Sunday Drivers, Two Wheels or Four, More or Less

Unibridge TourIf two guys ride one wheel each, are they really riding a bicycle-built-for-two?

“No,” Liz Arden said. Emphatically.

Sunday drivers — four wheels: We headed West along the Overseas Highway until I saw an interesting house in the distance on Middle Torch. Drove past it; it was interesting but not particularly photogenic. Jogged left and right and left and right and tested the shocks up and down over the frost heaves on Dom Road on Big Torch Key. Saw a plot of land reserved for theme camps out past the end of the power lines and took a bunch of pictures of dead mangroves. I didn’t photograph the thank-you-ma’ams.

We honked and waved as we passed a couple of guys from Brooklyn riding unicycles near the South Pine Channel Bridge but, since we didn’t go looking for Key Deer this time, we didn’t see them on the No Name bridge to No Name Key. I hope they had pizza for lunch.

Fat Albert played peek-a-boo with the clouds. I photographed a homeless fellow living large on Higgs beach as well as a couple of weddings on Smathers beach.

Unibridge TourSunday drivers — two wheels: Keith Nelson and Robert Hickman arrived in Key Weird by unicycle yesterday. Their six-day performance art project commemorated the 100 years of the Flagler railroad bridges and the brand-new Heritage Trail system.

Mr. Nelson and Mr. Hickman pedaled along U.S. 1 from Key Largo to Key West on one wheel during their Unibridge Tour. They said the road quality was the worst in the 6-7 miles leading in to Key West but the Seven Mile Bridge quickly became the scariest part of the trip. It rained, their unicycles are taller than the railing, and traffic passed at 55 or 60 mph. Thwap thwap THWAP!

Mr. Nelson swallows swords and juggles as the Clown Price of the Bindlestiff Family Circus. Safer than the Seven Mile Bridge. Mr. Hickman is an associate professor of sculpture and art at Hunter College, New York.

They completed the trip as part of Sculpture Key West’s 17th annual exhibition. The show runs through March 2013 at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park and West Martello Tower.

Mr. Hickman wanted to exhibit a rock sculpted by the highway. He started the ride pulling the rock behind his unicycle but it built up friction in his tire. The heat exploded the tire so they cut it loose about Mile Marker 30 and kept on going.

Everyone sets up at the southernmost point or at Mile Marker 0. Not me. I ran the motor drive about four rolls worth at Mile Marker 1 for the two unicyclists.

Now it’s time to get back to work.

Unibridge Tour

This Flagler Bridgesbridge across Spanish Harbor from Bahia Honda is one of my favorites in the Keys. It’s worth a trip here before the remaining railroad bridges fade into the green waters.

1 thought on “Sunday Drivers, Two Wheels or Four, More or Less

  1. In 1970 I took my kids to a circus, and we watched a chimpanzee ride a unicycle around and around inside one of the three-rings promised by bills plastered on municipal fences. Halfway through his/her routine, another chimp leaped atop the rider’s shoulders, and they made several circles before the ringmaster blew his whistle, and they exited through the tunnel.

    I took a picture, but it did not turn out.

    A few years ago I read an article written by a circus dwarf who claimed he once masqueraded as a chimp and rode a unicycle. He did not say whether top or bottom.

    — George

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