2018 Best Photographs

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[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="384" caption="Best Photos of 2018"][/caption]

This years best of photos mark the first year of the second decade of recording photographs at unicycle meetings and unicycle events. While we have had less attendance at many of our meetings then I prefer, we have had many visitors to New York stop by and  ride with us. We have also had many unicyclists right from the New York area stop by, visit and ride with us for the first time. The 2018 New York City Unicycle Festival was tremendously fun as it has been each year of its existence. For the 2019 festival I vow to take better photos at the festival. Usually I am doing so many things at the same time at the festival that I cannot focus on photography.

For the 2018 album, I have chosen to recognize and highlight Callum Cooper Nissen.  I have witnessed Callum having a tremendously fun 2018 in the sport of unicycling. He would show up at a meeting and ride every unicycle available. At the 2018 Unicycle Festival, I don't think he gave a moments rest going from cycle to cycle of every type available.

Each year it has been difficult to restrict the number of photos to a reasonable number. This year was a little less difficult as I was being being much more discriminate in my selection criteria over a smaller amount of photos overall.  I was able to keep the selection down to just 125 images which is larger than last years 100 photos selection. I hope that you enjoy them. At your leisure, take the time to look at some of the other albums on the Flickr site . You can click on the above image or the following link to go to directly to a see a slide show of the entire Best of 2018 album. We now have so many best of albums that I decided to gather all of the albums into a Best of Collection. You can review all eleven of the annual best of albums.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ January 21, 2019

The 9th Annual New York Unicycle Festival

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We have arrived at the ninth consecutive year of the New York Unicycle Festival (Unifest).  A few hundred unicyclist are expected to participate in this four day unicycle event.The 2018 New York City Unicycle Festival. This event produced annually by the Bindlestiff  Family Circus. It continues to be as popular as the  eight previous years. It will be held from Thursday, August 30th – Sunday, September 2nd.  Though the venue and activities have remained the same, it seems that each year the festival provide a truly unique experience for all who participate. So grab a friend, a neighbor or anyone else that expresses an interest in unicycling and come on out to at least for one or more of the four days of unicycle activities. Day One: Round trip ride Battery Park to Central Park. This year will be the third 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 annually by the Unicycle Bridge Tour group. The tour will make rest stop visits to Grand Army Plaza and Prospect Park South and along Ocean Parkway. then onto to our final destination of Coney Island via the Ocean Parkway 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 is 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, You are welcome to take the subway and meet us there and cheer on the arrival of the participants. Several NYC transit trains terminate at the Stillwell Avenue, Coney Island stop. 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 hockey, unicycling and juggling shows and Beginner and advance skills unicycling learning workshops. There will be raffles on both days with all sort of unicycling based prizes. If you plan on coming for both days, hold onto to your ferry ticket for the second day's journey. Though you can bring your own food, there are variety of food trucks and food vendors available on the island. The lines at the many food trucks can be quite long particularly for the ones that are popular. Govenors Island is a destination to enjoy in its own right. Each year additional parts of the island are developed. So, you may want to come early and give your self time to explore what the island has to offer. For all of you New York Unicycle Club members, please remember that the First Sunday meeting of September will take place at the festival. Come on out and join in on the fun.

Please Contribute!

As it is quite expensive to present these free activities I encourage every one to help support with a 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: Each year Ken Springle records lots of photographs from each year’s events and files them among the many albums on the NYUC Flickr site. Additional detailed unifest information can be found at the following websites. NYC 2018 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 28, 2018

2018 Tour De Staten Island

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On April 22, 2018 three  of our New York Unicycle Club members took part in this years Tour de Staten Island. David Bagley, Abdullah Wright (on the right) and myself.  David Bagley's daughter, Megan, also participated by riding her bicycle for the entire 50 mile route. Us unicyclists took the 35 mile ride route that winds it way though various neighborhood mainly in the northwest and southwest portions of the borough. The ride has quite a few challenging hills. This years tour was a rough ride for Abdullah and I. Abdullah had rode about 18 miles the day before and I had not had the opportunity to do any training rides due to illness. In any event with my thighs were screaming in protest, I was able to finish. It was the second consecutive year of the club's participation in the tour. It is a great ride with thousands of cyclists participating in both the 35 mile and 50 mile routes. The 50 mile route takes you out to a circuitous eastern tour of the island.  I was  really fun ride with free beer at the end to motivate you to finish.  I look forward to riding this same tour next year with proper training in preparation.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ May 5, 2018

