The Unicycle; An Appreciation

Breaktime-headerImage result for vintage unicycle circus

There are certain forms of play that I am not only unable to do but, when I try them, I typically end up hurting myself. My list includes the Pogo Stick, Stilts and, of course, the Unicycle; a product designed to cause me both the physical pain of falling off and the emotional pain of looking like an idiot.

Image result for vintage unicycle

Never-the-less, there are people who, with an air of nonchalance, are able to effortlessly roll around on a Unicycle (perhaps juggling plates while doing so) and all the while smugly looking down on people like me.

Despite myself, however, I am secretly jealous. I want to be like that guy at the top of the page, rolling around while playing a trombone. A skill designed to enchant any woman.

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The Unicycle came into being in the latter part of the 19th century. It arose from the discovery by "Penny Farthing"* bicycle riders that they could ride without the smaller wheel by simply pitching forward a little. The below rider did not seem to have that skill.

Image result for first unicycle

Below, is an 1884 take, a bizarre take I might add,  on a Unicycle in which you rode around sitting on the inside rather than on top. I'm not sure how you got in there.

Image result for vintage unicycle

 Can you ride a unicycle?

*Penny Farthing" bicycles got their name from their having one very large front wheel and one very small back wheel. The reference to the coins is that they were, similarly, of different sizes.

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