Unicyclists unite! Free-wheelers band together to fight one-wheeled bias

Wheely tight: Isaih Rosemond found an ally in the cause for unicyclist rights following an unwarranted violation he recieved for riding his unicycle on a Rockaway Parkway sidewalk — he reached out to Kyle Petersen, an unicyclist who recieved identical violations in 2007 and 2010.
Photo by Paul Martinka

Even one-wheeled daredevils need someone to lean on.

Canarsie unicyclist Isaih Rosemond, who was slapped with a ticket for legally riding his unicycle on a Rockaway Parkway sidewalk last month, has gotten some free advice on how to beat the rap from a fellow Brooklyn one-wheeler who fought an identical charge five years ago.

Kyle Petersen, whose court battle over his own ticket for free wheeling in Bedford-Stuyvesant made national headlines, went the extra mile for Rosemond after reading an online story of the teen’s plight.

The one-wheeler — who sped through his own charges like a Tour de France champ — rolled out some sound advice when Rosemond responded promptly to his Facebook message.

“I commended him for taking the story to the press and urged him to fight the ticket,” said Petersen, who told Rosemond that he was well within the law for scooting along the sidewalk on a unicycle — a privilege denied to two-wheeled bikes.

Petersen also walked Rosemond through the system like a pro.

“I told him that it might involve two court appearances, but that he would be cleared of wrongdoing,” he said.

Unicyclists are unfairly lumped together with traditional bicycles, despite practicing a safer, more lawful, ride, Petersen added.

“I haven’t found a single case of a unicyclist injuring a pedestrian,” he said. “We have the law on our side.”

The veteran also warned the rookie that the real obstacle course was navigating his sudden celebrity.

“It was a little jarring dealing with so many media requests for such a seemingly silly incident,” he said. “I received my fair share of anti-unicycle hate mail as well.”

Rosemond, 18, was hit with a $100 summons when cops stopped him for riding on the sidewalk.

Yet the Murrow High School student — who had already heard about Petersen’s war against the mistreatment of unicyclists — came prepared.

Pulling out his iPhone, he quickly accessed the city’s rules of the road in an attempt to prove that the laws against biking on the sidewalk don’t apply to unicycles since the Department of Transportation identifies a bike as a “two- or three-wheeled device.”

The cop was not amused by Rosemond’s legal argument and wrote him a ticket for “biking on the sidewalk.”

Rosemond has vowed to fight the ticket in court in the next few weeks.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

Wheel friends: Unicycle legend Kyle Peterson got two tickets for riding his one-wheeler on the sidewalk. Now, he’s counciling Isaih Rosemond, who recieved an identical violation while riding his unicycle in Canarsie.
File photo by Bess Adler

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