2018 National Unicycle Week

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This year, National Unicycle Week will take place May 20th- 26th. All unicyclist are encouraged to celebrate by engaging in unicycle activities throughout the week. Sunday, May 20th is considered to be Ride a Unicycle Day. On that day we hope that you will break out your unicycle and take if for a ride in celebration. The length of the ride is up to you. You can do a short ride, long ride or a group ride.  The point is to just get out there and ride. The Unicycling Society of America is asking you to tag them on Facebook with your celebration ride photos and use the hashtag, #nationalunicycleweek.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ May 5, 2018

2017 Photographs of the Year

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[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="318" caption="Best Photos of 2017"][/caption]

This past year represents the tenth consecutive year of me snapping photographs at unicycle meetings and at unicycle events and posting the photo to our Flickr site. If you visit our Flickr site and navigate to one of our earliest albums you will see photographs recorded on a old Nokia phone. That phone was able to record 2 mega pixel images at the time. With the resolution of today's displays, those photos will not look that good. Fortunately, soon after recording those photos, I purchased an actual Canon portable camera and began recording 5 mega pixel images. For the last three years I have been recording 18 mega pixel images on a newer camera. Coincidentally, for those phone images and also for the best of  photos of 2014 when I purchased my latest camera, I featured a photograph of David Bagley riding his Crab Cycle unicycle. For those of you that are not familiar with the Crab Cycle unicycle built by Tom Miller, it is set up so that as you pedal forward it will travel sideways. In the photo David is pedaling forward and traveling to his right. It is by additional coincidence that David's Crab Cycle ridden by another club member was featured a just year earlier in the best of 2016 album. You can read the article that I wrote for last year's album. For the best photos of 2017 I am again featuring David Bagley and his Crab Cycle.  At this time, although I am featuring David for much of the same reasons as I did for 2014, I have additional reasons for 2017. For the unicycle meetings that occurred in 2017, he provided much support by attending a majority of meetings from January through October. He drives over to New York from his home in New Jersey in his little subcompact Honda Fit. His car is always fully packed with unicycles and juggling equipment including the Crab Cycle in the featured photo.  A few of the cycles that David brings along with him were built by Tom Miller of the Unicycle Factory. a sample of those include the double parallel wheel unicycle,  A unicycle that that pedals backward to roll forward and a unicycle with a 43 inch wheel. David serves as the Unicycle Factory website designer and administrator. If you are not familiar with Tom Miller or his work you can check out the recently published Youtube documentary about his work. This year as in year as past, I had difficulty restricting the number of photos to a reasonable number. In 2017 my job was made a little easier since we had a lot of meetings that were cancelled or just not well attended do to poor weather.  I was able to keep the selection down to just 100 images. I hope that you enjoy them. Please take the time to look at some of the other albums on the Flickr site that these photos are selected from. You can click on the above image or the following link to go to directly to a slide show of the Best of 2017 images.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ January 6, 2018

2017 Tour de Bronx

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[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="510" caption="NYUC members with the Bronx Borough President"][/caption]

