Week 1

APRIL 24 - 30

April 24 - 26

Bob and Patti spent Sunday, Monday and Tuesday getting ready for the ride.  On Monday Tony Hennessy arrived in Sacramento.  PDG Tony (D9830, Tasmania, Australia) rode with Bob when he rode Australia (click here to read about the Tasmania ride).  Tony will be riding with Bob from Sacramento to the Rotary Centennial Convention in Chicago. 

On Tuesday evening the Folsom (California) City Council presented Bob a proclamation, commending  Bob and Rotary International  for  helping to eradicate polio.  The proclamation was presented by Councilperson Kerri Howell.



April 27, 2005
Sacramento, California

Well it has arrived.  The biggie, the challenge, the finale.  Today, the culmination of years of riding and speaking begins.  Much like the athlete who spends years training for the Olympics, stands at the starting line for the big race; so too were Motorcycle Bob and his accompanying rider PDG Tony Hennessy from Tasmania.  All the preparations were done.  It was time to begin the last marathon.  And so, assembled on the West Steps of the Capitol Bldg. were:  Motorcycle Bob (Mutchler), PDG Tony Hennessy, Rider- Rotarians Jim Buntin, David Janes, Ron Smith, and  Gary & Joan.  Other Rotarians included  PP Jon Greene (Reno Sunrise) , DGE Dave Harris, PDG Bob Wassum, and DG Steve Lemmon.   Non-Rotarians included Robyn Mutchler, Amy Starr, Andy from the Sacramento Bee, Phil from the Folsom Telegraph, crews from Channel 3 and 31, CHP Commissioner Mike Brown, CHP Media Relations Officers Tom Marshall and Joe Whiteford and last but not least, the 4th grade class from Laurel Hall Elementary School in Southern California. 

Officer Tom Marshall introduced Bob,  who spoke about what the elimination of Polio means to the children of the world, and how the Ride supports that goal.  After introducing his riding partner, PDG Tony Hennessy from Australia, he thanked the California Highway Patrol for their support and introduced Commissioner Brown.  A polio survivor himself, Commissioner Brown thanked Bob for his efforts in bringing the cause to the public's attention.  He thanked Rotary for embarking on such a huge endeavor.  He cautioned Bob and Tony to wear their helmets and stay under the speed limit.  That got a laugh from the crowd.  Bob then introduced DG Steve Lemmon who commented on how appropriate it was that the school children were present, because what Rotary is doing and has been striving to accomplish, is for the benefit of all children. This ride is also the celebration of the end of polio.  Bob then thanked his sponsors, Ride committee, and supporters.   DG Steve rang the Centennial Bell and signed the log book.

On your bikes mates.  The riders were followed by Jon Greene, who is the webmaster and president of MACH, the foundation behind the PolioPlusRides.  Away they went...........with some of us waving good bye.

Cruising up highway 80 through the Sierras, the ensemble enjoyed some pleasant riding  conditions (that is until the rain started).   Upon reaching  reaching Carson City the wet riders took time for lunch at Heidi's Family Restaurant.   It was then on to the Nevada State Capitol Building.  The Bob led the motorcycles on to the plaza for a photo session in front of the Rotary Centennial clock.   The security guard was not amused with all the motorcycles in front of the Silver State's Capitol Bldg.  He allowed Bob to stay but made the other bikes move.  The President of the Carson City Rotary Club, Rafael Cappucci, was there to greet the riders. This time the riders outnumbered the reception committee.  Rafael signed the log book and they visited.   Bob and Tony then headed out for Hawthorne while the others went their own ways.  Our Awesome Twosome reached Tonopah, NV and turned in for the night.  Bob said they had rain, wind and cold but it was wonderful, and no mishaps.  Yep, he's nuts

(Read the article in the Nevada Appeal)

mileage:  day  412 Total 412

Thursday April 28, 2005
Tonopah, Nevada

The phone rang at 0600 waking our two wanderers from a sound sleep.  (It was me, Patti) So they got up anyway and went and had breakfast.  Even though It was raining they headed south on US 50.   As they crossed the Tonopah Pass the rain became a sleety slushy snow.  The rest of the ride was rain until about 20 miles outside of Phoenix.  The headwinds were so strong the fuel stops became closer and closer, thus allowing our fine Rotarian travelers the opportunity to talk with lots of other travelers about their journey.  Watch out folks- Bob will promote Rotary and PolioPlus  every chance he gets.  Then with PDG Tony's help, there is no escape.  The BMW's are running very well.  Tony is learning about US fuel pumps and is cutting his fuel stops down and soon will be at 4 min., which is what Bob prefers.  I know, I've been there.  Happily settled in for the night in Phoenix, Tony is silicone his helmet.  Don't ask, I have no idea.

While we had no response from the scheduled itinerary stops for today, the guys did their best to do their job.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day.  We've been here before, but it is still sad that Rotarians are missing out on a positive win for all.

mileage:  Day 540   Total 932

Friday April 29, 2005
Phoenix, Arizona

 7:20 a.m. "we overslept mate, by a lot" said Tony. The two guys hustled quickly up and out and on their motorcycles.  Rushing to the Capitol they arrived right on time. The only problem was they were an hour off.  They forgot that Arizona doesn't have daylight saving time. Well they couldn't go back to bed so a latte would be the next best thing.  Bob sat with the bikes and Tony went into a copycat Starbucks.  In his Tazzy accented voice Tony  requested two breve lattes.  The lady behind the counter said "we got coffee, don't make coffee and we ain't got no lids neither."  So they tried to drink the black liquid called coffee and waited for 9:00 am to come around.   With no one in sight, Bob went into the House of Representatives.  An Aide signed Bob's book and came out and took a photo of the Centennial Bell with the Arizona Liberty Bell.

The weather was a lovely spring day with temps in the 70's. With a full day of riding ahead of them, the boys left Phoenix on the Green Machine and the Zebra and headed east.  600 miles later, after a "miserably cold" ride,  Santa Fe became home for the night. 

Hopefully tomorrow  will be better. 

mileage: Day  600  Total 1, 532


Saturday April 30, 2005
Santa Fe, New Mexico

 The two travelers woke up on time, in the same time zone as their watches.  At the Capitol there was no one. Bob hijacked a willing resident to sign the log book.  They left and road about 350 miles in really cold,  30 degree weather.   While it was clear, it did not warm up until they reached Oklahoma City.   We are sad and very discouraged.  We've been here before, but it is really embarrassing to have a PDG who has come here at his own expense to find such a dismal welcome.

I have personally been told that there will be no support from the Oklahoma City Rotarians.  We have tried to arrange some media coverage ourselves.  Hopefully, tomorrow's visit to the capitol will prove me wrong.

mileage: Day  550   Total 2,032




DONATIONS to either PolioPlus or to support Motorcycle Bob's rides can be made through Motorcyclists for Awareness of Children's HealthClick here for a donation form.  If you would like to be a sponsor or join Motorcycle Bob on a ride, contact Bob at bob@polioplusride.org

contact webmaster
This web site is maintained by Motorcyclists for Awareness of Children's Health, Copyright 2003-2008 All Rights Reserved