Electrical unicycle attracts stares
When little youngsters 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.
The place does he journey it? All over the place. Western Cleveland suburbs like Rocky River. Jap exurbs like Chardon. In Creston in Wayne County. On highways by means of parks. On the Ohio& Erie Canal Towpath.
On one journey, he rode all the way in which from his Twinsburg residence to downtown Cleveland and again.
Roberson is a diminutive with an enormous white beard. However when he fits up, it’s arduous to inform what he appears to be like like, as a result of he discovered the arduous means that carrying a full helmet and padding makes a whole lot of sense.
When he began driving 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.
As of late he wears a full face helmet, together with elbow pads, knee pads, hip pads and shoulder pads.
“If you happen to’re driving, you’re going to fall,” he says. “Even the perfect fall. It’s just one wheel. You don’t have the luxurious of constructing a mistake.”
Roberson 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 youngsters driving 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 value from $500 to $3,000.
As soon as he was hooked, he forked out $2,150 for a Kingsong 18XL.
The slower you go, the farther you’ll be able to go on one cost. At 15 to twenty mph, Roberson can cowl about 70 miles.
Prime 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 day by day commute.
That wasn’t an choice throughout Roberson’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.
Roberson and his spouse are approaching their fortieth wedding ceremony anniversary. They’ve two youngsters (one among whom was gifted Tony’s first unicycle) and 6 grandkids.
Till the pandemic hit, Roberson’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 … virtually wherever with a paved street.
“I’m actually bummed out that I can’t journey 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 threat 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 form 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, youngsters — a Energy Ranger with a beard!
Bob Dyer could be reached at 330-996-3580 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He is also on Fb at www.fb.com/bob.dyer.31.