Our Mission

The Illini 4000 is a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting the American cancer experience through The Portraits Project, raising funds for cancer research and patient support services, as well as spreading awareness for the fight against cancer through annual cross-country bike rides.

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News and Updates

Day 2: Beacon, NY to Albany, NY 05.19.19

Today’s ride was dedicated to Jayce Cunningham, a friend of mine. Jayce fought Leukemia for many months and passed away in March of 2018. Today would have been his 23rd birthday, and this day weighs heavily on those who knew him. Jayce was an incredibly special person who changed the lives of many, including mine, and it was an honor to be able to dedicate today’s ride to him.

Today was a long day: an 87 mile journey through the rolling hills of upstate New York. The team absolutely crushed it on the road today and kept up a great level of positivity. Today was the warmest day that the area had seen all spring, and the breeze and sunshine felt great.

The highlight of this day for many of us is the stayover that has graciously hosted us!!! The Bethlehem YMCA in Delmar, NY has been incredible to us: they had snacks and ice water set up as soon as we arrived, cooked us a homemade pasta dinner, provided hot dogs and hamburgers to grill, gave us access to showers!!!!!!, a pool and hot tub, and their entire facility. We are currently setting up to sleep in an ice rink, there is so much space to spread out – which is kind of funny because today was our first shower since Wednesday and we don’t smell too bad (until tomorrow morning). We are SO APPRECIATIVE of those who let us stay in their facility. It is so powerful to see the kindness of strangers in action.

Rider spotlight: Nathan is such a wonderful teammate to have! He is a very strong biker and a great person to have in your group during a ride. Today he not only biked the whole route, but also helped a rider with bike issues, taped up an injured leg, AND helped grill our dinner. Nathan is also in charge of printing our directions for the day (amongst other logistic tasks) – so you could say he is a crucial part of our team!

Day 1: Central Park, NYC to Beacon, NY 05.18.19

Each day, we dedicate our ride to someone. This inspires us to keep going, even when things might get tough. Our ride today was dedicated to an individual from our community who was diagnosed with Read more…

Day 0: rollin’ out in the morning! 05.17.19

Today was very exciting! The team took the subway to meet with one of our beneficiaries, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. We got to meet one of the fellows who is conducting important research Read more…

Day -1: everyone has arrived safely in New York! 05.16.19

Hello friends, family members, and all supporters of the Illini 4000! My name is Kaitlin Block and I am a member of the 2019 Bike America team. I will be updating the team journal every Read more…

Day 76: The one where they crossed the bridge and became cross country cyclists 08.03.18

Today the team rode 16 miles from San Rafael to San Francisco!! We really did it, we biked all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. Saying it even now feels surreal, we really made Read more…

Day 75: The last big ride 08.02.18

Today the team had our last “real” ride which consisted of 57 miles from Healdsburg to San Rafael. The day started out strong with a team circle where everyone awkwardly held hands as we heard Read more…