Pocket Life

By Corky Mau
June 2019

A Balanced Life

Nurse’s unicycle keeps her on upward path
Juliana Bianes took her first unicycle ride inside her house. She held onto the kitchen counter. A few months later, the Pocket resident was riding her unicycle around the neighborhood while strumming her guitar.

Next came mountain unicycling, an adventure sport that consists of traversing rough terrain on—yes—one wheel. Bianes has unicycled for more than 30 years.

“My grandfather gave me a Big Wheel to ride as a toddler. When I was 8 years old, he bought me my first unicycle at a flea market for $15,” she says.

From an early age, the Bay Area native was energetic, focused and ready to combine wellness and fitness with her love for the outdoors. In high school and college, she ran track and swam. She participated in Naval Sea Cadet Corps training at Treasure Island as a young teen.

At 17, Bianes joined the Navy. She served as a firefighter and welder, and trained in emergency readiness. Leading to Desert Storm, she deployed on the destroyer Samuel Gompers. A few years ago, she returned to college to study nursing. She recently obtained her nursing degree from Sacramento State University, the first in her family to graduate from high school and college.
But I had to ask—why a unicycle?

“The unicycle is a balance sport, and balance is a useful skill as one ages,” she says. “Personally, the unicycle has helped me maintain mental clarity and balance during the times in my life when all seemed completely unbalanced.”

Bianes works part time as an advice nurse for Kaiser Permanente and is a consultant with Zurvita health products. She will soon sit for her Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner board certification. She envisions a career helping people achieve optimal wellness through lifestyle changes such as diet and physical activity.

And she makes time to ride on one wheel, especially around the Delta.

I doubt I’ll attempt a unicycle. But if you want to try, Bianes and her unicycle are available for coaching, community events and private gatherings. Email jbianes@yahoo.com.


When school is out, we’re ready for summer reading. The kickoff party at the Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library will include carnival games, a story walk and special performance by the Fenix Drum and Dance Company.

Enjoy entertainment and cool treats Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to noon, and sign up for the 2019 summer reading program. There are reading activities and prizes for all ages.


Does your child have an interest in learning to program? Brent Hoskins and Aldo Soriano are putting together a kids’ Operation Code Club in Pocket. The club is modeled after a successful code club they created at St. Robert Catholic School.

Children learn to program and code using a STEM-based platform. Classes will be held at 7230 South Land Park Drive. For information or to sign up, visit www.operationcodeclub.com or call (916) 282-9194.


Kalua pork is a common Hawaiian dish at luaus and family gatherings. Kalua is a traditional cooking method of steaming food in an imu pit (underground oven). You can learn how on Friday, June 14, at ACC at 11:30 a.m.

The $16 per-person fee includes a cooking demonstration by Kim Fujiwara and a Hawaiian plate lunch of rice, kalua pork and macaroni salad. To register, contact Anna Su at (916) 393-9026.


Meet friends and family at Garcia Bend Park on Friday, June 21, for an outdoor evening picnic.
A variety of food trucks will be on hand. Family activities will be held from 5 to 8 p.m.


Assemblymember Jim Cooper holds office hours at the Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library on Thursday, June 20, from 3 to 5 p.m. For information, contact Daniel Washington at (916) 670-7888 or daniel.washington@asm.ca.gov.

City Councilmember Rick Jennings meets constituents the same day at 6 p.m. Contact Lisa Canfield at (916) 808-7007 or lcanfield@cityofsacramento.org.


Executive Director David Morikawa recently left Meals On Wheels by ACC after nine years of service. He’s joining state service. I had the pleasure of visiting David during his tenure. I saw firsthand his dedication and commitment to our seniors. Meals On Wheels has been a fixture in our community for several years. In August 2018, the organization delivered meal No. 4 million in Sacramento County. I wish David luck on his new adventure.

Corky Mau can be reached at corky.sue50@gmail.com. Submissions are due six weeks prior to the publication month.

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