6/6/2009 Westerville, OH (7.0 miles) – Tour de Cure

It was a beautiful day for the American Diabetes Tour de Cure. I was 5 minutes late for the start of the 12-mile Family Fun Run. I tried to sprint as fast as I could to catch up. After a few blocks I realized I was never going to catch up to anyone riding a bike, so I decided to enjoy a slow ride waving to the folks along the road. A man with his two children stopped me to invite me to ride in a 4-mile charity race on Labor Day. I was looking into a parade in Detroit or somewhere else, but I think I will do the race here instead.

I sprinted up a long hill on County Line Road and I saw a bike rider up by the light at State Street. I knew she was part of the tour since she had a number on her back, #473 I think. She wasn’t making much ground and was really tired so I walked with her to make sure she was okay. She didn’t have any water so I asked one of the neighbors for a bottle of water. He was kind enough to get one from inside the house and even apologized that it wasn’t cold. One look at her bike and I realized she had been riding in high gear. I showed her how to use lower gears on the bike, but she still wanted to walk. I offered her a granola bars but she wouldn’t accept it. When we reached Spring Street a lot of people honked and waved at us. She said she felt like she was with a celebrity. We ended up skipping the last loop of the course and cut across the grass to Westerville Central High School. I thought it was okay for a medical emergency.

I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to unicycle the 3.5 miles we walked, but I would never leave someone behind! I drank a bottle of water and then rode a little longer.  Now I wish I would have gone a half mile more since I’m that much shy of 100 miles, but that will have to come in the next ride.

Originally, I was a little perturbed at the folks running the event because the rider I helped didn’t have water. However, after I finished the tour I overheard someone say there were still 30 to 40 riders 50-miles out. This was at 2:30pm when the race was to finish at 3:00pm. What I realized is that these riders and the young lady were in error like many people (and even clowns) that overextended themselves in these races. She didn’t have her cell phone or water, plus she only trained a couple of miles around her neighborhood.

Tip: My suggestion to riders is to work up to riding at least 80% of the miles before you enter a race like this. For example, the young lady should train up to 10 miles around her neighborhood before her next attempt. Be sure to ride small loops near your home so you can stop at any time to rest or for more water.

TOTAL 99.5 miles

BAYCDA stands for Believe And You Can Do Anything!

5/30-31/2009 Hilliard, OH (10.0 miles) – Relay for Life

A record ride of 10 miles! Riding the Hilliard Davidson High School track was nice compared to sidewalks – no bumps! I arrived very late, at 9:45pm, but that was fine since Relays for Life are all night events. I arrived during the remembrance ceremony and tried to stay low-key but some kids saw me and whispered.

I had the “posse” (three young kids) chase me half of the night. They were really nice. I showed them how to ride a unicycle and they tried to have the “police” lock me up. The boy was trying to catch me with his Spiderman web and we did “na, na, na, na, na, na, na – Batman!” around the track. The little girl told me they were there for their grandma who has cancer. I was glad I could cheer them up.

At midnight they had a fundraiser skit where men dressed as women and collected money. It was hilarious! I thought for sure “Michelle” was going to win. She/he looked like the favorite of the crowd, but Michaela raised the most money with the help of a hidden stash of cash per an anonymous source. I was pulling for Michelle because we spoke earlier with his friend around the track (before he got dressed up). I even shared my BAYCDA philosophy with them – “Believe and you can do anything!” We talked about how different people respond to finding out they have cancer – the positive thinkers normally live a lot longer. Anyway, the money goes towards a great cause – the American Cancer Society!

A young man gave me a rough time early on, saying I was cheating on the unicycle and that I should ride backwards instead. So, I rode backward about 50 feet, spun around, and then took off forward at high-speed. After about 7 miles, I gave him a Mophe racing picture and said, “Does it make a difference that I’m riding 1000 miles for charities?” His whole demeanor changed. He even apologized (somewhat) since he didn’t know what I was doing. I guess you should never judge a book (or clown) by its cover.

I’m really concerned about the Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association next week. The shortest distance is 12 miles! The 10 miles tonight took roughly 2 hour and 45 minutes to complete, so 12 miles would take almost 3.5 hours! I’m looking forward to crossing my first 100-mile mark soon — yea!

TOTAL MILES = 92.5

PROOF
Mophe The Clown has unicycled over 1,000 miles around America and continues to ride in charity races and parades.

5/25/2009 Blue Ash, OH (7.0 miles) – Memorial Day Parade

Wow – what a day! I had a great time with everyone waiting to be in the parade. I arrived over an hour before the parade started and had a chance to play around with everyone while we waited. A man in a big hat riding in the back of a Mustang told me he had created three big hats before — two signed by Browns and Bengal players that he sold for charity. What a great man!

