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The Fall after the Festival.

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Miscellaneous, NYC Unicycle Festival

Four days of 2016 NYC Festivities

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NYC Unicycle Festival

The 7th Annual New York City Unicycle Festival

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The Fall after the Festival.

Posted in: Meeting Reports, Photo Highlights | Comments (0)

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="Third Saturday, September 2016"][/caption] After another successful unicycle festival we do not put away our unicycles for the season. We still congregate for unicycle meetings and for a few riding events.  Above is one of many photos taken that day within the photo album on our Flickr site during the September unicycle meeting. For the month it was the only meting that took place at our usual meeting venue. The first Sunday meeting occurred as part of the unicycle festival. Clicking on any photo in this posting it will take you to the album of the photos recorded at that particular event. So if you have the time click though and check them out. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="453" caption="2016 African American Day Parade"][/caption] On September 18th, the day after the meeting, five of members of the club, John, Calvin, Jerlin, Ken and Abdullah, rode along with the Labor Union Local 79 float up Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. from 112th street up to 136th street for the 2016 African American Day Parade.  We rode our unicycles entertaining the crowd to the music being played by the disc jockey on the float. We had a wonderful weather and a good time in it. As you can see we had unicycles of different sizes and Abdullah even brought along one of his pythons that became the main attraction and attention of the crowd as we rode the parade route. The ride itself is relatively short. However, we basically spend the entire afternoon watching the parade participants and hanging out with the crowd. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="453" caption="2016 Tour de Bronx"][/caption] We did have a couple of meetings in October that were not as well attended as the September meeting. You can check out the October album on the Flickr site to see a bit of what went on during those meetings.  However, On the 23rd of October four of us, Ken, David, Abdullah, and Rodrigo, completed the 25 mile route of the 22nd annual Tour de Bronx. I have to give a shout out to John who started out the ride with us at Harris Park on a 29" unicycle but had to drop out along the route. The tour is a popular well attended cycling ride with thousands of cyclist participating in both the 40 mile and 25 mile routes. The tour is sponsored by Bronx Borough President's office in conjunction with many commercial sponsors. the Current Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr. actually participates riding the 25 mile route.  As you can see in the photo above the four of us all brought along our big 36" wheels to get us safely through the route. The route took us through the streets and the various bike paths through out the Bronx making a few rest stops to fuel up on water, bagels and granola bars. The ride concluded at the Bronx Botanical Garden where there was pizza, energy drinks and a T-shirt waiting for each rider that completed the ride. As always we will continue to meet throughout the coming months. We may even get together for additional rides if we happen to be blessed with nice weather. Come out and visit at one or more of our meetings. If nothing else it will likely get you off the couch and outside to get some air.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ November 8, 2016

Four days of 2016 NYC Festivities

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[caption id="attachment_1900" align="aligncenter" width="440" caption="Day One, Battery Park to Central Park (Click Photo to view Album)"][/caption]

The 2016 New York Unicycle Festival began on Thursday September 1st. While this has been the seventh year of the festival, this is the only second year of there being four days instead of three days of unicycle activities. Day one started with a light drizzle that ceased just as the ride began, 17 unicyclist began the ride from Battery Park up the west side cycling path on there way to Central Park. After a few rest stops we showed up at the entrance of the park at West 85th street being joined by yet one more unicyclist.  We made our way through the park down to 59th street, Columbus Circle for a lunch break. Just as we started to make our way down Broadway toward Time Square it again began to rain. Upon reaching Time Square it really started to come down. So, we sought shelter in a covered walkway on West 45th street until the rain let up. After about twenty-five minutes the rained lightened up so we set out back towards bike path by the Intrepid Aircraft carrier. We rode the entire way back with two rest stops, just upon reaching Battery Park the rain stopped. We all agreed that the 16.5 mile ride was incredibly fun despite the warm light rain falling on us for the entire ride back to the starting point. The photo above was recorded at one of the rest stops along the west side bike path that is part of Hudson River Park.

