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Simon Berry’s 2016 Part 3

Last time on the blog, we’d just broken our own world record, and Mike and myself had left Team Voodoo to concentrate on new projects. We pick up just a couple of days after that!

Qatar, The Magical Festival Village

Just two days after performing at Sport Relief, Sam Goodburn, who i’m sure you know, came to stay with me in London after having flown back from 5 weeks performing in Asia. He was just to stay for a night or two as he had commitments at home, and I had multiple university deadlines. But no good story starts with two young people being responsible, does it?

After Sam’s first night at my place, he woke up to a call from a stressed-out Romanian Magician, who had added him on Facebook the previous evening. He was searching for performers for a month of parades and shows, starting TOMORROW.

We said maybe, noncommittally, assuming that arrangements would fall through, as so often happens with last minute booking.

This time, however, that was not the case, and just a few hours later we were on the next available flight to Qatar. We had so little time to prepare that I ended up hopping on the tube to the nearest shopping centre to buy new clothes and underwear, as I wouldn’t have had time to wash my clothes…

What event were we performing at? We didn’t know.

Why hadn’t the organisers found talent sooner? We didn’t know.

What would our mothers think to such reckless decision making? We didn’t know.

Was this strange magician really some sort of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-esque child catcher? We just didn’t know.

After arriving at Hamad international airport, relaxed from the plane’s free beer, we were met by Cezar, the Magician. (Disclaimer: Cezar is not in fact a child catcher. He’s a cool person and a great performer!) We were taken straight to the hotel, but didn’t have time to rest, as the first day of performances was due to start in just a couple of hours!

We met our fellow performers; an international group from Romania, Italy, Germany, the USA, and UK. From then on, the format was less spontaneous, but still great fun. We did a parade 2-3 times a day, as well as 1 or 2 shows. The event itself was a new venue that had just been launched, and targeted local families. This was a contrast to my last trip to Qatar where I had been performing at the very westernized Qatar Open Tennis Tournament. The attendees had certainly never seen unicycles before, let alone a parade full of unicyclists, stilt walkers, jugglers and dancers!


We were performing 6 days per week, which was intense, but managed to have some great experiences on our days off! The highlight for me was riding quad bikes in the Qatari desert, before relaxing on a beach overlooking the Persian Gulf, just a few miles from the Saudi border.


I had to fly back after 2 weeks as I had an essay deadline and a French oral exam. (Thankfully i did well in both, despite the trip getting in the way!) Sam stayed for the rest of the month and I was replaced by Esther, Sam’s performance partner who specialises in Cyr Wheel!


New Impact Unicycle!

After just over 2 weeks of riding all day, every day, my unicycle was looking and feeling a bit worse for wear. Usually, I end up replacing individual parts as I break them, so never get the Boy-who-got-a-nintendo-64-on-Christmas-day levels of excitement.


This time though, as so much of my unicycle was dying, I phoned unicycle.com and they helped hook me up with a brand new Impact Gravity Unicycle! Thanks guys!

At first, I customised it with my Carbon Fibre seat and Kris Holm Cranks, but have since changed the cranks for brand new Impact Groovys which feel AMAZING.


Officially ‘Officially Amazing’, again!

Last Summer, Mike Taylor and myself were invited back to CBBC’s Officially Amazing to attempt to break another world record on TV!  This time, were were battling head to head to beat the record for then 100m unicycle hurdles!

Lutz Eicholz, a well known KH Sponsored rider from Germany held the record at 1:46.44, so Mike and I were trying to beat that time, as well as going head to head to be THE fastest. Click on Simon Below to see what happened.


It was a great day of filming, and as you can see it was so close! Some of our new projects involve myself and Mike working as a duo a lot, so we hope you enjoyed the formula!


The Westminster Mile

At the end of May, Flatland BMXer Keelan Phillips called me in for another show as he wasn’t able to, having injured himself beforehand. I spent the day riding flatland and giving riding workshops with two flatland BMXers at the Westminster Mile Vitality run! As it was a sports event, everyone was very keen to watch, and even more excited to have a go!