There were two boys riding unicycles like me. They put red, white and blue ribbons in the spokes in honor of Memorial Day. I told them I liked their unicycles and wish I had thought of doing that to mine. Later, as the parade started, one of the boys was juggling while riding. I need to learn how to do that!

I told some knock-knock jokes to couple boys and girls with their parents. They really enjoyed that! I stopped to talk to two little girls waiting to be in the parade in a car. I asked if they wanted me to sing a song and then sang “Down by the Bay”. You should have seen the shocked look on the woman in the front seat. I’m not sure if she didn’t expect a clown riding a unicycle to be able to sing OR if I was that bad. The girls really enjoyed it!

I had a great time from the girl scouts, kids riding with their parents in camouflage army vehicles, and the older vets. The Boy Scouts gave me a rough time. They wanted me to juggle or do magic tricks. I really need to learn something else besidesunicycling. They were going to chase me. I said they were supposed to help people. They said they weren’t that kind of scout. We had a really good time!

I had the best time with a group of Shrine clowns. I talked to one for a while about how their clown organization worked. I was jealous that their clown makeup was on so much better than mine, but of course they are professionals! I told him I felt bad that a couple of the Shrine hospitals might close since their costs have gone up and donations have stayed the same. He said they take care of burn victims and accept no health insurance or federal aid. That is amazing what they do!  A little later one of the clowns started stalking me with a play gun. I moved cautiously backwards and then he acted like he shot me. I grabbed my chest and fell to the ground. He came over and said, “Perfect! I give you a 10!” That meant a lot to me.

Oh yea, I almost forgot. I also got to give out my first autograph! I’m glad I could make someone happy enough to ask for one.

THE PARADE

The parade was really great too. Someone gave me advice to ride in front of the cars “so I didn’t have to smell the exhaust”. I’m not sure if this was good idea. I felt like I was slowing them up since I circled from side-to-side to wave, say “Hi” and give out some high fives!

I followed a guy walking (or should I say sauntering) across the street WHILE the parade was going on. He was OK about it. People just love my “can’t ride the unicycle” routine. I did that 3-4 times during the parade. It was really incredible. People just love to see a clown and I’m so happy when they laugh and smile. Thank you friends of Blue Ash for such a great day!

TOTAL = 82.5 miles

See Mophe in the Blue Ash Memorial Day Parade at Flickr.

 

 

MISSION: Teach everyone to donate their gift cards directly to their favorite charity.

5/16/2009 Columbus, OH (8.0 miles) – Komen Race for the Cure

This was the most awesome day ever! As I approached the corner of Broad and High Streets I saw more and more people. I thought I understood the number of people in the Komen Race for the Cure when I was at the corner of Broad and Front waiting to start the race. But, I finally understood when I was finally in the race and all you could see was a river of people filling the road from side-to-side for as far ahead as I could see. I completed the race in over 40 minutes – slower than the Alzheimer’s 5K mainly because it took me the extra time to get to the starting line!

I drank a bottle of water and went back to the starting line to ride with the walkers. This is when the Race for the Cure hit me hard! During the race, I mostly saw people with running numbers. Note: I didn’t receive one since I registered late on race day and they had run out of numbers and shirts well before I arrived! The walkers had numbers but also wore pink papers pinned to their backs saying, “In celebration of my mother”, “In celebration of my sister-in-law”, and “In memory of my aunt”. The one that got me the most was a young woman carrying her daughter who couldn’t have been more than 2 years old. Her paper said, “In celebration of Me!” I’m learning from these events that cancer (arthritis or any other medical condition) can strike any one at any age, no matter who you are or what you do!

I saw several other women that had the telltale thin hair as a result of chemotherapy. My heart was aching but I was also very hopeful. Hopeful, because at the beginning of the walk, the speaker was honoring survivors of “6 years”, “17 years’, and even “30 years”. She also talked about looking forward to the day when we can all meet again for the last race to celebrate the fact that everyone has been cured! I sure hope that day comes in my lifetime.

I found out later that over 45,000 people participated. It was amazing how the whole event worked. There were several bands playing for over 2-hours along the course plus almost a whole block of bikers revving their engines on the sidewalk and giving people high fives. On the second time around I was dancing (as best you can on a unicycle) and singing as I came up to the first band singing Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker”. Luckily the lead singer got to a stopping point (guitar/drum solo) because she busted out laughing when I got closer! I also had a great time with the kids. Many were riding on shoulders of parents and I asked them, “How did you get so tall?” They had a great time with that. All in all, I had a pretty good time and had many pictures taken with individuals and groups. Hopefully they can share the pictures with me on Facebook.

I ended the day with a mob (okay maybe just a pack) of girls circling me and asking a ton of questions about me and myunicycle. They got some group pictures and I handed them each a Mophe racing picture. These girls volunteered the whole day to hand out bananas and water to runners and walkers. Volunteers like these, and all the ones along the route, make a huge difference in how much more charities can do. I make sure to spend time with these unsung heros!

