One of a kind! Unicycle Fest takes Coney Island

Wheel inside a wheel: Rodrigo Sanz was one of the 69 unicyclists who made the 13-mile trek from City Hall to Coney Island on Aug. 30.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Talk about Coney Island Wonder Wheels.

Some 50 unicyclists toured Brooklyn on Aug. 30, riding over the borough’s eponymous span from Manhattan, down to Grand Army Plaza, through Prospect Park, along Ocean Parkway, and concluding in Coney Island.

It was all part of the Fourth Annual One Wheel Unicycle Festival, part of a three-day celebration of all things singular and circular that finished out the weekend on Governor’s Island. Organizers called the 13-mile trek a test of one-wheeled will — but worth it for the effect the event has on onlookers.

“It is a rather grueling thing to do, but it’s the spectacle of a bunch of people on unicycles going through Brooklyn,” said organizer Kyle Petersen, who has been riding the one ring for 16 years.

Petersen is a regular face at Brooklyn Cyclones games at MCU Park, where he has amused crowds on his unicycle between innings for the past seven seasons. He got to show off more of his tricks and the skills of his fellow riders after the trip, for a crowd of 70 people at the new Coney Island USA Arts Annex. Petersen juggled and hula-hooped while balancing atop his unwieldy transport, while others performed straightjacket escapes and rolled over obstacles. Petersen said he hopes to see the variety show — a new addition to the freewheeling festival — expand in the coming years.

“We had a great show, and it was really well received, so it was a good starting point,” Petersen said.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him attwitter.com/WillBredderman.
Keep on turnin’: Sixty-nine unicyclists crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, rolled through Grand Army Plaza, down Ocean Parkway, and arrived in the People’s Playground.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

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