That’s all for now! Stay tuned for Part 4 where Mike Taylor and myself have a very special announcement!

Simon Berry’s 2016 Part 2

We asked our friend Simon Berry what he has been up to recently in his unicycle life.  He has been very busy as part of Voodoo and with his budding TV career!

Officially ‘Officially Amazing!’!

Although technically we did this in 2015, it was only broadcast in March! In late Summer 2015, Mike, Rob, Jason and Myself traveled up to Sheffield to film for CBBC’s Officially Amazing, a show which features a wide variety of world record attempts from across the world!

Our attempt was for the 4x50m hurdles relay. This had never been done before so all we had to do was beat an arbitrary time set by Guinness, based on Lutz Eicholz’ standing 100m hurdles record! The show makes much more interesting viewing if I don’t tell you what happens, so here it is! Click on Team Voodoo Below to see the video.


The Extreme Mountain Bike Show

Again in March, I was asked by British Bike Trials legend Danny Butler to come and do a demo for his team, ‘The Extreme Mountain Bike Show’. It was short notice and a massive hassle to get to Manchester in time, but no good things are easy, are they?

I woke up the next day at 4am, took the night bus to the train station and hopped on the first train from London to Manchester! From there Joe Oakley, ex-world champion picked me up and we headed to Manchester Communications Academy to do some demos as part of a launch event for the school’s new mountain bike track. Unfortunately, as the gig was at a school I couldn’t film and take pictures much, but here’s a couple from the day!



It was a great day and a great event. It’s comforting to see cycling being adopted by so many local authorities to get kids active! Combining trials biking and unicycling also made for a really cool performance, look out for more of myself and The Extreme Mountain Bike Show over the Summer months!


Sport Relief 2016

On the 20th of March, Sport Relief invited Voodoo back for yet another year to perform!

Sport Relief is an amazing opportunity to use sport as a catalyst for raising funds and awareness for those in poverty around the world.

This year, we were challenged with breaking our recently set world record, in front of a live audience at the Sport Relief Games! The atmosphere on the day was great and we had amazing support from the crowd, leading us to shave ~10 seconds from our previous record! Click on Simon to see the Video


Beating our world record was, sadly, the last adventure for myself and Mike with Voodoo.

After 5 years with the team, we’re moving on to pursue some new, exciting projects which you’ll see more of soon on this blog! We can’t wait to share them with you!

Voodoo World Record

Team Voodoo Unicycles managed to set a new Guinness World Record for 4x50m hurdles on Unicycles for CBBC show "Officially Amazing".
Shot in the prestigious English Institute of Sport, the home training ground of Olympic Gold Medalist Jessica Ennis, the team hopped over hurdles at an impressive time of 1 minute 44 seconds.

Simon Berry's 2016

Simon Berry's 2016.

Unfortunately, the Winter months are usually the quietest part of the year for people like myself. Most of our work is at summer events and festivals, which are all things that take place almost exclusively in the Summer.

Luckily though, 2016 is off to a great start!

After riding into the New Year with some of my best friends (video below), Mike Taylor, Sam Goodburn and I set off for a week of shows at the ExxonMobil Qatar Open in Doha.

We met early on the day of the flight to plan our shows for the week, designing a 5 minute performance that featured both Extreme Unicycling with an underlying theme of tennis.


Our first day was spent setting up the demo rig, and rehearsing our show, before starting 6 days straight of performances, doing between 3 and 5 shows per day, in between Tennis matches. The event itself was great place to be, and the crowds were even better. On the last day, where Novak Djokovic took his first grand slam title, our crowds were huge and had a great time! ...


Our schedule over the week was packed, but we still managed to take some free time to explore historic Doha! I hope we'll be there again soon to continue our adventures there!

