Mutchler was greeted at the Capitol on Saturday afternoon by several
people in support of his cause. Mutchler is riding across the United
States and parts of Canada to help raise awareness and funds for Polio
Plus. He stopped in Pierre for one night before continuing on to
Minnesota. (Capital Journal photo by Rebecca Cruse)
He’s been on
the road since March 15, and a Saturday stop in Pierre marked mile 16,733.
On a BMW bike
with a sidecar that holds supplies, including rain gear and leg braces,
Bob Mutchler rode up to the Capitol around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
is the popular adage given to the Sacramento native and polio survivor,
who is riding to every state capital and parts of Canada in an effort to
district in Hawaii helped Motorcycle Bob kick off his tour on March 15.
His bike was flown over and Mutchler rode across four Hawaiian islands.
Mutchler went to California and participated in the state highway patrol
Polio Plus fundraiser.
continued his ride, breaking an alternator belt in Florida and getting
snowed out of the eastern Canadian provinces.
definitely been the most difficult ride of my life,” he said. “My
measuring device to know the ride is productive is when I’ll stop for gas
and someone comes up to me and says, ‘I saw you on the news’ or ‘I read
about you in the newspaper. Where can I donate?’”
Bismark, N.D., early Saturday morning and caught the rain about 10 miles
down the road. He left Pierre on Sunday for Saint Paul, Minn.
Paul, motorcycle Bob has one more capital, Madison Wisc., then he will
ride to Chicago for the national Rotary convention.
was greeted at the Capitol by an entourage of fellow riders, Rotary
representatives and Mayor Dennis Eisnach.
been working to help prevent polio since 1984 when Rotary developed the
Polio Plus program.
goal for Polio Plus is to completely eradicate polio by the end of 2005.
began working on the project polio cases have been reduced by 99 percent,
according to Eisnach.
that more than $600 million has been raised in the United States for polio
prevention by Rotary clubs alone, and more than 20,000 additional
organizations have contributed to the cause.
cost only 50 cents per child, and according to Motorcycle Bob, 100 percent
of donations to Polio Plus go directly to the hard costs of vaccinations
worked on Polio Plus outside of the U.S. as well. He says that Africa is a
major area of focus right now, due to recent outbreaks.
takes care of most of his own expenses on the road for the most part.
Rotary clubs have been welcoming though, offering room and board on many
of his stops.
Motorcycle Bob was put up at the Governor’s Inn, and a dinner was held in
his honor at the St. Charles Restaurant on Saturday evening.
request was a Pierre Rotary banner.
messenger to the public,” said Mutchler. “If everyone in America put up
$1, we’d have enough. Please, get your donations in and support the
program. Let’s get this taken care of now.”