It was a friendship like few others.
"Steve and I were the best of friends; like brothers, if not closer," said Mike Moore, sitting on his Harley inside his Sunnyvale garage. "He was living life to the fullest."
On August 21, they were seven days into a meticulously-planned 31-day journey. Steve Kinkel, Moore, and four other riders were on the Rumble Against Cancer. They were hitting all four corners of the country, ringing the border.
And Kinkel was the star of the show.
"We wanted to spread the word about how cancer research works, because of his story. He survived cancer for 15 years after being told he had six months to live," Moore said. "The message he could show people and tell people was to not give up."
Kinkel had also lost a son to cancer. Mike was with them through both battles.
And he was with him when Kinkel died — suddenly, and unexpectedly.
They were on Highway 1 along the California coast. Kinkel had just given his buddies a thumbs-up. Then he must have simply blacked out.
"Never touched his brakes... went straight off the road, hit a tree, and he died immediately... if he hadn't already died from something else before then," Moore recalled.
Their ride ended. Temporarily.
After a funeral in Texas and a few weeks off, Mike Moore knew what he had to do.
"I knew Steve was in heaven looking down at me going, 'Why are you not finishing this?'" he said.
So Moore and his brother Larry — two of the original six — set out to finish what Kinkel had started. Together, the two of them rode 10,445 miles in just 19 days.
On every stop, they raised money for cancer research. They're planning to present a check to the American Cancer Society on November 16, at a party at St. Pete's Dancing Marlin in Dallas.
"He's a friend that's irreplaceable," Larry Moore said in reflecting on Steve Kinkel's life. "There's not another one in the world like him."
In the spot where Steve left them, they held a small memorial, sprinkling most of his ashes. But Mike Moore kept some.
"Here on my motorcycle is something I put on before I left for the ride," he said, pointing to a little canister on a key chain. "I told Steve's wife I'd have him with me forever on every one of my rides."
Just as Steve Kinkel fought on, Mike Moore rode on... and will keep riding for him.