MAY 29 - June 4
May 29, 2005
A patron of the Park Cafe in Salt Lake City was heard to say, " I saw you on TV last night!". A statement that is a serenade to anyone on an awareness junket. It brought a smile to the PolioPlus party of 5 enjoying breakfast. Thank you Bob Anderson, for the hospitality and the event.
More head and cross winds all the way to Helena, but Bob and Tony were within minutes of being on time. They checked into the Wingate Hotel, courtesy of the Strickler's. Later, dinner at the country club. More delicious dining. Bob's going to get spoiled!
Mileage: Day 587 Total 12,328
Monday, May 30, 2005
Yes, they got up and prepared for another day in the saddle. They rode in to downtown Helena, to the Capitol, where Helena Rotarians and VIPS and media were waiting. Montana Lt Gov John Bohlinger welcomed Bob and Tony to Montana. LT Gov Bohlinger is a former Rotarian from Billings. Mayor Jim Smith proclaimed May 30 PolioPlus Awareness Day in Helena. DGE Paul Broughton and District PolioPlus Chair (DGE) Dr. Jeff Strickler also welcomed our guys. Two television crews did interviews for statewide news broadcasts, and Bob and Tony thanked folks for supporting polio eradication. With a wave goodbye, they were off to Boise, Idaho.
Thinking they were behind schedule, Highway 20 looked to be a quicker route. It was cold, and gloomy from the dark clouds ahead. It did not look very pleasant. But then the really black clouds seemed to move off to the side, away from the pass they needed to cross. It got wetter and oncoming traffic were blinking their lights. The signal for police ahead. OK, no worries, they were behaving. As they crested a ridge, the hail started pelting the guys. It was like a line drawn across the road- one side rain, the other hail. Instead of melting to water, the hail was packing up. It was cold. The clearance on the sidecar is 4 inches. The sidecar started slicing off the build-up.
Riding on "marbles" was not in the cards for Tony this day. He and the Green Machine went down. As it turns out, the motorcycle faired a bit better than Tazzie Tony. Tony is suffering from shoulder problems and aches and pains from the fall. He says his new helmet definitely saved his head and his "space suit", a state of the art riding suit, saved his body from disastrous injuries. I am proud to report that Tony got up and walked away from the bike. Fortunately, good a Samaritan trucker, Gary Zurcher, stopped and offered assistance. Bob and Tony took him up on it. Somehow, they loaded the bike onto the truck, and Tony as well, and headed towards Boise and the Meridian Rotarians waiting for them with a BBQ.
Pres. Dennis Johnson had been made aware of the accident and the impending delay. Everyone there waited for our guys. And it was quite a group, including Bryan Daniels, who has helped arrange for tires for Bob and Tony, and rode up to Boise to escort them to Salem. Lots of Rotarians and families and Rotaractors, and motorcyclists, food, games and music. The BBQ was sponsored by the United Heritage Co. and the Rotary Club of Meridian. Pres Dennis was instrumental in all the arrangements, including the nights accommodations at the Comfort Inn and Suites for Bob, Tony and Bryan.
While Tony suffered some trauma, and shoulder problems, he is very fortunate for the gear he chose to wear. (I won't get on my soap box about choice vs. requirements.) He chose the best he could get, for the best protection available. He walked away, painfully, but on his own. In my mind, Tony is a real rider. He has endured riding and speaking engagements for nearly every day of 34 days straight. Hats off, Mate. Good on Ya. Bob told me this ride has been every bit as difficult as an Iron Butt Rally.
Mileage: Day 550 Total 12,878
Tuesday May 31, 2005
It shouldn't amaze me anymore, but it does, the way Rotarians step up to the plate. Offers of help came in for Tony. He is staying in Boise for a couple of days to rest and recoup at Hal and Sue Rumsey's home, before deciding what to do next. After checking to make sure Tony was in good hands and being looked after, Bob realized there wasn't much he could do for Tony, but to continue on the Ride and fulfill the commitments he had made. Sounds a lot like Rotary and PolioPlus.
We said we would eradicate Polio and even though there have been obstacles, we are following through with our pledge.
So, after a 5am wake-up and checking on Tony, Bob headed out towards Salem, Oregon with Bryan Daniels as co-pilot.
