle

Guest
EXTREME UNICYCLING: WHERE TO BEGIN, HOW TO DO IT

By the Associated Press
292 words
21 November 2005
00:00
Associated Press Newswires
English
(c) 2005. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Facts about unicycling:

EXTREME UNICYCLING: The sport is known by several names; some call it
mountain unicycling or MUni; others refer to it as rough terrain
unicycling.

"Anyplace a mountain bike can go, a mountain unicycle can go," says
John Drummond, the owner of Unicycle.com, an online unicycle retailer.
If you already ride a unicycle, try rolling over the lawn (your own --
not the neighbors); then practice idling -- rocking back and forth--
and hopping.

Always wear a bicycle helmet. For additional protection, add the wrist
and forearm guards that are designed for inline skating. Mountain
unicyclists generally wear the same protection as mountain bikers.

However, you don't have to bounce over dirt trails to have fun. If you
want to learn to ride a unicycle, start with a standard street model.
Most beginner's models cost about $100 to $150. It takes about 15 hours
to learn. You can do it all at once or spread your practice sessions
over several weeks or months. Unicycling is great exercise and you can
get a good workout in a small area, Drummond says.

MEET OTHER UNICYCLISTS: Log onto http://www.unicycling.org The Web site
lists, by state, the e-mail addresses of unicyclists who're looking for
riding buddies. Plus there's lots of good information on learning to
ride, and buying a unicycle that fits your size and needs, plus
upcoming events.

WHERE TO SEE IT: On Feb. 18 and 19, head for the Motorama Indoor Races
and Speed Show in Harrisburg, Pa., to see unicycle agility trials, as
well as bicycle and motorcycle competitions. On the net:
http://www.motoramaassoc.com/motor--index.php


--
JJuggle

Raphael Lasar - Matawan, NJ

Monday morning feel so bad. Everybody seems to nag me.
Coming Tuesday, I feel better. Even now your man looks good.
(ah-woo) Wednesday goes to show, (ah-woo) Thursday just wont go.
(ah-woo) Cause I got Friday on my mind.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
JJuggle's Profile: http://www.unicyclist.com/profile/24
View this thread: http://www.unicyclist.com/thread/22148