Gage Spears has found his own way to get from class to class — with a unicycle.
“It’s a little quicker than walking,” Spears said, a freshmen studying geology.
Spears, traveling from one class to another is just one of the many ways Spears uses his unicycle.
“He goes everywhere on that thing — all through campus and even just hanging out,” said Spear’s roommate Matthew Covarrubias, a sophomore studying nursing.
Spears said his passion for unicycling takes him far beyond campus.
“I like to goof around on rock and ride down mountains,” Spears said.
Spears said he can ride on his unicycle with one leg, do a full 180 degree turn, grind on rails, jump onto things, ride down stairs and many more tricks.
“He is a professional. A master trickster,” Covarrubias said.
Spears said the first time he came in contact with a unicycle was at the dump in his hometown of Craig, Colorado.
Spears said he saw what would be his first unicycle in a pile of scrap metal.
Spears said that he immediately jumped in and took the unicycle.
“I was like, ‘Hey, that looks cool. I’m going to try and learn how to ride it.’”
Spears said that he had no real interest or desire to ever ride a unicycle prior to finding his new ride in the dump.
Spears said it took a few days of falling on his face to become comfortable with his new ride.
“I was diligent, and I’ve been on a quest to get better ever since,” Spears said.
Spears said that even after five years of experience, falling down is still a common occurrence.
“I usually crash once a day,” Spears said.
Crashing on a unicycle is usually much different than crashing on a bike, Spears said.
For the most part, crashing on a unicycle is nothing more than landing on your feet, Spears said.
Spears said that every once in a while, his crashes are more severe.
Spears said he can remember a time when he crashed right in front of 20 students while he was attempting to ride down a steep stair case on campus.
“They were so embarrassed for me that no one even wanted to look,” Spears said. “Nobody said anything. They just kept on walking.”
Spears said he is used to the attention he gets from his peers around campus.
Spears said people often yell something like “that’s cool” as he zooms by them on the way to class, while others look at him and try their best not to laugh.
Landon Kunzelman, a senior studying human biology, is another unicycle enthusiast, whose passion has taken him to many summer tournaments over the past seven years.
“It’s just fun,” Kunzelman said. “It’s unique. It’s exhilarating.”
Spears said all those who want to begin unicycling should go at their own pace and not give up.
“It is not expedient that a man should ride his unicycle faster than he is able,” Spears said.
Spears said he counsels those who want to get into unicycling tricks to be careful.