By Chase Rheam
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Turning heads isn’t something Mark Sisson plans on doing when he heads out for a ride every once in a while. But, residents can’t help but do a double take.
The 56-year-old Stillwater resident rode his unicycle around Boomer Lake Wednesday. Sisson is preparing to take part in the Oklahoma State University Homecoming parade with a group of cyclists from Cooper’s Bicycle Shop.
Sisson's first foray into the world of one wheel trekking started when he was 9.
“I had this unicycle my folks got me back in the mid-60s from Sears, I think,” he said.
Sisson had trouble when he attempted to ride. He couldn’t get the hang of it. The unicycle gathered dust in his family’s basement.
“And I don’t know what possessed me, but I guess one summer, when I was 13 or 14, I just thought, ‘Man, it bugs me that I have that and never rode it,’” he said.
Sisson gave it another shot.
“It was really hard to go anywhere and there was no way to learn about it in those days,” he said. “Now, there are videos you can watch on YouTube to tell you things and you go to bigger cities and there are people who will work with you and train you to do it.”
Over the years, he has ridden a standard unicycle, another model called a “giraffe” and his current model with a much bigger wheel that he purchased eight weeks ago.
The reactions he receives while rolling along are fun, he said.
“Little kids love it,” Sisson said. “They see it and first of all you don’t see many people riding unicycles. There are some. I see people on campus riding them.”
For those who are interested in giving it a shot, Sisson said two words summarize what it takes.
“Persistence, perseverance; that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “If you really want to do it, just practice.”