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

Discussion in 'rec.sport.unicycling' started by JJuggle, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. JJuggle

    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.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    JJuggle's Profile: http://www.unicyclist.com/profile/24
    View this thread: http://www.unicyclist.com/thread/22148
     
    Tags:


  2. JJuggle

    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.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    JJuggle's Profile: http://www.unicyclist.com/profile/24
    View this thread: http://www.unicyclist.com/thread/22148
     
  3. JJuggle

    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
     
  4. JJuggle

    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
     
Loading...
Loading...