Man Bicycles through Town to Spread Kindness

Courtesy photo. Ohio native Bob Votruba has been cycling the West Coast on a quest to raise awareness of disabilities that plague children. Here he pauses at Crown Beach.

Bob Votruba, 62, spent much of his Labor Day Weekend touring Alameda on his bicycle to raise awareness for children with disabilities and differences.

The Ohio native spent Friday, Sept. 1, and Saturday, Sept. 2, riding around Alameda on his bicycle talking to people about the struggles young people battle today. He advocates for better treatment and awareness of autism, Asperger’s syndrome, bipolar disorder and different addictions. He also campaigns for an end to bullying and violence. 

Votruba visited Crown Beach, Crab Cove, Encinal High School, the Naval Air Station and other Alameda sites during his stay. Votruba’s travel around Alameda is part of his Riding Our Country with Kindness (ROCK) 2017 tour. 

Votruba plans to travel along the edges of the United States. He began his tour in Naples, Fla., in March. He traveled up the East Coast making stops in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont. He then traveled through Midwestern states like Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota on his way to the Northwest. After making stops in Washington and Oregon, Votruba made his way to California.

After leaving Southern California, Votruba plans on riding through the Southwest with stops in Arizona and Texas, then the South where he will visit Louisiana and Mississippi. He will finally end his tour back in Florida sometime in December. Votruba drives a bus to each stop (he call his bus the Kindness Bus). He then rides around the area for period talking to people about the issues he feels strongly about. 

Votruba’s began touring the country about eight years ago. After all his children started attending college, he sold his house and car and began riding around the country on the Kindness Bus. He started bicycling around at his stops about three years ago. Votruba said he has ridden more than 25,000 miles on his bicycle so far. 

He was especially motivated to do this after he heard about an 11-year-old, Bethany Thompson, who committed suicide after being bullied due to her facial nerve damage caused by her successful battle with cancer. Votruba also has a niece with autism.

“Just talking to people can make so much of an impact,” said Votruba. To learn more about his journey, visit onemillionactsofkindness.org.