Check our our Qatar Vlog on Facebook here:



Two weeks later came EUC in Cologne. If you didn't already know, EUC is the Extreme Unicycling Championship, which has been held every year in the same location since 2009! EUC is one the the most intense, and competition packed events on the unicycle calendar, and is a must for anyone who's even remotely into Extreme Unicycling!

Myself, Mike Taylor, Hockey legend Gareth Walkom and Tirryn Nankivel arrived a day early, and were put up thanks to the kindness of Olaf Schote!

Friday began with the flatland competition. I had volunteered to commentate for the first time, which made a change from competing and was great fun.

Impact and Voodoo team member Mike Taylor took second place in Intermediate Flatland, behind Mimo Seedler (A German rider who's one to watch. He's CRAZY) Voodoo's own Rob Terry took the third place on the flatland podium too!


Photo: Winter EUC (Facebook)

Elite flatland led to some of the closest battles I've ever seen! Lorenz Poham took first place, Kornel Auth second, and Pierre Sturney third. It really was a pleasure to commentate such a tense competition.


Photo: Winter EUC (Facebook)

Saturday is the busiest day of EUC, with both Trials, High Jump, and Slopestyle Street taking place.

Mike Taylor once again took another podium, with a joint first place in high jump! Both Mike and Aidan Teleki landed 138cm to pallets, setting a new IUF world record!


Photo: Winter EUC (Facebook)

Trials ran in two phases throughout the day, with some really imaginative and well built lines! Mark Fabian stormed both the qualifiers and the finals, landing 6/7 of the lines in the finals!


Photo: Winter EUC (Facebook)

After the trials finals was street, which took place in the Slopestyle format for EUC. In Slopestyle, each rider has two attempts to qualify by riding a linear course, much like Slopestyle ski/snowboarding. The emphasis is heavily on style and linking tricks together smoothly.

As a result, it's no surprise that Josef Sjonneby sailed into first place! Closely followed by Pierre Sturney and Kornel Auth


Photo: Winter EUC (Facebook)

After the street final, it was time to socialise and enjoy good food, great beer, and the best community in the world! (what unicycle convention would be complete without a Beer Pong competition, too?)


On the Sunday, we were up early to travel back to the UK, we took the bus from Cologne to London, but luckily were so tired we all managed to sleep most of the way!

and now less than a week later, I'm writing this blog post waiting to board my flight to Minnesota, where I've been honoured (or should I say 'honored') to be offered the opportunity to fly out to lead some flatland workshops at Mondo, a Unicycling and Juggling event organised in part by the Twin Cities Unicycle Club.


Photo: Rachel Sindelar


Mondo was a great event! This was my first time in the USA outside of New York, and I had an awesome time. I need to thank the Twin Cities Unicycle Club, especially the Sindelar and Koehler family, as well as Lars Anderson for their generosity and hospitality over the week, you really made me feel welcome and at home.

Over the 3 day event, I taught a few Unicycling workshops, and participated in the gala show, where we staged a flatland competition. Hopefully there’ll be some video of this soon! In my free time there I went to ride with the Twin Cities Unicycle Club, learnt to ice skate, and spent president’s day in an indoor water park (which is possibly the most American thing conceivable)

To see some more of Mondo, check out this video that Kyle Alviani put together:


I’m going to try and make Simon Berry’s 2016 a ‘thing’, so check back on the UDC blog soon for more Unicycling and adventures!

Team Voodoo In Bahrain - by Jason Auld


For those of you unfamiliar with Team Voodoo Unicycles, we are the UK's only Extreme Unicycling display team and our mission statement has always been to promote alternative, urban styles of Unicycling to mainstream audiences, globally. So it was a pleasure and a huge step for the team, the sport and each of us on a personal level, to be invited to provide entertainment for the World Endurance Championships in Bahrain.

What can you say about Bahrain off the top?

"Lads, we've been invited to demo in Bahrain"
"Is it safe?"
"Will we be rich?"
"Do I need to cover up? "
"Will they be offended by our name's suggestion of Christian theology shaped by African tribal traditions?"
"Should I pack shorts?"

