From the 1967 Northern Student archives: BSC frosh Steve Adams finds his unicycle a good way to make friends and solve the parking problem.
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By Northern Student archives

Published 11:02 a.m. on July 5, 2023

This story originally ran in the Oct. 19, 1967, edition of the Northern Student newspaper. It was written by Jan Doroff.


If anyone has seen a long figure perched on a wheel whipping along on the sidewalk, they are not seeing things. It’s only Steve Adams or one of his friends on a unicycle.

Steve, a freshman from Peoria, Ill., has been riding the unicycle for about a year. He saw a 40-year-old man riding one and wanted to learn because it seemed to be “something cool – different.” The man taught him, and Steve spent $25 to buy his own unicycle. Since then, he has worn out one tire.

He has been teaching the fellows on his floor to ride the thing. It takes about a week to ride fairly well. “A lot have found it more difficult than it looks,” Steve commented.

Steve has ridden for two solid hours and his legs were a “little sore but…” He has also ridden to downtown Bemidji and back.

People look twice when Steve goes by with his unicycle, whether he’s riding or pushing it. If he’s pushing it, people first ask if he can ride it and then, “How do you do it?” and “Can I try it?” Steve lets them try and catches them when they fall. A favorite request of guys is “Pull a wheelie,” and Steve does.

During Freshman Week, Steve and his unicycle were a target for the upperclassmen. They had him riding through the lounge in Oak Hall fairly often. Steve considered that better than pushing pennies or peanuts.

The unicycle is a fairly good partner for playing basketball, and Steve manages to make a few baskets on it. He also plays tennis on it but he’s “not too hot on that.” He has ridden with another person on his shoulders too.

Steve considers his unicycle a conversation piece. People stop and ask about the thing and soon life histories find their way into the conversation. And Steve probably finds another friend.