Unicyclist ( Gracie Sorbello ) Rides Across Country for the Fight Against Cancer

Saw this article - thought everyone might enjoy it and encourage Gracie along. Maybe we can try to join her for a day when she gets near our cities. Oh, best wishes to every ones MOM - Hudson (330) 701-3922

GRACIE SORBELLO WEBSITE onewheelforlife.blogspot.com


Reported by Nicole Ferguson (nferguson at wect.com) of WECT-6 Wilmington

MAY 7, 2006 – After graduation, many college students get new jobs, go to graduate school, and take exciting trips. However, few college graduates embark on an adventure like the one Gracie Sorbello is taking. Sorbello, a graduate from Duke University, is taking the adventure of a lifetime.

“It’s pretty cool going through all the small towns in America, especially when I get on the Transamerica route,” said Sorbello.

Sorbello is no stranger to the pedal.

“Well I didn’t have a car at school so if I’m not unicycling, I’m biking,” said Sorbello.

Just 40 miles into her adventure, Sorbello’s hopes and spirits are high. She averages about 10 miles an hour. The 22-year-old will travel nearly 4,000 miles this summer.

From Wrightsville Beach to Pacific Beach, Washington, she will ride her unicycle across America. She will only stop when she feels like stopping, all the while raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This is a challenge close to her heart.

“My uncle has multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. I can’t do anything to fix the situation but this is something I can do to raise awareness,” said Sorbello.

She says sometimes she gets strange looks, but she assumes the looks are about interest and not annoyance. She says making the trip on a unicycle is more fun than a bike.

When her trip is over, her fun won’t end. Sorbello says she may go surfing for a couple of weeks. Whatever Sorbello ends up doing, it probably won’t match up to this adventure of a lifetime.

To learn more about her fundraising efforts and to monitor her progress, you can visit Sorbello’s website at onewheelforlife.blogspot.com

[COLOR=magenta]Reported by Nicole Ferguson (nferguson at wect.com) of WECT-6 Wilmington


way to go

How cool to ride a coker across the U.S. Will you ride near Cleveland?

If she ever gets near Spokane, Washington, im gonna try to ride with her for a little =p

Very cool. She should stop by Wallis Design and pick up a saddle for herself, looks like she’s going to need it :wink:

are you the same Gracie Sorbello on the us olymopic team and allamerican? im proud of women like you :slight_smile:


Looks like she might be an olympic field hockey player. Maybe she plays uni hockey, too.

Does any one here know her?

I just saw this story on our evening news. They mentioned she was doing it barefoot. The pics in the news story linked above and a quote on her site backs this up.

That may be a first, cross country while barefoot.

I wouldnt mind on plastic pedals, but on metal ones, no way.

heard route was nc to nashville memphis kansas then transamerica bicycle trail to washington beach. 70 to 80 days, 40 to 50 miles per day. if like to give her some support, gracie’s email is onewheelforlife@gmail.com

has a woman ever done this before? YEAH !

tv video


Best Wishes from One Wheel - Many Spokes

4 years ago I unicycled through all 50 states (www.onewheel.org). I rode for 6 months and the ride was filled with highs and lows. But I had my family along driving our sagwagon. I had handlebars to help me get through strong winds. And I had a seat that was pretty comfortable, pretty much of the time. Gracie’s amazing! This is a gutsy trip she’s on and I’m thrilled to be following it.

All best wishes for the first 1,000 miles. After that it feels like you were born on one wheel.

Lars Clausen.
Author - One Wheel - Many Spokes: USA by Unicycle
and Straight Into Gay America: My Unicycle Journey for Equal Rights

just read Gracie’s blog. she’s on her way again. has anyone met her or talked with her?

BLOG - http://onewheelforlife.blogspot.com/

it’s me - Gracie Sorbello

Hey, it’s gracie. Greetings from Chattanooga, one block from Coker’s headquarters!

I just found this thread - Hudson, the guy who started it, informed me about it and I’m thankful that he joined my effort to publicize this trip, since I’m doing it to raise awareness and funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (ok, ok, i’m doing cuz i LOVE to unicycle too :wink: ).

Just to answer a few questions and to address comments in the order they were written, I’m writing the following:

  • the only Cleveland I’m passing through/near is Cleveland, Tennessee, which I already passed.

  • I’m going near Spokane, when I pass through Washington after breaking off of the Transamerica bike route at its northern peak in Idaho. All co-one-wheelers definitely welcome at that point. (in response to “Jerrick”… I ride for Christ, fun, and challenges too)

  • I’ve put together a makeshift air saddle, using parts of various ideas, but mostly thanks to the input of the famous Lars Clausen. (Thanks again, Lars!)

  • I am the same Gracie Sorbello that’s a field hockey player. Not on the olympic team YET, but my name pops up with all the U.S. Field Hockey stuff because I’ve been on several junior national teams and an all-american, yadda yadda. the usfieldhockey.com link given in one of the earlier posts is a real listing of me, but take note those are NOT my glasses (I don’t wear any, and it was a joke with one of my friends because we didn’t think we were actually going to make the team).

