Bob Dyer: Electrical unicycle attracts stares – Information – Akron Beacon Journal
When little children see him whizzing by, they suppose he’s a Energy Ranger.
Adults don’t know what to suppose. 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 of us half Tony’s age.
The place does he journey? In all places. Western Cleveland suburbs like Rocky River. Japanese exurbs like Chardon. In Creston. On highways by parks. On the Towpath.
On one journey, he rode all the way in which 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 arduous to inform what he appears like, as a result of he realized the arduous method that carrying a full helmet and padding makes a whole lot of sense.
When he began using 10 months in the past on a less expensive, smaller unicycle, he was carrying solely a bicycle helmet when he went down arduous. He didn’t break any bones, however he did a face-plant that required stitches above his eye.
Lately he wears a full face helmet, together with elbow pads, knee pads, hip pads and shoulder pads.
“Should you’re using, you’re going to fall,” he says. “Even the very best fall. It’s just one wheel. You don’t have the luxurious of creating 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 using unicycles, he mentioned to himself, “Wow, that’s one thing else! I’m wondering if I can do this.”
He determined to purchase one on the decrease finish of the worth 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 which means, 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 velocity 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 a long time 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 children (one in all whom was gifted Tony’s first unicycle) and 6 grandkids.
Till the pandemic hit, Tony’s new passion was making him quick associates. He joined a gaggle referred to as the Cleveland E-Ryders, who journey within the parks … within the cities … nearly wherever with pavement.
“I’m actually bummed out that I can’t journey with these guys,” he says. “We had simply been collectively for just a few weeks when the pandemic hit ….
“It’s an excessive amount of of a danger issue. However each time it’s over, we’ll get collectively once more.”
One factor COVID-19 hasn’t affected: his capability to develop facial hair. He’s sporting a world-class beard.
When requested how lengthy he has been rising it, he laughs. “I’ve at all times had some sort of hair on my face. After which two years in the past, I mentioned, ‘What would occur if I simply let it develop?’ “
Now he is aware of.
Look, children — a Energy Ranger with a beard!
Bob Dyer might be reached at 330-996-3580 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He is also on Fb at www.fb.com/bob.dyer.31.