Read on if you want to know anything about Unicycling New Zealand in its old days.
Ross MacIntosh (RoMack for short) was the main mover/shaker in NZ unicycling for a number of years and ran a club in Hamilton. I bought my first unicycle off him and popped along to the Hamilton club a number of times. He tried to persuade a number of bike places to import unicycles and they all said it wasn’t worth it so eventually he did it himself. One year he sold 200, just with word of mouth and a little thing on the internet saying to contact him if you wanted to buy a unicycle. This was in the bad old days when bike shops couldn’t find unicycles at all.
Ross was a talented rider and was the first NZer I know of to buy a Semcycle. He could wheel walk and do things like ride one footed backwards. (He had a 20″ sem deluxe and an 8 foot giraffe). He is now living in the US and pretty much completely gone from the NZ unicycling scene. When in NZ he ran a graphic media company before trying out farming shetland cattle and then a stint as a magic kiwi bus tour driver. Ross also found the time to set up http://nzuni.juggle.org.nz/, the first NZ Unicycling page, and something called ‘Unicycling New Zealand’. I’m not sure exactly what Unicycling New Zealand did, apart from organising the NZ Unicycle Nationals.
When he was around he organised a lot of the NZ unicycling weekends, established the game of unigrid (grid iron on unicycles) and generally publicised unicycling. When I was in Hamilton he was beginning to give up on running the club because peoples attendance was very sporadic. Harold Jarvie is the main contact person who would have the best idea about the history and whatever of Unicycling New Zealand. Harold still maintains the websites but probably doesn’t have the time or inclination to put in the hours he used to.
The old website is very out of date – the last text Harold put up for me was around 1998. The juggling/unicycling portal at http://juggle.org.nz is the most up to date source of info on the web for the NZ juggling and unicycling scene.
I also don’t know how formally recognized “New Zealand Unicycling” was as an organisation. Probably a good thing to have something with the
word Society, Federation or whatever in the title.
Foggy Memory Historian.
Stop in small towns talk to the old guys in the older bike and mower shops and learn about engineering apprentices who had to build and ride uni’s at Southwards Engineering at Seaview in the 20′s or perhaps the syncronised unicycle display at the 1939-40 Centennial Exhibition or the Chch gymn which trained unicyclists (in the 60′s I think) …. but only Girls! to get back to the “old days of UNZ” (although I am skeptical as to how much each incarnation has in common) RoMack I believe has returned from the states but I haven’t had contact for 18 months? He started UNZ… Peter Derrick who was at the Iwitahi juggling festival held office in the original organisationThe original NZuni web site is no longer online although I probably have a copy…. for er posterity? I put it up (on a machine in my basement) using the UNZ logo after meeting RoMack? at the 1995 Juggling Festival. The NZJA homepage was started about the same time by Geoff Thorpe and existed until his university account was closed. I started maintaining a NZJA page mainly cause it made it easier to answer the juggling email that started to come thru the uni site. It was hard to maintain static pages.. especially when you have to root out basic info yourself and everyone thinks the web is just for geeks. juggle.org.nz was born around 2000 and the static pages retained but no longer updated. Portal software was used to allow anybody to submit news, links etc all by themselves… resulting in more timely acurate information ha!
The Unicycle Nationals are another story