Science and circus tricks at the Tour Down Under

Sarah: Today the Keenihan family headed to the final stage of the Tour Down Under in the heart of the city of Adelaide.  Dropping in on twitter buddies and RiAus staffers @lisushi and @cobismith, we checked out the RiAus Science Outside the Square event inside the Santos Marquee at Elder Park, and learnt that:

  • In contrast to a cruising around on a normal bike, riding a unicycle is similar to walking in that movements associated with peddling forwards and backwards (and not sideways!) are required to keep your body weight central over the wheel.  Mr 7 and Miss 5 tried it out, and also attempted other balance- and momentum-based tricks demonstrated by the Cikidz gang.
  • Even experienced Cirkidz performers find it hard to ride a unicycle on long and uneven Elder Park grass! We wish Liam a speedy recovery with his sprained wrist.
  • Elite cyclists consume 6000 calories or more a day when racing – not only before and after the race but also during (in the form of energy bars and gels). This is important not only to maintain form at the time, but to ensure a good recovery and allow optimum performance in ensuing days. Sometimes cyclists find it difficult to maintain their caloric intake to high enough levels – what a problem to have.
  • Whilst our colleagues @mjberryman and @ScientistMags both successfully spread their body weights over the SciWorld bed of nails, a sense of obvious panic set in to the staffers when Mr 17months approached it for a lie down.

After attempting out own caloric consumption record (beer! chips! ice-creams!) we found a spot on the start line of the race, hooted our farewell wishes to Lance and took in a few laps of the race. Amazing athletes. But no unicycles.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kristin Alford and Sarah Keenihan, Bridge8. Bridge8 said: Science and circus tricks at the Tour Down Under via Bridge8 – Sarah: Today the Keenihan family headed to … […]

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