Unicycling (and other comfy obscure action sports)

April 12, 2022

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90s were RAD and EXTREME (spelled "X-treme", of course). Graffiti, miniramps, buncha kids shredding their agressive inlines, skateboards and BMXes blasting whiny Linkin Park songs outa their boomboxes.

Skiing, surfing and even skateboards all existed way before, and so were daredevils like Evel Knievel.

I would argue the word "circus" in the title "Nitro Circus" isn't all accidental. Travis Pastrana, Shaun White or Tony Hawk might still do fine as performers, without any "sports" affiliation.

And that's as smooth of a segue to the next paragraph as you are gonna get.

Learning to ride a bike, again

@floh_loves_gym had a unicycle when she was a kid. She brought it to Gleisdreiek one day, shown me her sick skill and asked if I would like to try.

Naturally i've hesitated a bit then hesitated some more and finally gave in. Things didn't work out instantaniously but i've been allowed to keep that kid-unicycle at my appartment for "as long as I want".

Fast-forward a week of practice and I could ride for a minute or two, without crashing on my butt.

It's a great physical exercise, unlike skateboard it is not affraid of rainy cloudy weather (in Berlin that's a massive plus) and it's like learning to ride a bike, again.

You don't need a special park with obstacles, you don't need to pay some ski-pass or cable park fee, no-no-no. Find yourself a unicycle, find a wall to hold to (a fence will do too) and FULL SEND IT!

Some easy to impress people might get surprised, seeing you in the street. Somebody will ask you if you can juggle while riding a unicycle. That's the "do a kickflip" of this hobby, just accept it ;)

Riding a unicycle is exciting, and that balances out all the negatives for me.

Meet the other riders

If you want to ride unicycle with other people:

  • Get to Tempelhofer Feld, i suggest the S+U Tempelhof entrance
  • Keep walking forward till you see white metal containers. The left-most belongs to Talent School Dingadu. If it's open - it's your lucky day! The Gentlemen who runs the school Eywie Wolff might be in there. Ask him about the next run around Tempelhof or any kind of upcomming events. Also check out all the crazy unicycles the man owns: that's some collection!

We've been to an event like this last year, rode two laps around tempelhofer feld, was kinda tough for me, but "just challenging enough".

Fun fact: I've completed that run on my very own adult unicycle. You gotta try riding something compatible with your height, eventually. Raise the seat, trust me, it feels easier on your legs and knees this way.

my girl on a unicycle

here's a close-up picture of @floh_loves_gym riding it

Another fun fact: the very next container is a rental for a buncha niche electric wehicles and they have at least one Solowheel. If unicycles are a "small niche", how come there're mass-produced electric unicycles everywhere? Mindblowing.

I have tried renting a solowheel once - was fun.

The weird world of obscure niche sports

Remember the "no ski-pass" line? Technically that's not true, since mountain unicycling exists.

and so does unicycle hockey

Or, if you want a modern Evel Knievel on a unicycle - check out NBA's Favorite Halftime Performer Red Panda

Wanna be cool and rad? - get some BMX grind pegs and go shred that skatepark nearby! Look at this dude: this dude rips!

Gee, he's so good it looks like a videogame to me!

In very short summary

Unicycles are literally everywhere around you.

It's not as BIG and RAD as skateboarding, there's no UNICYCLE MUSIC, UNICYCLE OLYMPICS or UNICYCLE fashion (not that i know of), not too many unicycle videogames either, yet but all of this doesnt make it less exciting and enjoyable!

Berlin Action Boys club recommends unicycles, in all shapes and forms.