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: “When 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, I’d knock on his door and instead of asking him if his son could play, I’d ask if I could unicycle and practice. I did that for about three months and then, I got the hang of it.”
MG: So, have you been unicycling ever since?
AB: “No, actually I was afraid of getting beat up my freshman year of college so it stayed in the closet. But, after that, I’ve been pretty much riding it the whole time. Since sophomore year, I’ve been using it as my main mode of transportation.”
MG: Do you know anyone else on Trinity’s campus that also unicycles?
AB: “I’ve heard of one woman who’s a freshman who unicycles but I haven’t seen it yet! I’ll definitely be looking out for her. Other than that, I haven’t ever seen anyone else.”
MG: Why do you like to unicycle?
AB: “It’s just fun, I guess. I can’t say it’s an adrenaline rush or anything crazy but it’s fun. It’s quick, slightly more convenient than a bike and slightly faster than a skateboard. It’s just something I really enjoy doing.”
MG: If someone was trying to learn to unicycle, what would you recommend?
AB: “Honestly, just get on and practice. It took me, as a nine year old, three months to do it, but I’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 it’s going to suck and you’re going to fall and the unicycle is going to take a lot of hits. But you’ll get it eventually, you just have to stick with it.”
MG: How many unicycles have you gone through?
AB: “I’ve gone through one, so I’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 don’t try and do tricks and don’t be over 200 pounds and I broke both of those rules so it broke. Now, I have a new one that’s much better.”
MG: What tricks do you like to do?
AB: “Nothing 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.”
MG: Do you have a specialized unicycle?
AB: “Yeah, it’s crazy. There are so many different ones. The one I have is a mountain unicycle. There’s street and touring and mountain and there’s one called ‘giraffes,’ which are the really tall ones that you see clowns on when they’re 50 feet in the air. They have chains that go down to the pedals. There’s a whole slew of types; there are just as many different types of unicycle types as there are bicycle types. “
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 Trinity’s most interesting students, such as Horst Evans, who only wears tie-dye shirts.