Somewhere in the intersection of obnoxious travel vehicles, overenthusiastic tech projects, and wholly unnecessary inventions stands the newborn bastard child of a Segway and a unicycle, and it’s sweeping through San Francisco like a self-indulgent plague. These new SBUs or “Self Balancing Unicycles” have somehow managed to make unicycles even more ridiculous, and Segways even less safe. This is perfect for those people who think that riding on one wheel all the time is way cooler than riding on two or four, but are too uncoordinated to balance by themselves and too lazy to pedal.
As explained by creator Daniel Wood to KRON4, “people will ask you a lot of questions about it, it’ll turn a lot of heads, and you will be the center of attention,” which is supposed to be a selling point, until you realize that the same could be said of a guy taking a dump in the middle of the street, or someone banging pots and pans together at 4 a.m. in a residential neighborhood. Do you ever wonder why two-story unicycles actually exist? It’s so that the rider doesn’t have to be at eye level for all the disapproving looks. This is trying too hard to the nth degree.
I hate to shit all over “exciting new tech,” but this is like if you combined mosquitos with spiders, or if you had to file taxes at the DMV, or like if they blasted air horns at a DUI checkpoint.
Here’s my main problem with it: no matter how many gyroscopes you cram into this thing, it’ll still fall over on its side if you’re not constantly self-centering. Sure, it won’t fall forward just because you can’t figure out where your center of gravity is, but unless the wheel is a sphere, there simply isn’t enough time for it to pivot to avoid you falling off. That’s sort of the point of the Segway, and even our ex-president and hyper-genius, George W. Bush, fell off of one of those. In fact, the guy who bought the Segway company died by driving it off a cliff!
By the way, don’t steal my “spherical unicycle” idea. Trust me, it would be a terrible, annoying, and smug invention.
I hate to shit all over “exciting new tech,” but this is like if you combined mosquitos with spiders, or if you had to file taxes at the DMV, or like if they blasted air horns at a DUI checkpoint. Time has proven that neither the Segway nor the unicycle have any place in modern transportation beyond their entertainment value or being used to guide tours for lazy people. This is especially true when we have awesome bikes that self-shift, and electric cars that get 125 miles per charge. Let’s focus our efforts on things we know the world won’t instinctively hate. Maybe if you feel like your self-worth comes from people staring at you in annoyed awe, just shell out the cash for Google Glass. That way you can take pictures of the gawkers to privately enjoy later.