[caption id="attachment_1901" align="aligncenter" width="440" caption="Day Two, Brooklyn Unicycle Day (Click photo to view album)"][/caption]

On day two of the festival was the annual celebration of Brooklyn Unicycle Day. In total there were 57 unicyclist that participated in crossing the Brooklyn Bridge in celebration of the  event. This year, close to 50 unicyclist decided to continue the 13 mile the ride to Coney Island. The riders paused at three rest stops along the route. The photo above was recorded in front of the Grand Army Plaza arch. Riders were they were greeted by even more unicyclists and jugglers at Nathan's Famous.  Later that evening, the group gathered at Dino's Wonder Wheel for a group photo. Immediately following, most have took advantage of a free ride on the Wonder Wheel.

[caption id="attachment_1903" align="aligncenter" width="440" caption="Day three, Governors Island (Click on the photo to view album)"][/caption]

I cannot begin to do justice in describing all the tremendous amount of unicycle activity that occurred on Govenors Island during day three. There must have been 150 or more unicyclist present. All enjoying the activities and wheeled vehicles.  Sem and Teresa Abrams and family brought with them all types of bikes and unicycles.  Adam and Renie Cohen of Just One Wheel were there helping people learn to unicycle in addition to all of the volunteers helping out in the overflowing learning area. All of this going on with music pumping in the background courtesy of DJ Sky.Unicyclist participated in playing hockey, basketball, unicycle sumo wrestling and other activities. There was a very entertaining unicycle show with many participants.

[caption id="attachment_1904" align="aligncenter" width="440" caption="Day Four, Govenors Island (Click on photo to view album)"][/caption]

The final day of the festival was basically a mirror of day three with about half as many unicyclists.  The activities were similar with a few variations such as the costume contest and unicycle kite flying. The four participants of the costume contest are depicted above.

This year the festival was a quite a success with every attendee truly enjoying every day of the festival.  If you have not attended one of the seven unicycle festivals to date, you are missing a real treat as a unicyclist. Especially if you live outside of the New York area. I would be a really good idea to put it on your schedule to attend next year.

This year I myself put more emphasis on taking more photographs then in past festivals. The result is over 1,000 photos contained in the four photo albums linked above.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ September 5, 2016

The 7th Annual New York City Unicycle Festival

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Once again my unicycle friends!  It is time for the 2016 New York City Unicycle Festival.  This annual event produced by the Bindlestiff  Family Circus promises to be bigger and more popular than the previous years. This year it will continue with second year of expanded unicycle activities to four days. It will be held from Thursday September 1st – Sunday September 4.  Organizers have a goal of breaking the previous attendance records from past unicycle festivals. So grab a friend and come on out to all four days of unicycle activities. Day One: Round trip ride Battery Park to Central Park. This year will be the second annual Thursday big wheel ride for day one. At 10:00 am participating unicyclist will bring their unicycle having 26″ or larger wheel to Battery Park. From Battery Park we will ride up the west side bike path and over to and around Central Park. We will travel down to the south west end of the park at Columbus Circle for a lunch break. But, the ride will not necessarily end there. Part two of the ride will return back down the bike path to Battery park. The round trip total is about 16.5 miles. Day Two: Brooklyn Bridge and Coney Island ride. The annual celebration of Brooklyn Unicycle day occurs on Friday. The celebration will commence with a 3:00 pm unicycle ride across the Brooklyn Bridge. Many of the unicyclist will continue riding on a 13 mile tour through Brooklyn organized by the Unicycle Bridge Tour group. The tour will make rest stop visits to Grand Army Plaza and Prospect Park South. then onto to our final destination of Coney Island via the Ocean Avenue bike path with one last rest stop at around Avenue N. Activities at Coney Island will be announced soon. All are welcome to join us at Coney Island no unicycle is required. So, if you like to participate at Coney Island amusement park activities just meet us at Nathans Famous at around 5:45 pm. Altogether there will be at minimum of about 13 miles of unicycle fun. All wheel sizes are welcome to participate in the ride across the bridge. However, a 24 inch or larger wheel would be highly recommended for the ride onto Coney Island. Quite a few unicyclists have completed the ride on a 20 inch sized wheel.  One rider has even completed the ride on a 20 inch giraffe unicycle. For those that do not want to ride unicycle all the way to Coney Island can take the subway and meet us there. Days Three and Four: Governors Island. Moving  forward to main festivities on Saturday and Sunday. You need only to hop on the $1 ferry over to Governors Island from either the Brooklyn or Manhattan ferry terminals to arrive between 11:00 am to 5 pm. Two consecutive afternoons  of unicycle activities including races, unicycle sport competitions in basketball and hocky, unicycling and juggling shows and Beginner and advance skills unicycling learning workshops. There will be raffles on both days and vendors maybe available. If you plan on coming for both days, hold onto to your ferry ticket for the second days journey. Though you can bring your own food, there are variety of food trucks and food vendors available on the island. Come on out and join the fun. Please Contribute! As it is quite expensive to present these free activities I encourage every one to help support with donation of whatever financial support you can afford. While purchasing Tee shirts and raffle tickets is helpful a direct tax deductible donation to the cause goes a whole lot further. Potential sponsors are invited to visit the event website sponsor page for information on how to become an event sponsor. The activities schedule with few exceptions will mirror previous years festival so I will refer you to the event’s website for further details To reach Governor Island there are ferries leaving  from Brooklyn and lower Manhattan check out the ferry schedules and plan accordingly. Helpful event links: Additional detailed information can be found at the following websites. NYC 2016 Unicycle Festival  website for event details and Coney Island ride route map. You can follow some of the latest event developments on the Festival’s Facebook page. You are encouraged to invite your facebook friends via the Brooklyn Unicycle Day Facebook event page. The Trust for Governors Island website for island information including ferry service schedules from Manhattan and Brooklyn. National Park Service Governors Island web page for additional information about island events and directions. Governors Island Map.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ August 20, 2016

