Marching ahead on a unicycle

Marching ahead on a unicycle

 It is not uncommon to see people taking a ride on their bicycles but it is quite rare to spot anyone on a unicycle, a cycle with a single wheel, usually seen in circuses.

Priya Khokale, a 37-year-old schoolteacher, takes people in the City by surprise, as she is often spotted near St Mark’s Road and the neighbouring areas riding her unicycle. She started using a bicycle three years ago due to environmental reasons. However, she soon got bored of it and wanted to try something different. When she saw her friend riding a unicycle, she gave it a try.

An ecstatic Priya, who started unicycling a couple of months ago, said, “When I saw my friend using the unicycle I fell in love with it. Later, I decided to try it out but the problem is that these unicycles are not available in India, we can only procure them by ordering from other countries.” She added that unicycles cost about Rs 12,500 per piece and that the price could even go up to several lakhs.

After many falls and hairline fractures, Priya was able to ride her unicycle. Speaking on the challenges she faced to learn to ride it, she said, “Unicycles were never used in India. So it was difficult for me to find someone who can direct me on how to use it. I started practising on my unicycle by watching videos on the internet. Gradually, I started getting used to it. Unicycling is all about balancing, muscle memory and technology.”

Some day, Priya dreams of making it to the Limca Book of Records. She said her parents were initially apprehensive as they thought it was dangerous to use a unicycle during peak-hour traffic. But after seeing Priya’s passion and dedication they have supported her.

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