Unicycle race captivates SF, one wheel at a time

About a dozen athletes raced in San Francisco on Saturday in something similar to the Tour de France — similar, that is, if Lance Armstrong were popping a wheelie.

Unicyclists drew “ooh”s and “ahh”s from tourists atop Telegraph Hill as they took a break from a 20-mile tour of The City, hitting such landmarks as Coit Tower, Lombard Street and the Golden Gate Bridge.

The race is part of the North American Unicycling Championships and Convention, or the “U Games,” a weeklong series of events in the East Bay and San Francisco.

Among the one-wheeled warriors, there were many reasons for getting involved in this particular sport.

John Foss, who runs the unicycling.com website, saw it in a local parade in 1979 and he’s been involved ever since. For Nathan Hoover, it was watching a video 13 years ago that got him hooked. He had no idea that a unicyclist could splash through riverbeds and jump from boulder to boulder.

But for Corbin Dunne, it was love at first sight — and not exactly love for the unicycle. He met his girlfriend six years ago. He had posted an ad saying he lived in a tree house. She advertised her unicycle passion. He claims that he didn’t take up unicycling to impress her.

“I just saw it as a challenge,” Dunne said.

The two married a little more than a year ago and honeymooned with a unicycle tour in Africa.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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