Video: Extreme Unicycling!
Unicycling is the social outcast of adventure sports (even more so than inline skating). Maybe the stigma is born from too many weird, unicycle-riding circus clowns. Maybe it's the fact that standing still on one requires its rider to wobble about like an unpredictable spaz. After all, people have been taking these one-wheeled wonders off-road since the late 1980s, but somehow the sport has yet to take off.
Leave it to a German (the same people who brought you oompah music and lederhosen) to embrace this dorky sport and make it, well, cool. Lutz Eichholz, 25, has been riding a unicycle since 1997, and focusing his considerable talent on extreme unicycling since 2003. In that short time, he's racked up three world unicycle championships, and three second-place finishes, not to mention a Guinness World Record for riding a "bottle rail" (it can't be easily explained—see him do it here).
In this video, Lutz and friends bomb down the side of a mountain in Liechtenstein. There's no lederhosen or oompah music soundtrack—just passionate athletes crashing down singletrack. And, aside from their cartoonishly fast-spinning legs, and the "bull-riding" technique of one hand on the saddle with the other wildly stabbing the air for balance, they look almost as cool as any mountain bikers we've ever seen (are you paying attention, Red Bull?). Almost.
If you're thirsting for more, there's a full, 8.5-minute cut of extreme unicycling here.