Laughing Planet Cafe is the official sponsor of our 2009 Pedalpalooza Coverage

Report (and photos): Unicycle Noobs

Posted by on June 12th, 2009 at 11:37 pm

Eddie Skaug was a beginner
at last year’s clinic;
this year he rode with only a few wobbles.
(Photos © Elly Blue)

On the waterfront tonight, in a light drizzle, you could see a dozen people at a time mounted atop unicycles, in various stages between scooting around expertly and clinging to the railing for dear life.

Unicycling is harder than it looks, and in unexpected ways, as I found out when, with some patient advice from another beginner, I gave it a try. Just staying upright uses every leg muscle you have, and it takes a while to relax enough to stop wobbling. And that’s just basic balance — pedaling is altogether a more terrifying proposition.

It was exciting, over the course of an hour, to watch a few dedicated folks make the transition from a death grip on the rail to taking a few bold pedal strokes out onto the open sidewalk. I watched Eddie Skaug wobble a good 50 feet before triumphantly stepping off. An hour later, he was riding farther, with far fewer wobbles.

Daniel Wood was there with two of his invention, the motor-powered, self-balancing unicycle (SBU), on which several participants took turns zooming around, to the delight of onlookers. It only takes a couple of hours to learn to ride one of these electric contraptions, Wood said (perhaps because no pedaling is involved?), as opposed to ten or twenty to become proficient on the human powered variety.

For a taste of the action, check out this photo slideshow:

Check out Tomas Quinones’ photos as well, here.