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DADS Marathon, June 13-22, 2006

Dads Marathon, June 13-22, 2006
Robb MacKenzie is at it again with bigger dreams. Robb will be traveling from Lansing to Washington, DC on a bicycle marathon because “the best parent is both parents”. With his bright orange jersey emblemmed with DADS of Michigan and Children Need Both Parents, he will be greeted at many stops along the way. In 2005, Robb was greeted by his daughter in Lansing, whom he has fought Michigan courts just to have a relationship with. His Mom and stepdaughter were proudly displaying signs of support.

Robb, Mom, and his daughters.

Rob McKenzie Picture Show


Press Release – May 22, 2006
Press Release – June 15, 2006
Press Release – June 16, 2006
Press Release – June 18, 2006
Press Release – June 19, 2006
Press Release – June 20, 2006

"MacKenzie Challenge – 2006"
To view the map, click on the following link:

Photo Set "Robb MacKenzie"


Check this site daily during the trek to get the latest breaking news.

Tuesday, June 13 – Lansing, MI
Robb attended the Legislative Forum in Lansing on June 13 at the Mackinaw Room of the House Office Building from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. Robb was wearing his bright orange jersey promoting Children Need Both Parents. He walked with Dads and Moms to many Legislator offices delivering a 23 page report of statistics assembled by DOM to 144 State Legislators on why Both Parents are essential for the Best Interest of the Child. It was amazing that many people had already heard about Robb and he quickly moved to celebrity status. He is pumped up and ready to go beginning at 8:00 AM in front of the Capital. Thanks to David Levy of the Children’s Rights Council, we made some additional contacts in Ohio to help with escorts during the trip. We still need escorts in Pennsylvania and Maryland (some rough terrain). Contact 248-467-1204.


Wednesday, June 14 – Lansing, MI
Robb had a great send off from the Lansing, Michigan  Capital beginning at 8:00 AM and with much activity.  The sky was clear and the temperatures were in the mid 60’s, great for the ride.   Robb, his Mom and Dad, and daughter were there for the send off.  Dan Diebolt provided escort services, carrying water and bicycle spare parts.  The trip was filled with incredible sights and well wishes.   Several people in the media stopped Robb along the way for photo ops and interviews.  The trip became challenging as he approached Toledo due to road construction and he lost almost 2 hours time.  He traveled until dark and made it to Fremont, OH and a few miles short of his goal of Norwalk, OH.  That was still 159 miles.  His hometown called for news and photos.  A collection of 30 photos have been collected from the launch, some posted here on the site.

(Track the Dan Diebolt trek) Here is the expected street by street route through to the Michigan/Ohio border: http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/RobbMacKenzie

Click Here to View Photos

Taking M-43 to M-52 South, heading towards Toledo,
OH US-20 to Norwalk, OH
1st nights sleep.
View Map

Robb in Lansing.

Robb, Mom and Dad, and his daughter.


Thursday, June 15
Thursday, June 15: Robb MacKenzie was up early and off to a great start at 8:00 AM to make up for lost time. He is in good spirits having rode 159 miles from Lansing, Michigan to Fremont, Ohio on Wednesday. Robb passed Wellington Ohio at 10:00 am and headed East on State Route 18 through Medina and Akron. He has left a message to pass on: “I am riding to call public attention to the plight of 1 million non-custodial parents in Michigan, the 25 million non-custodial parents in the nation and the countless million more world wide.” With gorgeous weather in front of him, Robb often passed his car escort, Dan Diebolt, who was taking a break. Robb stopped short of his goal of Norwalk, OH on Wednesday and made up for lost time reaching East Palestine, OH at 8:55 PM. Nancy Moore of the Children’s Rights Council in Youngstown, OH and friends from the MensCustodyShelterNetwork in Pittsburgh were at the ready to help provide support. At the end of the day, what is Robb hungry for, Chinese noodles.

