The Cyr Wheel. I skidded to a halt on my bike as I passed the concrete skate park on the beach- it was something I had never seen before. A man floating in a metal loop; it looked like an optical illusion. He was doing flips and spins and looked altogether inhuman. Was it magic? Was I seeing things? No. This man was suspended in the air, rotating and doing tricks in a large metal hula-hoop.
A lot of crazy things happen in Venice, California. From the man who roams around on the roller skates playing the electric guitar (he’s got a sweet long beard and a turban as well) to the 10 foot dude on stilts, there’s a lot for tourists to gawk at. Having biked by the whole scene countless times since moving to the area 4 years ago, I’m pretty jaded to the whole thing. This was different. I stopped and watched for a few minutes and snagged this video.
A little research, and I found that this large metal hula-hoop is called the Cyr Wheel and was developed as an acrobatic device popularized in the early 21st century by Daniel Cyr, co-founder of Cirque Eloize, a Quebec-based circus. Daniel was apparently unaware of the existence of a similar device by Adalbert von Rekowski in 1930. Here is a rare picture of Albert using his device, courtesy of circusconcepts.com. How do you pronounce Cyr wheel? I have no clue... "Sir" Wheel?
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