Mophe’s Journal Apr 2009

4/29/09 Columbus, OH — Near Martin Luther King Jr. Performing & Cultural Arts Complex

As I was driving down I71 and a couple guys really had a take a second look at a clown driving on the freeway. They had really big smiles as I went by.

The rain cleared so I decided to stop off over near the Martin Luther King Jr. Complex. Everyone was really nice in the neighborhood — smiling and waving. I broke silence completely on this ride and talked to several people. One guy just had to get my picture from across the street.

A girl and her two brothers tracked me down. The girl said it was her brother’s 12th birthday and I needed to come to their house. One lady down the street said, “There are enough clowns around here so you need to get going.” I think it was in jest, but I decided to move on anyway. I road around a bit more, waved to people driving by and talked to several more people. Everyone really enjoyed seeing me around.

There were some more kids outside of a house with their mothers and a grandparent so I went over to say, “Hi”. Someone pulled into the driveway and asked if I could do a birthday party. I said I’m not really the right guy for that. She was looking for someone that could do balloons and all!

I was heading over toward St. Dominic’s church and a group of 10-12 kids came running out to see the clown. They didn’t know what to make of me. I heard one say, “You’re not a clown. I can see your arm by your glove!” They were so cute. They asked me to touch my nose and I went, “Honk!” and they all busted out laughing! They asked me to show them some tricks. I rode Uni around in circles, rode backwards, and did a Toe-touch. One girl that was the closest want to know how she could join! She had the most amazing eyes that reminded me of the famous girl on the cover of the National Geographic.

Everyone was really great today and I was glad that I could bring smiles to their faces. There was one guy walking out of a business that said, “You’re definitely in the wrong part of town!” I had to really think about that. I feel at home wherever I go and I love all people, so I have to say that I was in the *right* part of town. And I’m sure Dr. King would have agreed. Of course, I could have misinterpreted the meaning too — communication is a tricky thing! Anyway, I told the kids I’d come back, so I’ll visit them again sometime this summer.

4/29/09 Dublin, OH — Around Old Town Dublin; Ran out of sidewalks!

I entered Old Towne Dublin from the bridge across the Scioto River. They have some really nice shops there. I always wondered what they would say if I went into a salon for a haircut! I need to try that some day.

I crossed the street and went past some folks outside at a café. They always seem so serious in conversation until I go by! I didn’t go too far because I ran out of sidewalk so I turned around and headed back toward the bridge. School was letting out across the street and a lot of kids were waving from the buses as they drove passed me.

I kept going past the bridge and low and behold I ran into Wendy’s International Head Quarters. I never did see Wendy but she has a nice place! I road up to Sawmill road and headed North but ran out of sidewalk again, so I turned around and headed South. I didn’t get too far because it started to sprinkle and I decided to call it a day.

4/27/09 Hilliard, OH — Around Hilliard — Old Towne and New

It was 87 degrees and sunny today. I was concerned that it was going to be too hot, but I held up fine. It could be because of all the wind though. It seemed like 10-15 miles per hour. And boy was I getting a bad hair day. Luckily I wear a helmet. But it was rough pulling the hair out of my face all the time. This was a good test. I was really getting concerned about lasting this summer. I was out for about 50 minutes and then stopped for a drink and snack before going for another 45 minutes. Not as long as my normal 2-2.5 hours, but not bad. I actually stopped earlier because of the wind.

I started at the Dairy Queen on Main Street and went down Cemetery Road toward I270. All the folks from Hilliard were really nice. There were two guys, one in the middle and one near the end of the ride, that told me to “stop clowning around.” I acted like I was going to fall when the first guy did it and he had a blast with it. I don’t quite get it though. Why would you tell a clown to stop clowning around? Isn’t that like expecting a rabbit to stop hopping, a Dalmatian to stop having its spots, or a frog to stop ribbeting? Oh well, I guess it is kind of funny — to some people!

After going down Cemetery Road and back and then down Main/Avery toward Roberts Road and back I was about ready to call it a day. Then I decided to go around the corner passed Dairy Queen and it opened up to Old Towne Hilliard. Wow – that was incredible, plus they had wonderful new sidewalks that were easy to ride on. I road by Sports on Tap on the way back. There were two guys outside and one yelled into the door, “Joy, check this out”. And then I heard who must have been Joy say, “Yea, I see it.” Back to the “you don’t see that everyday” comments. I’m starting to think that I should measure smiles instead of miles. I think I’d be up to about 10,000 by now!

