Some people might think Robert Campbell is one wheel short of a bicycle, but he doesn’t let that bother him. He started riding unicycles when he was 10 years old. Now, at age 25, Campbell hopes to bring the activity he loves to a greater audience.
For the last couple years, Campbell said he has been talking to people in the area about the possibility of starting a Bremerton unicycling club.
“I’ve been talking to a lot of people over the years who’ve wanted to do it but just haven’t had the time to get into it,” he said.
Campbell said he has talked recently to at least a dozen people who have expressed interest in forming a group or learning to ride a unicycle. He said he hopes to grow that number by getting the word out to the community.
“There’s not a lot of people who ride, so I’m trying to make it something that more people can ride,” Campbell said, “so we can enjoy each other’s company when we do.”
There are a few unicycling clubs at schools in Bremerton and Central Kitsap. Campbell said he had talked to people associated with one such club at Cougar Valley Elementary School.
He said working with the school groups is something in which he has also been interested, but his main goal with the unicycling club is to get the older demographic involved.
“I want to make it something where everybody knows it’s available for adults, for teenagers, for everybody to ride,” Campbell said.
Campbell has “two and a half” unicycles he is trying to fix up for members who don’t have their own to ride. He has also started a fundraiser on indiegogo.com, a website that allows users to create their own fundraising campaign and spread the word via the Internet.
At press time the fundraiser had not made it far, with only $2 raised. If the fundraiser gets off the ground, Campbell said he hopes to make available multiple beginner unicycles, as well as more technical equipment like a tall “giraffe unicycle.”
“The hardest part is getting people into it because a lot of people don’t have a unicycle to ride,” he said.
In the long run, he would like to grow the club to the point where members could travel to competitions or even host their own. Having funding for those things would be nice, he said, but mainly he just wants to spread the word and give people the chance to experience unicycling.
“Unicycling’s really a lot easier and more enjoyable than most people might think,” Campbell said. “It’s not just a circus act.”