MP Jeff Baron’s decision to do something spontaneous with frequent flyer miles has notched up more than $ 6,000 for a children’s charity.
Mr Baron rented a high-powered Harley Davidson motorbike and set off on a marathon 1,350 mile three-day road trip from Dallas, Texas, to the California coastal city of San Diego.
He said: “I’m not a biker but I just wanted to have a fun few days on my own. I booked the entire trip a few days before I left.”
Mr Baron said he was unfamiliar with the open spaces of the United States when he set out on December 28. He rode up to 11 hours a day on his rented 1750cc Street Glide to raise funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters Bermuda.
Mr Baron admitted he took unexpected detours after missing turns along his planned route.
The One Bermuda Alliance Warwick North East MP said: “What made it cool was knowing each mile that I was raising money.”
He added he took a bit of Bermuda along for the ride.
Mr Baron said: “I was going 85mph in the middle of nowhere out in the desert, just as the sun was going down, listening to the Talbot Brothers’ Bermuda Buggy Ride,” he recalled. “That was one of my favourites.”
He added highlights of the trip included crossing the Rio Grande, eating cherry pie next to the world’s largest model chilli pepper, and hanging on tight through the wind-blown final stretch after Yuma, Arizona.
Mr Baron reached his destination at 11.30pm on Sunday, returned his bike, and headed home.
He said he was keen to do the trip again “but with other people next time”.
His goal was to raise $ 5,000 for BBBS, but his online campaign broke the $ 6,000 mark.
He said: “I can’t wait to finalise their cheque and start their year off with a donation.”
The mentoring programme, which offers friendship and role models for young people, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
Patrina O’Connor-Paynter, managing director of BBBS, said: “When Jeff called me with this idea, I was like, are you serious? What a great idea. It has all the more meaning because he has been a Big Brother himself.”