Unfortunately, Simon never asked the final question and where all of us assumed the desert heat would be suffocating, he elected to pack exclusively black jeans.
The questions raised a good point though. Even to those who claim to be well read and up to date with current affairs, Bahrain is a mysterious floating palace in the Persian Gulf. It has a yearly Formula One Grand Prix so we expected the glamour associated with Lewis Hamilton, recklessly brandishing champagne and soaking his Pussy Cat Doll mistress but we'd also heard about attempted revolution, the lack of a free press and an unelected, hereditary ruler. Don't worry, this isn't going to get too heavy or controversial, how much political enlightenment can an Extreme Unicycling team bestow upon you? I merely mention it for one reason. Unicycling has helped us all grow as people, overcome challenges and spread joy. Despite a conflicting set of cliches, we were ultimately excited about the opportunity to take our sport, and our volatile, quirky yet lovable personalities, to a nation who may have never experienced anything like it.

After covering up my tattoos in order to avoid any awkward, Pious questions at Immigration. We jumped on the bus to Hotel Diva, the place we were staying for 4 days, where else?
"You're staying in Hotel Diva?!"
Locals would snigger with a worrying grin, like they knew something we didn't. It turned out, they did. The hotel had 4 bars/clubs spread across it's 20 floors which left Rob wondering, in the early hours of the morning, whether he was having a bizarre, retro, urban dream or whether he really could hear Gangsta's Paradise by Coolio on repeat.

There were other entertainers there and it was a pleasure to work with them. All incredibly talented performers but above all, interesting, dynamic and kind natured people. Along with stilt walkers and bike riders, we shared a dressing room with some lovely theatre types, performing a Disney Show for the kids in attendance. Let me tell you, when you've seen the Genie from Aladdin, battle roaring engines in an attempt to sing "Let it Go" from Frozen in a Blackpool accent, you've seen it all.

In our down time, we managed to take a trip to the market, every bit as mystical and magical as the pages of Arabian Nights; Pop Up stalls with Arabic scribings dancing across fine materials, dusty alley ways littered with moustaches and mangy cats. Dream shatteringly, turns out it's more like Wembley Market, with a host of Arab Del Boys flirtatiously trying to flock their "genuine fakes" to any mug who'll buy them. One boy must have put his kids through college when he hustled Simon Berry for some sunglasses.

"6 quid!" spat the Blackpool Genie, like we'd bullied him into giving us a fourth wish and asked for something childish and dirty.

"I paid 1, must have seen you coming son".

That's the problem when you're white, blonde and 7ft tall in Bahrain. They always see you coming.

We embraced the "Selfie Culture" while we were there. Golf club like aids, swung around in an effort to tee up a face in the foreground of a hilarious, unusual or breath taking background. I like to think we obliged and many Bahraini teens will have been baffled to find 4 white guys with only 4 wheels between them, in a picture with their friend, with a mere 4 seconds to appreciate the spectacle. It was mad. We've signed autographs, taken pictures, left hilarious answer phone messages featuring our popular catchphrases and kissed babies before (the latter two have never happened) but I've always hated it. I've never understood why anyone coveted a signature, if not to use it for the practical yet highly illegal practice of fraudulently signing over money to yourself. We all have signatures and most of us can't even read our signatures cause they're big squiggles. That being said, we lapped it up. It's nice to be appreciated, made to feel special for what you do, even if it is in a totally vapid and impersonal manner from strangers who'll no doubt forget who that picture is of in a year's time, at best, possibly mistake us for One Direction before make up and airbrushing.

We headed home after 4 days with a clear aim, to drink the plane dry, having made the nieve yet respectful mistake that the Islamic airline might be a dry airline.

