Unicycle with Altoids-tin pedals | Bleader

Unicycle with Altoids-tin pedals

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Walking to work from the train this morning, I noticed a unicycle locked to a rack on the south side of Hubbard between State and Dearborn. The fact that it was a homemade-looking unicycle parked on a downtown sidewalk was enough to call my attention, but then I noticed that it had vintage-looking Altoids tins for pedals, and I had to stop and take a picture.

This is actually the second time in a couple months that I've come across a homemade unicycle. The first time was in one of the barns on my grandpa's farm out in Maryland, where he keeps his many creations—including a cart he built when I was little for his grandkids to ride in (which I wrote about last year at the end of this post). The unicycle, like the cart, is built from old bicycle parts, but predates the cart considerably: he said he built it when he wanted to take the train into the city for work, and the distance from the train station to his office was too far to walk easily. He figured if he had a unicycle, he could take it on the train with him and ride it to work. So he built one, though he never really mastered riding it. I can't imagine why we haven't seen it before, since it seems like the kind of thing my brother and I would have spent hours trying to ride when we were little. We both tried it out on this trip, though, and it's not so easy—neither of us got very far with it. Maybe I'll have Grandpa build us one with training wheels for the next time we visit.

I was tempted to camp out near the unicycle I came across this morning to see who came to claim it, but I had work to do. I'm still hoping I'll run across the owner cycling down the street on it, though.

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