Who is No. 1? Eve or the Unicycle?  You have to be a bit mad to mount a unicycle. That's probably why they're associated with clowns and circuses. 


It takes 12 hours to train an adult to ride a unicycle and Eve decided to see what she could do in a 30-minute lesson. She says that ambition is sometimes a good thing, otherwise you'd never start.

Her first impressions were that it was like trying to climb on a jellyfish. The cycle squirmed every which way and skated out from under her.


However, thanks to the patience and expert advice of Bryan from Manukau One Wheelers Eve managed to stay upright for a few seconds, admittedly while clinging onto a fence. Bryan explained a few more tips such as how to position your feet on the pedals and keep your back straight. Soon Eve was staying aboard for a few pedal turns.


Eve wasn't able to completely give up hanging onto the fence, but she did manage to cycle several metres with only one hand on the fence and still stay upright. Bryan said that she'd made great progress in such a short time.

Eve learned a number of things:

  • It's stimulating and exciting learning something new. It's a great feeling to break away from the 'same old, same old' routine. Your life and work will be energised if you regularly try new things.

  • Get expert advice when learning something difficult or new. Listen and apply whatever the expert advises.

  • If something is really hard (even if "wheely, wheely hard") don't be put off. You might not achieve perfection on the first attempt, but you'll have made a start.


  • If you stumble or fall off the path to your goals, get back in the saddle as soon as you can and try again. The hardest part is not hitting the ground, it's getting up again.

  • Once you've made a start then keep going. If something takes 12 hours to learn, then accept you won't learn it in a fraction of that time. You need to put in the 'hard yards' if you want to get to your desired end result. However, making a start on a big task provides the impetus to do more, especially when you know you've already achieved more than most people would attempt. 

  • Celebrate the small steps that keep you going in the right direction.

  • Once you've achieved what you want, plan the next challenge.

  • Learning to ride a unicycle might not be for everyone. However, it doesn't matter as long as you have a go at whatever it is that you fancy. Even reading a book by a new author or driving a different way to work can jump-start you out of boredom with life or work and encourage you to aim for those really big goals you'd like to achieve.

A big thank you to Bryan and the Manukau One Wheelers for their support and enthusiasm. Thanks to TH (The Husband) for taking the photos and for being there to catch Eve when she fell.

Find out more:

  • About Manukau One Wheelers or similar club. Click on this link and scroll down when the page opens up to find a club near you.

All photos are copyright to Eventful Woman 2012.


Rocking up the Collis Steilpfad (Steep Path) in Zell an der Mosel, Germany

Eve climbing up the Collis Steilpfad (all photos copyright to Eventful Woman 2011)
As you know "walk", "up" and "hill" are not Eventful Woman's (Eve's) favoured activities. It's the relentless plodding with no excitement that she doesn't like. However, throw in a challenge like rock climbing and she's all for it.

TH (The Husband) suggested Eve wouldn't be able to clamber up the rock face of Collis Steilpfad to the Collis Tower, which looms 300 metres above Zell an der Mosel. Maybe he thought she'd eaten too much of those delectable German kuchen (cakes). Of course, they had a bet between them (a choice cake) just to make it extra interesting.

If the kuchen of Eve's choice wasn't enough inspiration, the warning sign on the way up gave her an extra thrill. It had a number of stern warnings for the faint-hearted in several languages:

  • Walk at your own risk
  • Only for experienced hikers
  • Freedom from vertigo is essential
  • Sure footedness is essential
It didn't mention there was no safety rope. Still, with TH below taking photos, he'd make a soft landing pad.

Eve admits that there was more than a bit of huffing and puffing and she had to raid the nearby vineyard for some nutritious grapes to keep going.

But she did it. The views were magnficent both up and down The Mosel. She was a lot higher than the Round Tower she had conquered on an earlier climb.
View of the Round Tower and Zell

Eve noticed several padlocks clipped onto the viewing tower at the top.  Each of these had two names (a bride and a groom) etched on their surface. This is a modern day tradition for hiking couples. They lock the padlock shut on one of the tower's rail as a sign that their love is sure and made in heaven. Then, they throw away the key so the padlock can't easily be opened - "let no man put asunder" and all that.

