Diary & Travel Report by Simon Milward
Hi from BMW MOA Rally
July 7th 2002
I writing this at the annual BMW Motorcycle Owners of America rally in Trenton Ontario Canada. 7000 BMW fans are gathered on the north shore of Lake Ontario. The big tent of the Airheads club has electricity, settees, air-cooled BMWs in various stages of repair and just outside the Louisiana contingent is cooking up a mean dish with shrimps. The BMW rallies are different to other events I've been to lately, an absence of naked flesh and blaring music and the women here wear dungarees.
The small end bearing (or something else which sounds important) in my engine has gone because the piston seems to be rattling around in the barrel. I turned it off before it did serious damage and left it at Starved Rock HD in Illinois where I made a presentation. It was thanks to Paul that I made it there - he scooped up the bike on his trailer last Wednesday night. I rode up here on a Yamaha Virago lent by Irwin from Chicago who is making a feature film on motorcycling. If we can find a sponsor with $7,000 he will come along on his Harley and film my South American leg, anyone interested?
So it is new engine time for me. Well, 85,000 miles on a single is plenty, I had intended to get one before heading to Mexico anyway since I am well over halfway through my trip. You know, that Rotax engine has been so good to me, I'd thoroughly recommend Rotax engines to anyone, and I'm not just saying that because I asked them for a free replacement!
This email is late because every awake minute is crammed with maintaining the bike (thanks to everyone helping in this regard), riding to the next presentation (300 miles per day including evening presentation is the norm) and keeping body and soul together. The human body can only take so much, even when supplemented with caffeine tablets! It's been worth it anyway, we've raised nearly $85,000 now.
My next presentation is in 15 minutes so this update is short. The planned book provided I get that far will have all the details. Much has happened and people in the States have been so kind in so many ways. The latest corporate supporters include Kawasaki Of Laconia (NH), Berkshire Motor Works (NY), Tom McDermott HD (NY), Mainline BMW (PA), Harding Harley (NY), Millers Motorworks (NY), Starved Rock HD (IL), Starved Rock HOG (IL), and Louisville BMW Riders (KY). Special mention is due for the Motorcycling Doctors Association who gave $500 and the Gold Wing Road Riders Association also with $500.
Extra and very special mention is for the best HOG Chapter in the world. Worcester MA HOG raised another $920 - their activities in support of the MillenniumRide have resulted in $2,500. Isn’t that just brilliant? I arrived at their meeting on the back of a pick-up since my drive chain broke chewing up the back end of my bike. Sheldons HD were very supportive in repairing that.
I spent Independence Day 4th July at the Wing Ding in Fort Wayne Indiana, the annual get together of 15,000 Honda Gold Wing riders organized by the Gold Wing Road Riders Association. On this date in 1776 Americans finally decided that the price of tea was too high, threw off the yoke of British rule, and switched to coffee.
My initial fundraising target was $100,000. I set it whilst riding through Saudi Arabia, three months into my ride back in March 2000. I remember thinking how lucky I was, experiencing new cultures, people, food, scenery. Surely it was the very best situation to be in and with most of the world left to go. But something was missing, it all seemed rather selfish, and setting that target as a ballpark figure gave the ride so much more meaning and me so much more fulfillment. The Flores Project (Health for All) developed during the ride. It alone is worth $150,000 over three years. The money destined for Doctors Without Borders is about $15,000 and is being transferred now. What this all means is that the real fundraising target should be raised to about $170,000.
I certainly intend to head South from Texas in November, whether that figure is raised or not. A week or two on the telephone at some stage to chase corporate donations (following up on earlier correspondence) will perhaps get the extra. It's hard to say. I'd don’t see too many gaps in my schedule, I wish I was better organized. But I thought I'd make the fundraising needs clear and send that message out into the universe in the hope it will hitch up to one of those positive life forces flowing through humanity.
Bye for now, Simon
ps: The Ontario Airheads are donating all their T shirt sale profits to Health for All, US$600, and the national club promised a donation too. Their slogan? "It's time to change the air in your head." Right on.
pps: Here is the latest from Wili in Flores.
