Sophie’s balancing act

Tessa Randello

The Ballarat Cycle Classic will look a little bit different for unicyclist Sophie Fontaine.

The 22-year-old from Hernes Oak will take on the 28km adventure ride on her 36-inch Coker unicycle.

Proceeds from the Ballarat Cycle Classic will Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute, which supports people affected by cancer in regional Victoria.

Ms Fontaine said this ride is latest in a long line of fundraising efforts, by her and her twin sister, Amanda.

“I have done some fundraising in the past for the Smith Family by cycling the 50km event of Around The Bay in a Day, we did that seven times,” she said.

“Now it is nice to get back into it and fundraise for this particular cause, it affects a lot of families in Australia and I like that it is specific to people living in regional Victoria.

“I (have) started my post graduate in medicine at Monash, so it ties in my passion for sport and medicine, and helping those who live in rural areas and don’t necessarily have the same access to healthcare as people living in the city.”

Ms Fontaine has been unicycling since she was 10-year-old after visiting family in Germany, and currently holds a national record in the sport’s 800 metre sprint.

“My first one was from Aldi,” she said.

“Our cousins are from Germany and unicycling is really big there, so we had a go on theirs and fell off immediately, it was so hard.

“But, we were bitten by the bug and thought that it was a really good challenge and started riding since then. I remember the day that it just clicked and you could just ride as far as you wanted, that was amazing.

“What I really like about unicycling is that it’s really diverse, you can do those track and field events like high jump and long jump, I don’t do all of those.

“There are sprints, long distance, freestyle, which is like dancing, mountain, street and flat land, there’s always another skill that you can try and master.”

Ms Fontaine also said she had never taken part in an adventure ride like the Ballarat Cycle Classic before.

“I hope it’s nice weather on the day, but if it’s not at least there will be a good atmosphere with everyone enjoying the day,” she said.

In addition, Ms Fontaine aims to raise $1000 for the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute and has set up a GoFundMe page, to donate go to