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Spokes and Jokes

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Local comedian goes on a personal pilgrimage

BROOKS Local comedian Chris Quimby is hoping to take his show on the road, but not in the typical sense. He hopes to embark on an epic adventure with his family that is part comedy tour and part spiritual pilgrimage. He plans on biking to a friend's house in Texas while stopping at churches and other venues to perform his comedy routine along the way.

The idea of the trip came from several different events in his life, including meeting a couple of cross-country bikers, a gentleman who greatly encouraged Quimby in his comedy, and a mission trip to Ecuador.

Quimby publishes the local cartoon paper 'Funnies Extra' which features many popular syndicated and local comic strips and panels. Since he is self-employed, he can do much of his work anywhere there is an internet connection. This affords him freedom that many people don't have and an opportunity to pursue this trip.

'I can go on a crazy bike trip and do the publication along the way, raise money doing comedy to accumulate funds for the trip and meet the gentleman who encouraged me,' said Quimby. 'It seems appropriate that the end of the pilgrimage is his house.'

Quimby notes that he hopes to perform at many churches along the way to share his comedy and his story.

'I know who my audience is. People like me who grew up in church, are active in churches and find groups of people in churches along the way I can share my story with,' he said. 'Partly it's entertaining and partly to incite something inside of people.'

The Spokes and Jokes Tour is still about a year away, for good reason. Quimby needs to raise the funds to make such epic trip (and make sure he keeps his bills in order before he leaves).

He knows that the trip is a big risk, but it's something he and his family are not only ready for but excited about.

'I feel like I ripped myself off with the desire to be safe and comfortable. Risk is scary and sometimes you get burned,' he said. 'But there's really a lot of opportunity you can miss out on [if you don't take a risk].'

The entire family was on board as soon as he pitched the idea to them, something even Chris was a little surprised about.

'The kids were like, Shut up! That's awesome!' I never totally know what my wife thinks, but she told me that it was so weird and far-fetched that she feels good about it,' said Quimby. 'It's something that God is moving on you to do in a way that you perceive that. She's interested to see, as we proceed, how it develops.'

Quimby hopes that people will come forward and help him with this adventure, though he knows it's off the beaten path.

'People enjoy being a part of something different and big. I hope people will in some way feel a little bit of ownership in my adventure,' he said.

Quimby has an Indegogo campaign page where he's trying to raise enough money for the cross-country trip: $11,400, which includes gas and traveling expenses. He hopes to take off in the fall of 2013 and follow the warmer weather south.

On Nov. 3, Chris will be performing his first Spokes and Jokes performances at Camp Fair Haven (81 West Fair Haven Lane) at 7 p.m. Check it out and help him start his epic adventure.

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