Bridget's balancing act

Journalist Bridget Tan takes on the ultimate test of balance - riding a unicycle.
Ms Tan manages to stay on the unicycle under Mr Chua's guidance. On average, one needs 20 hours of practice to ride a unicycle, says the instructor.
Ms Tan manages to stay on the unicycle under Mr Chua's guidance. On average, one needs 20 hours of practice to ride a unicycle, says the instructor.PHOTO: ST VIDEO

Look ma, no hands. Cycling on a single wheel, journalist Bridget Tan challenged gravity in a tough test of balance - on a unicycle. 

Unlike bicycles, one-wheelers do not have handlebars. So Ms Tan, 28, bravely tried to pedal on despite the teetering sensation of almost falling and barely moving a metre.

After all, mastering the unicycle takes time and lots of practice. On average, it requires about 20 hours to learn to ride a unicycle, according to instructor Chua Kai Lun.

The 34-year-old is one of the pioneers in local unicycle group Singapore Unicyclists, a registered interest group in Bedok Community Club. The group's youngest rider is only 10 years old, while the oldest is 70.

Mr Chua bought his first unicycle online after being inspired by street performers in 2002.

Now, he cruises single-wheeled effortlessly on sandy beaches and rocky breakwaters .

He said there are about 80 unicyclists in Singapore.

An active group of 30 advanced riders, who have at least two years of experience, meet every Thursday to play hockey on their unicycles.

Singapore Unicyclists offers free lessons at Kallang or Bedok Community Club to anyone who wants to learn to ride a one-wheeler.

In this episode of Bridget's Adventures, a video series which features Ms Tan trying out unusual and challenging activities, she battles to keep her balance and stay on the saddle of her unicycle.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2017, with the headline 'Bridget's balancing act'. Print Edition | Subscribe