Robb and I were not even half way to Adrian, Michigan and we already had a near collision caused by a piece of road debris in Lansing. Whatever I ran over it demolished my tire, tube and finally my rear wheel. I wish I could have seen how it looked flying down the streets of Lansing with sparks shooting from my rear wheel as I attempted to avoid a near collision with Robb plus come to a complete stop. Perhaps I should not have joked around that I was willing to arrive on bicycle to D.C. by any means necessary?
Six hundred dollars later I was back on the road pedaling towards Adrian Michigan which was our first planned stop. Keeping a steady pace while pedaling I started to examine several of my thoughts. How is it that elected officials, such as Representative Brenda Clack, are allowed to play politics with our families and children? Why did Michigan Republicans seem to fight for the rights of families and children more than the Democrats? All I heard last election was that Michigan Democrats were for the average Michigan family.
The police escort we received from the Adrian Police Department was very much appreciated and would speed up our arrival time to the welcome party. I would find out later that there was an incredible editorial written by the Adrian Daily Telegram which is one of the few newspapers left in Michigan that are not afraid to ask tough and balanced questions to both Republicans and Democrats. Many view their writing as the “Fox News Channel” of Michigan Newspapers. Contrast this type of journalism with the Flint Journal. The Flint Journal has yet to report on the fact that Brenda Clack, a Michigan House Representative out of the Flint area, is not only holding Michigan House Bill 4564 “hostage” but she also refused to support HR 162.
It was fantastic to round the corner and see the purple flags that had been placed as a way to welcome us to the party in Adrian Michigan. It was a relief to not only take a break but to also see so many whom I consider to be good friends. It was the first time I was to see the massive banner which Delete had made the night prior which was very impressive and something that we would use throughout the entire 700 mile bike trek. It was great to see Jim Semerad whom I had not seen in several months. Jim Semerad runs the organization Dads and Moms of Michigan which was one of our main sponsors for the Equal Parenting Bike Trek.
I personally felt a tremendous obligation to achieve the most media attention I possibly could, not only for Dads and Moms of Michigan, but for all of those who donated for this amazing event. The Equal Parenting Bike Trek certainly obtained this difficult objective. I was especially thankful to all of my family members who donated, such as my brother Marc and many more. I was also surprised with the support of two friends, Jeff Thompson and Bob Horvath, which I had known since the seventh grade. Every donation in time or money was heartfelt by Robb and I! When you undertake a project that is close to your heart you NEVER forget those who donated their time or money to help you make it a success.
I made one huge mistake in Adrian at the welcoming party. I ate a hotdog that would haunt me for another 70 + miles. Robb warned me that there was no way my body would digest it with the type of strenuous exercise we still had ahead of us for that day. He was correct and I was nauseous for the rest of the day. This hotdog would continue to haunt me with the Equal Parenting Bike Trek chase vehicle crew making jokes along the way about it. I enjoyed their sense of humor! Robb and I finally reached the Ohio border.
We met some of the nicest people along our 700 plus mile cycling trek to the Family Preservation Rally. Many were amazed that we were truly pedaling the entire way to Washington, D.C. I proudly told everyone that would listen that I was doing this for my son and daughter. Our favorite places for a brief stop were the numerous produce stands where we would fuel up. A picture that was taken at one of the produce stands in Ohio would soon be turned into a parody picture of what would later occur a day before the Family Preservation Rally. Fathers4Justice surprised everyone and stormed the Lincoln Memorial to officially kick off their start in the United States.
What would soon become one of my personal highlights of the entire 700 mile bicycle trek was our meeting with the massive 43 ft long CRISPE bus! Later that day I would suffer from a heat stroke while Robb and I attempted to make it on time for a rally planned in Ohio with Fathers4Justice and the CRISPE bus crew.
One highlight the following day is in PA when CRISPE, Fathers4Justice and the Equal Parenting Bike Trek Crew had a rally in front of a Pittsburgh, PA courthouse.
Part 3 coming soon…with so many more memories to be made!
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