written by: Jimmie Coons
I remember the first time I saw someone riding a unicycle (also called a monocycle). I was visiting a local college for Upward Basketball’s end of the year event. I remember being excited when I found out there was going to be a live show for the players and their parents. The show consisted of juggling, spinning basketballs on toes, and relay races. But the thing that stuck with me the most was the giant giraffe monocycles the entertainers rode at the end of their show. I was super young at the time, but I was inspired to learn to ride a unicycle that day. As it turns out, my mom has been able to ride a monocycle since she was a child, so it wasn’t long before a few unicycles found their way into our home, giving me the opportunity to learn how to uni for myself.
It wasn’t long after learning to unicycle that I discovered that the one wheeled contraption was useful for more than simply having fun: it’s actually extremely practical for travel on college campuses and downtown areas. Because the monocycle is completely powered by the rider, the contraptions have the potential to travel quite fast, easily faster than a person simply walking. In addition, unicycles can easily maneuver around people walking on sidewalks due to their compact design.
Beyond the practicality of monocycling, there is the simple fact that riding one of these beautiful inventions can help keep you healthy. You have likely heard it said that bicycling results in much better exercise than running due to the decrease of impact inflicted on the knees–and the same holds true for unicycles. In the same way, bicycles and unicycles each have the ability to strengthen the rider’s leg muscles, aid in healthy blood flow by increasing cardiovascular movement, and increase pleasure-releasing hormones, which can contribute to overall health.
When faced with the facts, it is borderline ridiculous that more people can’t unicycle, yet who can blame the uninformed. You understand, though. Now go uni! Unless… you’re scared?