NYUC meet at Riverside Drive and W122nd Street
Meetings take place on the first Sunday and third Saturday of each month year round, from 1:00pm until about 4:30 or 5:00.Check our Calendar for exact meeting dates and other unicycling related events. You can add our club calendar to your own Google Calendar. Just add email@example.com. Our meeting place is located in Manhattan's Upper West Side in quiet Morningside Heights. Located on Riverside Drive and nestled in the northern end of Riverside Park, Grant's Tomb park is surrounded by trees, playgrounds, and quiet streets. There is a beautiful view of the Hudson River to the west, and Riverside Church to the southeast. A few blocks to the southeast is Columbia University. There is ample free parking and nearby rest rooms. Good food is a short unicycle ride away. Or you can just wait for the ice cream truck to arrive. We are allowed to ride in the area that is just south of the large open area in front of the tomb. The large area that is immediately in front to the tomb is controlled by the National Park Service and is off limits to unicycling. However, the area just south of the steps leading from the sidewalks that we ride in is within the jurisdiction of the NYC Parks Department. It is a great riding surface and is never crowded. Meeting attendees are encouraged to become a member of the Unicycle Society of America (USA). NYUC members that intend to attend multiple meetings within any calendar year should absolutely join USA in support of our permit to meet at Grant’s Tomb. Check the USA membership page for details on becoming a member.
Directions:By Subway: Take the IRT number 1 local train (Red line) to 116th Street and Broadway station. (View Subway Map) ride near the front of the train. If you decide to take the IRT uptown express number 2 or 3 train from midtown, you must transfer to the uptown number 1 Broadway local at 96th Street for local service to the 116th Street train station on Broadway. Upon exiting the gate turn left and take the west side staircase to up to the street. Ride your unicycle north on Broadway turn left on W120th Street also called Reinhold Niebuhr Place. When you get to Riverside Drive turn right. Grant's Tomb will be in front of you on the opposite side of the street just one block further north. These directions help you avoid climbing significant hills. If you happen to get off the train at 125th street you will have travle south navigating some challenging hills to W122nd Street also called Seminary Row, turn right and travel west two blocks up a steeper hill to Riverside Drive. By Bus: Take the M-104, M-4 bus to W120th Street and Broadway travel north to W122nd Street, turn left, tow blocks to Riverside Drive. Or, take the M-5 bus to W122nd Street and Riverside Drive. By Car: Take the Henry Hudson Parkway to exit 12 (125th Street) go west to Broadway make right turn onto Broadway going south to w122nd Street, make another right travel east two blocks to Riverside Drive. If you are traveling from the east side of Manhattan from the vicinity of the Robert F. Kennedy bridge of the FDR drive, take 125th Street east to Broadway. Turn left onto Broadway go south to W122nd street turn right on W122nd Street , travel two blocks east to Riverside Drive. Ample street parking is available on Riverside Drive around Grant's Tomb. The tomb is between the northbound and southbound lanes of Riverside Drive. You can actually circle Grant's Tomb on Riverside Drive. Parking is available on both sides. Grant's Tomb is open for visitors all year round during the time that our meetings take place. For more information regarding hours and contact information visit the official National Park Service Website. National Park Service For more extensive information about the history of Grant's Tomb including a link to a video tour of the memorial check out the Grant's Tomb links located on our Resources page We hope to see you there at our next meeting!
