Updated: Dec 23, 2021
Meet Tommy Lee, “Salisbury University’s neighborhood friendly Onewheel guy.”
The alerting sound of the wheel skidding and rolling on pavement is followed by a flash of dark clothing and bright red. Wearing his usual attire of a tee shirt, jeans, dark jacket and helmet, Salisbury University Junior Thomas “Tommy” Lee is often seen zooming across campus on his Onewheel board.
One day when he was riding, a friend approached Lee joking about how he was riding on his ‘space machine again,’ and this started Lee's alias called the MoonRacer.
Salisbury University has a variety of well-known characters on its campus- from the Roman Legionary to the “jazz bike” guy. Now joining the cast of characters is Lee, self-proclaimed as “Salisbury University’s friendly neighborhood ‘Onewheel guy,’” better known as The MoonRacer on Instagram.
Lee began riding Onewheels two winters ago during fall semester of 2019 at SU. Though he is relatively new to the world of Onewheeling, he became well-known across campus as “the Onewheel guy” through the anonymous connection app, Yik Yak.
Lee feels the app gives people a platform to share their ideas and experiences, and for SU students, a collective experience was seeing him on his board. He said he was occasionally approached by other students while riding, but after gaining popularity on the app, he was stopped by many students who heard about him on the app.
“Ever since then I’ve just kind of used that as a platform to create this persona for myself, because I didn’t want anyone to impersonate me or claim that they’re me,” Lee said. “It gave me an outlet to communicate with other people.”
The newfound notability has been a different change for Lee, who says he is a completely introverted person.
In high school, he said he was never a “cool kid” and usually kept to himself. Now, he is stopped by other SU students wanting to talk, take photos with him or let Lee know they like what he is doing with his profile.
“It’s a different change, totally,” Lee said.
Lee’s media production and photography experience have helped him build his MoonRacer profile. Though Lee does not enjoy being on camera or viewing himself as a content creator, his background helped him to think of things he could share.
“It’s definitely helped out a lot in terms of creating this persona of me being quote-on-quote ‘The MoonRacer,’” Lee said.
Though he developed his persona, Lee feels The MoonRacer is not a character that is too different from himself. Other than speaking with more people, feeling more open to conversation with other students and being more a part of the community that way. Lee said The MoonRacer is very much just himself trying to have fun.
He upkeeps his Instagram because he knows other students get joy out of seeing him ride, and he finds it cool. At the end of the day, Lee wants everyone to know he is just a regular guy, the only difference is that he loves riding his Onewheel.
“I ride around, because I love doing it and I have almost 8,000 miles on my current board right now,” Lee said. “I love gliding around on campus, it feels like I'm flying.”
By ANGEL KONTRA
Photo's courtesy of the_moonracer Instagram page