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Drips & Dregs: The Onewheel



A few weeks ago I went to the gym to do gym stuff. You know, pick up heavy things and put them back down. That kind of stuff.


I work out at my climbing gym and while it’s a really well equipped facility, the weights and workout portion of it is not super huge, so it doesn’t take too many people for it to start to feel crowded.  And on this particular day there were 2-3 adults earnestly working out when I arrived.  


As well as the children of one of those adults. Three of them. All under the age of 8, I’d guess. And all three of these children were doing the things in the gym that if you’re anything like me, make you want to burn the building to the ground.


Running on the treadmill.

Seeing how many kettlebells they had the ability to lift.

Chasing each other around benches.


All while their father (at least I assume he was their father) focused intently on his own workout and took zero interest in what his kids were doing. 


Now my own children will happily tell you that their father is the type of person who has no problem speaking up against his perceived worldly injustices. If your kid is out of line I am happy to be the adult in the room if you are unable to do so.  However on this particular occasion I didn’t have that much time so I chose to stay quiet unless one of these monsters decided to get in between me and a piece of equipment I was looking to use.


Fortunately this family of chaos wrapped it up and left shortly after I got started with my workout, thus avoiding an awkward situation where I had to teach this guy the rules of being stuck at home with your kids and how the first and only rule on that list is:

 

  1. If you are stuck with your kids and really want to go to the gym, too bad.  No one at the gym cares about your predicament and they certainly don’t want to put up with your kids. Stay. Home. Or better yet, go somewhere more kid friendly and have fun.

 

After their departure, I saw them through a window as they headed to wherever they were going and noticed that each of the kids was riding a bike; which I found to be awesome. Until I saw the father. Who was not riding a bike. Or walking. And it all clicked into place when I saw that he was…

 

Riding a Onewheel.

 

Yes, the Onewheel. The electric skateboard with one giant tire in the middle of the board. Of all the motorized wheeled modes of transportation that have come out of the last decade or so, the Onewheel has ascended to the throne of what we see the most often.  


The esk8 category that was made famous by filmmaker Casey Neistat zipping around New York City on his Boosted Board has grown to include a large variety of four wheeled more traditional skateboards and solo wheeled devices including unicycles.  And I don’t know if there is a product among them that doesn’t make you look like a dumbass when riding them. Especially if you are north of age 29.


Some things are just not cool no matter how practical or cool they sound in theory. Hearing

the idea of an electric unicycle or skateboard before seeing this market actually blossom would have probably sounded incredible.  But I was there in 2001 when Dean Kamen unveiled the Segway live on Good Morning America and promised his invention would revolutionize transportation.


And by all accounts the Segway is a great product that probably had the potential it’s inventor thought it had but it’s dorky as shit and would go on to be nothing more than a punchline

 

Some things just can’t be redeemed. The most recent example of this is the Tesla Cybertruck. Maybe a savvy designer or artist can break down why some vehicle silhouettes are timeless and others will go down one of the dumbest ideas a human being ever had; but for most of us we simply know it when we

see it.


Personal motorized vehicles are the same. When Casey is on his boosted board it makes sense. Casey looks badass. But when I see anyone else on an electric skateboard they look ridiculous and I wish they had just bought a bike.  And the worst are the electric unicyclists who are armored like they’re racing Michael Dunlop at the Isle of Man TT, complete with full face helmet, goggles and body armor but instead of a badass motorcycle they’re squatting on a self propelled unicycle.

 

Some things are just not for everyone and if you choose them anyway? It tells the casual observer all they need to know about who you are.


So seeing the guy who didn’t know better than to let his 6 year old stand on a bench, placed in the center of an aisle of a small gym to jump off of and grab a pull up bar to swing around before doing that over and over again head out on his Onewheel?

 

Let’s just say it made sense to me.

-ct



Drips & Dregs is the weekly column from Rock Fight Founder Colin True.

Sometimes outdoorsy and always outdoor adjacent, check in weekly to see what is on his mind.

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