Here goes the bike. A few hours earlier….
It’s Thursday morning and it’s a beautiful day outside. I have to ‘deposit’ the bike today. I am still fighting with a cold and a fever as a result of the ride to Toronto. I’ve purchased all kinds of vitamins and as well as something for cold that says DAY TIME in bold letters. Pay attention because it will become crucial later. Taking my passport, I ride to the warehouse where I have to turn over the bike. I fill one more liter of fuel (the bike should have no more than quarter of a tank full). Gidion rides in the front and suddenly….. the sky turns dark. Welcome to my world Gidion. I am on the road and cumulonimbus clouds are following me. A few minutes later, after I am already wet, I “swim” to the nearest bridge and I swear (it took me three days to dry the gloves) and put on my rain coat. Three minutes later – no rain.
I arrive at the warehouse and drive up the ramp to the scales to weigh the bike. First thing is to stick a sticker there. The guy there fills out the damage report for the bike (no damages, just a scratch). He checks the fuel, measures the bike (it will go inside a container so they insist that must fit…), and he asks me about the battery. The positive side should be disconnected. I am begging. I tell him how handsome he looks. How talented he his and how proud he’s made his parents. Nothing works. I have to do it. BMW never planned on the need for someone to have access to the battery. You need to take off many, many small screws off of the faring. Then there’s the air filter and then, and only then, you can access the battery. Well, I did it.
Next the smart guy arrives. This is the one who fills out the forms. Holy cow! Was he slow. It takes him more than an hour to type and check the air bill and whatever other forms and numbers he can think of. Jenni from Edmonton calls to tell me her and her relay team are raising money for the campaign. Right now I am just falling asleep. Ooops, we said DAY TIME?
At 6:00pm we have to be at the ICRF dinner. It is after 5:00pm. I take a quick shower and arrive at the Hilton at 5:15. Everyone has on their best cloths. Me? Starting at the bottom and working to the top; sneakers (boots are left on the bike), jeans, rebel t-shirt (uniform) and riding jacket. Hey, I am at work here. The card says I am in table 36. On my way there I notice brochures with Gili’s pictures on all the tables. I arrive at my table. The nice couple sitting there already looks scared to me. I am telling them not to worry – I just look like a homeless person but I did take a shower. They don’t really buy it. So I reach out and take one of the brochures on the table and show them that I am legitimate. Now I can sit down. After a while they were even generous enough to contribute to the campaign (and other people as well). Ruthy would prefer to go home. Ruthy is a cousin of my father. She is married to Gidion who is joining me on the “European” leg of the tour. He will return for his son’s wedding at some point but first he will travel across Europe with me and then afterwards, fly to Israel.
The speeches began. Some honored specific people and suddenly they began talking about Rebel with a Cause and I am asked to stand up. Gili’s picture is projected onto two huge screens and I ask Ruthy to ‘take a picture’. She can’t seem to figure out the camera. So while I am standing there (wanting desperately to disappear from embarrassment), I take a picture as well...
Soon after, I can feel myself falling asleep. DAY TIME???? Maybe in Israel. Here, it’s like working through the like night for me. There is a political round of hand shaking and home I go.
I’ve already traveled thousands of kilometers (see map). The route so far has taken me from North West, via Central North USA (or North Central, whatever) to the east. I’ve had one near arrest, two significant “events.” I’ve witnessed many deer, raccoons and unknowns long since passed away, suffered one illness and had many, many adventures. I am trying to figure how much money has been raised so far but it looks like I will know only at the end. I’ve met many great people and I’ve heard many cancer stories. Some have happy endings while others do not. And in my lowest moments I recall them and realize how lucky I am. And I knew that I would not stop for tornados, rain or heat waves. Nothing will stop me. I will continue to bother you as much as I possibly can and will continue to ask you to help cure cancer. This could be our only chance to prevent children from becoming orphans, and to stop the necessity of parents mourning the loss of their children and to simply– stop more tragic stories from grieving families. Some of you have already been blindsided by this disease. For some of you, it is yet to come. But come, it will (Yes!!! It does not stop at the corner of the street you live in). It does not discriminate and it has no mercy. Many of you may mutter under your breath, “what a tragedy, what a horrible disease” and continue on with your life and this is as it should be. But there is a chance that for you, it won’t. Research, research and more research, will eventually help cure this disease. IT WILL AND IT MUST! But research costs money.