Pauline Petersen, the Unicycle Girl


Angela Su, Staff Reporter

With classes switching from in-person to online, sophomore Pauline Petersen was able to grab this opportunity to make school more fun. 

My first thought when classes switched to online was ‘I can unicycle in class now!’ During my first zoom call I decided to get on and go for a ride. I thought instead of sitting and listening to a lecture, why not ride and listen?” Petersen said. 

Petersen first started unicycling when she was in second grade in the unicycling club at Hallinan Elementary School and she has been unicycling ever since then.

“At first it was a lot of ride, fall, ride, fall, and lots of bruises. However when I finally rode to the line on the ground a foot away, I thought I conquered the world,” Petersen said. “A few lines farther and months later I could finally ride.”

One of her favorite things about unicycling is how versatile it is. Unlike a bike, she is able to do many things simultaneously while staying on the unicycle. 

“I can pack it in a suitcase, ride it inside places, and perform numerous tricks on it. With hands free, you can also do a variety of things- read, eat, play an instrument, or even be on a zoom call for a class,” Petersen said. 

Currently, Petersen has performed in many events like the annual Portland Juggling Festival at Reed College and has even taught a few workshops where she teaches other people how to unicycle. However, her favorite event is the annual Bridge Pedal held in downtown Portland. 

“I first took part in the Bridge Pedal on a bike with no gears and now [I] ride a five foot tall unicycle called a giraffe across the bridges,” Petersen said. “I love the Bridge Pedal not just for the free snacks but because people recognize me as the unicycle girl. I also like this event because I inspire people to learn unicycling as I ran into someone who told me they began unicycling after they saw me riding.”

Pauline Petersen plans to keep on unicycling for her whole life.

“My goals with unicycling are to ride long distances. As well as compete in America’s Got Talent and a national unicycle competition called UNICON,” Petersen said.