June 12 - June 18
[Webmaster Jon will be at the Rotary Centennial Convention June 16 - 23. His goal is to update the website from his hotel room. But, if that does not happen, please be understanding.]
June 12, 2005
So, at 8:00am Bob climbed aboard the Black and White, pointed it towards Minneapolis/St. Paul and cranked the throttle for most of the day. About 35 miles outside of St. Paul, Roger and a group of riders met up with Bob. They all rode in to the Capitol where lots more Rotarians were waiting. Another great welcome, and another opportunity to fire up Rotarians to help accomplish the task at hand: eradicate Polio.
Still in "go" mode, Bob rode on for a while longer.
He reached Menomonie, WI. and decided it was time to stop. It was planned that he would meet up with DG Mark Kinney, whom we had met on the Odyssey Ride in '01, tomorrow. So Bob called him to let Mark know he was in town and was going to stay at a local motel for the night. Mark and Julie wouldn't hear of it, and twisted Bob's arm (while on the phone), to come stay with them for the night. It sounded like a pleasant evening of dinner and beer.
While driving along hwy 101 this afternoon, I believe I was near Paso Robles, when I spied a billboard. In big letters was goodbye polio, our Rotary Wheel, and words about our Centennial. I could not help but smile, and be proud to be a Rotarian, and to be a part of this great organization.
Mileage: Day 550 Total 16,535
June 13, 2005
Julie Kinney prepared a delicious breakfast for Bob and Mark. After suiting up for rain, even though it didn't look like rain, Bob was shocked when he went out to his bike. Mark had power washed it the night before and it looked like a different bike. DG Mark and Bob mounted up and rode 35 miles and met up with Don Redetzke and the three of them rode to La Crosse. There were two separate TV stations that did separate interviews. A newspaper reporter was there also.
The three of them then headed right into a horrible rainstorm. While it wasn't cold or icy, it was 100 miles of visibility so bad that cars were stopping. Bob was really impressed that Mark and Don hung in there all the way to Madison.
On time into Madison, I might add. Awaiting the soggy threesome at the Capitol, was District PolioPlus Chair Randy Sproule, PDG Perry Henderson, Exec. Dir. Pat Jenkins, a crowd of Rotarians and non-Rotarian personal friend Pat LeMahieu. This district in the last two years has raised over $750,000 for PolioPlus. That deserves some applause. Also Fox 27 and 47 were there for interviews. The media is really coming through on covering this Ride. Thank you.
Mark and Don escorted Bob to his digs for the night. The District is hosting Bob tonight at the Best Western in a large suite. That's very helpful since he needed the space to lay everything out to dry. .
Mileage: Day 270 Total 16,805
June 14. 2005
A day of deserved rest for Bob and drying time for his belongings. It was clear of rain all day until dinner time, which he enjoyed with Randy Sproule and Perry Henderson. Together they conversed about Rotary, the Foundation, PolioPlus, Club issues, and a host of other topics. It's interesting to hear views from other parts of the country. Then for a change of pace, Bob went to Perry's and checked out his piano. I hope he hasn't forgotten what they look like. After this long awareness event, we will have to get back to work. The money tree drowned with all the wet weather this year.
Mileage: Day Zip Total 16,805
It was a respectable time of day when Bob left Madison on his way to Davenport, Iowa. A detour of 35 miles did not endear Bob to the highway system.
However, he did arrive in Davenport for the District Conference of DG Bill Tubbs.
Tony and Bob are Together Again. I think there's a song...........anyway. Tony flew in from Boise, where numerous Rotarians took great care of him. From what I hear, Tony received the ROYAL treatment, was treated as a celebrity, and the folks in Boise went all out and gave him a huge send-off to Tony.
Tonight was a BBQ of steaks and delicious food at the Conference. Tony will speak at a couple of break out sessions and Bob is the keynote speaker on Friday at noon.
Mileage: Day 205 miles Total 17,010
Thursday June 16, 2005
At the District 6000 Conference
Mileage: Day 0 miles Total 17,010
June 17, 2005
Then, it was off to Chicago to prepare for the Convention and Parade. Bob rode the Black and White and Tony went with Rotarians from Iowa.
Later that night, I boarded a plane heading east.
Mileage: Day 225 Total 17,235
June 18, 2005
Then it was back to the convention hall to set up the bike for display. That being accomplished, we found dinner at the hotel and then our tired selves crashed for the night.
Mileage: Day 5 GRAND TOTAL 17,240
POSTSCRIPT: Arriving at the Convention actually brought the Ride to an end. However, while there Bob made a contact that may make it possible to take the bike to Juneau Alaska. It would mean that all 50 state capitals WILL had been visited for the Centennial Ride. We are hoping that last stop will happen.
We are grateful to everyone who helped make this Ride a success. There are many of you out there who put a great deal of effort into making the Ride happen. Without all of you, it would not have been as great as it was. Bob, Tony and I want to thank everyone with our deepest sincerity.