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  #1  
Old October 28th 08, 09:43 PM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
Jeremy R
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  #2  
Old October 31st 08, 06:27 PM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
JJuggle
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HELL ON WHEEL ; MOUNTAIN UNICYCLISTS SAY THE EXCITEMENT IS WORTH THE
RISK
Story by Eric Billingsley Of the Journal Photographs by Jeff Geissler
For the Journal
30 October 2008
Albuquerque Journal

They're extreme sports enthusiasts pushing the limits of balance,
agility and stamina. And they're doing it on what some might consider to
be an unlikely vehicle: the unicycle. These thrill seekers are obsessed
with mountain unicycling, also referred to as MUnicycling or "MUni" for
short.

"It's a cool sport," says 16-year-old Max Schulze of Los Alamos, who
began off-road unicycling three and a half years ago. "And because it's
still a developing sport you can do new things that people have never
done before."

MUnicycling involves maneuvering beefed-up versions of unicycles
forward and backward, uphill and downhill, and over and around virtually
any obstacle a mountain bike can navigate. Advanced riders hop on and
off rocks, narrow ledges and anything else they can get their wheel
onto.

Is it risky? Yes. But enthusiasts say the obscure yet up-and- coming
sport may be safer than high-speed and potentially highimpact activities
like mountain biking, skateboarding and snowboarding.

"I like to ride anything that has a wheel on it," says 34-year- old
Matt Jacobsen of Albuquerque, who took-up off-road unicycling about 10
years ago. "But it's very hard because you have to get used to teetering
on small items under one wheel."

Mountain unicycles are designed for different types of riding. Smaller
diameter wheels are used for trick and freestyle riding, and larger
diameter knobby tires are used for trails.

Seats are well cushioned with a grab handle on the front for hopping
over obstacles.

Riders wear helmets, knee pads, shin guards and gloves. Pedals are
BMX-style with sharp studs, and the other hardware is based on sturdy
bicycle components.

A quality mountain unicycle can cost several hundred dollars, but there
are less expensive options, too. Sportz Outdoor in Albuquerque sells a
Nimbus mountain unicycle with a 24-inch wheel for $250. Fat Tire Cycles
sells MUnis, and some other local shops say they can order them.

A wild ride

Jacobsen says mountain unicycling is a different ball game than riding
down the street or at the local park. You can't just take any old
unicycle off-road.

"I took a cheap unicycle off-road and trashed it immediately," he says.
"For every 100 yards you're learning, you'll fall 100 times in the
mountains."

Riding a unicycle is all about training your hips to balance and react
in a new way, he adds.

After learning to ride his dad's old-school unicycle, Schulze began
experimenting with it off-road. He then began doing "trials," hopping
onto ledges, balancing on narrow pieces of metal tubing, and pushing the
limits of his balance and the unicycle.

He has broken at least one cycle, but says it's worth it.

"It's just a lot of fun," says Schulze, who competes in national
off-road unicycling events such as the Moab MUni Fest in Utah. "Now
everywhere I drive I see something and think it could be a good trials
obstacle."

His buddies, brothers Ryan and Sean Dunham, 16 and 13, respectively,
took up the sport around the same time. The crew built a trials course
in Los Alamos, complete with rock obstacles, stacked up pallets and
posts to balance on, and tubes to ride across. They travel together each
year to the Moab MUni Fest.

"It's just something to do ... it's different," says Ryan Dunham. "I'm
more into the trail riding part of it."

MUni teaches balance, quick reaction time and concentration, according
to unicycling.com. Physically, it's challenging because it's impossible
to coast. You are always pedaling, uphill and downhill.

The sport also appeals to people who live far away from trails, because
they can easily throw the mountain unicycle into the trunk or back seat
of a car and drive to the trailhead, says the Web site.

A full ride

But what about the risks?

Schulze, who rides every day, takes his fair share of spills hopping
onto handrailings and other narrow points of balance. He says the most
common injury is probably getting hit by the studded pedals, pointing
out the importance of wearing shin guards.

But he and others say the mountain unicycle usually just gets caught on
something. Because a rider isn't going very fast and isn't clipped-in,
like in mountain biking or snowboarding, he can easily step off the
front or back. This helps minimize the impact.

Schulze's mother, Stephanie Hagelberg, acknowledges that mountain
unicycling can be dangerous. She took out an extra emergency room- only
health policy for Max, on top of his normal insurance. But she says the
risks have to be taken in perspective.

