Coronavirus in Virginia

Unicycling Trend Unites Northern Virginia Neighborhood During Pandemic

“It's a good feeling riding a unicycle"

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The quarantine has been a good time for many of us to consider picking up a new hobby — or, for one Northern Virginia dad, sharing an old pastime that now has the whole neighborhood excited.

Unicycling is sweeping a neighborhood after father of three Joe Belt taught his kids how to ride on just one wheel.

Belt grew up in the neighborhood and years ago started what’s become a local tradition: unicycling with friends.

A dad of three has taught his kids to unicycle — in the same Northern Virginia neighborhood where he grew up with the hobby (Courtesy Joe Belt).

“We did it here when I was a kid, and now my kids are doing it in the same neighborhood,” he said.

More than a dozen unicycles were sitting idle in Belt's shed when the pandemic struck. But once one kid learned to ride, it quickly became a fad.

“One of our kids started doing it and it just spread from there,” Amanda Belt said.

It's fun, cool and an impressive skill, the riders told News4.

Now, anyone passing through may see a pack of more than a dozen kids whizzing by on a unicycle.

It's quite a spectacle and can brighten the day of anyone who happens to see: Fourteen kids pivoting, jumping curbs and parading down the streets on unicycles, arms waving back and forth for balance.

“Literally everybody that we pass says something or looks at us or says that’s cool,” unicyclist Gabe Johnson said. “That’s something that’s really fun about it, that you get a reaction out of pretty much anyone.”

The unicycling hobby spread like wildfire, even though the balancing act takes practice.

“When I started it felt really good to get a new personal best on distance and then one day it clicked and it felt really good,” Cooper Belt said. “It's a good feeling riding a unicycle.”

Now, some in the group get together almost every day and spend hours peddling that singular wheel.

“Once one person is out on the unicycle, everyone else comes out,” one rider said.

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