  • I do prefer to ride barefoot. Not like many people notice because they’re focused on the one wheel thing, but yes, I like to feel the pedals better and know my feet are not slipping. I use metal pedals for increased durability on this trip and have no problem; I find plastic ones more painful if their the type that have any sort of grip. But then again, I’ve been told I have “Indian feet,” because I do everything barefoot, on one wheel or off.

  • the route stated by “kimaroo” is correct, though I do hope to push my mileage up to more like 50s and 60s daily. I did my longest day of 61 miles a couple of days ago. No problem.

  • many firsts for this trip, I think. Please correct me if I’m wrong. If/when I finish, I will be the youngest person I know of, the first woman, and I don’t know of anyone doing it barefoot, but I hadn’t really thought about that because I really go non-shod because I truly ride better without shoes. I know people have done this journey self-supported, but I’m carrying everything I need on my back as opposed to handlebars, so that might be a first…

I’m excited to be out on road each day, sometimes so much joy I can’t handle it. I’ve completed 645 miles so far, so by the time I reach Memphis, I should be almost to the 1,000-mile mark that Lars mentioned. Hopefully no crazy four-wheel riders will wipe me out before then. Never can tell.

One last thing: if you want to tell people about the ride and if you want to ditch the “blogspot” for the simplicity of it, “onewheelforlife.com” forwards directly to my blog. I find it easier that way. Feel free to email me directly if you have any comments or questions - onewheelforlife@gmail.com

Take it easy, y’all… but not too easy :wink: … and sorry for the novel.

I’m guessing you’ll be able to go further every day. If I recall from Patrick Thomas’ ride, he was only rding in the 20 miles/day at first, by the end I think he was up to 60+ (on a 24" ;))

Best of luck and health for your entire ride, Gracie!

You may be the first US-crosser to do this. There was a guy from India who rode across the country in 1984. He sent me a picture of himself riding across India from a previous year, in which he was barefoot. I inquired about that and he mentioned he’d be wearing shoes for his US trip. His name was Dipak Shivaram Lele

Okay, it took me a while to find it in my old On One Wheel Newsletters but I finally found a listing for Akira Matsushima, age 15, who rode a 57" wheel across the US in 1992. He’s the youngest I know of. 57" wheel? It had separate drive systems on each side, and pedals up above the wheel axle. Akira was from Japan. Like many cross-country riders, he unfortunately was not able to coordinate with big unicycling events that might have been in his path. He passed through Chariton, IA, site of the 1991 USA convention, but a year late. He actuallly passed through Chariton during Unicon VI, which was in Quebec City, Canada (so he missed meeting most of the organizers).

I notice Grace will be passing near Graceland (Memphis). If she’s able to coordinate that with NAUCC (Natioinal Unicycling Championships and Convention), she’ll be able to generate huge interest in her cause, and probably a big chunk of donations. I hope the timing isn’t impossible, it might even be worth making a side trip back to Memphis!

You may be the only female to unicycle across the country. I can’t think of any at the moment, but I’m not sure.

Lastly, there is a reason you may be the first to do it self-supported with only a backpack. Others who did it themselves mostly figured out other ways to carry their gear. The backpack adds extra weight to your crotch! But if you’re not having a problem with that, this may be a first for you as well!

Good on ya girl. I was (AFAIK) the 1st woman to unicycle across my contry , England, back in 2000. But I had back up and shoes and did it in 36 hours. Its a rather smaller country.

Welcome to the fora!
I congratulate you on your progress so far. You’re doing great! My one question is why E to W? That’s got to be harder into the wind!

I’m riding a modest tour later this summer and have been happy to note your continued progress. All the best in the many miles to come.

Barefoot on metal pedals?! That’s to be respected.

My dad’s stage 4 lymphoma is in remission now, but I want to thank you, personally, for applying your unicycling efforts to such a good cause.

All the best and please stop by the fora again. We’re all rooting for you!

Sorry, but that’s been done, Patrick Thomas (Pedal The Waves) went from San Fransisco (June 11) to NYC (mid Sept) with just a unicycle and a backpack (no handle bars, 24" unicycle that had to be replaced at least once). I was lucky enough to be able to ride with him, for a little bit, just after NAUCC in Salt Lake City.

Gracie, contact us as you approach Memphis. We’ll happily give you a comfortable bed, good meals, news coverage, and an icepack.


Cell: 901-335-1127

-Tom Maxwell.

I think that its great that she is doing this. If I were to unicycle across America(which has crossed my mind before) I would do it for the same charity. My mom recently got diagnosed with Leukemia and it really is a devastating disease. I’ll be donating some money to help her reach her goal of $10,000.

Good luck! I’ll be reading the blog.