Robert Gay, a novice cyclist, has partnered with Trips for Kids to raise awareness for the organization that provides bikes for kids in need. Rebekah Welch/Seattle Times/TNS
Photo: Rebekah Welch
Photo: Rebekah Welch

Dying brother inspires man to cycle across U.S.

Through the last three years of his late brother’s life, Robert Gay spent 150 days at Stephen Gay’s bedside, chatting about everything and nothing.

“We got to the point where we realized that he’s not going to be here,” said Robert Gay. Stephen Gay was diagnosed with a rare from of leukemia in 2015.

“He said, ‘I do want to talk about the things that you want to do. Give me some insights. What’s on your list? I’m not going to get to any of mine,’ ” Robert Gay said.

Stephen Gay died on Sept. 29. However, some of those final conversations the brothers had triggered Robert Gay’s current mission to bike across the United States, from Neah Bay, Washington, to Key West, Florida.

It had always been this somewhat fantastical idea. He had done some road trips, and had always thought, “man, I’d love to bike this.” Yet it was a crazy idea. He’s a novice biker. He has a wife and two kids, he’s an executive for soda maker Zevia. He was about to turn 60. But this was his dream.

Robert Gay plans to ride 4,764 miles over 107 days. He began his trip on Aug. 6. His trip will benefit dozens of kids across the United States through Zevia, which is purchasing 72 bike sets for Trips for Kids.

He is scheduled to be in metro Atlanta on Oct. 26 at the Savage Race event in Dallas.

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