With so many folks zipping around town on Lime scooters, you may have missed another eco-friendly mode of transportation, the Onewheel. This electric skateboard-like "riding machine" can travel up to 16 mph. And, as the name implies, it has only one wheel. The company aimed to create a product that "bridges recreation and transportation."
One local Onewheel owner who is having fun with his daily commute into downtown Rochester is Dr. Bradley Leibovich. Prior to his Onewheel purchase, he typically biked to work. However, the size of the Onewheel allows him to keep his transportation in his office or work locker. Plus, he said, "I don't have to mess with finding parking and walking in from the parking lot."
Leibovich has a history of participating in sports that require some agility. He grew up skiing from a young age. He "also did a fair amount of skateboarding on the street and half pipes as a kid." The Onewheel has elements of both skateboarding and snowboarding, so Leibovich’s prior experience has certainly been beneficial.
The Onewheel simply requires the rider to lean forward to increase speed and lean back to decrease. Dr. Leibovich described his own learning curve, saying, "For me, the hardest part was actually learning to stop and get off gracefully. It still does not look too graceful at times. Other than that, it is pretty intuitive. The first time I got on it, I rode for about a quarter of a mile. The second time I went 5 miles."
Pulling up to work on the Onewheel has certainly attracted some attention. Leibovich’s colleagues have been intrigued, and he has provided some parking lot lessons. "About half caught on quickly and the other half got spooked and decided it is not for them," he said.
Dr. Leibovich’s takeaway on the Onewheel? "It is more fun and causes way less guilt than driving my truck." But also heed his safety message: "Wear your safety gear on these things, folks!"
Let the music play
Singer/songwriter Amanda Grace, of Winona, fills her days with music, her family, managing two bands, and connecting with her community.
Music came into Grace’s life as her "own therapy." She moved many times during her childhood, and music was a means for her to "process" life. Amanda began playing piano and writing music without any formal training at age 10. She picked up the guitar while studying at Winona State University and was soon performing with her own band.
Today, Amanda plays solo shows and is also a member of a women’s folk band called Wildflower. With a busy performance schedule, Grace is trying to "carve out some time" for her own music writing. She hopes coming off a full summer, fall will afford her some downtime for writing.
In addition to traditional music performances, Grace has regularly participated in the Young Authors, Young Artists conference (YAYA) sponsored by the Southeast Service Cooperative. As a keynote speaker last spring, Amanda said, "It is a great way to inspire others, but I actually get more inspiration from the kids. I like it that generally, kids don’t hide their thoughts and you get better feedback from them sometimes about your music."
Of course, she also finds performing for adults fulfills the necessary need to interact with peers. She said, "The music scene is full of talented people, and I’m lucky to sometimes get to play to both audiences."
Eager to share her time and talent with her community, Amanda is presently working on her second fundraiser of the year to support the YMCA of Winona. You can find the Amanda Grace Band performing at concert later this fall with proceeds benefiting the YMCA.