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Another Day in the Country

How about a Onewheel?

© Another Day in the Country

My son-in-law probably would tell you that he is something of an indoor kind of guy. He’s a musician. He seems to enjoy practicing on his upright bass, doing local gigs, and playing video games in his spare time.

So it was a surprise to me to see that he got a new toy.

“It’s a Onewheel,” Richard said.

Everyone in California probably knows about the contraption, but I spend the majority of my time in Kansas.

A Onewheel is like a motorized skateboard / balancing act combination that you ride on the road in the middle of California traffic.

Did you get the part about there being only one wheel? I can’t think of anything more precarious!

In fact, right now, the owner of the Onewheel is bandaging up a leg he took a lot of skin off of when he attempted a fancy turn on this new machine.

“What is this craziness?” I said right out loud.

“Oh, it is so much fun,” he assures me as he pulls up a video on You Tube that shows a guy wheeling through Chicago on one of these.

While he is dipping and zooming along as if he were riding a surf board, this guy is making the video with a selfie stick!

Now, my friends, that is a skill level that defies logic.

“My next goal is to go down the hill on this thing,” Richard tells me as I’m propping up my dropped jaw.

“Down the hill,” means navigating fast-moving traffic on a two-lane, curvy mountain road from Angwin (nestled in California mountains) to St. Helena (on the floor of the Napa Valley).

I have gone down that hill on a bike once or twice, at a point much younger in life, but standing on a Onewheel?

“You’ve got to be kidding.”

I am mesmerized by the video, though. It does look like fun.

“It feels like flying” Richard tells me. “You just float along. It’s wonderful.”

I look at his bandaged leg and wonder.

A lot of things in life feel wonderful, as if you are floating along, but most of them are downright dangerous in my book.

(That last sentence I didn’t tell him, not wanting to be an unwelcome damper on his fun.)

He’s the right age for trying something new, having turned 50 a few months back. That’s the right time of life to make a course correction or learn a new skill.

At that age, I got a bee in my bonnet to try to buy some land in Ramona. My family thought that it was as crazy as a Onewheel.

“We’ll never be able to afford going back there more than once a year,” my husband said to me.

“Don’t go doing something crazy in Ramona.”

(No, that last part wasn’t my husband; it was my dad. Sometimes memories and important phrases get mixed up and re-appropriated in the telling.)

The important part is, like the Onewheel and my reaction to it, they all thought it was a dumb idea. So, I’m not going to be the discouraging word for my son-in-law; that’s for sure.

He’s getting more and more proficient, practicing after work almost every day. In fact, since the time when I was introduced to the Onewheel concept, Richard has logged more than 500 miles on it and is getting more proficient every day.

He and my grandson took a spin through Golden Gate Park in San Francisco — Richard on his Onewheel and Dagfinnr on a non-motorized scooter I got him to run around on in Ramona. They had a great time!

Meanwhile, I’m trying to think what kind of new skill I’d like to learn at this juncture in my life.

I’ve had learning calligraphy on my list forever, but it doesn’t sound exciting enough. For sure it doesn’t feel like flying.

I briefly contemplated learning another language, but after trying to remember the name of the author of a book I’d just returned to the library, I decided that maybe a new language was a little much.

It’s another day in the country and perhaps I’ll content myself figuring out how to master the upgrade on my iPhone!

Last modified Aug. 15, 2019

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