I first saw a wheel performance in a 1977 documentary entitled “Gizmo” and immediately wanted one.
Almost 40 years later I bought one!
Wheel gymnastics originated in 1924, when a German locksmith Otto Feick created a Rhönrad
The wheel in the documentary was a German Wheel but there is a more recent version known as a Cyr Wheel, which is a mono wheel.
Daniel Cyr in 2003, presented the first cyr wheel circus act at the 2003 Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris.
The Cyr Wheel is a tube of aluminum formed into a circle and covered with PVC or flexible tubing. It is sized to the performer. The inside diameter is approximately 3 inches beyond the height of the performer. Most are built to be disassembled in sections. Mine has 5 sections. It weighs around 30 lbs. I bought my wheel from Coggs Circus.
So what can be performed on a Cyr Wheel. It is easier to show than tell. This youtube features Billy George.
As of January 26, 2015 I have logged 27 hours of practice and I have recently reached what I consider the first level of competency as a novice. I can sustain a waltz for a short period, perform half switch 4-6 repetitions, center spin 4+ rotations and generally comfortable with moving in and around the wheel.
My training goal is 100 hours of practice within 100 days starting January 1st, 2015 and so far am on track.
Videos of progress and instructional notes to come later.
No serious injuries to report to myself or the garage where I do most of my training. The wheel did run away from me one time. It rolled out of the garage, across the driveway, into the yard and ended up encircling my old golden retriever Bailey who never moved.
A few people have seen the wheel and think I purchased it as a device for fitness training. The truth is that it is a device for fun. The joy of movement is the reward. This concept of fun is missing in the way many people approach fitness. Hours on a treadmill, running in straight lines, repetitive lifting are all somewhat necessary but lack joy.
Buffalo Tip: Find something that moves you to move and brings you happiness and you’ll never need to worry about fitness.
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