The New York City Unicycle Festival on September 3-6 brings together recreational riders, world-class performers, mountain and off-road unicycle enthusiasts, mono-wheel vehicle inventors, and thousands of people who have not ridden in umpteen years, along with circus enthusiasts, extreme sports viewers, and anyone seeking an unusual sight on the streets of New York. This event is free, and all ages and abilities are welcome.
The first part of the festival will take place on the West Side on September 3. Unicycle riders will meet up in Battery Park at 10 a.m. and journey up the West Side before rolling to Central Park for a loop. Some riders may return to Battery Park via an east side route. This ride is not suggested for beginner riders. However, it is not a race! It is a fun opportunity for unicyclists from around the world to socialize, ride together, and explore the city on one wheel. All riders ride at their own risk and must obey all traffic laws. Wheel size of 26” and larger is suggested. Although most of the ride is protected from vehicles, riders should be familiar and comfortable with riding in traffic. Proposed routes may change slightly due to traffic, road conditions, or construction. Wearing safety gear is highly encouraged, especially a helmet and wrist guards. Be diligent while riding, especially in Central Park. They are going to make every reasonable/safe effort to ride, even in the rain, so be prepared. There is no SAG (Support and Gear) vehicle provided for this ride; however, the Kosher Cyclists have volunteered to escort the group along the route. Please treat them well and listen to them since they are very familiar with the City.
The second part of the festival is Brooklyn Unicycle Day on September 4. Festivities begin Friday afternoon with a mass ride over the Brooklyn Bridge to Coney Island. Meet up at 2 p.m. next to City Hall (Manhattan) at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge. Everyone will roll at 3 p.m. This ride is also not a race! Expect to witness a one wheel parade across Brooklyn, followed by “One-Wheel,” n stage show produced by Ross Berenson at Coney Island USA Shooting Gallery Arts Annex. This 13-mile ride across the Brooklyn Bridge to Coney Island is the beginning of the NYC Unicycle Festival. Unicyclists should be experienced in riding with traffic. A 26”-36″ tire is suggested. Less experienced riders are invited to participate in the Brooklyn Bridge crossing. Everyone is invited to join Coney Island USA for the One Wheel stage show before the fireworks. Helmets are required, and minors must be accompanied by an adult. The use of headphones, earbuds, and all cell phone activity (including texting) is strongly discouraged while riding. Riders must obey cycling laws, and may not drink and ride. Although there is no registration fee necessary to participate in the ride, donations are strongly encouraged.
The festival’s main event takes place on Governors Island from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, September 5 and 6. Activities include races, competitions, exhibitions, and a variety of unicycle sports, including basketball, hockey and sumo. For fans of extreme riding, the Hell on Wheel trials course challenges riders throughout the day. World-famous riders display their skills, and members of the public have the opportunity to try one-wheel riding. DJ Sky King keeps the one-wheel tempo rocking until the festival’s end.