BY HAILEY MERKT
Matt Corbett takes popping a wheelie to a whole new level, seeing he only has one wheel to ride with.
Corbett is a first-year architecture construction engineering technology student at the Conestoga College Cambridge campus and has recently started a unicycle club.
Corbett’s original intent for the club was to round up a good group of unicyclists to wheel around town. He soon realized, however, that there was a lack of unicycle enthusiasts within the college community, so the club quickly turned into a teaching group of Corbett’s many random talents.
The Unicycle Club is now an open group that meets weekly to learn how to ride, juggle and solve Rubik’s Cubes. Not all at once, of course.
“No unicycle purchase required,” Corbett said. “I supply it all.”
Five years ago, the 15-year-old Corbett had a childhood friend who had decided to unicycle as a hobby.
“It sounded fun … so I figured I’d give it a go.”
Just as someone learning how to ride a bike would usually need training wheels or a steady hand to hold the back of his/her seat, unicyclists usually need a railing or wall. However, Corbett was taught to “just get on and go for it.”
“I learned the worst way possible,” he joked.
He was taught to steady himself using a door frame and when ready, to cycle out into the open air.
Two weeks later, after some bloodshed and bruises, he was able to trundle his first 200 metres.
Today a unicycle is a means of transportation for Corbett.
“One time I went to the store to pick up my groceries on my unicycle … got my milk and bread … came out of the store, hopped on my unicycle and a car pulled over. A woman hopped out of the vehicle, came up to me and said, ‘Sorry, I’m not stalking you or anything but I’ve seen you ride your unicycle before and I was wondering if you could teach my son.’”
Corbett said riding a unicycle around town results in a lot of positive attention and has advantages. Store managers and security guards have warmly welcomed him to ride about their stores, despite the obnoxious-sized no rollerblade or bicycle signs clearly posted upon entering.
For anyone interested in taking up the sport/activity, unicycle prices range depending on the quality. Bike shops don’t typically carry them seeing it’s more of a niche market. Most people purchase them new or used off the Internet.
Contact Matt Corbett at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending a meeting of The Unicycle Club.
You can wear whatever helps you feel comfortable and safe even if that means a bubble wrap body suit.
“When others are smiling at you because you are doing something completely random, it puts a smile on your face,” Corbett said.