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Aug 2006

By Rochelle - Posted on 27 August 2006

Hi everyone and welcome to the August 2006 edition of the AUS newsletter!

Upcoming Events

Unicycling weekend - Brisbane competition

Alfred and Lucinda Best Park, Payne Rd, The Gap, Brisbane - 30th Sept - 1st Oct 2006

Saturday 12pm till 5pm, then Sunday morning finals 9am till 12pm, finishing with a free lunch BBQ

Events will include:

  • Unicycle Hockey
  • Basketball half court
  • Race around GAP
  • Kids BMX heats and finals
  • Man Made Trials

$1500.00 prizes!

Cost $25.00 per person or $20 per team of five for hockey and basketball

This is an AUS event. For insurance purposes, all participants will be required to be current AUS members or join at the event.

Contact info [at] unicycles [dot] com [dot] au (them by email) for more information, or see

Woodford Festival - call for unicycling organisers

The Woodford Folk Festival is a massive music and arts event that takes place between 27 December and 2 January each year. It is held outside the small rural town of Woodford, about an hour and a half drive north of Brisbane.

Over the past few years Rockley Boothroyd and Wayne van Wijk have organised a group of AUS unicyclists to give trials and muni demonstrations as part of the street theatre program.

The festival provides the unicyclists a camping spot, a season ticket and a bit of money that covers the cost of running the event, printing t-shirts (uniforms), etc.

This year Wayne and Rockley are unavailable to organise the event but Wayne has kindly offered to provide advice to any new organisers. Ideally the organiser would be an adult AUS member, with good organisation and communication skills and someone who does not mind camping.

If anybody is interested in organising a team for this year's festival, please contact Wayne ASAP for more details and to be put in touch with the Street Theatre manager of Woodford.

Wayne van Wijk - Email: wayne [at] jester [dot] com [dot] au - Mobile: 0417 949 117

More Victorian Muni...

21st/22nd October - Falls Creek/Mt Beauty area, Victoria

Mal Bird is planning another Muni Weekend in the Falls Creek/Mt. Beauty area in Victoria at the end of October. More details to come, but keep an eye on the events page on Mal's website - or call Mal on 0408487559 for more details.

This is an AUS event. For insurance purposes, all participants will be required to be current AUS members or join at the event.

The SINZ unicycle tour of New Zealand, 2007

Here's your chance to cross the Tasman and see the beautiful sights of New Zealand.

New Zealand Unicycling are organising a Unicycle Tour through the South Island in Jan/Feb 2007.

It's a 900km, 17 day, fully supported Unitour through some of the most spectacular parts of New Zealand. All the details of the tour are available on the website:

If you are interested in joining this tour there are 12 places available. Registrations have opened so sign on quickly!

Ken Looi

SINZUNI organiser

Recent Events

Report from UNICON XIII

Huge congratulations to the Australian participants at UNICON XIII! By all accounts it was a heap of fun. Australian team photos of UNICON XIII are viewable at: Julian's photo web-site and more can be seen at the Unicon XIII home page.

(Thanks Julian! - Ed)

Australia fielded a strong team, with most people achieving personal best results and several significant Australian records being set.The Australian team led the opening street parade at the start of UNICON XIII. The team consisted of:
  • Ashley Curtis - Sydney
  • Dale Newberry - Canberra
  • David Buchanan - Canberra
  • Errol Zanos - Darwin
  • Julian Orbach- Sydney
  • Matt Price - Sydney
  • Nic Vevers - Canberra
  • Rod Lambert - Canberra
  • Tom Lambert ? Canberra,

and family and friends, who were great supporters.

The new Australian records set at UNICON XIII are:

  • Ashley Curtis, 400m Open Male 1.08.29 minutes (previously held by Simon Wells at 1.09.57 minutes from UNINATS 2003). Overall 13th place in the 19-29 year olds competition.
  • Ashley Curtis, 800m Open Male 2.27.84 minutes (previously held by Simon Wells at 2.30.75 minutes from UNINATS 2003). Overall 10th place in the 19-29 competition.
  • Tom Lambert, 10m Slow Backward, Open Male, 22.08 seconds (previously held by Simon Wells at 17.44 seconds from UNINATS 2003). Overall 4th place in the 15-18 competition.
  • Rod Lambert, 100m Senior Male 21.46 seconds (previously held by Rod Lambert at 22.9 seconds at UNINATS 2005). Overall 27th place in the 40+ competition.

Other meritorious Australian rides include 10km events, which cannot strictly be compared from one meeting to another. Although some of these could be technically described as Australian records, we probably need a different terminology to describe these achievements:

  • David Buchanan, 10km Senior Male 43.54.81 minutes (previously held by David Buchanan at 50.14 minutes from UNINATS 2005). Overall 20th place in the 40+ competition.
  • Ashley Curtis, 10km Open Male, 33.45.40 minutes (previously held by Joel Penson at 33.45.96 minutes at UNICON 12 Tokyo). Overall 6th place in the 19-29 competition.

