Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

A minute with…Taylor Wright-Sanson ’14

Taylor Wright-Sanson 2014Taylor Wright-Sanson, an independent major in computer science and interface design, works two jobs and is on the swimming and diving team. Obviously, he enjoys a challenge. Why else would he take up riding around on one wheel, otherwise known as unicyling? He’s become so good at it that he won a national unicycling competition and has spent five summers touring with Circus Smirkus, an award-winning international circus. TIRELESS EFFORT: “I first learned to ride a unicycle when I was about 12 years old. I got one for Christmas. Since there was a ton of snow outside, I learned how to ride in my kitchen. I would hold on to the counters until I felt steady enough to let go. It took about two weeks of practice to learn to ride straight without holding on to anything.”
Taylor Wright-Sanson 2014WHEEL-Y INSPIRED: “After I learned how to ride, I put the unicycle away. I would take it out when guests came over and show them, if they asked. But it wasn’t until I saw a video of some guy doing tricks on a unicycle that I got interested. After I watched the video, I immediately went and got my unicycle and began trying several of the tricks I saw. I picked up a few fairly quickly and I haven’t stopped since.” BALANCING ACT (How to ride a unicycle): “Next to a wall, adjust your pedals so they are in a horizontal position and put the seat between your legs. With one hand on the wall and one out for balance, put your foot on the pedal closest to you. Put your weight on that pedal and be ready to catch the other one with your other foot (otherwise it will hit your shin). Adjust your weight so you are comfortable on the seat. (It’s not as bad as it looks, trust me. It should feel like you’re sitting on a bicycle seat if you’re sitting on it correctly.) Once you feel comfortable, sit up straight, lean slightly forward and begin pedaling. Use the wall to steady yourself with only one hand; use the other for balance. When you’re ready, let go of the wall and see how far you can go. You will fall. But don’t worry; if you keep practicing, you will have it down in no time. Oh, and did I say practice?”(Editor’s note: Wear a helmet.)

Photos / Robert Sanson