MAY 8 - 14
Sunday May 8, 2005
Happy Mothers Day!
The traffic leaving Richmond was fun. Not really, but what can you say that's positive about traffic congestion? Bob and Tony headed to Washington DC. Unfortunately for everyone, there was no response to our efforts. So our boys took advantage of the situation and circled the Ellipse and found a parking place. Lots of photos of the sights there and the new World World II Memorial. Then they headed over to the Capitol and took photos of the Centennial Bell at the Capitol. While there, a young man who had noticed the motorcycles approached Bob and Tony. He asked what they were doing and why. Well, he became very impressed rather quickly. He had no idea that there was an organization that did such humanitarian projects, such as Rotary. Who knows, he may become a Rotarian someday. He was really excited.
On to Annapolis, and again, no response. The capitol there is very unique. It was there that George Washington resigned his commission as General. It was also the original U.S. Capitol. So, it was lemonade time. They rode around St. John's College. They wound their way to Gettysburg and battleground and memorials there. Many photos later they found a food and shelter for the night.
mileage Day 280 Total 5,559
The day was a day of R&R (rest and recovery) mode. A visit to some family in Reading, Pennsylvania made for a pleasant day.
mileage: Day 89 Total 5,648
May 10, 2005
(Bob wrote today's journal entry)
When we left Reading, we headed for Harrisburg and arrived there at 9:00 am. We left at 9:30 am headed for Trenton, NJ. We arrived in Trenton at 12:00 pm and had lunch in the capitol building cafeteria. We spoke with numerous people about PolioPlus including two police officers.
We left Trenton at 2:30 for Dover, DE. We arrived across the Delaware Memorial Bridge to meet up with Sam Tuttle and about thirty ABATE members some of which were Rotarians. Sam escorted us with our magnetic signs on his car into Dover, followed by the ABATE bikers. Sam took us to a local sports club and I rode my bike into the building where I was presented with proclamations from various dignitaries around the state, including House of Representatives, the State Senate, the mayor and a check from ABATE for $100.00, which was presented while the local TV station conducted an interview with me.
After all that were led to the local country club where the Rotary club meets. There we were led into a meeting attended by 80 Rotarians from 12 clubs who were there to meet us. All the proclamations were once more presented, the $100.00 was again presented along with a club contribution of $245.00 which was the total of the fines collected by the club. I introduced Tony, who spoke very eloquently on the generosity of the American Rotarians. I then took over and gave my talk, including praising the District for their contribution of $1,000,000.00 to PolioPlus.
Dave Skocik was responsible for PR, George Anderson and his wife, Peggy attended the meeting, Doug Catts was the president of the club, Paul Stagg, M.D. videotaped my talk, Tom and Carol Wassum hosted us in their home and many others were actively included in making the event incredible.
Dover certainly made the day a win/win for everyone involved.
I think that's all. We leave in the morning for Albany.
mileage Day: 300 total 5948
May 11, 2005
Tom and Carol Wassum prepared a feast of a breakfast. Super hospitality and a lot of laughs and fun. Including the dog Ziggy, whom Bob said is the largest lap dog he's ever seen. Ziggy is also "strange", he chases the light beam from the flashlight, anywhere and every where. When they left the Wassums they all went to the State House and took photos of "The Bell".
On to Albany, New York where they were met by Al the Albany Club President, and Brian Cechnicki. The media that said they would be there must have gotten lost. About 3:00 pm they met Dodi, and after visiting with her, headed on out to Springfield, Mass. As they were checking into a motel, a man approached and asked if Bob was Motorcycle Bob. He introduced himself as Jim Grier, son-in-law of Jim Piconi from Dist 7910. He had seen the bike on the road and recognized it from media coverage and from discussions with Jim Piconi. Yes, our guys are visible and getting attention.
mileage: Day: 480 Total: 6428
May 12, 2005
Departing Springfield bright and early, Bob and Tony made their way to Hartford CT. They were met at the State House by DG Richard Seidman, Hartford Rotary Club Presidents and Mayor Scott Slifka. The clubs brought banners and the Centennial Bell was photographed and rung. While attempts had been made for media coverage, and the reception was lively and visual, the media missed out.
With a time schedule to keep, and Bob's determination to be on time, our Rovers left for Providence, RI. Arriving a little early, they waited at the Capitol.
On to Boston. They were met by Wilson Lee and some other Rotarians. Wilson led the way out of town, creatively. I remember some creative driving in Washington DC on another trip, but I'm told that was nothing compared to Wilson's guidance.
PDG Ralph Hammond met up the entourage and escorted Bob and Tony to his home for the night. Jean Hammond, a delightful lady, prepared a delicious dinner of Chinese food. They settled down for Rotary talk and a very comfortable night. The temperature had been in the 30's and Bob was really grateful for the electric riding gear. Tony's riding suit, or space suit, and zero temperature liners have kept him as warm as possible.
mileage: Day 200 Total 6,628
May 13, 2005
Fully satiated with a filling breakfast courtesy of the Hammonds, Bob and Tony were ready for another day in the saddle. On to Concord where they were met by a group of Rotarians including Pres Bob Blood and his wife PP Jeannine, Scott Ives and Linda, who remembered Bob from his 1998 Ride. There was a huge check for $500 to go to PolioPlus in Bob's name. Wow! They had a quick lunch and lots of photos were taken, unfortunately the media were more involved with military base closures. But the welcome was impressive as well as the involvement with polio eradication. Well done Concord!
Since Bob and Tony are determined not to be late, they made their farewells and pointed their bikes in the direction of Montpelier, VT. Mayor Mary Hooper, PDG Frederick Cook of Dist 7850, Andrew Brewer, Tom Golonka and others were waiting for the Riders. Again there was lots of hoopla and no media. But Bob says that lots of people are recognizing them along the way, waving, smiling, and thumbs up. Our supposition is that there must be press stories after the fact.
Augusta Rotarian and Australia 2003 co-rider Bill Mckenna, and Joan on her bike, met up with Bob and Tony in Gorham and escorted them to Augusta. Right on in to the Senator Inn and Spa where Kandra had arranged for a luxurious stay. After a dinner of Crab pizza and great conversation, the guys called it a night.
Mileage: Day 380 Total 7,008
The Rovers got up. Bill McKenna guided them to the bike shop where new front tires were changed out on both bikes. Both rear tires were doing so well, thank you Michelin, that it was not deemed necessary to change them yet. Augusta Motorsports went through both bikes, changing oil and fluids. After a few hours at the "beauty salon", bikes and riders were ready to roll.
However, not before the Saturday BBQ. On the menu were hot dogs, hamburgers, and moose steaks, which received 4 stars by Bob's palate.
Later that evening was a dinner meeting of Augusta Rotarians and our wanderers. There was lots of great conversation about Rotary here and in Australia. Bill presented some "awards", one of which went to Tony. The "trophy" was a huge jar of vegemite, a popular spread on toast in Australia, and something Tony and Bill both love. So they are now the vegemite fan club. Sounds like something out of I Love Lucy.
Mileage: Day 1 mile and 325 yards Total 7,009