A unicycle is a special bicycle that, as the name suggests, has only one wheel. The saddle of the unicycle is directly above the wheel. Unlike normal bicycles, unicycles do not have handlebars. On most unicycles, the pedals are directly on the wheel and the unicycles therefore have no chain. There are also usually no brakes or gears.
Unicyclists can be seen in the circus or as street performers. However, not only artists ride unicycles, but also many people who do it as a hobby in their free time. They ride unicycles in gyms, on schoolyards, on forest paths or even in everyday life. There are even people who practise sports like hockey or basketball on the unicycle.
If you want to learn how to ride a unicycle, you have to learn how to keep your balance on it. To do this, you need a lot of practice. It is not enough to be able to ride a bicycle hands-free, because the unicycle can not only tilt to the side, but also forwards and backwards. That's why it's good to be able to hold on to a railing or something similar during your first attempts at riding, or, even better, to have the hand of a friend to help you. Fortunately, you usually tip forward or backward so that you land safely on your feet.
Once you know how to ride a unicycle, you can learn a lot of tricks on it. For example, you can ride backwards or swing back and forth on the spot. You can also jump on the unicycle. You can practise other tricks together with other riders. Since you have your hands free while riding, you can also juggle objects, such as balls, at the same time.
Unicycles come in different sizes. The bigger the wheel, the faster you can ride it, but the harder it is to ride it. Most unicycles have a wheel size like a smaller children's bike. For professionals, however, there are also certain unicycles for particularly daredevil tricks or for off-road use. A special unicycle is the so-called giraffe. This is a high unicycle where the saddle is much higher than on a normal unicycle, so that the saddle is sometimes more than two metres above the ground.