Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Unicycle World

The city of Austin has built a light rail system (the Metro), but there have been a few problems during testing, so the line has not opened.

The parking lots, however, are finished. And empty.

There's a Metro station only a mile from our house, and the parking lot is an ideal combination of asphalt and concrete islands with trees.

Ideal, that is, for riding the unicycle.

We just figured this out on Saturday morning. Before then, we'd drive by and talk about how great it would be to ride in the giant, empty parking lot, but we never stopped. Once we did, though, we quickly realized that it was a unicycling dream--plenty of gentle curves, a few slalom sections, and plenty of uphill and downhill slopes.

[Unicycle humor: I was practicing at the high school on Friday, and a coach saw me and said "You're missing half your bicycle. "

"Yes, but you should see the other guy," I said.]

Now I'm hoping the Metro line doesn't open for several more months, just because we're having so much fun.

I added Eli 7.10 to the graph, and boy, the scale changed. He's had some epic rides in the last two days, while I've been scrounging and scuffling to get over 800 feet.

Here's what Eli said after his giant ride on Sunday: "Dad, when I ride, I just get everything out of my head."

"That's a good idea," I said. "Get all the bad things out of your mind and just enjoy riding."

"It's not just the bad things," he said. "It's everything. I just let it all go. I don't even feel like I'm trying. It's like someone else is pedaling and I'm just along for the ride."

I've never talked Eli about Zen before, but it sounds like he'll be writing Zen And The Art Of Unicycle Maintenance someday. Without the nervous breakdown, hopefully.

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