Diary & Travel Report by Simon Milward
World charity rider achieves $100,000 before heading to Columbia - 30 Sept 2002
Simon Milward is now in Los Angeles after raising over $100,000 for charity.
He has circled the USA twice and thanks Americans for their donations during their own time of need. Most recent large donations of $1,000 came from the US Motorcycle Industry Council and Kenai Peninsular ABATE (Alaska).
Milward will be in the area for the next two weeks preparing equipment and machine for Central & South America and Africa.
He has been on the road since 1.1.2000 and has covered 29 countries and 90,000 miles. Here he recounts activities since the last update. --
Welcome to new sponsors and thank you.
Well back in Los Angeles and its all change. Time to get kitted up for South America and Africa. Spares, medical kit (thanks Dean), new tent (thanks Mum), bit of re-wiring (thanks Ken), deciding what to do with all my electronics, tying up loose fundraising matters.
Speaking of which, we made it! $100,000. $104,000 to be precise. Ahh, it was whilst riding through Saudi Arabia in Spring 2000 when I set that target. It was three months into this trip of my lifetime before I started to settle down a bit. I was in Saudi before the visa expired having made an unplanned lap of the Mediterranean Sea, and the pressure had lifted. I was overcome with utter joy. I thought, ďSimon youíre the luckiest man alive, to be motorcycling around the world like this. I see new cultures, peoples, foods, and scenery almost daily and still have the vast majority of the world to go. Can life get any better than this? No! This is it I arrive! Utter utopia. Great. So what then? Yeah so what? What does it mean? What really is the Millennium Ride all about? Hmm. A $100,000 fundraising target for my chosen charities would be challenge and round enough. There, that feels much better.Ē I didnít want you to think I had gone insane right away so I didnít give it a special mention at the time. Anyway well done and thanks. Everything is, after all, achievable.
But of course everything went a lot further than that. Whilst $15,000 has been sent to Doctors Without Borders the rest was sent to or is destined for Health for All. The latter is a pilot project using motorcycles for reaching out with health services on one of Asiaís poorest remotest islands.
The Flores Project, using twelve Yamahas for health outreach to 55 villages (population 44,000), was called Ďan angel from heavení by the Health Minister. The signs are that we will end up with a startlingly successful and cost effective solution that could easily spread throughout the region due to high usage of motorcycles already. Particularly if we could target a fraction of those aid billions and use them to make a difference on the ground. (A new friend Charlie at the Monterey Institute for International Studies offered to lend a hand here. Iím also thinking big on this Charlie, enjoy Shanghai.) This is one reason why every dollar donated to the Flores Project could be worth thousands in the long run. But we still need $65,000 to run it for the full three year term. You can help by:
America thank you. During your own time of need you donated to this cause and really made this ride meaningful. I arrived in Alaska with barely $25,000 in July 2001. Besides that, one of the greatest gifts during this ride is the friendship I now have with Americans from all over.
Iíd like to get the full project funded before heading onto bandits and stuff, at least then if I snuff it the project will live. Besides that Iíll stop going on about it and give you a much more pleasant time ≠ nothing like a bit of leverage eh?!
The latest additions to the Corporate Hall of Fame whom I thank greatly are: The Motorcycle Industry Council (US motorcycle industry body www.mic.org) with a second donation of $1,000. Kenai Peninsular ABATE with another $1034 taking their total to over $1500. Other recent corporate donators include Wrights Custom Products Oregon, Doc Wongís Chiropractic www.docwong.com, Central California BMW Riders www.CCBR.org, www.magsbags.com and Cycle Specialties.
Oregon is a strong contender as the most beautiful State in the US. The ride on highway 26 to Portland past Mount Hood was pure magic ≠ the Ďrather worní rear tire testifying to that. I stayed with Ted and Jill Tracey and family of ABATE for a week or so making a presentation to Beaverton Adventist Church, sorting out some personal things and trying to make sense of everything I had left to do before leaving the US.
Scott Hamann flew me up to Kenai Alaska where I attended ABATEís Labour Day Run and gave my testimony to and a later powerpoint presentation at Nikiski Church of the Nazarene. Pastor Paul said the Church agreed to become a corporate sponsor and wrote a letter of recommendation which is on the website.
The Jacksonville First Presbyterian Church in South Oregon (near the amazing Crater Lake) was interesting because it was about the only time anyone from the audience asked for more detailed impressions of the Middle East situation. Northern California was also lovely as I headed back to familiar territory around the Bay. Jean of ABATE put me up again before arriving at California BMW Triumph where Kari had organized a $1,300 presentation.
A week in San Jose at Kevin and Sarah Whiteís place included a day at Motion Pro getting cables and changing head bearings and nearly all the rest of the time on the phone, computer and rear wheel. Rear wheel? Itís a long story. Then off to the Beemer Bash at Mariposa where we raised over $1,500 and a ride South on 395 after visiting Yosemite National Park. No wonder the rest of America is jealous of California. Did I get that right?! Ha ha! OK OK, I know, itís their attitude, but California does that to you! Then we raised over $700 at the San Diego BMW Owners Club a couple of nights ago.
Tonight Iíve got the Los Angeles Adventurers Club and a presentation set against tribal costumes, elephant tusks, photos of the late great and famous, and every imaginable oddity from around the world. It shall be nice to be with a similarly earth-struck bunch of desparados!
I asked Nokia for a 9290 Communicator phone. Then I can run my powerpoint from a palmtop and do emailing all in one. Do you work for Nokia? Should I take or leave the CTX digital projector, thatís a big question. You know, the support of CTXintl.com with that has made the fundraising presentations possible. It is like a pet. Always there, slung around my shoulder staying clear of vibration and Iím ready to roll a world tour in just ten minutes! The laptop is not coming with me for sure. The Psion is OK but SIM cards donít function in the Motorola, which has just been serviced.
There are just too many things to think of right now. I need to get the carnet sorted out. Iím looking forward to that Mexican beach.
Bye for now,
Simon Milward, on the road
A solo fundraising round the world ride on a handmade motorcycle. Help us help motorcycles and motorcyclists improve the health of fellow human beings.
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