Mophe’s Journal Nov 2009

11/24/09 15.5 miles, Cincinnati, Ohio

I had a very interesting time around Cincinnati. I saw an unbelievable view of the Ohio River and the banks of Kentucky from Eden Park. I saw a fast food sign graveyard on Essex by McMillian. I had a policeman who used his cruiser speaker to say he was afraid of clowns and then drove over to tell the two guys I was talking with not to rob the clown. I met Cleo the clown selling newspapers downtown, who introduced me to his friend Steve, the hot dog vendor. I had a blast with the construction works building, a tower across from the Reds Stadium. I got lost on the way back to the car, walked up the Monastery Steps, and visited the Cincinnati Arts Museum. Overall, it was a great time!

11/24/09 3.5 miles, Loveland, Ohio

I was glad to return to Loveland and ride through at my leisure since the last time I visited was back in March for the Alzheimer’s Association 5K. I met Dave Miller from the Loveland Magazine gardening in his front yard. He was glad to see me and said he published my photo back in March in the magazine. He said I looked right at him and waved while I was riding back then. I was hoping I’d run into someone I saw last time!

11/23/09 14.5 miles, Columbus, Ohio

Hurray! I crossed the 1,000 mile mark. I’m still riding in Cincinnati tomorrow. What an awesome day. I actually rode in Bexley some too. A couple of young ladies drove up to me near the backside of Franklin Park and said, “Wow! You are really moving! We just saw you over at Mt. Vernon Street!” I met a couple of folks that were people watching over on Grant Avenue that asked to take a picture with me. I crossed the 1,000 mile mark right at The King Arts Complex. I went inside and asked if someone could take a picture for me. They had a good time with that and finding out about my mission to teach people to donate gift cards to charities. Also, the folks at St. Dominic’s church where I parked were awesome too!

11/20/09 4.0 miles, Beckley, West Virginia

It seemed a lot cooler than 56 degrees, maybe because of the slight wind. I met a lady ringing the bell for the Salvation Army outside of Walgreen’s. She was going to be relieved soon since her feet hurt standing out there. A couple guys gave me some directions back into town. There was a hilly section without sidewalks where I jumped up onto this two-foot wide stone wall. That must have been a sight to see from below, a clown running along a stone wall carrying a unicycle! I had to jump down about 4-feet when I reached the end.

11/20/09 6.5 miles, Blacksburg, Virginia

The students at Virginia Tech went crazy as they drove by in car loads and saw the clown riding a unicycle on the sidewalk. I had a couple that circled around to see me again. I ran into this one guy twice. He has a unicycle he has ridden at most two miles at one time, so he was just amazed to hear I road around Chicago and suburbs for 35 miles in one day!

11/20/09 7.5 miles, Salem, Virginia

I had a good time in Salem, mostly waving to people smiling, waving and honking back at me from their cars. I circled back to the guys at Valvoline that were really interested in finding out what I was doing. They collectively said, “No way” when I told them. Even the guy in the hole under the car asked if he could have a picture of me when I started handing them out.

11/20/09 6.5 miles, Roanoke, Virginia

Wow – I woke up at 3:30am so I could be ready for the morning news spot with WBDJ 7. Kimberly McBroom, the anchor that interviewed me, does it all week and she even has kids. Amazing! I really
enjoyed how the news folks chat with each other between their segments. I had a great time talking about history with Lauren who is a history graduate. A guy just had to stop his truck and talk to me
about when he used to play basketball on unicycles 20-years ago. His unicycle is in the garage and needs a new tire and seat, but he’s not willing to get rid of it.

11/19/09 5.5 miles, Roanoke, Virginia

I arrived before sundown so WBDJ 7 could video me while it was still light out to use for the morning show. Afterward I drove downtown for a short ride, which was incredible. Of course you could say I’m just saying that since the first guy I met said, “Clowns rule!” as he gave me a high five. However, the city is quite cosmopolitan. I just loved the Taubman Museum of Art.

