New Hampshire man brings good vibes in cross-country ride
DOVER, N.H. (AP) — James Dobson is setting out for round-trip around the country to raise money for children with cancer in what he’s calling the Positive Vibes Tour.
In fact, it will be his second Positive Vibes Tour, though the first one on a recumbent bicycle and the first one where he is raising money for a charity.
Dobson, an energetic 32-year-old with a positive outlook, went on his first tour last year, where he drove his colorful, second-generation Honda Odyssey that doubles as his home. He traveled to Georgia, Virginia, Colorado, Louisiana, and Texas as he made his way to San Diego.
From there he traveled north up the coast and then went east. During the trip he “stopped at all the big stops that people wanted to see,” and documented his travels with live videos he posted on social media. “I have fans that follow me as I go,” he said. Through that viewership, he derives some “jingle change” for some income.
When his tour concluded, the fans wanted more, he said. “They asked, ‘What are you going to do next?’ One person suggested that I ride a bike across the country.” Dobson agreed, but he said he wanted to do it for a cause, something to help other people.
He decided that he would raise money for Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, also known as CHaD. Dobson is officially registered with the hospital to raise money for children with cancer and other serious illnesses, CHaD officials confirmed.
As with his previous tour, and as he does on a regular basis, Dobson plans to document his travels and adventures. Dobson would probably be the first to admit that he’s got the gift of gab and is seemingly comfortable striking up conversations with just about anyone. With his phone, he becomes one person camera crew known as the Real JD Squad, his social media handle. He creates videos on YouTube and shares it on Facebook and other social media platforms to reach viewers.
His videos document his everyday life. A recent video is of Dobson in Durham for the University of New Hampshire’s move-in day. Dobson walked around campus, stopped into stores and has random conversations with folks he interacts with. “Our job today is to be the people to get other people excited about being back in school,” he said. In another short video, Dobson videos himself opening a box that contains a brand new laptop computer. In another, he is aboard the Thomas Leighton cruise ship as it tours Portsmouth Harbor. In each one, Dobson is excited in whatever he is doing.
Dobson said he started recording videos about two years ago and, after gaining some confidence, the Berwick, Maine native, who now lives in Dover, started making videos on a regular basis. He has local fans from the Seacoast area, but he has also gained fans internationally, he said, including viewers in Netherlands and Russia.
In addition to the video, he shoots commercials for local businesses and assists with their social media, he said. With this, he can cobble money together to live on. But he also doesn’t have an extravagant lifestyle to fund. “I let go of a lot of things I don’t need. I have a phone bill and a storage unit. That’s why I can do it because I don’t have a lot of expenses.”
To get ready for the ride, Dobson has been riding daily for the past couple of months. One of his challenges will be pacing himself. “It’s not a race,” he’ll remind himself. But he doesn’t worry about being in the proper physical condition. “The mental part is going to be tough,” he said. “It’s simply a mental part. It’s 95 percent mental.”
Dobson plans to ride 50-60 miles a day. At that rate, he believes he’ll make it to San Diego in about three months. “I’m guessing mid-January that I’ll get there.”
Dobson is riding solo, packing everything he needs on to the recumbent. He plans to ride his bike to the CHaD Hospital in Lebanon and meet the children he is riding for. He hopes that some of them will tune in to his videos as he rides along the way.
Donations to CHaD can be made through at his website, www.positivevibestour.com/donate. One donate button brings visitors to the CHaD website. There is another button to give to Dobson directly to help him fund his ride all the way through. To watch Dobson in action, follow him at YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram by searching for therealjdsquad.
Information from: Foster’s Daily Democrat, http://www.fosters.com