2016 President’s day visit to Just One Wheel

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2016 Just 1 wheel 43

For the fifth consecutive year, New York Unicycle club members have been invited to visit by Adam and Renie Cohen to visit the Just One Wheel balance facilities. This, as in the previous two years we visited them on the campus of the Driftwood Day camp. As you may remember, the last two years we experienced really rough winters that were really cold with a lot of snow. This year's Winter we thankfully had milder temperatures and no snow on the ground. So this year we took advantage and did some riding both indoors and out. Yes it did snow that afternoon. However, in the early afternoon with just a dusting of snow on the ground a bunch of us ventured outdoors to ride around the campus. We had a great time. I would like to again thank Adam, Renie and the Balance Brothers, Ziggy and Ikey for inviting us out to spend the afternoon with them.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ March 13, 2016

Best Photos of 2015

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2015 July Saturday 63

Each year I, Ken Springle, record hundreds of photographs at New York Unicycle Club meetings, unicycle rides and events. These photographs are posted in albums on our club's Flickr.com site soon after each event. At the end of each year I go through all of the albums to select what I feel are the "best of" for the year. With so many photos to choose from it is always a tough call as to which one are to be included within the album. It is even tougher to decide which of these photo should represent the album as the cover photo. For there at least a dozen photos that could considered the best one depending on the criteria being used.  For 2015 I chose this photo of Jason Katz, one of the clubs most skilled riders demonstrating one foot idling on a five foot Giraffe unicycle. Take some time to check out the entire Best of 2015 photo album and see which photo you think is best.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ March 13, 2016

Ride through Northeast Queens

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Kissina Par Velodrome

Five senior members of the New York Unicycle Club set out for a 18 mile unicycle ride though northeast queens. The route of the ride started in Flushing Meadow Park and continued via the streets and bicycle paths onto the Vanderbuilt Motor Parkway Greenway to Alley Pond Park. It was a sunny brisk October day that was excellent for the ride. The above photograph was taken along the outside railing of the Kissena Velodrome located in Kissena Park. We visited the velodrome during the last leg of the ride that ended back a the Willets Point train station back at Flushing Meadow Park. It was a great ride. We all look forward to doing more rides like this throughout the five boroughs.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ March 13, 2016

