Through the last three years of his late-brother’s life, Robert Gay spent 150 days at his brother’s bedside, chatting about everything and nothing. They talked about politics, whether the Green Bay Packers had a chance at winning the Super Bowl and the life they had lived together.
Eventually, Gay’s brother, Stephen, cut the small talk.
“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 form of leukemia in 2015. He didn’t want to talk about football or politics, things that he would never get to see. He wanted to talk about Robert.
“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, 2018. However, some of those final conversations the brothers had triggered Robert’s current mission to bike across the United States, from Neah Bay to Key West, Fla.
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 — for lack of a better word — a crazy idea. He’s a novice biker. He has a wife and two kids, he’s Zevia’s Chief Strategy Officer and Executive VP of Sales and Marketing. He was about to turn 60. But this was his dream. So on Oct. 11, 2018, at his brother’s celebration of life, Robert decided to begin his quest to bike from the Northwest corner of the United States to the Southeast corner.