Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn Bridge’

The 9th Annual New York Unicycle Festival

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018
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

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The 2017 Four Days of the Festival

Monday, October 9th, 2017


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.

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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

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2015 NYC Unicycle Festival in the News

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

[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

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2015 NYC Unicycle Festival Day Two

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

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

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