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Bob Dyer: Electric unicycle draws stares – News – Akron Beacon Journal

Bob Dyer: Electric unicycle draws stares – News – Akron Beacon Journal 2020-09-06Leave a comment

electrical bike Bob Dyer: Electrical unicycle attracts stares – Information – Akron Beacon Journal

When little youngsters see him whizzing by, they assume he’s a Energy Ranger.

Adults don’t know what to assume. They need him to cease and clarify himself, however he likes to maintain shifting — on his one motorized wheel.

Meet Tony Roberson, a personable, 68-year-old from Twinsburg who rides an electrical unicycle. I had by no means heard of that, both, however have since found they’re a rising fad, primarily amongst people half Tony’s age.

The place does he trip? All over the place. Western Cleveland suburbs like Rocky River. Jap exurbs like Chardon. In Creston. On highways by parks. On the Towpath.

On one journey, he rode all the best way from his Twinsburg residence to downtown Cleveland and again.

Roberson is a diminutive man with an enormous white beard. However when he fits up, it’s laborious to inform what he seems like, as a result of he discovered the laborious manner that sporting a full helmet and padding makes plenty of sense.

When he began driving 10 months in the past on a less expensive, smaller unicycle, he was sporting solely a bicycle helmet when he went down laborious. He didn’t break any bones, however he did a face-plant that required stitches above his eye.

Nowadays he wears a full face helmet, together with elbow pads, knee pads, hip pads and shoulder pads.

“For those who’re driving, you’re going to fall,” he says. “Even one of the best fall. It’s just one wheel. You don’t have the posh of constructing a mistake.”

Tony knew nothing about electrical unicycles till he occurred throughout them whereas looking out on-line for a trike so as to add to his assortment. When he noticed a video of children driving unicycles, he stated to himself, “Wow, that’s one thing else! I ponder if I can try this.”

He determined to purchase one on the decrease finish of the value spectrum, $600, to check whether or not he would benefit from the sport. They vary in worth from $500 to $3,000.

As soon as he was hooked, he forked out $2,150 for a Kingsong 18XL. (I do not know what meaning, however that’s the way it’s recognized on a bunch of cool YouTube movies he has made.)

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The slower you go, the farther you may go on one cost. At 15 to twenty mph, Tony can cowl about 70 miles.

High pace for his bike is 31. Some bikes can go 45. Are you able to think about 45 mph on one little wheel?

He enjoys his wheel a lot that, if he have been nonetheless working, he says, he’d use it for his every day commute.

That wasn’t an possibility throughout Tony’s three many years at Atlantic Metal in Twinsburg. He operated a crane, shifting round gigantic coils and loading them in vans.

He was born in Arkansas however as an toddler his dad and mom moved to the Mount Nice neighborhood of Cleveland, simply west of Shaker Heights, and he ultimately graduated from JFK Excessive College.

Tony and his spouse are approaching their fortieth wedding ceremony anniversary. They’ve two youngsters (one in every of whom was gifted Tony’s first unicycle) and 6 grandkids.

Till the pandemic hit, Tony’s new interest was making him quick pals. He joined a bunch known as the Cleveland E-Ryders, who trip within the parks … within the cities … virtually wherever with pavement.

“I’m actually bummed out that I can’t trip with these guys,” he says. “We had simply been collectively for a couple of weeks when the pandemic hit ….

“It’s an excessive amount of of a danger issue. However at any time when it’s over, we’ll get collectively once more.”

One factor COVID-19 hasn’t affected: his potential to develop facial hair. He’s sporting a world-class beard.

When requested how lengthy he has been rising it, he laughs. “I’ve all the time had some type of hair on my face. After which two years in the past, I stated, ‘What would occur if I simply let it develop?’ “

Now he is aware of.

Look, youngsters — a Energy Ranger with a beard!

Bob Dyer will be reached at 330-996-3580 or bdyer@thebeaconjournal.com. He is also on Fb at www.fb.com/bob.dyer.31.

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