On Sunday, October 22, 2017, three club unicyclist, Rodrigo Sanz, Abdullah Wright, and myself set out from 161st and Grand Concourse for a 25 mile tour of the borough of the Bronx. First established in 1994, this event has continued to grow over the years to the point where this year there were approximately 7,000 registered cyclists.  There are a litany of sponsors for the Tour de Bronx event, some provide funding some providing fuel, swag or volunteer participation. Enthusiastically leading this all day event is the Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr. The Borough President gives an inspirational speech to launch the each branch of the tour.  The 25  and 40 mile tour routes scenically wined their way through the Bronx on the streets, through parks and cycling paths. There are a few rest stops along the way where tour sponsors provide water, bagels and protein bars. The circular route ends to a big welcome rally at the New York Botanical Garden we  were welcomed by a live musical performance, Dominos pizza, water or energy drink and free Tour de Bronx t-shirt. It really is a fun ride that I have had the opportunity to participate in this tour for the third consecutive year. Throughout the ride we receive a lot of awesome support for the sport of unicycling from our fellow cyclists. This year we were almost excluded from riding due to a misunderstanding of unicyclists ability to ride long distances by the tour's organizers. We like to thank Olga Luz Tirado the executive director of the Bronx Tourism Council for patiently listening to the three of us collectively lobby for our inclusion by pointing out how we have been participating in supporting cycling in the Bronx by completing this event multiple times. Seeing the photo albums of previous tour events on our Flickr site, sealed the deal. In addition to the photo above, you can check out additional photos recorded at this year's event by clicking on the photo above or following this Flickr link. In addition, The photo below of our participation was included in an online article on the Riverdale Press website. My thanks to their Chief Photographer, Julius Motal for including us in the following photo that links to the Riverdale  Press article. You can enjoy more of Julius' work by checking out some of Julius' blog posts.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="510" caption="Photo courtesy of Julius Motal, Rivedale Press"][/caption]

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ October 29, 2017

The 2017 Four Days of the Festival

Posted in: Event Reports, NYC Unicycle Festival | Comments (0)

____________________________________

Day One

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="2017 Unicycle Festival Day One (Click photo to view album)"][/caption]

On Thursday, August 31, 2017, the first day of the 8th annual New York City Unicycle Festival, unicyclist numbering 14 set out from the starting point location in the photo at the southern most point of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway cycling path. The path begins just across the street from Battery park. The path follows along western coast of Manhattan along side  the Hudson River.  The group enjoyed a scenic ride north along the path to emerge on to the streets after passing through Riverside Park. They then traveled east through the street to enter Central Park where the group proceeded to ride south on the park drive making a lunch time rest stop at the Columbus Circle park exit area. After lunch the group continued south down Broadway to stop in the center of Time Square for a group photo. From there, the group traveled west through the midtown streets returning to the Waterfront Greenway Cyling path for the return trip back to Battery Park.

Day Two

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="499" caption="2017 Unicycle Festival Day Two (Click photo to view album)"][/caption]

Day two of the festival featured the customary annual afternoon traverse of the Brooklyn Bridge in celebration of Brooklyn Unicycle Day. A total of 48 individual unicyclists crossed over the bridge from the borough of Manhattan onto the borough of Brooklyn. From the foot of the bridge the entire group proceeded to make their way via the on street bicycle lanes over to Grand Army Plaza (pictured above). The entire group crossed the plaza to ride the length of Prospect Park and along the Ocean Parkway protected cycling path down to Coney Island. At Coney Island after fueling up at the Nathans Famous restaurant, the group assembled for a couple of group photos taken by Norman Blake.

[gallery link="file" order="DESC" columns="2"]

Day Three

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="504" caption="2017 Unicycle Festival Day Three (Click photo to view album)"][/caption]

On day three of the festival, unicyclists and non unicyclists alike were treated to a plethora of unicycle festivities on Governors Island. The day one on Governors Island as always well attended. Throughout the day unicycle activities were in perpetual motion with background music provided by D.J. Sky King. If you check out the photographs you will get a sense some of the goings on. From unicycle basketball, to unicycle sumo wrestling, to people in the learning center, to all of the unicycle performances and workshops. There were plenty of prizes passed out to the lucky winners at the annual raffle. A full day of fun and entertainment was witnessed by all who attended and participated.

