Balancing Act 

Sometimes it's hard to find the right balance ... now try doing it on a unicycle. This weekend, the Memphis Unicycle Club will host the 35th annual North American Unicycling Championships and Convention (NAUCC). More than 300 unicyclers from across the United States and Canada will come to Memphis for races, workshops, creative competitions, and a public show. This is the first time NAUCC has been held in Memphis and only the second time it's been in the South.

"I'm so excited to bring all my unicycle friends from afar and share with them the Memphis community," says Tommy Thompson, president of the Memphis Unicycle Club (pictured). "It's a little bit like hosting the Olympics!"

Events will center around St. George's Independent School in Collierville, where there will be a free public show on Saturday, July 1st, from 2 to 7 p.m. The unicyclers will also ride in the Cordova Parade on July 4th.

But you can do more than just watch. Even complete beginners are welcome to participate in workshops and gym time to learn from experienced unicyclers. There will also be "fun-rides" downtown, at Shelby Forest, and in Overton Park, as well as offroading opportunities in both Shelby Farms and Bartlett's Stanky Creek. The fee for noncompetitors is $40, and the Memphis Unicycle Club rents out unicycles for $10 per week.

Thompson says unicycling is a great tool for bringing together diverse people of all ages. He's seen riders aged 5 to 93. It also has health benefits because it works the entire body. Ride on!

2006 North American Unicycling Championships and Convention, Friday-Wednesday, June 30th-July 5th, St. George's Independent School in Collierville. For more information, go to memphisunicycleclub.com.

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