There wasn't time for Eve to suggest this romantic concept to TH.  She was too busy making her way down so she could get that divine cake she'd been promised.

Looking downstream towards Alf from the viewing tower
View of the Round Tower and Zell
Click here for more information about the Round Tower.

Directions to get to Collis Steilpfad (about 10 - 15 minutes walk uphill to get to the path): Start at Zell's Black Cat (Zeller Schwarze Katz) fountain in Zell an der Mosel, walk up Marktstrasse and then turn right onto Cuxbornstrasse. Continue left up Zeller Kehr, passing the Square Tower on your right hand side. At the top of Zeller Kehr, turn left onto Kabertchenweg for around 50 metres.

Look for the warning sign (about needing to be sure-footed and free from vertigo) on the right hand side. That is the start of the path up to the Collis Steilpfad.  Depending on your fitness levels, the walk/climb from there up to the Collis Tower will take between 25 - 45 minutes.


Eventful Woman (Eve) is about to 'wipe out' at Porpoise Bay (near Curio Bay) in the Catlins, way down at the bottom of the South Island.

While she has body-surfed for years, one of Eve's goals has to been to stand up on a surfboard.  Here she is at her first lesson - "Look Mum, no hands!"  It was hardly Hawaii-50 but standing on the first attempt was pretty good stuff. Even if it was only for a few seconds, followed by falling off. (The wipe out)

The water was chilly for summer and the wet suits were essential. Eve found it cold getting in.

Surf coach Nick Smart, from Catlins Surf School, provided lessons, all the gear including the wet suits, and was very encouraging when braving the waves for the first time.

With Nick holding the surfboard steady, Eve was able to ride a few more waves and stay standing up.

Soon Eve was out beyond the breakers and waiting for a big wave. The 'big one' turned out to be three - not waves, but large curious fur seals, which surrounded Eve on her board. Nick kept the seals amused and Eve nearly walked on water as she raced to the safety of the shore.

Curio Bay is famous for marine wildlife and on other days Eve saw the hoiho (yellow-eyed penguins), cute little Hector’s dolphins and several species of sea bird.
Photo: Nick and one of the fur seals

Find out more about The Catlins

Find out more about Nick Smart and the Catlins Surf School

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Up a creek WITH a paddle at scenic Wenderholm Regional Park, just 30 minutes north of Auckland.

Eve joined seven other adventurous women to paddle 8km from historic Puhoi to Wenderholm.  As it was close to 25 December, there was quite a bit of 'dreaming of a white Christmas' as the sun beat down on the awesome eight. It was definitely a day for hats and sunglasses, along with great slathers sun block.

The Puhoi River gently flowed around a number of bends and past drooping willows. Ducks quacked nervously and scrabbled out of the way as an occasional out-of-control kayak veered too closely to the ducks' mangrove havens. 

As the intrepid kayakers slid under the shade of a road over-bridge they paused to take some respite in the cool.  Of course, Eve had to start howling like a mad dog, just so she could hear the echoes bouncing from the underside of the bridge.  That started a pack-howl from all, no doubt causing passing motorists passing to wonder if there really were trolls under the bridge.   Trollettes, maybe?

The river gradually opened wider to a glassy landscape of calm waters and blue sky arching overhead.

The sun slid behind a cloud and without its blast, the river's colours softened. The haze, the rhythmic dipping of the paddles and the trail of lazy bubbles flowing from the kayaks' slipstreams all added to the dreamy scene.

With the end in sight, the paddles whirled faster, the river became shallower and soon the kayaks scrunched onto the landing beach at Wenderholm. The group was all grins and high spirits. It was time for a swim, followed by a celebratory drink.

Want to have this adventure? Check out
Puhoi River Canoe Hire

Eventful Woman taking a break from paddling in the heat and dreaming of a swim or possibly a white Christmas. This photo was taken by Mary Somervell of InsideOutAdventures

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