Aidan Burke is a senior biology major at Trinity University and patrols Thomas 5th as the resident assistant. He also rides a unicycle to class everyday.
Meredith Goshell: The obvious question: why did you get into unicycling?
Aidan Burke: â€œWhen I was nine, my neighbor was showing off for the neighborhood kids and he let us all try and he told me I was doing pretty well as he was, you know, holding my hands. So, every few days, Iâ€™d knock on his door and instead of asking him if his son could play, Iâ€™d ask if I could unicycle and practice. I did that for about three months and then, I got the hang of it.â€
MG: So, have you been unicycling ever since?
AB: â€œNo, actually I was afraid of getting beat up my freshman year of college so it stayed in the closet. But, after that, Iâ€™ve been pretty much riding it the whole time. Since sophomore year, Iâ€™ve been using it as my main mode of transportation.â€
MG: Do you know anyone else on Trinityâ€™s campus that also unicycles?
AB: â€œIâ€™ve heard of one woman whoâ€™s a freshman who unicycles but I havenâ€™t seen it yet! Iâ€™ll definitely be looking out for her. Other than that, I havenâ€™t ever seen anyone else.â€
MG: Why do you like to unicycle?
AB: â€œItâ€™s just fun, I guess. I canâ€™t say itâ€™s an adrenaline rush or anything crazy but itâ€™s fun. Itâ€™s quick, slightly more convenient than a bike and slightly faster than a skateboard. Itâ€™s just something I really enjoy doing.â€
MG: If someone was trying to learn to unicycle, what would you recommend?
AB: â€œHonestly, just get on and practice. It took me, as a nine year old, three months to do it, but Iâ€™ve heard adults can do it in as little as two or three weeks if they practice an hour a day. You just have to keep practicing because itâ€™s going to suck and youâ€™re going to fall and the unicycle is going to take a lot of hits. But youâ€™ll get it eventually, you just have to stick with it.â€
MG: How many unicycles have you gone through?
AB: â€œIâ€™ve gone through one, so Iâ€™m on my second right now. The reason my other one broke is because I bought it in high school and the weight limit was like 175 pounds and I was only a little bit over it so I was fine. Once I got to college and got really good and trying to do tricks, it broke. It said right on the label donâ€™t try and do tricks and donâ€™t be over 200 pounds and I broke both of those rules so it broke. Now, I have a new one thatâ€™s much better.â€
MG: What tricks do you like to do?
AB: â€œNothing too crazy. I can basically hop up onto a curb and go down a few stairs (laughs). There are a lot of people who can go down several flights of stairs and jump and 360 and all kinds of crazy stuff.â€
MG: Do you have a specialized unicycle?
AB: â€œYeah, itâ€™s crazy. There are so many different ones. The one I have is a mountain unicycle. Thereâ€™s street and touring and mountain and thereâ€™s one called â€˜giraffes,â€™ which are the really tall ones that you see clowns on when theyâ€™re 50 feet in the air. They have chains that go down to the pedals. Thereâ€™s a whole slew of types; there are just as many different types of unicycle types as there are bicycle types. â€œ
Ultimately, Aidan loves unicycling and hopes to continue it in the future. What began as a quirky habit transformed into a unique and fun method of transportation for this Trinity senior. Click here to read more about Trinityâ€™s most interesting students, such as Horst Evans, who only wears tie-dye shirts.