Several of the Ashland Club made the  annual investment in MESA real...cycling the last 50 miles of the 6 day 2016 Rotary Tour for MESA.
Read about the journey Terrence and Thomas leveraged representing the Rotary Club of Ashland.

WE FINISHED!! DAILY LOG : by Kurt Anderson

Day 6 started with breakfast at Perkins courtesy of the Marion Rotary club. Dan Wigdon then provided us an escort out of town so we could inspect his route markings and vote on which--his or his wife's--were the better marked. When we said they were both equally good he pulled over and waved good-bye.

LTR: Donny Weber, Rotarians Terrence Webb & Tom Roepke, recieveing Rotary Club of Ashland donation Rotarin Gary Davis and Seth Kauffman.
Kidding aside, the markings were a welcome change from previous days with none available, and our map-reading skills atrophied. We even caught a tailwind as we sailed along the back country roads into Bucyrus.

At Aumiller Park in Bucyrus we were greeted by Area 9 AG Virginia Hammontree, Bucyrus club president Tami Tima, and past president Marylyn Strang, who provided refreshing snacks, drinks...even ice cream! They got a taste of Tour humor when told, after pressing us with hand sanitizer, "It's Day 6. It's too late for that!"

We departed Bucyrus toward Tiffin to discover the wind had shifted and now we were--once again--riding into a headwind. Oh, mind you, not just any mere breeze. This was a veritable wind tunnel. Just keeping the bike upright and moving forward was a challenge. Somebody calculated that the physics formula for the relationships between energy, mass, and velocity E=MC2 actually means "Energy (required to reach a destination on a bicycle) is Mileage times the square of the headwind Velocity." Meaning a 20-mph headwind requires about 400 times the energy. Yup, sounds about right.

As we struggled toward Tiffin we met up with Tom Roepke and "Team Ashland", who had driven to Fostoria, left a vehicle, and whizzed down to meet us mid-route...pushed by the same wind we were fighting. Turning around to accompany us, they grunted, "BOY, this is work!" They accompanied us back into Tiffin, where we had very, very late lunch stop, thanks to the delaying winds. But we so much appreciated the Tiffin club's rest stop; we were in great need of food, hydration and rest by that point. The stop certainly "built good will and better friendships" and was "beneficial to all concerned."!!! Thanks, Tiffin club!!! (And thanks to the local bike shop who fixed Big Dog's broken spoke in less time than it takes to eat a sandwich).

By now we were only 12 miles from the final destination at the MESA warehouse in Fostoria. While the afternoon heat made the headwind even stronger, if possible, we could "smell the barn" and pressed toward the finish line. Smiles were everywhere as we pulled in, relieved and giddy that we had completed the day, and the Tour. Yet it was a bittersweet moment as we began packing up the bikes and luggage and exchanging farewell hugs. The riders, veterans and rookies alike, have become a family who deeply love and appreciate each other. "Service Above Self" is more than a mere motto; the Tour brings it alive as a way of daily life. As our Tour slogan says, "Having fun uniting the district to impact the world."

Is it the truth? We enjoy telling everyone, everywhere we stop, about the mission and impact of MESA, and the personal fulfillment and fun of participating in the Tour.

Is it fair to all concerned? We learn to look out for each other, to care for each other as family, even as we work to improve the lives of recipients overseas of the medical equipment MESA will be shipping.

Will it build good will and better friendships? Our host clubs and host families are the superstars on this point. The Tour is a great bonding experience among the riders, but the fellowship, support, and encouragement we have received from the clubs and families that feed and shelter us has been outstanding. We cannot say thank-you enough.

Will it be beneficial to all concerned? The riders and hosts benefit from the camaraderie, the clubs benefit from learning more of MESA and of other clubs' community activities, and the ultimate greatest beneficiaries are those who received the medical equipment being shipped.

The Tour certainly passes the Four-Way Test.

We Rode. We are the Tour. We are Rotary.

Won't you join us next year?