Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

March 12, 2013

No going in circles for these riders

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — It’s far from going in circles when it comes to a new class meant to introduce the unicycle to the Pauls Valley area public.

The new unicycle class will soon be offered for free at the Reynolds Recreation Center in PV’s Wacker Park.

Led by an experienced unicycle rider, Rodney Cozens of PV, the unicycle class for kids 7 years and up, and even adults, interested in taking on the challenge will begin Sunday afternoon, March 24.

With a starting time of 1:30 p.m., the class will continue each Sunday at the local recreation center.

“This is free to the public,” Cozens said, adding he simply wants to make it available to more kids interesting in learning how to ride a unicycle.

“Just get on it and ride,” he said. “After a couple of sessions some of these kids will be riding pretty well.

“Once they learn how to ride they’re tickled pink. It’s all about them learning a new challenge.”

Cozens himself learned to ride a unicycle when he was 13 years old living in Sacramento, Calif.

It was something he put to good use when he once attended a school to learn how to be a circus clown.

He also learned it was something he could do to get around town in a fast and unique way.

“Once I learned I thought it was the coolest thing. It’s a good way to get around. It’s just a blast,” he said.

With so much experience Cozens said he has proven methods to teach others how to ride a unicycle.

He also stresses that riding a unicycle is far less dangerous than many may think.

“I’ve taught a lot of kids and never had anyone get hurt,” he said.

“It’s much less dangerous than most people think.”

One of those Cozens taught many years ago was a young boy. Only recently he learned that boy grew up to become the number one unicyclist in the world.

“This was just some kid I taught,” he said. “He’s taken it to the next level.

“It’s more popular than you would think. This sport has really spread.”

Another example of its popularity is the fact some schools in other parts of the country offer unicycle riding as part of the regular curriculum.

“A lot of schools teach this as part of their physical education,” he said.

One of those classes was even chosen to ride in the recent presidential inauguration parade.

Cozens admits he doesn’t know how much interest in unicycle riding is out there or how many kids will show up for the free classes starting later this month.

If the interest is there over time a local unicycle club could be created with riders taking part in a variety of community events.

“If I get enough kids interested in this I would like to form a club,” he said.

“I will present it as a class and later if we get a handful of people who would like to stick with it we can do it as a club.

“If we do form a club I want to represent Pauls Valley in local parades and even in other towns around the area.”

Those looking for more information can call the recreation center or Cozens himself at 405-207-8373.