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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Day 5: A Day for Historical Perspectives 05.27.15

Start/End: Little Falls/Syracuse, NY
Mileage: 80+
Weather: Partly cloudy/Isolated t-storms/Warm, kinda windy

Today we started out in Little Falls with a ride dedication to Dave Benton, a local newscaster from Champaign, IL (where are group is based). A few months ago he had come out on the air that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer. Yesterday he had passed away so we thought this was a great way to remember him.

Today’s ride was relatively wonderful. The path continued along the Eerie Canal Trailway, though we didn’t necessarily follow it the entire route. It wasn’t nearly as hilly as some of the past days, though the end of the route was pretty tough in terms of hill climbing (and traffic). There was a slight concern about the weather but we only experienced a few sprinkles, while more intense rain formed behind us.

Something that I have found particularly interesting is the amount of castle-like structures here. Some of the, are even labelled as castles. Yesterday we saw some beautiful mansions, or at least their driveways… This must have been a very prosperous region in the early development of e country. Today we passed the birthplace of Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th president of the U.S. Yesterday we passed the home of Franklin Roosevelt, so clearly some high power in this region! Additionally, we passed a battlefield from the War of 1812. There was a nice field with a memorial obelisk to those who had fought in the battle. Can you tell that I love history?

In addition to presidents, we passed through the town of Chittanango, NY, the birthplace of Frank Baum who authored the Wizard of Oz. the town had some pretty cool signs in tribute to their famous connection to such a timeless movie.

Let’s see…. We passed some beautiful fields of purple and yellow flowers and my group, who went slightly off-path, crossed over the Erie Canal Lock 21. It was smaller and had a bike path over it, so I don’t think it was a major lock, but still pretty cool!

We had a rest stop at the Erie Canal Village, which has a new owner that is working to re-do and re-establish this awesome historical park. They were super accommodating in allowing us to fill up out water coolers and use their facilities. They hope to be able to work with us in the future, either through hosting an event (potentially for portraits) or even as a place to stay. Regardless,mid you are in the area,mc heck them out! They are still looking for some funding for re-establishing the park.

Today we experienced an abundance of kindness and generosity. The YMCA in Little Falls was fantastic in hosting us. Today we received very generous food donations from Chipotle and Pastabilities which we are very excited to eat. Again, we cannot stress how much we cannot do this ride without the generosity of others. Tonight we are in Syracuse at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, which has been awesome. We were able to use a neighboring YMCA to shower and the church members treated us as we rode in! Additionally, when we arrived, there were cookies and chips and all sorts of wonderful ness. We have great dishes to eat for dinner, including salad, chicken salad sandwiches, a quinoa dish and watermelon!

We are so grateful to be eating well, and staying places comfortably. Thank you so much to everyone who has been so amazing. A few team members experienced an abundance of flat tires, but they are changing their tires, which will help prevent this in the future. Other than that, it was a smooth, fast day. I even took a nap before dinner, which was pretty nice. Some group members collected a portrait along the route, which is great to continue the purpose of the organization. We are all really starting to get the feel of how this summer will work out and *knock on wood*, things are going smoothly. So until tomorrow….may the winds be at your back!
-LAH

Day 4: Loose Gravel 05.26.15

Start/End: Delmar, NY/Little Falls, NY Mileage: ~75 miles Weather: Warm, humid, light showers, slightly windier than proffered I do greatly apologize but I forgot to speak about yesterday’s ride dedication! Yesterday’s ride was dedicated to Read more…

Day 3: A Different Kind of Memorial Day 05.25.15

Start/Stop: Beacon/Albany, NYC Weather: A little more bit warmer than preferred Distance: 91+ miles Happy Memorial Day! And thank you for those who have served our country and given the ultimate sacrifice. Today was an Read more…

Day 2: Looking for Beacon (of hope) 05.25.15

Start/Stop Location: NYC/Beacon, NY Mileage: 70 miles Weather: Beautiful Today was extraordinary. And I am quite fatigued so I do so apologize for the potential short or ramble-y. We started off very early so that Read more…

New York City Send-Off, It’s That Time Again 05.23.15

The 2015 Team has finally made its way into New York City and they’re excited to start their journey! If you’d like to see them off, the send-off location has changed from Central Park to Read more…

A Snapshot of the I4K Ride 10.01.14

Illini 4000′s very own Eric Baehr made a video of the Illini 4000 ride! Check it out!