"I'm comfortable with Max, because he's serious about using safety
gear," says Stephanie. "He's very goaloriented, so (MUni) really
fulfills that need in his life."

She adds, "I think maybe other kids would use drugs to try and get
excitement in their lives or to self-medicate, but kids use danger as a
substitute for excitement."

Caption: JEFF GEISSLER/ FOR THE JOURNAL Sean Dunham rides his MUnicycle
on a trail in Los Alamos ; Ryan Dunham stands ready to ride his
MUnicycle along a course in Los Alamos ; Max Schulze, 16, rides his
MUnicycle earlier this month along a course he built in Los Alamos


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  #3  
Old November 13th 08, 02:14 PM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
JJuggle
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BOLD UNICYCLIST TAKES
Lacey Burley lacey.burley @thechronicle.com.au
355 words
14 November 2008
The Chronicle (Toowoomba)

THOUSANDS of people have climbed Toowoomba’s Table Top Mountain, but
only Kevin Wharton has ridden down it on a unicycle.

Kevin, 16, is an extreme unicycling enthusiast and made the jump from
Toowoomba’s picnic tables, railings and bridges to scale the mountain
two weeks ago.

“Since it was a small mountain close to Toowoomba, I thought I’d ride
down it,” he said.

“That was actually my first time climbing it.”

Kevin’s plan had a rough start as he and his friend Patrick Mallon
began their hike up the mountain at midnight, thinking it would take
numerous hours to climb.

They realised they had miscalculated the climb when they arrived at the
top at just after 1am.

“We planned to film me riding down the mountain at sunrise so we had to
sleep up the top,” Kevin said.

They woke at 5am where Patrick filmed Kevin manoeuvring his unicycle
down the steep terrain.

Kevin said he couldn’t ride over three sections of the mountain where
the drop was too steep, but estimated that he rode down 90 per cent of
the way.

Patrick’s job was just as tricky, running down the mountainside filming
while carrying their bags and spare unicycle.

Kevin said the biggest problem he faced was the loose rocks.

Table Top is a 1.9km return hike and has the same elevation as
Toowoomba, about 700 metres above sea level.

Kevin has been riding for two years and flew down to Sydney on Sunday
to perform a riding demonstration for a festival.

He has posted a number of videos on the video-sharing website YouTube
which showcases his skills.

Kevin has also posted his Table Top ride which can viewed at

Since it was a small mountain close to Toowoomba, I thought I’d ride
down it. That was actually my first time climbing it.

We planned to film me riding down the mountain at sunrise so we had to
sleep up the top.


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Raphael Lasar - Matawan, NJ

Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate
prejudices - just recognize them. - Edward R. Murrow
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  #4  
Old November 18th 08, 07:50 AM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
unicycle6869
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Back in September the Orange County Voice did an article on me street
performing. Just finally got the pdf version so I've included it below.
Pretty decent article, but I don't think I was practicing 10 hours a
day!!!

You can also see some of my show on youtube. Skip to 2:00 minutes:
here.


+-------------------------------------------------------------------+
|Filename: Orange County Voice Unicycle Article.pdf |
|Download: http://www.unicyclist.com/attachment/29605 |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------+

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  #5  
Old November 18th 08, 09:09 AM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
CoreTechs
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I posted this a while back in the video forum, but I think it belongs
here. I also fixed the sound problems it was having (for some reason it
was very quiet). It's an interview I did right after RTL with a local TV
News station.
James Spurling - Rogers Sports Star
on Vimeo


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  #6  
Old November 25th 08, 12:03 AM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
danger_uni
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Hey,

Here's something on HP's blog for their brand of high-end Voodoo
Laptops: 'here' (http://tinyurl.com/5n52ox)

After they did the interview the P.R. person said, "Oh and by the way
we want to give you a Voodoo Envy laptop". It's actually a pretty cool
laptop, definately the nicest looking PC I've seen.

Kris


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  #7  
Old November 25th 08, 10:31 AM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
MT High
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An article about me doing the Great Victorian Bike Ride:
http://tinyurl.com/5fxtoz


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  #8  
Old November 25th 08, 10:56 AM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
dangerdog
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thats a great commitment Mt High I hope you enyoy and fill us in on the
details.


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  #9  
Old November 25th 08, 11:26 AM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
lunicycle
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Congrats Matt, All the best for the ride mate!


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  #10  
Old December 10th 08, 10:56 AM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
leo
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page 8:
http://tinyurl.com/6qzp4x


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