As luck would have it Eric the Red a street performer of many years lives only a few minutes away. After months of talking about it we finally hooked up for a uni session. Eric wanted give off road unicycling a go, and I was keen to try out a giraffe.

After a cruise through the bush on 29er’s as an intro to MUNI we headed down to the local recreation reserve and I had a go on Eric’s giraffe uni set up to be a 5 footer – Eric sets it up as an 8 footer for his shows.

5 ft Giraffe Unicycle
Pete on 5 ft Giraffe Unicycle

The first thing I noticed was how heavy the giraffe uni is compared to a standard uni, and with the chains tensioned how much tighter it feels to pedal. I hadn’t ridden a 20″ wheel for a few months, add in the giraffe factor and pushing off across the dirt the first time was certainly exciting! Riding the giraffe was no worries, all up I did a couple of laps of a short dirt loop – certainly a cool and weird feeling  to be up high on a uni! Like a lot of uni stuff the main trick is to relax and focus rather than being scared. I didn’t however attempt a static or rolling mount, instead climbing up onto it using a fence rail. I’m keen to have a go on the 8 footer, maybe next time! I’ll spend some time on a 20″ with short cranks beforehand though to get my body into the right groove.

The funniest thing was riding the 29er again immediately after the giraffe – those first few seconds, talk about weird! 🙂

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