Posts Tagged ‘unicycle’

2018 National Unicycle Week

Saturday, May 5th, 2018
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

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2017 Photographs of the Year

Saturday, January 6th, 2018
[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

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The 8th Annual New York Unicycle Festival

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

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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Best Photos of 2016

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

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

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Four days of 2016 NYC Festivities

Monday, September 5th, 2016

[caption id="attachment_1900" align="aligncenter" width="440" caption="Day One, Battery Park to Central Park (Click Photo to view Album)"][/caption]

The 2016 New York Unicycle Festival began on Thursday September 1st. While this has been the seventh year of the festival, this is the only second year of there being four days instead of three days of unicycle activities. Day one started with a light drizzle that ceased just as the ride began, 17 unicyclist began the ride from Battery Park up the west side cycling path on there way to Central Park. After a few rest stops we showed up at the entrance of the park at West 85th street being joined by yet one more unicyclist.  We made our way through the park down to 59th street, Columbus Circle for a lunch break. Just as we started to make our way down Broadway toward Time Square it again began to rain. Upon reaching Time Square it really started to come down. So, we sought shelter in a covered walkway on West 45th street until the rain let up. After about twenty-five minutes the rained lightened up so we set out back towards bike path by the Intrepid Aircraft carrier. We rode the entire way back with two rest stops, just upon reaching Battery Park the rain stopped. We all agreed that the 16.5 mile ride was incredibly fun despite the warm light rain falling on us for the entire ride back to the starting point. The photo above was recorded at one of the rest stops along the west side bike path that is part of Hudson River Park.

[caption id="attachment_1901" align="aligncenter" width="440" caption="Day Two, Brooklyn Unicycle Day (Click photo to view album)"][/caption]

On day two of the festival was the annual celebration of Brooklyn Unicycle Day. In total there were 57 unicyclist that participated in crossing the Brooklyn Bridge in celebration of the  event. This year, close to 50 unicyclist decided to continue the 13 mile the ride to Coney Island. The riders paused at three rest stops along the route. The photo above was recorded in front of the Grand Army Plaza arch. Riders were they were greeted by even more unicyclists and jugglers at Nathan's Famous.  Later that evening, the group gathered at Dino's Wonder Wheel for a group photo. Immediately following, most have took advantage of a free ride on the Wonder Wheel.

[caption id="attachment_1903" align="aligncenter" width="440" caption="Day three, Governors Island (Click on the photo to view album)"][/caption]

I cannot begin to do justice in describing all the tremendous amount of unicycle activity that occurred on Govenors Island during day three. There must have been 150 or more unicyclist present. All enjoying the activities and wheeled vehicles.  Sem and Teresa Abrams and family brought with them all types of bikes and unicycles.  Adam and Renie Cohen of Just One Wheel were there helping people learn to unicycle in addition to all of the volunteers helping out in the overflowing learning area. All of this going on with music pumping in the background courtesy of DJ Sky.Unicyclist participated in playing hockey, basketball, unicycle sumo wrestling and other activities. There was a very entertaining unicycle show with many participants.

[caption id="attachment_1904" align="aligncenter" width="440" caption="Day Four, Govenors Island (Click on photo to view album)"][/caption]

The final day of the festival was basically a mirror of day three with about half as many unicyclists.  The activities were similar with a few variations such as the costume contest and unicycle kite flying. The four participants of the costume contest are depicted above.

This year the festival was a quite a success with every attendee truly enjoying every day of the festival.  If you have not attended one of the seven unicycle festivals to date, you are missing a real treat as a unicyclist. Especially if you live outside of the New York area. I would be a really good idea to put it on your schedule to attend next year.

This year I myself put more emphasis on taking more photographs then in past festivals. The result is over 1,000 photos contained in the four photo albums linked above.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ September 5, 2016

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2016 President’s day visit to Just One Wheel

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

2016 Just 1 wheel 43

For the fifth consecutive year, New York Unicycle club members have been invited to visit by Adam and Renie Cohen to visit the Just One Wheel balance facilities. This, as in the previous two years we visited them on the campus of the Driftwood Day camp. As you may remember, the last two years we experienced really rough winters that were really cold with a lot of snow. This year's Winter we thankfully had milder temperatures and no snow on the ground. So this year we took advantage and did some riding both indoors and out. Yes it did snow that afternoon. However, in the early afternoon with just a dusting of snow on the ground a bunch of us ventured outdoors to ride around the campus. We had a great time. I would like to again thank Adam, Renie and the Balance Brothers, Ziggy and Ikey for inviting us out to spend the afternoon with them.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ March 13, 2016

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Best Photos of 2015

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

2015 July Saturday 63

Each year I, Ken Springle, record hundreds of photographs at New York Unicycle Club meetings, unicycle rides and events. These photographs are posted in albums on our club's Flickr.com site soon after each event. At the end of each year I go through all of the albums to select what I feel are the "best of" for the year. With so many photos to choose from it is always a tough call as to which one are to be included within the album. It is even tougher to decide which of these photo should represent the album as the cover photo. For there at least a dozen photos that could considered the best one depending on the criteria being used.  For 2015 I chose this photo of Jason Katz, one of the clubs most skilled riders demonstrating one foot idling on a five foot Giraffe unicycle. Take some time to check out the entire Best of 2015 photo album and see which photo you think is best.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ March 13, 2016

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Ride through Northeast Queens

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

Kissina Par Velodrome

Five senior members of the New York Unicycle Club set out for a 18 mile unicycle ride though northeast queens. The route of the ride started in Flushing Meadow Park and continued via the streets and bicycle paths onto the Vanderbuilt Motor Parkway Greenway to Alley Pond Park. It was a sunny brisk October day that was excellent for the ride. The above photograph was taken along the outside railing of the Kissena Velodrome located in Kissena Park. We visited the velodrome during the last leg of the ride that ended back a the Willets Point train station back at Flushing Meadow Park. It was a great ride. We all look forward to doing more rides like this throughout the five boroughs.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ March 13, 2016

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Highbridge Crossing.

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

A few of us Unatics decided to take up Bob Hickman of Unicycle Bridge Tour's on his invitation to the Highbridge Festival at Highbridge Park. It was an opportunity for us to traverse one of the oldest pedestrian bridges in the country. It is the oldest bridge in New York.  The HighBridge had just recently been reopened to pedestrians after being closed for more than 40 years. It has undergone a tremendous $61 million renovation by the New York City Parks department. The renovation was worth every penny. The work they did on the 125 foot high bridge is incredible. The bridge that is a pleasure to travel upon. There are places to sit and enjoy the views of  the water and the skyline of Manhattan.  Without having to compete with motorized vehicles. People can leisurely walk or ride between the island of Manhattan and the only borough that is actually on the main land of the United States, The Bronx. We had a great time hanging out at the festival, riding back and forth multiples times across the bridge.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ August 18, 2015

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An Interview with Kris Holm

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

I received an email from Mads Phikamphon about an interview that he conducted with the most famous unicyclist on the planet, Kris Holm.  He wanted me and our members to check out the interview as it may be of interest to us all. I thought it to be a brief glimpse into the life of Kris and his love of unicycling.  I suggest that you take a look at the posting on the website and maybe leave a message about what you think of the piece.

Ken Springle - Ken Springle @ August 18, 2015

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