Student joins family in unicycling tradition
By J.T. Buchheit
Miles Johnson takes his unicycle for a spin. He’s been riding since sixth grade.
Photo by Anya Ivantseva
Many people enjoy riding bi¬cycles in their spare time. But student Miles Johnson chooses to have twice the fun with half the vehicle. Instead of walk¬ing or biking, Miles avidly rides his uni¬cycle around campus whenever possible.
“My mom originally rode unicycles with my uncle a long time ago,” said Miles. “So I was like, ‘I’ll try.’ That was back in sixth grade.”
Indeed, Miles is not the first person in his family to feel the lure of the unicycle. His mother was very happy upon hearing that Miles wanted to give it a shot.
“I was excited that he wanted to learn, because my brother and I used to ride all the time,” said his mother, Brenda John¬son. “In fact, we used to enter competitions and actually won a few awards for the tricks we would do.”
Some may think that learning to ride a unicycle would be much more difficult that a bicycle and require a large amount of help from others in order for someone to succeed, but that wasn’t the case with Miles.
“[Learning was] trial and error, most¬ly. Nobody really gave me any info on how to. I mostly had to figure it out on my own.”
Learning by himself wasn’t against his wishes, however. His mother was ex¬cited that he wanted to acquire the skill and continue the family’s tradition with unicycles, and she knew he would rather figure it out himself.
“Miles is a fast learner and is highly self-motivated when he wants to learn a new skill,” said Brenda. “So I essentially just supported him and his decision to ride by funding his hobby.”
A unicycle is not something people often see in their everyday life, so many do a double take when they witness a person riding one.
“A lot of times, people are just kind of in awe. It’s weird,” said Miles. “Sometimes people will ask me stuff like ‘Do a wheelie.’ “
Miles doesn’t just ride his unicycle at school. He has frequently used it at his parents’ house and other locations as well.
“Our parents’ house has a fair amount of open floor space, so it wasn’t uncommon to see him riding or messing around with his unicycle,” said his sister, Aja Meyer. “And since he picked up unicy¬cling as a hobby, that unicycle has been a staple item at every family event.”
Miles isn’t selfish about being unique with his unicycle. He encourages anyone who feels the urge to give it a shot.
“Do it. There’s plenty of information out there on the internet, so my best ad¬vice is to just go for it.”