In La Grande they stopped and met up with some folks and went for breakfast with Barbara and Graham Hicks and a news reporter. Another rider, Ben Altman met up with Bob and Bryan , and the three of them rode through more head and cross winds through the Columbia River Gorge and into Salem. In a downpour, they arrived to special parking right in front of the Capitol. Due to the rain, the ceremonies were moved inside to the galleria. DGE Norb Murray introduced Oregon State Treasurer, Randall Edwards, who introduced Bob and read Governor Kulongoski's letter (aired on the Capitol public address system). While the rain deterred some, PGD Aaron and Mary Cooper, PDG Jack Magnuson, Mrs. Murray, AG Chuck Itoh and other Salem area Rotarians, Presidents and presidents elect braved the weather. It all went smoothly and Bob and Ben were on the road to Olympia. AG Chuck Itoh did a great job of organization. (I wonder if he hires out?)
The two B's arrived at the Capitol in Olympia, Washington at 6 pm. Alone. Except on the horizon was a lone rider headed towards them. Iron Butt Rider, John Bolin pulled up beside them and said welcome to Olympia. So they did the photo shoot and left to find dinner, tell Iron Butt Rally stories, and find a bed for the night, somewhere near Fife, Washington.
Our sympathies go out to the loved ones and friends of Ron Smith, a Long Distance Rider and Iron Butt Veteran, and friend of the PolioPlus Rides.
I heard from Tony late in the morning and while sounding a bit rough, he was hopeful that he would try to arrange to get to the International Convention in Chicago.
Mileage: Day 590 Total 13,468
Wednesday June 1, 2005
After a good night's rest, Bob met up with John and Karen Bolin at the South Sound BMW dealership to change a rear tire on the Black and White. Bob was shocked at the negative response of the management.
They would change the tire I had sent on the wheel, but they would not touch the bike with the sidecar on it. They allowed Bob and John to remove the wheel in the parking lot. It seems that the owner also has another dealership called Ride West in Seattle. They have a policy of NO WALK IN SERVICE. Apparently, if you don't have an appointment, they will not help you. Bob had wanted to have fluids changed and other things looked at, but they wouldn't do it.
So Bob, John and Karen went to lunch instead.
Bob rode on to Port Angeles to catch the ferry to Victoria, BC and on to a Super 8 that is providing him "super" service.
I checked with Tony. He's better and up doing things and getting out and about. He was more positive about going on to Chicago, and sounded livelier. Many thanks to the Boise area Rotarians and to the Rumsey's in particular. Thanks to Dennis Johnson for taking care of the motorcycle.
Mileage: Day 125 Total 13,593
Thursday June 2, 2005
Bob got up at a reasonable hour and departed Beautiful Victoria. The ride to Duncan while brief, was quite scenic. He arrived at the Best Western, Cowichan and settled into his home for the District 5120 Conference.
Mileage; Day 39 Total 13,632
June 3, 2005
Up and about, visiting with Rotarians, meeting new folks, and greeting friends was the order of the day. However, looking at the bike Bob realized it was so filthy he was ashamed to take it out in public, no less allow it to be inside the District 5120 Conference on display. What to do? Take it to the Chrysler dealer so they can detail it. Isn't that what anyone would do? I don't know, but that's what Bob did. And now, it's clean and ready for company.
Bob attended many of the days' sessions. Incoming RI President Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar spoke at the Friday night event. Also at the Conference was Linda Coble and Kirk Matthews (Hawaii), Sonny Brown (San Antonio Convention Chair), Floyd Olson, RI Director, and lots of hard working volunteers, aka Rotarians.
In other news: The City of Chicago decided to ban all motorcycles and related vehicles from Parades in their fair city. Enough of an uproar from motorcycle groups around the state and country encouraged them to lift the ban. It raised our blood pressure a bit. We were considering finding a flatbed truck to put the bike on for the parade. That would have been interesting.
The IFMR (International Fellowship of Motorcycling Rotarians) was not happy about it either. They have a sizable group entered in the parade as well. So.......that seems to have settled down for now.
Mileage: Day 10 Total 13,642
Saturday June 4, 2005
Lots of friendly faces at the District Conference. Many of whom Bob has met in various venues around the globe. A positive atmosphere prevails, and DG Dick Drew and committee are certainly working hard at presenting a great conference. Bob was the keynote speaker for the lunch event. Since Bob is in Motorcycle Mode, and is not carrying formal attire, DG Drew came to bat again and provided a suit for Bob. It's a really good thing they wear pretty much the same size.
some visiting and a rest before the evening event with Sonny Brown as the
speaker. The evening was a late one and with a very early wake-up, it looks
like Motorcycle Bob won't get much sleep.