Friday, March 30, 2012

We Made It!--Day 5

Through the dense fog of a major ascent up Route 1, across marsh and central Marin, through the San Rafael bike tunnel, by our house in San Rafael (pictured), we made it to Milo.  Thanks to Tom, Bette Lee, Bill, Susy, Juliana, Sophia, Grace, Harley, Rosie, Milo director Lynne Tingle, other Milo staff, and the press for the nice welcome!

Watch the Marin IJ for a picture (on Saturday, hopefully) and check out the article below from San Rafael's new online news site, Patch.

* 200 miles
* approaching $2000 raised

Great job, Eli!



With Lynne from Milo

Patch article:

12-year-old Boy Raises Funds with 200-mile Bike Ride

As part of his Bar Mitzvah, 12-year-old Eli Stewart rode with his father from Auburn to San Rafael.
By Nicole Ely

Bret Harte resident Eli Stewart rode in to the Milo Foundation Friday afternoon, completing a five-day bike ride from Auburn to San Rafael in an effort to raise funds for the pet adoption nonprofit.

The 12-year-old Stewart was accompanied by his father, Joe, during the 200 -mile journey. They raised approximately $2,000 for the organization.

“It was difficult,” said Stewart, admitting that before this his longest bike ride was 15 miles. On this ride, they averaged around 40 miles each day.

The father son duo took off from Auburn, where the family has lived for a year, on March 26. It was a sunny day when they left, but that soon changed. From Sacramento to Fairfield, heavy rainfall drenched the roads and the riders. “The rain soaked through my windbreaker,” Stewart said.

Although Stewart and his father tried to stick to bike trails, a few times they had to resort to the highways. A close call happened between Solano and Sonoma counties when the narrow road became dangerous for bikers.

“A truck passed right by me and it was a foot away,” Stewart recalled.

That earned the bikers a short hitchhike.

“I was at first worried about Eli, but he was super strong all the way through,” Joe said.

Stewart decided to take the journey as part of his Bar Mitzvah, a Jewish rite of passage where adolescents are presented with five “coming of age” challenges to complete. The idea for the bike ride originally came from Stewart’s mother.

“When she said to do it, I was like ‘no way.’” he said. “But I’m proud I did.”

The Milo Foundation has a special place in the Stewart family’s hearts--they found their dog, Rosie, of three years thanks to the organization. Stewart’s grandparents also adopted a golden retriever mix named Harley last week to celebrate Stewart’s arrival in San Rafael.

“We figured it was good motivation,” joked Bill, Stewart’s grandfather.

Upon their arrival, Stewart and Joe handed several checks and cash donations collected along their ride to Milo Founder Lynne Tingle.

“It’s just great that a kid would want to go through all that physical effort and on top of that want to help raise money for us,” she said.

The Stewarts plan to move back to their Bret Harte house next year.

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