The Unicycle Monthly Ride is a breath of fresh air for those after a sport that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Not so much a club as a loosely organised get-together, the Monthly Ride involves a gathering of unicyclists on the concreted forecourt of the Melbourne Museum on the last Sunday of every month where they play a game of unicycle street hockey or just muck about.
“We’re not a formal club or anything,” says organiser Geoff Robinson. “We’d have to get insurance and companies see the word unicycle and think that might be risky. But in fact, it’s a fairly low-risk sport. We tend to have fewer accidents than cyclists because we travel a lot more slowly and unicyclists are, for the most part, good at falling off.”
Letting go of your fears of falling off is about the only thing you need to learn, according to Geoff. “Almost anyone can learn. It’s about as difficult as walking on two legs: it might have taken us a while to learn but we persisted.” Once you get your own unicycle for about $100 from a circus shop or online, it should take you about 15 hours of practice before you can begin to ride but Geoff reckons those hard yards are worth it. “It’s good fun and just plain silly, really.”
And you don’t need to run away with the circus to learn how, Geoff taught himself at the ripe age of 50. Now 63, Geoff is still riding and has taught three of his daughters along the way. “It became something we did together so it was a family thing.”
The monthly ride welcomes both seasoned unicyclists and those who have never tried to ride before. “And we don’t have any problem with performance-enhancing drugs,” says Geoff. “The prizes aren’t worth it.”
Meet at the Melbourne Museum. Geoff.Robinson@csiro.au for more info. 2pm, last Sunday of every month.