What’s more extreme than one wheel on the ground?

Photo: m.gifford

NO WHEELS ON the ground. Which is actually how many extreme unicyclists spend a lot of their time.

We should have seen it coming. First skateboards. Then mountain bikes. Now unicycles.

For someone like myself who can’t even ride a bicycle without both hands on the handlebars, the idea of unicycling—let alone extreme unicycling—is terrifying. But the pros make it look easy, and anyone interested in the sport of unicycling can find them all at this year’s Extreme Unicycling Championship, which will be held February 13 to February 15 in Cologne, Germany.

Competitors will be participating in street, trial and flatland unicycling.

Street unicycling requires riders to use ledges, handrails and stairs to perform tricks. Like street skating, good street unicycling requires technical precision, style and creativity. Trial unicylcing is focused on riding over obstacles and hopping. These are the unicyclists who jump onto high structures such as stacked palettes.

Flatland unicycling uses a combination of skills, and is akin to a dance off where two athletes compete against each other to put together the most intricate and interesting combination of tricks in a limited time.

There will be 150 participants at this year’s Extreme Unicycling Championship—some girls, but mainly guys—who will compete in age categories (juniors and seniors, seniors being anyone over 15 years old).

To give you a feel for the sport, here’s a video of Spencer Hochberg, who is currently ranked as the top flatland unicyclist in North America and is the second best flatland unicyclist in the world. He will be competing in the flatland category at the Extreme Unicycling Championships.

Community Connection:

If extreme sports are your thing, check out these 5 crazy gravity sport videos. You might also want to take up extreme skipping or extreme bowling.