2015 NYC Unicycle Festival in the News

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[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Photo courtesy of Metro - New York Edition"][/caption] Reporter, Chester Soria put together an excellent write up for this year's Unicycle Festival that made the front page of the September 8th New York edition of the   Metro newspaper. I exited the subway this morning and grabbed a copy of the free news paper, folded it and slipped in my shoulder bag. When I got into my office I was pleasantly surprised to see a unicycle gracing  the front page. Over the last 5 years the festival has made the front page of many of the local borough wide papers.  For last year's festival there was this article in the New York Daily News written by by Doyle Murphy.  However, this year has been the first time  that I recall the festival making the front page of a city wide distributed newspaper. Check out the Metro article and the slide show of photos taken for Brooklyn Unicycle day. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="503" caption="Photo courtesy of Keith Nelson via The New York Times"][/caption] Not to be completely out shown by the the Metro, Laurel Graeber who writes children interest stories for the New York Times wrote this descriptive piece in the Art section of the times. She actually used a photo from the 2014 Unicycle Festival in order to make the deadline for Thursday's paper. But that is okay since the same two boys in the photo, Harry and Ziggy, had a rematch during this year's festival.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="380" caption="Photo courtesy of Keith Nelson via DNA info"][/caption] DNA info's Irene Plagianos also wrote a nice description in her coming events article in last Tuesdays edition of the magazine. They also posted a 2014 sumo contest photo this time with two of the festivals dedicated volunteer staffers going at it. If there are additional articles released in this weeks local papers, I will add them to this post so return to our website and check them out. In the meantime there are plenty of photographs for you to check out in the links included in my previous posts.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ September 8, 2015

Day Three and Four 2015 Festival

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[caption id="attachment_1871" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Group photo on day three of the festival"][/caption]

On Governors Island the activities of the 2015 New York City Unicycle Festival continued with an action packed two day program of unicycling featuring a costume contest, Unicycle basketball, Unicycle Hockey, Unicycle Sumo, a unicycle skills performance show, a raffle and much more. Unicyclist of all ages and backrounds from all over come to New York to participate and witness a fun gathering. Though the focus is on unicycling, multiple talents were on display with jugglers and gymnast displaying there talents.

Governor Island is in the midst of a 8 year renovation that is scheduled to be completed next year. There has been significant progress with this construction project. Those who have had the opportunity to attend the festival had the added bonus of being able to tour the island and enjoy the new cycling paths and other areas that have been installed on the island. This has been the fifth year of the festival. It was a well attended event that fun for all that attended.

Clicking one of the photos will take you to a slide show of the Photo album for that day on our Flickr site. There are a lot of photos for days two through four. If you prefer to browse each day's album you can click here for the Album page.

[caption id="attachment_1872" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Unicycle Sumo match on day four"][/caption]

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ September 7, 2015

2015 NYC Unicycle Festival Day Two

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For Brooklyn Unicycle day 2015 was officially celebrated by Sixty-two New York Unicycle Festival participants crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. the unicyclist depicted above all agreed that that that was not enough of a celebration. So, they continued on to ride 12. 5 additional miles across the borough to Coney Island. Once they made it to Coney Island and was met  by jugglers and unicyclist that did not participate for the full ride, we all partook in a needed refueling at Nathan's Famous, With appetites satiated, it was time for a group photo to be taken in front of Dino's Wonder Wheel. As in years past this was followed by a variety show performed at the Coney Island Shooting Gallery. After the show everyone with enough energy to stick around was treated to a free ride on Dino's Wonder Wheel. They was also able to witness the final Coney Island fireworks show of the 2015 summer season. It was truly a day full of unicycle celebration. You can click on the this link to go to the day two album or the click photo above to see a slide show of the photos I took throughout the day. Visit our Flickr page often to see what NYUC has been up to and who has been participating.

[caption id="attachment_1865" align="aligncenter" width="501" caption="Photo courtesy of Norman Blake"][/caption]

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ September 5, 2015

Day One 2015 NYC Unicycle Festival

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This group of group of cyclists gathered at the beginning of the Mahattan waterfront greenway bike path across from Battery Park at the southern tip of the island of  Manhattan fully intent to ride a few miles up the west side of the island to cross over to central park at the the center of island. The plan was to ride back down to Battery park via the on street bike paths along the east side of the island. Due to quite a few riders dropping out, collectively we decided to ride back along the same protected bike route. It was a great ride that was welcome addition to the festival. Click on the photo to go to the slideshow of the  Flickr album of photos of this day.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ September 3, 2015