Archive for March, 2013


Sunday, March 31st, 2013

4-4-10****This story originally ran on Easter day 2010. I received so much interest, that I felt running it again this Easter weekend would have the same impact. Maybe by reading and seeing what happened to this unfortunate individual, you will find it in your heart to start helping those less fortunate than you.

This Easter morning, thoughts I want to share, have been on my mind since early morning March 24th in South Beach. Thoughts of mistaken identity.     I don’t know who runs the morning clean-up detail on this strip of visual paradise but by the time most of the late-night revelers are only half-way through their much needed slumber, the debris removal and pressure wash teams have returned the sidewalks, park and beach areas to pristine condition.
So there we were, Bogart on a taut lead with Bob in tow, headed at a full-throttle saunter to get some full-throttle caffeine. The debris had been bagged for pick-up in clear garbage bags near the sidewalk at various locations. One could see the previous day’s beach trash and treasure bagged and ready for pick-up through the clear bags. I could see at a distance, as I approached each pile of bags, the previous days forgotten loot. I looked at bright plastic beach toys left behind, in bags with soda bottles and other debris. I approached one pile, from a different angle which is shown, unable to discern the contents of the bag. It wasn’t until I was at the angle from which the picture is taken that I realized the human beneath the plastic sheeting.  Then I saw the broken egg and realized someone had thrown a raw egg at this unfortunate man.  It’s hard for me to understand what that could possibly accomplish.  I see that my mission becomes more important every day.

Rady Childrens Hospital

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

3-30-13Riding for children and being in San Diego, I had to pay a visit to Rady Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House. These two, first class facilities have some amazing professionals caring for and comforting sick children. I came here today to thank them and to let them know they are appreciated. It was such a good visit, talking with staff and families.
This afternoon, I headed north to Del Mar, California. The town has some great hills and great views. There was such a big interest from the locals and those on their spring break vacations. It was such a fun day!

Two Great Guys!

Friday, March 29th, 2013
3-29-13A big One Million Acts Of Kindness thanks to Jeff and Phil of Phil’s B•B•Q for making all the arrangements for my stay in San Diego and for the generosity in helping The Kindness Bus Tour. They are big supporters of many charitable causes which benefit children, in and around the San Diego area. Phil’s B•B•Q is the best BBQ west of the Mississippi…and east of the Mississippi as well. If you aren’t in San Diego order their award winning sauce from their website at
Tomorrow, I begin my month-long trip up the Pacific coast. I am looking forward to the great vistas and the great people, some I know and some who I have yet to meet.

University of San Diego

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

3-28-13“Some go by giving, some give by going,” is a quote that describes two ways to be charitable.
Joan B. Kroc, the widow of McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc donated 25 million dollars while she was living and another 50 million dollars upon her death to the University of San Diego, to study peace and to educate future peacemakers. She truly embodied the first part of the quote.
I visited the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice on the USD campus to leave information for its Dean, Edward C. Luck. A very interested Louis, his assistant is going to help by spreading word around the campus.
I spent the remainder of the day in the Old Town section of San Diego talking with dozens of families about kindness and peace, trying my best to embody the second part of the quote.
Another quote comes to mind as I write this blog about Joan B. Kroc, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”

Yuma, Arizona

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

3-27-13This desert town in the southwestern most corner of Arizona, welcomed The Kindness Bicycle wherever it rolled. I stopped at 4 schools early this morning, talking with teachers and administrators about my ride. The red carpet treatment was extended.
All schools, no matter where I travel are addressing the Bullying problem in their own way, some better than others. As one teacher said today, “We just need a magic pill to make it all go away.”
To me, the magic pill is a lifetime goal of kindness.

Bullying Can Last a Very Long Time

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Dear Bob Votruba,
I just met you at the Publix parking lot in Vero Beach, Fl. I had a US Air force front auto tag you commented on. I gave $5.00 even though I had $32.00 in my wallet at the time. As soon as I drove away I felt both elation that there is someone like you who is so selfish and dedicated in helping abused children, yet depressed at having not emptied my wallet for those same children. Having experienced bullying as a child myself by both contemporaries and family
members and living with the damaged self esteem and memories of those horrible years, I wish to make another donation in the memory of a person who committed suicide not as a child but as an adult. Children of abuse grow up to be adults with those memories that never leave their conscious minds as it has never left mine. I am a combination of an abused child and a gay person who was educated by schools of the time that I was sick and mentally ill. I can remember my own Mother, God rest her soul, make the same statement at seeing an obviously Gay man walking across the street in front of our car while driving though the streets of downtown Baltimore, Md. I was a child of 8 years old at the time.
I have to admit on the drive home after handing you that $5.00 bill I cried my eyes out as the pain from those years suddenly erupted in my memories. I walked into my home and read your handout letter, RIDING 9,000 MILES FOR KIDS, and the tears once again flowed not only from my mind, but also from deep within my heart. If only there was someone such as yourself available all those years ago to say to me, “a much better life will come to you”. I survived all the moments when suicidal thoughts entered my mind and I pray God your heroism will help save other children from those same thoughts.
Please e-mail an address to me to mail a donation as my way of saying Thank you so very much and may God Bless you for your efforts on behalf of all the children who’s lives you now save, and for those who didn’t have a hero stand up for them and awaken the hearts and minds of America and the World to these tragedies that could have been avoided by simple acts of love and compassion such as yours.
I wish I could find ways of doing more to assist you in this effort. I pledge to honor the four statements in your letter:

I will comfort those hurting.
I will help those being hurt.
I will help you realize your importance in this world.
You are needed and  you are loved!!

Once again, God Bless and Thank You from the heart of one who knows and understands the magnitude of your efforts,

Rodger Hensley


Monday, March 25th, 2013

3-25-13Bogart gets such amazing attention as we travel the country. The past couple of weeks it has been too hot for Bogart by 11 in the morning, so I finish my rides early and he and I have been spending the rest of the day together. Everyone seems to have a compliment to share as we make our way around town. He is the perfect companion on The Kindness Bus Tour. I just wish I could teach him how to pedal The Kindness Bicycle so I can sleep while he rides. One look at his face tells the tale of why he gets his way all the time.