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German student takes unicycling to the extreme

It's a standard for clowns and festival show-offs, but Lutz Eichholz takes his unicycle where others fear to go - the 26-year-old rides his down mountains. He told The Local how he became a semi-pro extreme unicycler.

German student takes unicycling to the extreme
Photo: Markus Greber/Adidas Outdoor

“At first when I was looking for something challenging, my friends and I took to the parks where skateboarders and mountain bikers were doing tricks. There weren’t any mountains in the Ruhr region where I grew up,” he said.

“The skateboarders did look sideways at us, but then we were pretty good at tricks and could do some things they couldn’t so they were soon impressed. We even converted a few mountain bikers.”

Eichholz started riding on one wheel when he was about nine years old – thanks to the clubs in his hometown of Bottrop. Soon he was performing tricks and has travelled the world showing off his skills and taking part in – and winning world competitions.

Check out some scary unicycling pictures here

It was during a trip to China, he said, that he met Kris Holm, the ultimate extreme unicyclist.

“That started me on the extreme unicycling route. It was totally cool. I was in New Zealand and went to the mountains and realised it would be possible, but that it would be difficult. Then in 2010 three friends and I went up the Zugspitze mountain and came down on unicycles.”

Last summer he took a trip to the Italian Dolomite mountains along with a friend Stephanie Dietze and a cameraman to make a video and take pictures in cooperation with his main sponsor, Adidas sportswear.

“It is difficult to decide where the line is between amateur and professional,” he said. But he added he was able to live from his sponsorship deals and the proceeds of his appearances.

However, at the grand old age of 26, he is also making plans for his retirement, working through the winter to finish his degree in urban planning.

Hannah Cleaver

[email protected]

twitter.com/hannahcleaver2

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CYCLING

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021

Demand for bicycles has soared in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, but conversely the global supply is at record low levels, with consumers having to wait months or over a year for their bike of choice.

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021
Photo: Stocksnap/Pixabay

Bikes are projected to outsell cars in Europe by two to one by 2030.   

But 2021 will not be an easy year to buy a bike in many European countries, especially if you have a particular model in mind. 

Firstly, there's been a huge surge in demand for bikes during the pandemic, as Europeans looked for ways to stay fit and move around more freely without having to worry about being exposed to Covid-19 on public transport.

On the flip side, bike production in China, which supplies almost the entire global market, has practically ground to a halt.

The same can be said for bicycle accessories and components, which are either not being produced in Chinese factories currently or held up for months in ports in Asia due to the reduction of capacity in shipping.

 

In this short report, video producer Alex Dunham explores the issue of Europe's bike shortage in 2021.

 

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