Ever since the holidays, I’ve noticed the same boy riding a unicycle to the Main Street Middle School as I drive through Montpelier on my way to work in the mornings. The cycle is fat-wheeled, sensibly built for Vermont’s rugged terrain. I can see concentration tight on the boy’s face, as he cycles down the steep hill, wearing a helmet and a winter coat, pack on his back.
The boy is maybe eleven or twelve.
Although I don’t know this boy at all, I find myself looking for him on the sidewalk, admiring his tenacity as – at five degrees fahrenheit the other morning! – he pedals down that uneven, icy incline. I imagine him arriving at school, triumphantly cherry-cheeked, hoisting his one-wheeled steed over his shoulder. As I go into my own day, I wonder what kind of man he will become, this hearty, focused, child unicyclist.
The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind.
– William Saroyan