11/19/09 5.5 miles, Staunton, Virginia

The hills were pretty steep in Staunton but I was starting to get used to riding up and down them again. A guy I met earlier told me the owner of the camera shop, Camera & Palette, was looking for me. I turned and met the camera shop owner who took a picture of me for the “wall of fame” in his store window. He had several pictures of other clowns, mostly performing art majors at Mary Baldwin College in town.

11/19/09 6.0 miles, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Rain, rain, go away — please! I didn’t start the day for a couple hours due to heavy rain. It reduced to a light rain so I decided I needed to continue to keep somewhat to my schedule. It wasn’t too bad as I rode around town and by James Madison University. As I circled back through downtown a police officer on bike pointed to a sign and said I couldn’t ride on the sidewalk. When I explained to him about my trip he was apologetic about the rule but someone got hit by a bike rider a while ago. He said the rule applied to a two block radius around the center of town. So, some people saw a clown running through town pushing a unicycle for a couple blocks. I ended up getting poured on the last mile back to the car. What a way to start the day :-(.

11/18/09 6.0 miles, Clarksburg, West Virginia

A lady pulled her vehicle up on the curb with three teenage girls inside. Mom asked if they could get a picture with me as two girls hopped out. One girl stayed in her seat and didn’t want to be part of the picture.

This was a tough day trying to get used to riding in a mountainous area again. I didn’t realize that I have been riding in flat areas for quiet a while.

11/18/09 5.5 miles, Morgantown, West Virginia

I didn’t realize that Morgantown is the home of West Virginia University until I arrived. I struggled a bit with the steep hills in the mountains. I met a guy that volunteers at Religious Coalition of Community Renewal in Charleston and his daughter and talked to them for a while about what I’m doing. They were amazed! One lady read my shirt, stopped her car, and asked if I needed any food and was wondering where I was staying. There have been so many moms making sure I’ve been okay across the entire country. Thanks moms!

11/18/09 7.5 miles, Wheeling, West Virginia

One guy that used to race bikes asked if unicycles come in light weight racing form. I said I didn’t know and that I needed a sturdier one to handle all the bumps and curbs. I had a blast with the folks taking a break outside the Mull Center.

11/13/09 6.0 miles, Elyria, Ohio

I just can’t believe how many people honked, waved, and smiled at me in Elyria. Many stopped to get pictures. One car was even holding up traffic! I mentioned that and the guy passenger said, “That’s okay, they can wait.” I’m sorry if I caused any traffic problems! Elyria looked like a great place to live.

11/13/09 6.0 miles, Lorain, Ohio

Lorain was really nice along the shore of Lake Erie. The American Legion let me park in their lot while I went for my ride around town. The owner of Kennedy’s Broadway Billiards opened his door for me so I could use the restroom. I didn’t realize they weren’t open yet when we were talking through the window. I got a little lost trying to get back to the car, but eventually found my way.

11/13/09 12.0 miles, Cleveland, Ohio

I was glad to be back in Cleveland for the first time since the Parade the Circle on June 13th. I got pictures of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The best part of my visit was that I met a young couple and the guy said I must be trying to help them out since they are staying at men’s and women’s shelters. He was pretty bitter with God over the evil that has gotten them to where they are. She asked why I was dressed as a clown and I said, “To spread love around the country and give everyone I see at least one moment of happiness where they don’t have to worry about the economy or other things in their lives.” The guy smiled at that and said, “You got me when I first saw you.” I was glad I could give them a glimmer of hope!

11/12/09 10.5 miles, Dayton, Ohio

I had a nice long ride around the University of Dayton and downtown. I stopped at the Night & Day Café to use the restroom — I really had to go! Inside, I met a guy from Youth With a Mission that was illustrating how Jesus came to connect us with God on an Express Yourself chalkboard to two other folks. I enjoyed talking with them.