” I am happy to announce that Robb MacKenzie has exceeded his goal of reaching East Palestine Ohio on his second day of cycling from Lansing, Michigan to Washington, DC. Robb has asked me to tell you “he loves the hills” and looks forward to joining other fathers and parents on the road to equal parenting and at the upcoming rallies in Pittsburgh and Columbus. Safe travel and happy father’s day to all”. Dan Diebolt

US-20 in Norwalk, OH heading to Medina, OH
OH-18 to Akron, to US 224
US 224 to OH-14 at Deerfield, OH
Heading to Salem, OH and East Palestine, OH
2nd nights sleep
View Map


Friday, June 16 – Pittsburgh, PA
Friday, June 16: Robb had another early start from East Palestine heading east to Pittsburgh. He has been blessed with another gorgeous day. The trip was a little shorter but the terrain is a lot tougher. The West Pennsylvania hills on I-65 will challenge a truck and often there is an extract lane on the incline for slow moving trucks. Robb triumphed and made it into Pittsburgh by about 10AM. He rested with the welcoming party preparing for the Rally at noon. As the crowds assembled at the Family Court House beginning at 11:30, Robb flanked by 2 pick-up trucks with purple banners drove 20 minutes through the city to the Court House as cars honked and unsuspecting bystanders waved. There was a terrific show of support at the Court House. Media photographed and conducted interviews. Later, Robb was treated to a masseuse to loosen tired muscles and ready for a big family meal. Tomorrow morning it is off to Columbus.

East Palestine to Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburg Rally – Noon
Click here to view photos
3rd nights sleep


Saturday, June 17 – Columbus, OH
Saturday, June 17: Today was a non-cycling day for Robb and a group of us were able to travel to Columbus Ohio for today’s Statehouse rally. The rally was another huge success but I will rely on others to send in their stories till I return home sometime tonight. This mail concerns asking for some supplemental help to assist Robb in the remainder of his ride to Washington.

Robb will leave Pittsburgh tomorrow morning destined for Bedford Pennsylvania and will ultimately reach Washington DC June 22. This is a generous amount of time and should pose no physical difficulties. However, having local people along the way assist with media coverage, contingency plans and special knowledge of road conditions would insure a productive and safe trip for Robb. The issue of road conditions is particularly important. Surprisingly, the elevation change and distance are not the factors that are of concern. Construction delays, routes through major cities, road debris, narrow shoulders, and adverse weather are factors of concern.

If you are along a route from Pennsylvania to Washington DC and can assist with 1) local media contacts, 2) reporting route conditions, 3) hospitality/hosting services please call this number (412) 871-0904 (home) or (412) 708-2020 tonight and speak with Robb’s current host, Joy, in Pittsburgh.Thanks for your help, safe travels and happy Father’s Day to all.  (Dan Diebolt)

Columbus Rally and K-Rights Radio Broadcast
Click here to view photos
4th nights sleep


Sunday, June 18 – FATHERS DAY
Sunday, June 18:  Robb Reaches Bedford Pennsylvania.  Tired from a hot day and a series of hills along highway 30, Robb reached his destination of Bedford Pennsylvania at about 7:00 PM. After a trip of 99 miles (mostly uphill!), Robb is still in great spirits and looking forward to another 87 mile trip tomorrow along state route 30 with a destination of Gettysburg Pennsylvania.  Despite having another four flat tires today, Robb is enjoying the beautiful country with spectacular views of the mountains, valleys and abundant animal life.  Robb was stopped several times along the way and chatted with supporters for almost 2 hours.  The repeated message was, pass shared parenting legislation in Pennsylvania.  On this Fathers Day, Robb salutes all of the Dad’s struggling with the courts to be involved in their children’s lives.  Robb wishes all of you a Happy Fathers Day.

Destination Monday, Gettysburg, PA
The following  are web pages that display photos from each of the three events.  These pages are large as I did not have time to do any thumbnail processing or put them into an online photo gallery service.  (Diebolt)

Pittsburgh to Bedford, PA
5th nights sleep
View Map


Monday, June 19
Monday, June 19:   Robb Has Arrived In Gettysburg / 86 Miles From Washington DC !!!  The subject line says it all – Robb has arrived in Gettysburgh and is a mere 86 miles from Washington DC. Today Robb covered 82 miles mostly uphill with one monster climb of 20 miles taking 2 hours to assend. The downhill trip got his bike going a record 52 miles an hour. Along the way Robb has been meeting passerbys and other cyclists who are nothing short of amazed that he has traveled this distance. One restaurant proprieter bought Robb a Rolling Rock beer to celebrate his arrival.