As I came back toward Dairy Queen there was a couple women with a little girl, so I road over to see them. The little girl was a little shy but she waved at me anyway. I was about to leave again when a car pulled up and stopped. The man got out and asked if he could take a picture with his baby. His wife brought out “Ahmad” and we got several pictures, but Ahmad kept looking at me and not at the camera. Well, I broke silence twice today. Once to say “your welcome” and “how cute” about Ahmad. The other time was earlier when a man in a truck pulled up next to me and asked questions about how to ride “Uni”. He said he has been trying to learn how to ride and asked me some questions. I couldn’t just be rude to a fellow unicycle rider, now could I? I’m starting to think that I might give up on the mime thing. It would make things sooooo much easier to tell people what I’m doing instead of having them read a card.

4/17/09 Worthington, OH — Thru town to Graceland (mall not TN!)

It was another beautiful day for a ride — sunny and 72 degrees. The sun made it hard to tell if folks were waving or not as I started the ride, since it was glaring off their windshields. I started up by I270 and headed south on route 23 straight through Worthington. They have a very nice down town area. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the warm weather at Dairy Queen or sitting outside of a café.

Mr. Thorn mentioned that I should turn right on route 161. Wow — was that hard. It was a steep hill going down AND coming up! Plus there were a couple areas where the brick sidewalks were a bit bumpy! I’m starting to wonder if he’s out to get me!

Anyway, I turned back on route 23 (High Street) and continued all the way to Graceland — that is the shopping center, not home of Elvis! I accidentally ran over a whole colony of ants. I felt bad. I don’t like to see harm come to any living creature.

There was young man and lady walking toward me on the sidewalk. As they got closer the young lady covered her face. I think she was afraid of me. I’ve heard about a scary film about clowns. That is terrible. It gives a good guy like me a bad name. Oh well, we’ll just need to show them that clowns can be good guys too!

There were three cross-country runners that turned on the High street just ahead of me. I tried to catch up. They were pretty fast, but I caught up by the next light. Of course, they stopped for the walk light. Good job guys!

The most incredible thing is that I passed the office of the American Heart Association and the United Methodist Children’s Home. Seeing great causes like these remind me how lucky we all are that people care enough to provide help in this and many other ways through charities. It reminds me that I’m not just out here to make people happy at seeing a clown, but to help all charities by showing everyone that they can donate gift cards at

4/16/09 Columbus, OH — Tour of the city of Columbus

Well, I didn’t realize it had been two weeks since I’d been out. There has been a lot of rain. Today was
beautiful — sunny and 64 degrees. A great day for a ride!

You can always expect something new in life and you just need to go around those obstacles. In this case, there were meters on the sidewalks when I first started out. I just had to do the slalom course through them — so I guess in this case you’d probably say they weren’t obstacles.

The tour was really nice. I went by Faith Mission on Long Street and saw some really nice people that smiled and waved at me by there. I then headed down to Veterans Memorial across from COSI. I then road all the way back down Broad Street passed the Red Cross. Sometimes the sidewalks can deceive you! They are really nice downtown, but sometimes they go up and down and you cannot tell. Unfortunately, Uni took a couple spills. I’m thinking I’m going to need to get her a new seat after about 100 or 200 miles!

That was all I had planned on going for the day, but I felt like adding a couple more miles, so I went back to Broad and High and back again! This time around a guy just outside of the Columbus Museum of Art video tapped me and asked what I was doing. I gave him a Mophe Card to explain that I’m riding 1000 miles to raise money for charities on There was another guy as I was finishing up that was wheeling his mother out of what looked like a physical therapy office. He took video on his phone for his daughter. He asked me if I could “mime” and I didn’t think I did a very good job, so I’m going to have to work on some better routines. Anyway, they had a good time and I just love to see people so excited to see me! It brightens my day!

4/2/09 Westerville, OH — Ride Thru Uptown and by Otterbein College

Wow — what a beautiful day, 71 degrees and a few clouds. Great weather for a unicycle ride! I did a loop around State St, Main St, Cleveland Ave, and Schrock Rd. The sidewalks were pretty good — too bad that is my measure of a town but it really makes a difference when it comes to riding a unicycle!

I ran into Renee in “Uptown” Westervile. She took a couple pictures and wrote in my travel journal. She said she just joined Twitter. I gave her my Mophe card and she said she would “get the word out” about my 1,000 mile journey for charities.

I rode by Otterbein College and they must have been changing classes or everybody was just outside for the nice weather! I got the “you don’t see that every day” comment a couple times. Everyone was great — they waved, thumbs up’d, and there were lots of smiles!

I rode by some guys working on Main Street and they were pretty excited to see me. Keep up the good work guys! I kind of felt weird going by McDonald’s on Cleveland Ave — thought I might run into Ronald. And to top it off I had to go by twice! The sidewalk ran out just past their store, so I had to double back to the crosswalk to go to ride on the other side.