thanks to everyone for encouraging me with this… and also thanks very much for clarifying some of the “firsts” that may be associated with the completion of this journey. it’s nice to have so much one-wheel knowledge out there to provide information i’d never be able to find. so, thanks everyone!
i’m in memphis right now and enjoying it. but according to my stomach, i need some ice cream, so peace out y’all!
p.s. if you’ve never ridden through pouring rain in a thunderstorm without putting on a rain coat, i recommend it. did that yesterday and it was so liberating and put a huge smile on my face. thankfully, i had waterproofed everything in my backpack!
Monday, June 5, 2006 - Memphis, Tenn. - Tommy and Rody Thompson hosted a backyard cookout at their mid-town Memphis home on behalf of the Memphis Unicycle Club to honor Gracie Sorbello as she traveled through Memphis on her quest to ride across the United States. Miss Sorbello is riding across the USA on her 36-inch Coker unicycle in order to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
The approximately 30 attendees included Gracie’s mother, members of the Memphis Unicycle Club and members of the Saint George’s Independent School Unicycle Club. Riders ranging in age from 9-years to 53-years enjoyed hotdogs and hamburgers hot off the fire of grill master Tommy Thompson. Participants made this a memorable potluck meal by providing numerous delectable delights such as a variety of chips with dips, brownies, cut fresh fruit and corn-on-the-cob. The host and hostess also provided icy cold canned beverages.
Young riders Marquise and Ronnie entertained the crowd with their incredible unicycle skills and feats of daring. Many of the children, some as young as 3 years, were entertained by a young black kitten that wandered into the back yard. Visitors were awed and impressed by Mr. Thompson’s personal collection of 11 unicycles.
Gracie inspired listeners with her captivating tails of the road and her plans for traveling onward across the United States. Members of the Memphis Unicycle Club provided advice about which bridge to use for getting across the Mississippi River.
The setting was delightful with clear blue Southern skies, comfortably cool temperatures under the Thompson’s backyard shade trees and a light breeze to keep the mosquitoes away.
I just watched Gracie ride off from my house, heading west.
It was great to meet her and hear her stories that she has amassed so far on this epic adventure. All of the MUCsters admire her spirit and pluck and freely admit that we are all living vicariously through her quest.
It was my great pleasure to make a donation last week that got her up to 50% of her goal, and it looks like others have helped since then, as she’s now at 61%. I’d second Wheel Rider’s ask…the action is more important than the amount. One thing I’m learning in my fundraising efforts for this year’s MS-150 ride is that a lot of little donations still add up and can really help the total. And for those of you too young to have your own credit card, well, influence those in your family that do. Parents can often benefit from tax deductible charitable giving.