Press Release for Author Tour, Summer 2004
ONE WHEEL - MANY SPOKES: USA by UNICYCLE
Lars Clausen, Author, Unicyclist
AUTHOR TOURS BY UNICYCLE:
Lars Clausen (43) is currently unicycling from Canada to Mexico and he calls this, "the short tour." He's on the road this summer as an author, to promote his new book, ONE WHEEL - MANY SPOKES: USA by Unicycle. That was the long trip, when he pedaled 9,136 miles through all 50 states. Clausen set two Guinness World Distance records during that ride in the summer of 2002.
Even before Clausen completed writing ONE WHEEL - MANY SPOKES, he started looking for a way to get back on the road with his unicycle. "This author tour is my Pen and Pedal ride," he announces, describing that riding and writing rank as two of his favorite endeavors.
"Being on the road, being vulnerable on a cycle, traveling slowly through a place," says Clausen, "you get a great perspective on the land and people of our country. And you end up with a story that people love to read, a story that turns out to relate to all of us. ONE WHEEL - MANY SPOKES: USA by Unicycle is far more than a story of sweat and cycling. As Senator Bob Kerry writes in the foreword to the book, "Lars Clausen has done the work of a good citizen. He has looked deeply into the heart of our country and given us a story that will inspire us for generations."
Clausen rode during a unique time in our nation's history, between the end of the war in Afghanistan and the beginning of the war in Iraq, a time filled with fear, violence, and terror. He also pedaled for a unique cause-his ride supported Inupiat Eskimo ministry in Alaska. Clausen's interest arose from his time serving there as a pastor.
Halfway through the tour Clausen reached the Statue of Liberty. There he reflected on his journey through America, through Native American Reservations, through a nation at war with terror, and through a nation overflowing with kind, caring, helpful, and hospitable people. There at the Statue he wondered two questions, "How can a nation of such violence be so hospitable? How can a nation of such hospitality be so violent?
Few of Clausen's readers are unicyclists, but many who turn the pages of ONE WHEEL - MANY SPOKES report feeling that they are "along for the ride." If there's a theme to Clausen's journey it is the honoring of dreams and the power of compassion. To that end Clausen makes frequent reference to Mark Twain, including a guiding piece of advice he's taken from the master storyteller, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do, than by the things you did do. So hoist the sails, untie the bowlines, set sail from the safe harbor. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Clausen's family is accompanying the ride, traveling by car with the necessary support gear. As Clausen explores his way from Canada to Mexico this summer, he is continuing to live out his dream, sharing tales from the road and from his book. He is appearing at bookstores, libraries, and churches all along his route. ONE WHEEL - MANY SPOKES: USA by Unicycle is available nationwide. More about the book and a schedule of Clausen's appearances is available at www.onewheel.org. And while Clausen pedals from place to place, don't be surprised if he's discovering new dreams and new stories to share with those he meets. "When you tour by unicycle," Clausen describes, "everyone feels like part of your community."