Unicyclist dices with death!
An adrenaline junkie has gone to a wheel extreme to satisfy his addiction and has even given up his job to soley focus on his hobby - but he can’t get a handle on his obsession.
Edd Hawkes, 25, of School Lane, Eaton Bray, is a professional extreme unicyclist who must be off his ‘edd after recently placing fourth in the world at unicycle trials in the world championships that were held in the Alps in July.
He said: “I didn’t expect to place as high in the championships as I did, so it gave me the confidence to do what I wanted to do, so I came back and quit my job the next day and I haven’t regretted it yet! I wanted to do something I really loved and enjoyed doing, rather than just sitting behind a desk in an office.”
Edd is the founder of Voodoo Unicycles, which after packing up his full-time job as a design engineer he now runs from the headquarters based in Eaton Bray in order to be fully focused on the unusual sport.
Referring to himself as being part of ‘Team Voodoo’, the group launched in 2008 when four of the UK’s top riders got together to unite together as a demonstration team to perform up and down the country.
“The whole ethos behind it is to get our sport recognised. Everyone has seen BMX displays, but then they see unicycling and they are just blown away. You don’t hear about it much, other than it being related to clowns or the circus and there is more to it than just juggling.”
The original team consisted of Edd and his brother Leo, Aj Harris and Jason Auld and then in 2009 the team expanded to include Simon Berry, Joe Baxter and Mike Taylor, who have all appeared on a variety of television shows in order to promote what they describe as “the esoteric sport” of extreme unicycling.
Ed has ridden BMXs since he was 16, but after seeing his brother learn to ride a unicycle, he soon realised his talent and six years ago fell head over heels for the sport.
He said: “Unicycling has completely taken over since I first tried it and realised I was pretty good.
“We perform displays and shows and run workshops in schools, spreading the word about unicycling and all the benefits it can provide.
“It improves your balance and for children in schools it teaches them to be persistant and to keep trying because you will get better the more you practice.
“It even helps to improve confidence and concentration by having something to focus on.”
For more information, visit www.voodoounicycles.com, search Voodoo Unicycles on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @VoodooUnicycles.
LBO reporter Amanda Devlin will be trying this out
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Weather for Leighton Buzzard
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west