Josh Shaffer: Josh Shaffer grew up in Maryland and learned to write at a small newspaper there, covering everything from City Hall to the Perdue chicken factory to a nutria hunt. He is not a natural and only began to show any talent for writing after he had filed 1,000 stories, many of them completed in fewer than 15 minutes. He came to North Carolina in 1996, hoping to work for The News & Observer, and even though he didn’t have an interview, he bought an expensive pair of shoes hoping to impress the editors. They asked him to leave, but they finally gave up and hired him eight years later. Now he writes a twice-weekly column that most people would describe as human interest, but more specifically focuses on quirky and admirable characters, especially underdogs. Josh Shaffer has now written three separate stories on Raleigh’s no-hand king, who rides a children’s bicycle on one wheel without using his hands.