Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2008 -- Morgantown, WV
The UniGeezer ~ Who is this guy?
An interview with Terry Peterson . . . a 52 year old extreme mountain unicyclist.
Interview by Julie Black with photos by Terry Peterson
Okay well, I'm a piano tuner by trade. So I own my business and I wanted to get into an exercise program that would get me in shape and keep me there [in shape].
I thought about mountain biking, running, swimming, even rock climbing came to mind, but still I wanted to do something that was not only challenging, but fun and exhilarating. Something that would put me in the best shape of my life!
So at age 50, I bought a very inexpensive unicycle online and as soon as it arrived to my surprise, I was able to get right on it and ride...after 36 years since my last ride! (Terry learned how to ride a unicycle when he was a child.)
You're not just any unicycler, you're extreme and in your fifties. Why?
I quickly realized that the type of riding I wanted to do would not be possible on the unicycle I had. I surfed the net and discovered 'unicycle.com'.
UDC as they are called, carries every conceivable type of unicycle available from beginner to extreme advanced models. I started with the latter, feeling confident that I would more than likely be needing the most hardcore unicycle made in short order!
Well, after 2-years of intense riding I have worked my way up to dropping off up to 7-foot structures including; tractors, fedex drop-boxes, giant boulders, various walls, and whatever I can find!
I currently own a Kris Holm 24" Mountain Complete Unicycle (priced for $575 on Unicycle.com). I've upgraded it with the most high-end components. It's now essentially as good as it gets. I have over $1,000 invested in it, but it's still a far cry from what a high quality mountain bike would cost me!
Forgive me for not knowing this, but who is Kris Holm?
Kris Holm is one of the pioneers of the sport of Mountain Unicycling. You can find out more about him online at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kris_Holm
You jump obstacles in your videos a lot. Do you have any favorite stunts?
I love to jump big stair sets! The 8 stair set in one of my videos is my biggest set yet. Not bad for an old man... ha ha!
How did you get those great shots?
I take photos and videos using my tripod and a timer mostly.
I live in Lomita, a suburb or Los Angeles County, CA. The riding in one of my videos was all shot locally by me in Torrance, Lomita, Simi Valley and all around Los Angeles County. I also ride with various uni clubs from Santa Barbara to San Diego. One group called The Orange County Uni-Club, I ride with often at Dana Point, Aliso woods, and in the Lagun Niguel area.
Mountain unicycling is a world-wide sport and is not restricted to only the West coast.
Can you cover a lot of ground on a unicycle? What's a normal ride for you distance-wise?
I routinely ride 20 to 30 miles on a beach bike path from Torrance to Marina Del Rey and back! I use my big wheeled 36" touring/racing unicycle for those treks.
What other new exposure have you brought to the sport besides this interview?
Obviously this sport is not as wide spread or mainstream as mountain biking (which is just fine by us, we enjoy being unique), but it is gaining popularity and notoriety. I was just on "Ocean force" on TRU TV. They featured a quick shot of me riding my big wheeled 36" touring/racing unicycle.
Sports build the three 'Cs' confidence, courage, and community. As a man of your age and experience what advice can you offer the young audience out there who are thinking about getting active and why should they choose unicycling?
Extreme unicycling and unicycling in general has introduced me to a world of wonderful people, 15,000 in fact, of which are members of an online community called 'Unicyclist.com'. I joined this online forum also about 2 years ago and it has changed my life forever. I have met many of the members in person too.
Personally I've only seen unicycling mostly in a circus, but it really seems to be an affordable sport on the rise. If I wanted to become a unicycler, whether it's extreme mountain riding or for general commuting, how would I go about getting more information?
The Unicyclist.com group has many events annually. We all get together for about 2-3 days of riding, competitions, and the chance to meet new people who share our love for this SPORT! Yes, Mountain Unicycling (Known as MUni) along with trials and street unicycling is becoming more well known as a serious sport, requiring very specific skill sets, strength, stamina, superb balance, and focus.
Also, check out the Unicyclist Community online at www.unicyclist.com - they have a great links section listing organizations, events, and more!
See Terry's video stunts: His personal page on YouTube is http://www.youtube.com/user/ttt8699