It was an amazing experience and a real honour for of us to take this sport, that we all love and cherish, to a place it had never been before, to people who maybe couldn't even conceptualise the common stereotypes that we have in the UK of Unicyclists. The Middle East, since the damn of humanity, has been a cradle for wisdom, creativity and cultural development. Perhaps it can do it again and be the part of the world to embrace and promote our esoteric sport. If not, it'll be back to Sunday mornings in a car par in Coventry for Team Voodoo. Here's to many more visits!

All in Bahrain Streets - Voodoo Vlog



Nimbus 'Cyko-Lite' Tyre Review by Simon Berry

The Cyko-Lite is now on sale but with it being such a new tyre its relatively unknown.  To try and show people how good this tyre is we gave one to the famous Simon Berry of Voodoo Unicycles for a review. Coming second in the British Street Unicycling competition, Simon is one of the best in the UK. Constantly striving for bigger and better street tricks, here is what he said about the Cyko-Lite:

When unicycle.com contacted me and asked if I would like to test their new lightweight tyre, I accepted of course, but I have to say I was sceptical.  I had ridden the 880g try all light in the past, and I felt as though anything lighter would just be impossible to be a good, functional tyre. However, I’ve been riding with it for just over a month and I’m very pleasantly surprised.

Upon receiving the tyre one of the first things that struck me was how round it was, which for me has been a very good thing. My style of riding involves mostly rolling hops and flatland tricks, so the round profile makes riding seem slick and smooth, yet still grippy with the knobbly grip. (Especially in comparison to very square tyres such as the Eagle claw.) The round profile of the tyre is a slight disadvantage while riding skinnies, but I found it still perfectly do-able.


The tyre has thinner sidewalls than any other tyre I’ve ridden with, so to compensate I started riding with a slightly higher pressure, in order to prevent it folding. I was surprised at how well the tyre compresses and bounces, especially for static hops, so my worries of it not being great for trials did not continue. I found myself able to sidehop, rolling hop and gap just as far as I could with other tyres, so it’s definitely usable for trials riders. Bear in mind, due to the thinner sidewalls and curved profile, the bounce isn’t as good as the Monty, which has become the favoured tyre among trials riders, but the weight loss may make up for it.

Now to the tyres main selling point, the weight. This tyre is LIGHT. At almost half the weight of a Nimbus Blizzard, and 200g less than a Monty Eagle Claw, this tyre is by far the lightest on the market, only comparable to the Try all light which is twice as expensive as the Nimbus Cyko. While using the tyre I found that flipping crankflips became far easier, and helped me to land a 1 handed quad flip within 10 minutes of mounting the tyre, something that would have been far more difficult while using a heavier tyre. One of the key features of making a light wheel to crankflip is not necessarily the lightness, but where the weight is on the wheel. The tyre is a large part of the rotational weight, so losing weight on the tyre is great for crankflips. To a lesser extent the weight loss is also noticeable for unispins, which is always a good thing. For the trials purists among you, trials rider Mike Padial cut every second side knob off the tyre, losing another 70g of weight, pushing it down to 770g. An extraordinary feat for a trials tyre!


Think about it, if you’re riding a uni with a creepy crawler tyre (which is most of you), using this tyre is around the equivalent weight loss of installing a mad4one hub, which is much more time consuming, expensive, and awkward.

The tyre seems fairly long lasting too. I’ve been riding quite heavily for around 5-6 weeks and there are no signs of wear. I predict that I’ll get around a year out of use from this, in comparison to about 6 months I used to receive from a Creepy Crawler.

To conclude, I think the Cyko Lite is a great tyre, especially for street and flat riders, due to it’s weight and rounder profile. It’s also a really good tyre for trials, although it’s bounce isn’t quite up to that of the much heavier Monty. If you’re looking for a new tyre, this is definitely worth a shot, especially at only £24, it’s hard to go wrong!

-Simon Berry | Voodoo Unicycles

Simon Berry's Spring 2011 Video

So that none of our riders are left out, here is the latest video Simon has made of his current skill level. There is some amazing tricks landed, plus watch out for 0:25 enjoy.

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