This unlikely story of a man riding a unicycle across America reveals an adventurous soul in search of his country and himself. Lars Clausen tells of his record-breaking 50-state unicycle trip from the West Coast to the Statue of Liberty and back again. He describes his spoke-by-spoke trek through a Mojave dust storm, past breathtaking, snow-capped Montana mountains, and close to a raging hurricane. Color photographs and watercolor illustrations of each state enhance his revelations about encounters with bikers, cops, and curious folk. This inspiring journey into the heart of America celebrates the hospitality of everyday people, reveals the splendor of out-of-the-way places, and explores Native American lands from coast to coast.
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Lars Clausen has M.A.s in mechanical engineering and theology. His accomplishments range from designing windmills in Denmark to preaching in Alaska with Inupiat Eskimos. He lives in Holden, Washington.From Publishers Weekly:
In the words of former senator Kerrey, Clausen "has done the work of a good citizen." Clausen not only did that in spades, by raising millions of dollars for a struggling tribe of Eskimos, but he also managed to experience the kind of adventure most people only dream of having. A Lutheran pastor who had spent four years among Alaska's Inupiat Eskimos, Clausen decided to take a 4,000-mile unicycling tour from the Pacific Northwest to New York and back to the West Coast to help the Inupiat by publicizing their needs and raising money (he also wound up breaking a couple of Guinness world records in the process). It was the sort of trip many wouldn't dare attempt on a regular bicycle, much less a unicycle, but Clausen's unsinkable good nature and sunny outlook jumps out at readers from practically every line of his book. Clausen doesn't go out of his way to explore (he's always got too many miles to finish by day's end), but he frequently relates encounters with locals who offer money for his cause or a place for his entourage to park their RV overnight. And then there's the food: unicycling is grueling work, allowing Clausen to indulge at every diner and ice cream stand he comes across, resulting in some rapturous culinary descriptions. Clausen is generally less effective when he tries to meld a portrait of post-9/11 America into the book; although well intentioned, his thoughts are unoriginal and sound canned. His true passion lies in traveling and his deep connection with and empathy for native peoples. Photos, illus. not seen by PW.
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