Unicycling

I brought the Unicyle back in March '97. It was after doing a search on the net I found the Unicycling site, complete with instructions on how to ride and details of makers - in fact an active on-line community. So with all the information there was no excuse for not buying one and giving it a go. It also meant I could learn to cycle with the kids - at their pace.

I got a DM Ringmaster 20" which is excellent, it's very tough and takes all the knocks I give it.

It took me about 4 months before I could do much distance. I can free mount now an ride around reasonably with turns and over drops and up and down ramps with not too much of a problem. I'm working up to using the uni for my daily cycle to the station, but it's going to take some nerve, it's the embarrassment factor that's killing me, but once I've done a few times, I'm sure I'll be OK.

The following Christmas I got all excited and commissioned a custom built 12" DM for Amy, my (then) 7 year old daughter. I have her practising in the kitchen. I started doing it with her every night for a while, she was able to balance on it for about 20 seconds, but I got busy at work and we've not really got back into it. I have since customised my 20" DM so she can reach the pedals. The bigger the wheel (within reason) the easier.

While I was getting a custom Uni for Amy it made no sense to not get one for myself. So I got DM to make me a 28" one. It's brilliant, I can still remember the manic Cheshire cat grin it gave me my first try. It's so fast and stable, but I've been unable to freemount it with any consistency. Thus I got a 26" wheel for it which I can mount fairly well. This again is wicked, and rides really well off road.

I playing Unicycle Hockey with the LUNI's for the winter, but it was a bit of a trek (North London) and I was really too busy at work to go. I really struggled at first, my unicycling seemed to take a big step backwards, but then I started to get it, and my all-round uni skills got better. The LUNI's are a great bunch and if you like unicycling, you'll love playing with them.

I have discovered some people don't like unicyclists, like this armoured car driver. Fortunately at speed I'm very unstable making an impossible target for the machine gunner, and I managed to nip off down a narrow path before they could run me over. But I guess it was very good training, and character building, but I'll think twice about practising in that park again!

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