TOTAL MILES = 75.5

See image from Flickr.

Almost 10% of all gift cards sold will "never" be used.  
Give your forgotten cards new purpose.
Donate them to charity!

10/14/12 Upper Arlington, OH (7.0 miles) – Race for Hope

I had one of the best times ever with four kids at the Race for Hope. It all started with one of them saying, “Hey, look at the clown!” I turned, looked behind me, and said, “Where?” They laughed so hard and insisted that it was me. I said, “Me? No! Not me.” We repeated this scenario two more times. I ran into them a fourth time, pointed to the boy who laughed the most, and told him he was a clown. This nine or ten-year-old boy turned around and said, “Where?” It was the greatest. I just about fell on the ground laughing. Thanks guys!

And, thanks to Carleen for inviting me back to share in her great cause to help people with colon cancer.

9/29/12 Columbus, OH (9.0 miles) – UNCF Walk for Education

I had a great time with everyone on the Walk for Education, especially Madison (a girl about 10) who just about fell over when I trumpeted like an elephant. Broad street wasn’t closed off so we had to walk (and unicycle) along the sidewalk. I rode  the course almost to the end, then rode backwards to say, “Hi!” to everyone face-to-face.

They said I looked great in the UNCF red t-shirt that went well with blue pants and rainbow socks and sleeves. Thanks everyone!

9/3/12 Westerville, OH (7.0 miles) – Run 4 the Health of It

What an incredible day! I really appreciate Jim Dorado for giving everyone who donated a gift card an extra raffle ticket. I received 18 gift cards and all the money will go to food bank that participated in the Run 4 the Health of it. I got to see some old friends like Dimitri, Craig Krenzel, and the Buckeye Guy and of course all the kids I got to laugh with. Thanks everyone for such a great day.

8/11/2012 Baltimore, OH (6.0 miles) – Baltimore Festival Parade

Another great parade. Below are comments about pix from David Stith at the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette.

  • #4 I was asked by the man driving the car to track down this lady and her baby when the parade was starting.
  • #8 If I remember right, the girl on the far left was afraid of clowns. The rest cheered when I did a cartwheel and toe-touch before the parade.
  • #13 This little band was awesome and sounded like a big band.
  • #16 The Civil War lady on the left was really interested about what I was doing and how to ride a unicycle as the boy on the left listened while we waited for the parade to begin.
  • #18 Mophe having a great time!
  • #21 I asked the five girls on this “Amber 520” float if they were all named Amber, but I was told they were from Amber, Ohio.
  • #23 Mophe caught sitting on the curb watching the parade. This was on my way back for a second time through.
  • #24 I watched these guys from the Aladdin Shrine do figure eights. They were great!
  • #25 Rocket Man remembered me from the Columbus Veterans Day Parade.
  • #26 This race car man was giving me a hard time (in fun) before the parade.
  • #29 Erika Newcome was brave enough to drive a race car, but afraid of clowns. Thanks for being a good sport Erika!
  • #35 I love the lawn mower group. They did an incredible choreographed piece during the parade. I rode up next to one of them and we acted like we were going to race.
  • #44 I had to swerve around several kids collecting candy in the street. Actually, the youth football players were trying to pelt me with candy early on. I heard many whiz by my head. Luckily I was wearing a helmet!
  • #50 During the parade, I asked her how she made her hair so tall. She laughed but never told me her secret.
  • #51 Ice cream man gave me a high-five. They handed out mini-ice cream cones to everyone.
  • #56 I rode my unicycle as wide as possible around the horses and rode back on the sidewalk (around watchers) on the way back through the parade for a second time.

There were many more that I had a great time with before the parade, plus the people watching. Thanks everyone, and especially Lumpy for having me back.

Faces of America

Wow! I had Brandon Purcell compose my song Faces of America and it sounds great. The range was a little high for me, so I have decide to stick with Brandon’s vocals on the version on the site. I will continue to sing it as I ride around America teaching people to donate gift cards to charities.

The song barely touches how incredible my journey has been and how beautiful all the people of America (a sample of the world) really are – just like you! Please listen to the song on the BAYCDA.org home page.

Hope you had a great 4th of July!

Love,
Mophe

7/4/2012 Dublin, OH (7.0 miles) – Independence Day Parade

Oh my gosh, what a day. Outside of it being 99 degrees, it was incredible. I had a great time with everyone in the staging area preparing their rides. I got soaked by some kids on one float, which really felt good considering the heat. I got to ride in front of (actually around) a couple guys on surfboards. They were great and good sports when I cruised around them. I finished the parade, drank some water and ate a granola bar. I decided to ride back through the parade while playing Faces of America but no one could hear it over the din of the crowd. Well, at least you can listen to it on my site.