The flying 12 foot unicycle

The flying 12 foot unicycle

Post by Andy Cott » Sat, 24 Jun 2000 04:00:00

A couple weeks ago on Saturday, I was driving to a parade here in
Minnesota. I had my sister's truck and was pulling the Twin City Unicycle
Club trailer. I was bringing the 12 foot unicycle for Jamey Mossengren. He
will usually ride either his 10 foot unicycle or Connie's 12 foot in the
parades. Since the 12 foot is so long, it only fits in the trailer
diagonally, and with all the other unicycles and tandem bike, there is no
room. So, like all the other parades, the 12 foot was put in the back in
of the truck. The truck only has a short box so about three feet of the
sticks out, angling up toward the drivers side door. Of course the paint
on truck needs to be protected so we put down some blankets where the
unicycle touches the sides of the truck.

So, I'm driving to the parade in Cottage Grove, about 40 miles from my
house. While usually there are a bunch of us in the truck, today it was
just me (Connie was taking care of a show that we had that day). About 10
miles away from home, I noticed that the blankets had gotten semi loose
and were flapping in the wind. I thought of stopping but thought it wasn't
that big of deal (big mistake on my part). Approximately 20 miles into the
trip, going into a 30 mile an hour head wind, the blankets must have been
positioned just right and started to act as big sail. I was going slightly
over 65 mph in the left lane when the next think I heard was this soft
thunk. I looked out my side mirror just in time to see the 12 foot uni
cartwheeling once on the side of the freeway before rolling into the
grassy median. You can imagine my surprise. After getting over the initial
shock of watching a 12 unicycle do a cartwheel on the freeway, not
something you would see every day. I moved over to the right lane and
pulled over. I ran back the quarter of mile to the unicycle and found it
have buried in the weeds. It was in one piece and nothing looked broken. I
then proceeded to push it back to the truck. It must have looked quite
amusing to watch someone push a 12' unicycle on the side of the
freeway. At least I didn't get any standard comments ("Can you ride
that?" or "How do you get on that thing?") as cars were cruising by at 70
mph. Well, I got the beast back into the truck, put some other unicycles
on top of it to make sure this didn't happen again (I even put my brand
new MUni on it to hold it down). Looking at the unicycle, I didn't see any
damage except for a little scuff mark on the seat.

I got to the parade, with no further problems. After telling the story to
our two equipment managers (they expected it to be in pieces) they went
over it to double check it. The tire was flat before it was loaded in the
truck that morning so the replaced the tube. But other than replacing a
flat tire, the unicycle looked just fine. The pedals weren't bent and the
frame looked fine. Jamey rode it in the two mile parade without any
problems. Amazing.

Normally, I would think anything going out the window at just under 70 MPH
would be toast. Having a heavy 12 foot unicycle fly out of truck would
normally mean disaster. Having the unicycle come out of an incident like
that with very little damage says a lot for the unicycle builder, Tom
Miller at the Unicycle Factory. It is one TUF unicycle.

Thinking back, I realized how lucky I was. There was no damage to the
truck (not even a scratch). The trailer has one very small dent from the
incident. It could have been really bad if the unicycle would have gone
under the trailer. I cringe even worse thinking about what would have
happened if the unicycle would have hit another car. While I would take
this to be an isolated case, from now one, I will stop and fix the
blankets if they start flapping in the wind. I also will make sure the 12
foot is strapped to the truck with a bungy cord.



*New* Unicycle Video "One Wheel - No Limit" -
IUF-Technical Consultant to China -
Unicycling Society of America, VP -
Twin City Unicycle Club, Pres -


The flying 12 foot unicycle

Post by John Fo » Sat, 24 Jun 2000 04:00:00

Wow, great story! And a great lesson learned, miraculously with no harm to
anyone, even the unicycle. You were very lucky the flying 12 footer did not
hit another car.

I have always said that Tom Miller's unicycles were built to withstand being
backed over by a car. But I never thought a 12 footer could survive
something like this! Great advertising for Tommy - (765) 452-2692.

Stay on top (but tied down),
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone

"I thought it was Memorial week!" - Austin Miller, 8, on being told he had
to get up for school on the Tuesday after Memorial Day


The flying 12 foot unicycle

Post by Nathan Hoove » Sat, 24 Jun 2000 04:00:00

There's a simple answer to why the various possible diasters didn't occur:
"Clean Living".  That's what we always attribute things like that to.  You
must be doing things right in your life!  And a side benefit is that now you
and the unicycle have a fantastic story to tell.  Just think what it
would've looked like to someone following on the freeway!



The flying 12 foot unicycle

Post by trdw.. » Sun, 25 Jun 2000 04:00:00


> Just Think what it would've looked like to someone following on the freeway!

And Steve Dressler added :


And even better, what the freeway report from the "Traffic Copter" guy
would have sounded like!

" ......... er, uh, ccccccchhhhhhhhcccc, SHHHHHHHHHSSSSSSSSSH
And on the US 80 at the Tom Miller Interchange this morning, there's quite
a snarl as drivers in both directions slow to oggle a young man PUSHING A
25' UNICYCLE along the median strip. There are even a few stalled COKERS in
the fast lane ........ so please choose an alternate route to work this
morning ..... ccccccchhhhhhhhhccc  ssshhhhhhhhhhh, ..............."  

(wish I had a sound bite of this)  ;-)

Ric Bissel, wanna try?


P.S. Would also make a GREAT ADDITION to the "Tom Miller (Tales of True
Lives) UNI - Cartoon Collection"