It appears Robb may arrive as early as tomorrow. Those people on the ad hoc welcome committee should reach him after 6:30 pm tonight at this loation:

(717) 334-4274
Super 8 Motel
room 220

McConnelsburg to Gettysburg via US 30
US 30 to Gettysburg to PA-97
6th night sleep
View Map


Tuesday, June 20
Tuesday, June 20, 4:48PM:  Robb MacKenzie, the marathon bicycler from Covington in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula traveled from the Lansing Capital on June 14 and arrived in Washington, DC on Tuesday at 4:48 PM.  Robb traversed mountains to reach Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on Monday, symbolic of battles of historic proportion and the battles Fathers must fight to be involved with their children in divorce and custody.  With an early start today, he reached Washington in record time and 1 day ahead of schedule.  He hit a little rain and had a few small hills to ascend but he has reached Washington DC safely and in great spirits. Along the last stretch of his route there were passerby cars greeting him and marveling at the fact he rode from Lansing Michigan.  Robb will be staying with a local Fatherhood advocate to rest and celebrate.  Robb will participate in welcoming activities and receptions with Michigan Congressional leaders Thursday and Friday in Washington DC.  His family will join him in Washington DC and enjoy some vacation before returning to Michigan (by car).

Heading to Littlestown, PA
And Westminster, MD
7th nights sleep
View Map


Wednesday, June 21
Wednesday, June 21: Robb took a day off to visit the Capital, He stayed with Ed Bartlett from RADAR and Ed was most gracious. Robb took the Metro downtown to scope out the area and see many historic locations. To the average person, it is a lot of walking, and Robb was very tired from the trip.

MD-97 through Westminster, MD
To Olney, MD
8th night sleep
View Map


Thursday, June 22 – Washington, DC
Thursday, June 22 – Washington, DC: Robb meet ACFC leaders Michael McCormick, Stephen Baskerville, and David Roberts at the Capital Reflecting Pool.  Later he met Paul Sielski and they went to visit some legislators.    They visited every Michigan Rep in the Rayburn Office Building. There were several different buildings on the itinerary list and for expedient purposes and as the time schedule was already off, they decided to get in front of as many Reps from the State of Michigan. The Michigan delegation reception was very gracious. Robb and DadsOfMichigan.org were most effective with Michigan US Congressmen. A great deal of time and effort in the humid heat is spent traveling from building to building.

12:00  Meet at Lincoln Memorial for ceremonial bike ride around the Capital mall
1:30  Gather at the Reflecting Pool in front of the Capital
2:30  Depart for Longworth Congressional Building
3:00  Meet with Michigan Congressman in Rep McCotter’s office
VIP tour of the Capital building, with Robb’s family

Olney, MD (MD-97) to Washington, DC
View Map


Friday, June 23, 2006 – Washington, DC
8:00  Meet in front of the Department of Justice, pass out flyers
10:00  Meeting in Senator Burr’s office

Robb in Washington at the Department of Justice.

Robb in Washington at the Department of Justice.

Robb in Washington in Senator Stabenow’s office.

Friday, June 23 – Washington, DC
Dads Marathon, It was our day in Washington, DC by Paul Sielski
Special thanks to Karl J. Vesterling for helping all the Fathers.
Not sure if you saw the following very nice e-mail from Ed Bartlett of RADAR. It’s so very refreshing to see the Father’s groups cooperating, pitching in and, politically united. Let’s foster this momentum and scratch each others back as often as possible. As a Naval Commander, you understand and, I as a Marine understand, the need for joint operation exercises. We all have learned from this and, we will make other operational exercise more effective next time.

It was a pleasure to have the company of Robb; he is an excellent spokesman for the cause. Special kudos to Tony Taylor (PA-Army Veteran) for making much of this possible. Tony has sacrificed much of his local PA activities to be in Iowa to work on the Klein4Change.com campaign. Traveling to and from Iowa took a lot out of me/us, I apologize for not being able to help more, I did the very best I could. I know Tony is doing his devoted warrior’s best for Father’s Rights both locally and nationally. Ed Bartlett did communicate with me regarding his plans for Robb’s visit. I had to ask Dr. Michael Ross to pickup on this, as I was frantically trying to get to Iowa and would be away from my home office traveling from June 14th until June 20th.

