The 8th Annual New York Unicycle Festival

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


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