When you’re cycling through Savannah, the second wheel’s optional

The circus hasn’t come to Savannah, but it sort of looks like it.

That kid you saw dodging tourists and on a unicycle recently in Georgia’s oldest city was my 12-year-old son, Iden. The guy chasing after him — well, that was me.

I kept thinking: Either he’s going to end up in the hospital or an innocent bystander is. Can’t figure out which is worse.

Savannah is a cycling city, but it’s not a unicycling city. With good reason: The sidewalks are often narrow and the pavement is uneven. That’s an historical destination for you. Maintaining your balance on a unicycle is challenging, but add chipped cobblestone to the mix, and you’re just asking for trouble. Then, line the streets with visitors, which is bound to happen during the holidays, and it’s not a question of if there’s going to be a collision, but when.

Unicycles are not unheard of in Savannah. The circus first came through here in 1801. There’s a family of unicyclists that’s known to ride through town — mom, dad, kids — but they were nowhere to be seen on our visit. If you’ve ever tried to ride a unicycle, then those parents will either have your respect or your pity, and maybe both.

How did my son pick up this balancing skill? Blame it on an Internet meme called Dat Boi, a unicycling frog. It’s probably best to leave it at that. Anyway, for Halloween, he wanted to dress up as Dat Boi, the unicycling frog, and in order to do that, he had to learn how to ride a unicycle. It took him the better part of a month to pull it off. And then there was the frog costume. Let’s not go there today.

Like I said, it’s hard.


We found a vacation rental right on Forsyth Park through Vacasa. It had a nice storage space on the lower level for Iden’s velocipede. Most important, it was only steps away from the park. Wiseguy that he is, Iden pointed out the signs that said “No Bicycling” as he rolled through the park.

“But Dad,” he insisted. “I’m not on a bicycle.”

Fair enough.

So he boldly cycled around Forsyth Park Fountain, with the sightseers and wedding photographers giving him the eye.


Actually, following a unicyclist through a city like Savannah is like bringing a puppy to the mall. You’ll turn heads. People start to smile when they see you. Kids ogle: “Look, Mommy, a unicycle!” Dads tell their sons, “Look, the circus is in town!” Even members of Savannah’s transient population, who take up residence in the squares on a warm December day, feel compelled to smile when they see a unicyclist approaching.

What a great icebreaker. Or maybe, just a great way to break your arm.


A unicycle, or any oddity like a pogo stick, may offer a glimpse of a destination that few visitors ever see. People will warm to you in ways that they wouldn’t if you were on foot. Kind of hard to explain, but everywhere we went, we found the Southern hospitality amped up. We stopped in at our favorite coffee shop, the Foxy Loxy Cafe, and as we enjoyed a chai latte and zucchini bread, both of which I highly recommend.

The other patrons, most of them locals who had wandered over from the public library, seemed to have never seen a unicycle in person, let alone a kid who could ride it as well as Iden. I wouldn’t say that we’re ready to write a sequel to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil based on the people we met, but we met a lot of people thanks to Iden’s wheel.


Eventually, you’ll end up at Savannah’s riverfront, which isn’t the best place for unicycling because it’s packed with tourists. But it’s worth pointing out that our must-visit place in Savannah is located here. It’s a little store called The Peanut Shop where most of their flavored nuts are available for “sampling.” The heaviest damage was done by my 14-year-old, better known as the Son Who Does Not Stop Eating. He sampled every variety. Multiple times.

Let me take this opportunity to apologize to the good owners of The Peanut Shop. I promise we will return and buy more nuts the next time we’re in town. Also, we’ll leave the unicycle at home.

For the record, I don’t recommend riding a unicycle along East River Street, the main thoroughfare. You will eventually hit someone.

Remarkably, Iden only bumped into one person, a stroller-pushing dad. Iden’s dad was worst-case-scenarioing the whole thing as it happened, imagining bodies lying face-down in a deep pool of blood. But he didn’t need to worry. Oh, why am I writing about myself in the third person? I didn’t have to worry. It was more of a graze than an actual bump. My son apologized and all was well.

My nerves can’t take much more of this. Kids, if you go to Savannah, leave your unicycle at home. Because I said so, that’s why.

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Cavalry Travel Insurance

Cavalry takes the worry of out travel by providing 24/7 access to medical and security professionals combined with the best medical evacuation and security extraction services. Cavalry gets you home safely when you need it most. Learn more at Cavalrytravelinsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at Sodexoinsights.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at Travelexinsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Insuremyrentalcar.com

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at  Mediacomcable.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit  Virtuoso.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. Elliott.org readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by TravelInsurance.com

TravelInsurance.com makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at  TravelInsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on  Squaremouth.com to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

Send this to a friend