REPORT OF ACTIVITIES JUNE 2002 ACTIVITIES
1. Finalize contract with MoH in East Flores district. In order to facilitate a good collaboration, MoH of East Flores district studied a draft of contract prepared by HfA. A good number of points were discussed and then agreed as points of contract. Among the points highlighted is the contribution of MoH of East Flores for the sustainability of the program in the form of their support for fuel, oil and spare parts. On its part, HfA provided 10 units of motorcycles (because CARE International failed to use 5 of them) used by Health Workers of MoH and is responsible for the maintenance/service.
2. Further discussion with CARE International After waiting for quite sometimes, Program Manager of CARE International called for a meeting with HfA to discuss the draft of contract proposed by HfA. He was accompanied by Flores program manager while HfA was represented by Frans Pantur and Wili Bala. During the meeting, we were able to agree on the points suggested and CARE appeared to be a promising partner. However, Frans and I were stunned by final statement of CARE saying that they could not decide yet whether or not to use 5 units of motorcycles because they have to first ask their outreach workers. With the feeling of disappointment, we asked them to give us the final answer in the end of June 2002, considering that motorcycles would soon be in operation. And as predicted (based on the result of the last meeting), in the last week of June, its Program Manager called Wili to inform that outreach workers of CARE prefer to use Honda to Yamaha so they cannot use motorcycles of HfA. Our big question is: Why did they let us wait for more than a month just to know that they could not use our motorcycles???
3. Finalized Papers of Motorcycles All the papers in connection with motorcycles were finalized with Regional Police Office.
4. Completion of Crashing Bars As acknowledged by Manager of local welding shop, it was their first experience designing crashing bars of motorcycles. Hence it took them 4 weeks to complete such equipments. Made of original iron no. 12, the bars protect head and signal lights (front and rear), clutch and front break (steering handle).
5. Promotion of Program by Media Considering that the Program of Transport Resource Management for Health Delivery being developed by HfA is the first and new program in Indonesia, HfA is trying to promote and to introduce it by means of mass media. To realize this aim, we sent articles to local newspapers as well as to national magazines popular among motor riders as well as among motor industries in Indonesia. As a result “MOTORIDERS” magazine and a local newspaper “SWARA LEMBATA” (The Voice of Lembata) published articles sent by HfA. With this, we hope more people know about the program. Besides, we expect that by reading the articles motor industries and riders in Indonesia could open their eyes and see the social function of motorcycles. And for donor agencies in Indonesia, we hope they can see that this program is worthy to be supported. And indeed, in a brief period several institutions asked if they can use some of motorcycles. But Unfortunately HfA cannot fulfill their requests due to the limited number of motorcycles that are available now.
6. Driving Training for Field Coordinator Before living for the field, field coordinator of HfA, Frans Pantur was trained by Wili on how to drive motorcycles well. The training was really started from the basic because based on driving test on the first day of the training, Frans was not so well versed in driving motorcycles with clutch. He normally The training last for 7 working-days namely from June 3 11, 2002.
7. Basic Service Training The training was then continued with the session of basic service with the facilitator of HfA technician, Yos Ngole. It last for 2 days and participated by field coordinator, Frans, office boy, Eman and Program Manager, Wili. This training somehow made us familiar with the different parts of motorcycles and deepened our skills in how to do basic service.
8. Exposure to Yamaha Garage From June 17-21, 2002 Field Coordinator and HfA Technician underwent training in the form of exposure to Yamaha garage in Kupang. The objective is for them to deepen their knowledge of how to maintain motorcycles. In addition, this activity, for HfA, was a good start in how to build network with local Yamaha center. And indeed Yamaha pleasantly welcomed the exposurists and its technicians served as good instructors. They even offered their help in case HfA needs them in terms of repair.
9. Attend Meeting organized by JKPIT In view of sending the draft of Regional Law on Violence Against Women to local government, Eastern Indonesia Women’s Health Network (JKPIT) invited Wili to participate in the discussion on such a draft. It was participated by members of JKPIT hoping that this new draft proposed could replace existing regional law which is deemed as still discriminating for women.
10. Attend a Seminar on Family Welfare Commemorating National Family Day, National Body of Family Welfare and Family Planning (normally known as BKKBN) organized an executive seminar with the topic on Equal Rights and the Role of Women as well as Gender Equality. HfA was also invited to be a participant among 60 other invitees. The speakers underlined the role of patriarchal culture inherited by present Indonesian generations which contributes to the marginalization of women’s role in Indonesian society.
Prepared by: Wili Balawala
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