Unicyclists Are On A Roll

As a kid, CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman used to think dodge ball was scary. Then he heard about Mt. Bethel Elementary near Atlanta where the most popular sport is now bike riding — half-a-bike riding.

Gym teacher Chuck Jones started the unicycle club. He says it's great exercise, builds self-esteem and is not nearly as dangerous as it looks.

"It's really safer than riding a bicycle, and it's an easier thing to throw in the car than packing your bicycle," Jones says.

He says at least when you fall, you fall on your feet. And once you get the basics down, the sky is just the beginning. Wait until you see how the wheels have revolved.

There are many different kinds of unicycles now. "There are giraffes, which are really tall, and three-wheelers," Jones explains.

Lifelong unicyclist John Drummond and his still-learning wife, Amy, own one of the largest unicycle stores in the world: Unicycle.com.

They have unicycles you can shift, off-road unicycles, even "look-mom-two-hands" unicycles.

And they're are selling fast. They sold more than $1 million worth last year. It's a rather, well, cyclical business.

"It's good all year long, but at Christmastime it kind of peaks. We probably do 40 percent of our volume," Drummond says.

There have been so many advances in design and performance that unicycles are now going places Bozo would have never dreamed of. They are going to places the Flying Wallendas would have never dreamed of.

The best unicycler in the world is a guy named Kris Holm. He and those who follow in his tracks, say that because you can do so much with them now, unicycling may eventually grow just as big as mountain biking and skateboarding.


  • Melissa McNamara

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