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Teessider’s Take On Multi-national Unicycling Competition.

UNICYCLING experts are gearing up around Teesside to travel to the Extreme Unicycling European Championships this month.

The North East is a the hotspot for unicycling, holding the base for the JUST (Juggling and Unicycling Stockton on Tees) club and for Unicycle.com in Billingham.

Because of this, the area is home to many accomplished riders who will be hoping to participate in another exciting championship.

For the last three years, unicyclists from Teesside have been travelling to Cologne, Germany every February, in an attempt to prove themselves in the competition. This year will be no different, as many are already preparing for the trip.

The event lasts three days, and will consist of multiple different competitions, with the big three being Trials, Slopestyle and Flatland.

Trials unicycling is the aim of completing a route, by going up, under or over obstacles.

The routes are often very precise, and the competition fierce as riders attempt to get the best possible time for the line. Some of the obstacles might include crates to jump over, or gaps to cross, or poles to ride along.

Most trials unicycles are custom made – A lot of money goes in to creating the perfect ride.

Flatland is the competition Elliot Bateman, one of Teesside’s resident extreme unicyclists, will be hoping to do well in this year.

It consists of performing multiple tricks or stunts on flatground in a one versus one competition, with the aim being to perform the best, biggest and technically difficult stunts.

Elliot Bateman performing a street stunt of a set of steps in London.

The slopestyle event combines both the ability to scale objects and to perform impressive tricks, as riders will complete lines of stylish moves through the skatepark in the venue.

Again, technical ability is a huge factor in the results, and the competition is always very tough with riders travelling all across Europe to show off their skills.

The other competition held at the event is the high jump, which UK rider Mike Taylor holds the record for at 152cm and looks set to beat again in the coming month.

It’s no surprise that unicyclists from Teesside are planning on going to the event, as unicycling has been going from strength to strength across the country of recent years and with the North East having a relatively large following of the sport, the competition was bound to gain interest.

Elliot, a keen flatland unicyclist, said: “Outside of the world unicycling championships, it’s the only really big event we have so yeah, it’s exciting.”

“Just as a get-together it’s fun, people all get on pretty well so it’s cool to just hang out and ride for three days.

Trials unicycling spots can be found anywhere, as long as there’s something that can be used as an obstacle.

“I hope to keep going for years to come. I mean, I’ve been to the past two so it would be a shame to miss one now.

“It’s good to push yourself, and the competing and riding with people that are constantly doing the same really helps.”

 

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