‘Life-changing’: Why some San Franciscans are crazy about electric unicycles

“Are you from the future?” passersby call out as Kevin Grandon glides along San Francisco streets on a $2,000 electric unicycle, his primary mode of transportation.

Grandon, 34, is among a small but dedicated group of enthusiasts who ride battery-powered, one-wheel devices that resemble props from Cirque du Soleil.

“You can ride up the steepest hill in San Francisco, where people on bikes are struggling, like California Street or Lombard Street, no problem,” said Grandon, a software engineer who doesn’t own a car and runs a YouTube channel called Alien Rides to document the activity. “It’s an extremely practical, compact, super fun way to get around. It’s been life-changing for me.”