A Typical Meeting of the New York Unicycle Clubby David Stone Terms: NYUC = Not to be confused with the Three Stooges ("nyuck, nyuck"). Unatic = A member of the NYUC. Rhymes with 'lunatic' There is no typical meeting of the New York Unicycle Club (NYUC), but there are some basic things that go on when the Unatics get together. Twice a month, we meet at Grant's Tomb (122nd St and Riverside Drive). There are about 20 members who almost always show up. Since we're outdoors, the weather plays a role in our turnout. On a cold or wet day, we'll get only a few hearty souls. One day it was so frigid that I had to put an extra pair of gloves on my numbed feet, but seven of us still showed up (and had the area to ourselves). On sunny days, there might be 25 or 30 of us. It's a weird and happy fact that even though we meet outside, we've only had to cancel a get-together about once a year! Whenever we get together, unicycles always outnumber people. Most folks bring just one, but many of us bring two or more. I arrive in my car (license plate: UNICYCLE, of course) with between four and eight unis in the back. Other riders zoom along city streets encountering the gamut of reactions, from excited children to blasé black-clad business types who act as if the person in the next cubicle rides a unicycle to work. Having so many unicycles (and so many different kinds) allows us to satiate the needs of those two-footers who have always wanted to give unicycling a try. And part of what makes our club so great is that there is always someone willing to help. We also love to hand over our unicycles to the many people who tell us how they used to ride 'back when.' It's great to see their faces (and the reactions of their friends) when they get back on a unicycle. One woman was astonished to learn that her fiance was able to ride a unicycle; what other unusual abilities was he hiding from her? But there is one member who doesn't usually lend out his unicycle despite his very generous nature; he's so tall that we call his regular unicycle the 'chainless giraffe,' and basically no one else has long enough legs for his uni. A notable quirk of our club is the predominance of Davids. At last count, there were five Davids who regularly turn out for meetings, and two of us are "David S," which didn't help matters. Occasionally the kids make fun of us by saying, "Hey, David!" and seeing how many heads turn. So we've taken to calling ourselves D1, D2, and so on. It can sound a bit like calling out Bingo or Battleship spaces, but it works for us. The inaugural meeting of the club, January 20, 2001, was rather inauspicious. January in New York is known for bitter cold and pelting rain, and we had both. 7 of us who met beneath a construction overhang outside of a Starbucks for a few hours before retreating to warmer locales. But on a recent sunny day, 26 Unatics came out (including 6 of the original 7) for over 5 hours of unicycling. There were about 33 unicycles with us, including: 3 Cokers (one with an extension), 3 29" wheels (Pashley, Yuni), 3 trials unis, 2 ultimate wheels (including one onto which Dave Bagley, aka D4, sewed nylon strips onto the tires to reduce friction -- it rides like a dream!), 1 impossible wheel (by Tom Miller), 1 double-wheeler (which I bought from a TCUC member named Don), 1 muni worth about $2,000, 0 giraffes (well, we usually have one or two), ...and a bunch of other wheel sizes from 16" to 28". Similarly, the composition of the members varies, but among the adults there are a few teachers, some students, a police sergeant, a lawyer, a psychologist, some artists, and a whole lot of people who work in computers. Many members also dabble in juggling (some can juggle 5 balls), diabolo, stilts, and so on. One even eats fire. Another has been known to put out a hat, put on a show, and put away the bucks. He's still in grade school. The youngest rider in the group is 6, and the oldest riders are in their fifties, though none of them is bragging about it. We have several families of riders, too. I was happy when we began to attract a good number of female unicyclists (I almost never encountered any outside of the circus before Joe and I started the club). One girl mastered the basics when she was 6, and it's great to see her riding with her older sister. And one of the most dedicated members is a woman named Anne who's been out almost every time and even called while riding her unicycle in Washington, DC so that she could attend a meeting via cell phone. Since joining us, she's gotten her boyfriend to start riding, too. The skill level of the membership varies quite a bit. There are many level 0-2 riders, but just a few in levels 3, 4, and 5. Only co-founder Joe Merrill and I are rated above that (both officially level 7), though there are some people in the club with quite advanced skills. One rider is accomplished at seat drag and hand-wheel-walk. We also have a few members who have ridden long distances. My brother John rode all 1,100 miles of the European Unicycle Tour (EUT) two years ago spent a month riding up Norway on another tour last summer. He also rode an amazing 85 miles on a 29" uni last year during a Century Ride (I rode 102 miles on a Coker that day). Many Unatics also look forward to the annual Unithon, an 18-mile fund-raiser for (and in) Long Beach Island, New Jersey. We also have a solid sub-group of muni riders. Many of them ride with Scott Bridgeman over in New Jersey. A few riders go for tours of the neighborhood and the local bike trails, but most of us hang out and work on skills or try different unicycles. Occasionally a game of uni sumo breaks out, and one day we may decide to work on group routines as well as a little basketball or even hockey. Though we call it the NYUC, it's really a TSUC (with TS standing for Tri-State). We have a number of unicyclist from Connecticut, and quite a few riders from New Jersey. Many members check in from Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Long Island. When in New York, do come visit us. You can always contact me at the address shown on our website Contact Page.
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