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 67: Ahh My Leg!! 07.26.17

Today was a doozy. Another near-century (we’re gonna call 96 miles a century at this point) with 5,000 feet of climbing. The elevation map looked like a right triangle. It was mostly a gradual climb but at 60 miles BAM it started to get extremely steep. At one point there were 7 people sagging in uncle Rico (the van). Although our expected time of arrival at the stayover was 8PM we got in at about 6:00.

Crescent is a town of about 300 people and it is so small that the people at the grocery store knew our stayover contact Gil from us just mentioning his first name to him.  After some last minute changes, we ended up staying at an old haunted out of use restaurant for the night. Complete with a bowling alley, a bar, a banquet hall, and a full kitchen straight out of the 1970’s, this place could pretty much be the set of the Shining. We couldn’t resist the haunted charm and ended up playing a game of hide and seek. Since it has been years since this place has been used we have to make our spaghetti and lentils dinner at a local church.

We had a surprise today, Jessica returned. After flying all the way to Eugene and then taking a two-hour cab she showed up at our stayover and surprised us all. We are all so happy to have her back.

Tomorrow we have loads of climbing into Crater Lake and we will not have service while we are camping at the top. It is a famously hard I4k ride and I am quite scared for my knees. So I will be absent for at least a day. We expect it to get extremely cold at the top and tent groups are actually trying to recruit more people into their tent for added warmth.

What goes up must come down right?



Day 66: Blizzards for Days 07.25.17

Today Zach dedicated the ride today in honor of former ride leader, Catherine Kemp. Catherine’s friend Shae, passed away 5 years ago today from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Today was one of the best rides we have Read more…

Day 65: And on Mondays We Nap 07.24.17

We had somewhat of a rest day yesterday as we rode 15 miles from Troutdale to real Portland city limits. We stayed at, or rather outside in tents, another alumni’s house, Jill. After we rolled Read more…

Day 63: Portland, We Have Arrived…Kinda 07.24.17

Today Ben, an alumni and former ride leader from 2015, dedicated the ride to Colleen, a friend of his who has been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. Colleen has a one-year-old son and husband. Read more…

Day 61/62: Wait are We in Washington or Oregon? 07.21.17

Neeca dedicated the ride today to her high school security guard. She found out recently that she died of pancreatic cancer. Yesterday we rode 85 miles from Umatilla to Hook River State Park, and it Read more…

Day 60: Oregon! 07.20.17

Julissa dedicated the ride today to momma Burton, a mom of her friend who has breast cancer. Today we crossed yet another and second to last state border into Oregon. The scenery was pretty much Read more…