Sat, Mar 24, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Young unicyclists tackle 104km trip

ENDURANCE:While the 16-member elementary-school team has packed in several training sessions, the trip would put their hard training to the test, the dean said

By Hung Chen-hung and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Six members of the Wong Yuan Elementary School unicycle team perform at the school in Kaohsiung’s Daliao District on Thursday.

Photo: Hung Chen-hung, Taipei Times

A unicycle team from Wong Yuan Elementary School in Kaohsiung’s Daliao District (大寮) yesterday set off for a 104km road trip, with the goal of setting a record among the nation’s elementary schools for the longest-distance unicycle ride.

The 16-strong team left yesterday morning for Kenting (墾丁) in Pingtung County, and was accompanied by parents and teachers on bicycles and in cars to provide medical and other assistance.

The team plans to complete the trip in two days, which presents quite a challenge for the young cyclists.

While school authorities have carefully planned the trip, such as avoiding areas with strong winds, the children are nonetheless excited, saying: “One has to go all-out crazy at least once in their lifetime.”

The school said it would endeavor to satisfy the students’ requests, but such a decision is predicated on ensuring their safety.

At 104km, it is the longest trip the team has ever attempted, the school said.

The students have taken part in several training sessions, including a 28km ride from the school campus to Taiwan Sugar’s plant in Kaohsiung’s Ciaotou District (橋頭), as well as a 40km ride to Chaozhou Township (潮州) and a 65km ride to Dapeng Bay (大鵬灣), both in Pingtung County, it said.

One of the students, Lu Chih-hsin (呂芷昕), said that unicycles are “cool” because they can be used for performances, while another student, Hsu Chi-hsuan (許齊軒), said they are a great form of exercise.

Coach Kuo Ke-wei (郭克偉) said the cyclists expect to cover 10km per hour, including pit-stops for rest.

“We hope to complete 82km on our first day,” Kuo said, adding that the team would be stopping at Jialu Elementary School in Fangshan Township (枋山), Pingtung, to meet with the school team there.

Students who complete the trip will receive a certificate, Kuo said.

Wong Yuan Elementary School dean Lin Chin-sui (林金穗) said that the trip would put the participants’ hard training to the test, but it would be an unforgettable experience for them.

The team has won multiple awards since its formation in 2012. It was one of the featured performers at this year’s Love River Lantern Festival, the school said.

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