In rain, sleet or snow, Alaska Airlines avionics technician unicycles to work


For the past four years, in rain, sleet and even snow, Alaska Airlines avionics technician Shannon Barry has been an “alternative commuter” in the purest sense.

He rides 20 minutes to a bus stop from his home in Steilacoom each day on a unicycle. On snow days, he uses a special, smaller unicycle for adverse weather.

“The reaction is mostly positive,” says Barry. “It makes people happy to see a guy on a unicycle.”

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Barry got his first unicycle on his 10th birthday in 1979 after seeing one at a shop near his home in Utah, and has been riding ever since.

Today he has three: two for commuting and one offroad unicycle for “mountain unicycling.”

“I like to be fit so I can enjoy my kids when they get out of high school, and enjoy my retirement,” he says, adding that having to balance is a great ab workout.

Really any adult can ride a unicycle, says Barry. All you need is time and practice.

“People sometimes ask me to do tricks. I say ‘the best trick is riding a unicycle!’” he says.