Day Four

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="504" caption="2017 Unicycle Festival Day Four (Click photo to view album)"][/caption]

Day four of the festival was hampered by a morning down pour of rain that significantly reduced attendance to the festival and to Gorvernors Island on a whole. But that did not stop the the festival from carrying on. Mother Nature was kind so, by afternoon the dismal weather cleared up and the sun emerged onto the few unicyclists that did show up. Despite not having the crowds of the day before, all who attended managed to have a great time enjoying a day of unicycling on and around the island. If you have never been to one of the the unicycle festival I invite you to come out next year. The unicycle festival is quite expensive to put on every year so donations are more than welcome. If you would like to support the festival financially or by volunteering, please visit the New York Unicycle Festival website to find out how you can be a part of next years festival. If you have some time, you can always check out past festival photographs as well as the event photo albums from through out the year on the New York Unicycle Club Flickr site.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ October 9, 2017

The 8th Annual New York Unicycle Festival

Posted in: NYC Unicycle Festival, Upcoming Activities | Comments (0)

It is our time of year again. For the eighth consecutive year, hundreds of unicyclist will gather for four days of unicycle activites in the city known as the Big Apple. That's right my friends. It is time for the 2017 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 will be the third year of  unicycle activities having been expanded to four days from three. It will be held from Thursday August 31st – Sunday September 3rd.  It seems that the festival keeps getting better every year with more and more unicyclists from all over the world coming to participate. So grab a friend, a neighbor or anyone else that expresses an interest in unicycling and come on out to at least on of the four days of unicycle activities. Day One: Round trip ride Battery Park to Central Park. This year will be the third 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 annually by the Unicycle Bridge Tour group. The tour will make rest stop visits to Grand Army Plaza and Prospect Park South and along Ocean Parkway. then onto to our final destination of Coney Island via the Ocean Parkway 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 is 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, You are welcome to take the subway and meet us there. Several NYC transit trains terminate at Coney Island. 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 hockey, unicycling and juggling shows and Beginner and advance skills unicycling learning workshops. There will be raffles on both days with all sort of unicycle based prizes. 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. The lines at the many food trucks can be quite long particularly for the ones that are popular. Govenors Island is a destination to enjoy in its own right. So, you may want to come early and give your self time to explore the island. For all of you New York Unicycle Club members, please remember that the First Sunday meeting of September will take place at the festival. Come on out and join in on the fun.

Please Contribute!

As it is quite expensive to present these free activities I encourage every one to help support with a 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: Each year Ken Springle records lots of photographs from each year's events and files them among the many albums on the NYUC Flickr site. Additional detailed unifest information can be found at the following websites. NYC 2017 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 @ July 3, 2017

National Unicycle Week 2017

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For 2017, the Unicycling Society of America has established and announced the fourth week of the month of May as National Unicycle Week. This year May 21st - May 27th, everyone who rides unicycle is encouraged to step up and share their love of unicycling. Be more of ambassador to the sport of unicycling this week by helping new riders learn and improve their skills and encouraging people to try unicycling. Our sport has evolved and grown tremendously over the last fifteen years. Many of us have done our part to make unicycling more common in our own communities. I invite you all to do a little extra during National Unicycle Week to promote our sport and entice others to join in the fun.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ May 13, 2017

Best Photos of 2016

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The year 2016 was another full year of unicycle events and meetings We did have a few meetings that did not take place due to weather conditions. Throughout the year I posted to our Flickr site 3,096 photos from meetings and other events. With so many great photos it was extremely difficult to select just a few to be considered "Best of". Last year, for 2015 I was able to select 71 photos in contrast to the year before where in 2014 I selected 163 photos. This year I started with a pool of 200 photos that I intended to reduce down to 175 or so. If you click the photo through to the 2016 photo album, you will see that I settled on 185 photos for the 2016 year. As you can imagine I found in necessary to exclude a tremendous amount of great  and interesting photos taken throughout the year.

Each year I select one unicyclist to represent the "Best of " album. This year it was pretty obvious who it should be. Elias Sanchez who, at the beginning of the year was already a talented athlete and unicyclist, worked hard at a number of balance skills throughout the year including roller bolla, slack rope and yoga. Within this year he has learned to ride two exotic unicycles built by Tom Miller of the Unicycle Factory. One unicycle that pedals backward to go forward and another (depicted) that goes sideways as you pedal in either direction. He also learn to ride the vertical two wheel unicycle.

I had a great time recording all of this photographs and attending all of the unicycle events throughout the year. I am looking forward to doing more of the same in the coming months.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ December 31, 2016