Errol Zanos also achieved some good times on the track in the 0-12 competition. Notably, his 100m time (20.08 seconds), his 400m time (1.21.99 minutes) and his 800m time (2.50.44) were all faster than the best results which could be achieved by the Australian 40+ competitors. (40+ results were 21.46 seconds, 1.33.62 minutes and 3.07.53 minutes respectively). Errol still has two more years as a junior competitor in Australia but he had better watch out because the 40+ are now going flat out to beat these young whipper-snappers!

The best Australian performances against tough competition included:

  • Ashley coming 6th in the 10km in the U30 age group.
  • Nic coming 6th in the Street Freestyle. This is a relatively new event and obviously Nic is up there with the best of them.
  • Nic achieving a 9th place result in the expert trials competition.

Congratulations to the Australian Unicycle Hockey team for their efforts in achieving Australia's best ever result in a UNICON hockey competition. Australia played in the top division against stiff competition, including very strong Swiss, German, Japanese, Danish and USA teams. Australia played four games, resulting in one win (5 to 2 against USA), one forfeit and two losses. The Australian "player of the series" was Ashley, with great speed and stick and ball skills.

Australian Hockey Team at UNICON XIII

Unicycle basketball resulted in one win and one narrow loss for the Australian team. Nic was the highest goal scorer (and in the Team Captain's assessment, the best on the ground), who helped Australia to win one of our matches.

We're already looking forward to UNICON Denmark 2008!! Two years to recruit and train. Don't forget Sydney Uninats 2007. Bring it on!

Rod Lambert & Ashley Curtis -- Australian Team Captain & Australian Unicycle Hockey Captain

Open Day at Canberra Airport

The open day at Canberra Airport, to celebrate the opening of runway extensions on Sunday 9th July 2006, included a criterion for bicycles, which started at about 0800 on the main runway.

Well, a unicyclist turned up, didn't they! The main report can be accessed here

Unfortunately the unicyclist couldn't keep up with the bikes, so no cycling prizes were won, but he did get a raffle draw on the entry number and won a Virgin return flight to any scheduled destination in Australia.

By Rod Lambert

(Congratulations Rod! - Ed.)


Tribute to Reg Bolton

As we sadly reported in the amended July AUS Newsletter, Dr Reg Bolton tragically passed away on 14 July this year.

Reg had been an active unicycle enthusiast since the early 1970s. As many of you will know he was a founder of the New Circus movement and wrote the manual "Circus in a Suitcase" (1983). He set up over 30 Community Circus Groups and taught circus skills at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts for seventeen years. He entertained audiences in theatres, festivals and circuses around the world, but much of his life and passion was spent teaching children and young people circus skills.

You can read more about his wonderful life and work at:

In a respectful nod to Reg's last contribution to the AUS Newsletter (July issue), I have chosen to include here two responses to his article: 'The Great Pedal Enigma', which we received before we heard the terrible news - AUS Newsletter Editor.


I wonder if you've had a sensible explanation for the left and right pedal problem yet?

It is true that pedals will undo if you mix up the left and right cranks. The explanation for it is NOT that friction in the pedal bearings causes the pedal to come undone. As you correctly point out, bearing friction would tend to undo a pedal. The cause of the problem is referred to as precession and you can look up this term on the web to get explanations of how it works.

As a quick and dirty explanation, it is due to the oscillating motion of the pedal spindle in the threads. To see the effect, hold a pencil in your loosely closed fist, put the palm of your hand over the protruding end (the blunt end!) and move the pencil in clockwise rotating motion. You'll see that the pencil will rotate in your fist in the opposite direction.

This is actually quite a serious issue. Let's say that you're touring on a Coker traveling down hill at 30 km/h and lose a pedal. The chances of breaking a leg are very high indeed.


John Cooper


Riding along does indeed tighten your pedals. Although the right hand pedal turns in anti-clockwise direction, the force on the axle due to the turning pedal is in the OPPOSITE direction. This seems counter intuitive until you take apart a pedal and see how it is constructed. Pedals are constructed using bearings. The bearing has an outside and inside part with little ball bearings in between them. The pedal is connected to the outside part and the axle to the inside part. As the pedals rotate anti-clockwise the outside part of the bearing rotates with it, causing the ball bearings to turn anti-clockwise which then applies a rotation force in the clockwise direction to the inside part, connected to the axle.

A good diagram of what is happening can be found here.

A nice experiment you can try to see what's going on is as follows:

  • Place a piece of paper on a smooth table.
  • Place a roll of masking tape on the paper so that it can roll (any other cylinder with a bit of grip will work)
  • Press down on the roll of tape with your hand and then try to roll the tape by moving your hand.

You should notice the paper starts moving in the OPPOSITE direction.

Peter from

AUS Newsletter Updates

If you've got news, pics, stories or info to contribute to the AUS Newsletter, send them on to to the AUS Newsletter Editor at: aus_newsletter [at] unicycling [dot] org [dot] au