11/12/09 6.0 miles, Springfield, Ohio

Marshall, who has been with the Springfield News Sun since 1995, is well known and liked throughout the city. He led me around downtown for what had to have been over 100 photos. Later, I ended up with a flat tire and the guys at Bicycle Stop fixed it really quick to get me back on the sidewalks. Thanks a bunch!

11/6/09 6.0 miles, Grove City, Ohio

I rode through Grove City to celebrate the passing of their school levy that is allowing high schoolers to return to sports in spring! Leaves are really tough since they cover holes and bumps on the sidewalks. Believe me — I know based on first hand experience!

11/6/09 8.0 miles, Columbus, Ohio, Veterans Parade

You can never really appreciate what the veterans have done for us until you talk to a few. While waiting for the parade to start, one told me about his plane exploding during refueling when they had only 500 gallons to go in a 15,000 tank. He jumped down 15 to 20-feet and survived, but his buddy didn’t make it. Another said how someone was the luckiest guy alive since he had stepped on three landmines and none of them went off. Thank you veterans (and current active duty men and women) for giving your all to our country so we can all enjoy our freedoms!

11/2/09 8.5 miles, Indianapolis, Indiana

Wow! I had a good time riding around downtown Indy again. I stopped at Wheeler Mission on Market Street and the guy at the desk said that was the “Programs” building and that I should visit the shelter on Delaware Street near New York Street. On Delaware, I did some circles and spins on the unicycle for several guys from the shelter out on the street enjoying the nice weather (it warmed up to 67 degrees). I was really glad I could put a smile on their faces!

11/2/09 3.0 miles, Greenwood, Indiana

I took a little ride in Greenwood and got some interesting looks. There were so many leaves on the street that I saw a van that was half covered with them!

11/2/09 10.5 miles, Speedway, Indiana

Unbelievable! I didn’t know they have a Hall of Fame Museum right in the middle of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I got some pictures and then talked to Lora and a gentleman for quite some time about my journey around the US. They took care of a 5×7 photo of me in a race car and a bus ride around the track. That was one of my most memorable visits. I rode around Speedway (the city) for a while. I ran into a lady that said she saw me on the news that morning and another guy took a video of me after that. I just love brightening up everyone’s day!

11/2/09 2.0 miles, Indianapolis, Indiana

I rode a mile to and from the Fox 59 morning show. They have some really great people there. Angela, the anchor that I think drew the short straw, was so cold that her teeth were chattering during the interview. It was about 40 degrees out, which I believe is my coldest ride to date! Luckily I had on Under Armor.

11/1/09 4.0 miles, Carmel, Indiana

Carmel is really a picturesque town with art galleries and shops. They have these really cool statues. One was after the famous photo of a sailor kissing his girl when he returned from war. Another was this guy with a little boy on his shoulders that was so real that I thought it was when I first looked up!

11/1/09 6.5 miles, Noblesville, Indiana

I met a lady with two boys: one was dressed as a Power Ranger and the other said he had been a Werewolf for Halloween last night. I asked the “Werewolf” if he liked scaring people and he said, “Yes!” quite enthusiastically.

I passed a lady on the way back to my car and she followed me about a half-block. She just had to find out what I was doing since she is a clown named Kazoo as part of the Smiles Unlimited Universal Clown Ministry. It looks like they do great things based on their website, I’ll have to catch up with them again after I finish the 1,000 miles to teach folks to donate gift cards to charities.

11/1/09 6.0 miles, Anderson, Indiana

I first saw a lady doing yard work that said, “You know, there should be more clowns around.” I ran into the Halloween issue a couple times, “Halloween was yesterday!” I’m wondering how long that will linger?

11/1/09 8.0 miles, Muncie, Indiana

I think most people were either asleep or in church when I rode through Muncie. One guy across the street did the circus music (da, da, da-da-da, da, da, da, da) as I rolled by on the sidewalk. I must have really been quite the sight walking my unicycle on the railroad track for one block!