The New York Unicycle Club
The New York Unicycle Club is a casually organized group dedicated to the sport of recreational unicycling. Our members include people of all ages and all skill levels, from beginner to expert.
We would love for you to come to a meeting. Bring your unicycle or try one of ours.
Meet with us:
We meet in the park at 122nd street and Riverside drive twice a month all year round. Here is what you need to remember -
"First Sunday, third Saturday"
Got it memorized? Now you can easily figure out when we meet by looking at any calendar. Check out our website Calendar
for meetings and other unicycle events. Detailed information and directions to Grant's Tomb where we meet, are listed in the "Meetings
" section of our the website. The regular meetings are scheduled from about 1:00pm until around 5:00pm, but people come and go at all different times (and some stay late).
Connect with us:
If you have questions or comments about the club, the website or, any our internet content, please feel free to contact us via our Contact page.
All New York Unicycle Club members, whether you intend to attend meetings or not, are encouraged to become a member of the Unicycle Society of America (USA)
. NYUC members that do intend to attend multiple meetings within any calendar year should join USA in support of our permit to meet at Grant's Tomb. Check the USA membership page
for details on becoming a member.
If you would like to receive email from the New York Unicycle Club, Please take the opportunity to join our Google Group
. We send out meeting reminders as well as informing the group of events and forwarding messages that we think are pertinent to the club.
Many members have joined our Facebook Group page
. If you are a facebook member, why not join us.
You can also follow the NYUC on Twitter
See what we have been up to:
At most meetings photographs and possibly some video is usually recorded and posted to the internet. Images and recorded video can be found in the following locations:
NYUC Flickr Photostream
NYUC Photo Highlights
NYUC YouTube Channel
As we have been around for 13 years. We have had media outlet representatives that have stopped by to conduct interviews, take photos and record video. Published video recorded at our unicycle meetings are available on the internet. Some video recordings can be found on Youtube.com and can accessed from our NYUC Youtube Channel
New York Unicycle Club members have participated each year in the New York City Unicycle Festival. Check out the coverage on this website
of the festival activities.
The following are links to recent site postings that have videos associated with them:
Short Clip About The Club
NYUC Graces the Pages of the NY Times
Gather to watch "In Unison"
One of the earliest videos about the club appeared on cable television program BikeTVcan be still be viewed on Youtube.com at Bike TV-New York Unicycle Club
HISTORY OF THE CLUB
NYUC history, by David Stone
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
The club first met way back in 2001, but it was formed a few weeks earlier after Joe Merrill and I decided that New York needed a unicycle club again (there had been one which met irregularly back in the late 80s and early 90s, but the founder, the great John Foss, moved to California, which made club meetings extremely difficult to schedule). Joe knew that there was a good database on the Internet which could help us get the names and e-ddresses of some local riders. I printed up cards and notified unicycling friends, and less than two months later, we had our first club get-together.
I spent hours ruminating over a clever name for the club. Gotham Unicyclists? Unicycle Club of NY? I also considered naming the club to create some cute acronym, to little avail. Finally I mentioned my frustration to my wife. She immediately came up with "Unatics" (rhymes with lunatics, and not by accident). Problem solved.
Or so we thought. Two years later, members complained that folks often said the name incorrectly (accenting the NAT syllable so that the name would rhyme with 'rheumatics'). For that and other reasons, we decided to change the name to New York Unicycle Club (NYUC).
But now that we include so many folks from New Jersey and Connecticut at each meeting, maybe we should go with Tri-State Unicycle Club (TSUC). Nah.
One problem we've had since the first day is that we don't have an indoor venue. We've tried over the years to get space in a church or school, but we've never really pushed it. There are certain advantages to the outdoors, too, and the weather's been surprisingly cooperative since we started meeting. It is no fun riding around for 5 hours in the rain, so we've had to cancel or reschedule a few meetings, but that only happens about once a year. And it's a blast riding around in the snow! There is no better way to learn to do pedal grabs than using a solid snow bank about two feet high.
Our first meeting, January 20, 2001, came on a cold, wet day. We knew that the weather called for sleet, so we met under a construction overhang in front of the Starbucks on 93rd Street and Broadway. The first attendees included the two founders as well as two of our young friends (James and Noah), a guy named David Kaplan, my brother John, and a woman named Sky who is better known for her juggling skills. We rode around till our hands froze, got a few hot drinks, and then rode around some more. Within a few weeks, we were getting turnouts of 15-20 people, and when the warmer weather came, we frequently had groups of over 30 people.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Two weeks later, we began meeting at Central Park's Bandshell, which is on the east side of the park at around 72nd Street. It was a great place to hold the club, but sometimes there were major events which kept us from riding there. The last time we met there was Easter Sunday, 2002; it was so crowded with Easter egg hunters and face painters that we had to abandon the 'Shell in favor of the much less crowded area of Grant's Tomb. Up at the Tomb, there is a huge and well-paved quad where we can practice tricks, and parking around there is a breeze. We'll probably return to the 'Shell on and off, but for now, the Tomb is our home twice a month.
The club has grown from 7 hardy souls to a membership of around 65 frequent visitors, and on a typical day, we see about 25-30 unicyclists (and about 40 unicycles) at Grant's Tomb. Our e-mailing list now has about 350 names. People come from all over NYC as well as Connecticut and New Jersey. We've had a few special visitors, too, including Andy Cotter (founder of the Twin Cities club, the largest in the country, and fellow Minnesotan Irene Genelin, the best overall female rider in the world. Folks have also visited us from places as far away as Tennessee and Turkey.
The overall skill level of the group has improved dramatically. There are several kids in the group who are close to passing level 3 and one who is near level 5. The adults have gotten a lot better, too. Joe and I are now level 7, and several other members are nearing levels 4 and 5. In addition, co-founder Joe has discovered his inner muniac and is usually found riding mountain unicycle (muni) trails in New Jersey with his friend, Scott Bridgeman, originator of the Muniacs. My brother, John, on the other hand, found that he prefers long-distance riding; he's completed rides of 1,100 miles (the European Unicycle Tour) and 600 miles (Norway), and he and I also rode for over 12 hours one day last year during the Century Ride. I completed 102 miles on my Coker, and he rode 89 miles on a 29" wheel.
The club has been featured in a Time Out New York article (12/4/03), and various members have been asked to perform in different places over the years including the Queens Museum of Science (a show about the history of cycling) and Good Morning America, where I demonstrated a bike-unicycle hybrid. Thus far, however, we have shunned parades and other performances.
Our get-togethers are totally relaxed. They are about having fun with a good bunch of people, on unicycles.
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