On Thursday the 22nd, Robb gave me a copy of your itinerary e-mail and plans for him on Capital Hill. We did visit every Michigan Rep in the Rayburn Office Building on the first day. There were several different buildings on the list and for expedient purposes and, as the time schedule was already off, to make the best of the situation on the ground, I decided to get in front of as many Reps from your home State of MI as possible. The MI delegation reception was very gracious. Robb and DadsOfMichigan.org are most effective with Michigan US Congressmen. A great deal of time/effort in the humid heat is spent traveling from bldg to bldg. Very tough on the suite and tie uniform of the day. It’s best not to be dripping with sweat when on the Hill.

On Friday the 23rd, I was with Robb and Tom of RADAR, so we were on RADAR’s agenda as agreed and made the most of it. I did take some targets of opportunity to synergistically advance your interests in MI. Specifically; we made the long trek to Rep Rodger’s (R-MI-8th) office in the Cannon Bldg to pick up the flag/colors. From reading your instructions regarding picking up the flag, I was not sure what was meant, and Robb was not sure ether. I soon realized, being a Former US Marine and fellow US Veteran, the importance of the flag/colors guide-on in our mission to save Fatherhood. Robb held Old Glory high, and it was very instrumental in subsequent meetings with all Congressional Delegates. RADAR’s message is very important, and to have Robb carrying the colors, helped to advance the effective delivery of the RADAR message.

We then went back to the other side of Capital Hill again, to the Russell & Hart Senate Bldgs. The last picture in the e-mail below is a picture from Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s office (D-M), http://stabenow.senate.gov/ The very unusual reception was at first contentious. The young lady pictured, at first, would not receive any and material from Robb and Tom, citing security concerns, she directed them to get a Federal ID and have their material screened by the Capital Police before she could accept anything. Wearing a suit and tie, I introduced myself and handed her my business card from Dr Klein’s Presidential Exploratory Committee. Her contentious attitude quickly changed and she took the Klein4Change.com bi-fold platform brochure/biz card into the back room and came back and said everything was just fine, welcoming us to the office and eager to accept the RADAR material and the DadsOfMichigan.org message. She may have been taken aback from the bright yellow bike jerseys, but I think it is really a sincere effort to screen out trivial visitors and stress Sen. Stabenow’s position on Homeland Security. Her office is right near the entrance to the Hart Senate Office Bldg. So I’m sure they get lots of street people visiting. Always remember too smile, be polite and professional in the face of adversity, hurdles and challenges, "the slow blade penetrates the shield". It could have been very easy to get into a confrontation with Sen. Stabenow’s desk staff.

Sen. Carl Levin’s (D-MI) office was very interesting as there has been some staff turn over. You/we have a chance to break in a new staffer on VAWA, SSA, and Father’s Rights issues. Kevin R. Glandon is the new Legislative Correspondent on Family/SSA issues and was eager to listen to us. He wants facts, statistics and information to support our view.

We were able to visit Sen. Santorum’s office (R-PA) I dropped Dr Michael Ross’s and your name, with the staffers (follow up with Jen Vesey). We did not have time to visit Sen. Brownback’s office (R-KS). I wish we could have spent more quality time in those two offices as they were on your itinerary e-mail. Be assured, that both of those fine Senators are well aware of the Dr Klein’s posse’ and we all spent quality time with Sen. Brownback in Iowa at the State GOP Convention.Tony and I did spend quality time with Sen. Santorum in his office as part of the Real Women’s Voices Citizen Lobbying Day April 26th (Real Men’s Voices?). At the time, we were unaware of Dr Ross’s conversation with Sen. Santorum while he was giving the good Senator a ride to the airport. Sen. Santorum did express his interest in working on SSA Title 4D means testing and revisiting the Bradley Amendment. At the time I was surprised that the Senator was aware of it. Not being fully aware of what was said previously, I was not able to take full advantage of the opportunity. The Senator is having a tough time with the challenge from Casey (D-PA) for Senate in 2006. As Casey is Pro-life, Sen. Santorum has to find another issue to differentiate himself from his opponent Casey. Illegal Immigration is one of the differentiating issues, let’s make ending the FATHERLESS EPIDEMIC another issue, (see Mr. Bagwell of TX).



Lansing Rally, Tuesday, June 13 & 14 (Launch)
MI Chairman, Jim Semerad


Pittsburgh Rally, Friday, June 16
PA Chairman, Tony Taylor


Columbus Rally, Saturday, June 17
OH Chairman, John Fowler
614-309-5572 June 17


Washington Rally, June 22
DC Chairman, Paul Sielski


See his 2005 trek at http://www.dadsofmichigan.org/marathon.html

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