Chicago

Oh the joy of public technology! I spent an hour writing this post at the library this morning before internet explorer crashed on me causing me to lost the entire post. Now I come to you through the fingers of my sister typing as I try to recall what I wrote. The library was also anti USB devices so photos will have to wait a little longer. Please note that I don’t have the ability to edit these posts so please excuse any typos or errors.

Now on to the update! We are currently in Chicago and staying at UIC in Marie Robinson Hall on West Maxwell Street.

Since my last post we have crossed into the central time zone and the great state of Illinois.

We woke up Tuesday morning in Rockville Indiana and were treated to a pancake breakfast put on by members of the memorial Presbyterian Church in Rockville. It was pouring while we were eating breakfast however it cleared up just as we were preparing to leave. From Rockville we headed to Chrisman Illinois where we were scheduled to stop at Mooney’s Auto Dealership for a PR event. For those that don’t know Mooney’s generously donated/ lent us our fabulous support van that we are using this summer. It was an honor for us to stop and see those who helped us out. After spending some time at Mooney’s Jon, Nick and Brad headed to Paris Illinois where they were guest at a Rotary event while the rest of the group pushed on to Urbana- Champaign. I rode with Fei, Takaya and Jay after leaving Chrisman. We faced some strong head winds, navigated some closed and flooded roads and changed Fei tire that insisted on being flat a few times but managed to make our way to Urbana by about 5pm. I should also mention that we stopped at Miss Becky’s in Homer Illinois where she generously provided us with water and granola bars to fuel us the final 20 miles- Thank You Becky!

After the Rotary event Jon, Nick, and Brad pushed hard all afternoon to make it to Urbana-Champain in time for an event at the University of Illinois alumni center that was suppose to start at 5pm. The event at the Alumni center featured food and a number of speakers including someone from the American Cancer Society, someone from Camp Kesem, a cancer survivor and someone from UIUC who has been involved in cancer research, along with people from the UIUC alumni association. After the event Nick and Jon decided to go for a dip in the fountain behind the alumni center. This was followed by a party in the fountain when Andrea, Dana, Andrew, Matt and myself all joined in on the fun by jumping in the fountain as well (I have photos and videos of this when I obtain non fire walled internet access). After our fountain party we went back to Nicks old house to change and then Jon, Nick, Matt and I went to Papa Bells for pizza with Jeoff (our sponsor and owner of That’s Rentertainment), his girlfriend Jill and I4K 2007 alumni Allison!

Both Jeff and Allison joined us for the first 20 miles of our ride on Wednesday, riding to our first water stop in Rantoul Illinois. In Rantoul we caught some rather amazing tail winds that pushed us most of the way to Chebanse making 80 miles seem ridiculously simple.

Zion Lutheran Church hosted us in Chebanse. It is the church that Jon Schlesinger’s grandparents attend and the entire Schlesinger family made us feel at home during our stay in Chebanse. Providing us with an amazing dinner followed by an awesome breakfast- that included their ever so amazing overnight French toast!! From Chebanse we headed to Homewood Illinois on Thursday. We were once again greeted by amazing hospitality and generosity staying at Faith Church. We once again caught tail winds heading to Homewood and everyone arrived at the church by lunch time. Our host at the Faith Church provided us with dinner and then got up early to make us pancakes before we left- a big Thank You to them.

Our team departed Homewood on Friday morning in great inticipation of our arrival in Millennium Park where friends and family were gathering to welcome us. We met up as a group on the lake front bike path and then rode down Michigan Avenue and into Millennium Park as a group. I would estimate that there were over 30 people there to great us and it was nice to see some familiar faces even though i’m not from the Chicago area. We took some photos and ate lunch at the Bean before heading to the UIC dorms to drop our stuff off and change before going to UIC medical center. We walked from the dorms to the medical center where we met with a few pediatric oncology doctors and patients during an ice cream social. After leaving the medical center we had a brief team meeting before people went separate ways for the night. About 75% of the team is from the Chicago area so many people went home for the night. I think Jon, Nick, Andrew, Sean Lauvee (I4K 07) and myself were the only I4K affiliates in the dorms last night. The five of us met up with Anish and James, both I4K riders in 2007 and went out to dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant. After dinner I took a warm shower and then went to bed as I was extremely exhausted.

Today I spent my off day eating, sleeping and battling technology! I woke up early (as in 6am) because that’s the time that we usually wake up. After lying in bed for awhile I got up to write some postcards and headed to the coffee shop around the corner where I found Jon using the wireless internet access. Shawn showed up shortly after and we headed to breakfast a few blocks away. Andrew joined us there and after we were all done eating we headed to the library down the road to use (or fight with)  the internet. After leaving the library I headed back to the dorm room where I promptly fell asleep and took about an hour long nap.

At 1:30 I began trying to figure out how to get to John K’s house for the picnic his father was putting on. I asked a number of different people how to get to Wheaton and after getting a different response from each person decided to call Jon myself. We determined that I needed to get on the west line at the Ogilvie Transportation Center so I made my way there only to discover that the didn’t take credit/debit cards thus I need to find an ATM. After obtaining cash at the ATM the lady at the transportation center informed me that I missed the 2:40 train by 3 mins and they only ran trains every 2 hours. I tried to find a cab but after getting the "you have two heads looks" and a "do you know where your going?" I found the fairs rather ridiculously expensive and opted to go to the super market and buy myself dinner instead. I ended up buying microwaveable Chicago pizza and strawberries for a well rounded dinner! Strawberries made up for the fact that my mom refuses to mail me homemade Strawberry rhubarb pie for some reason… just kidding mom.

Tomorrow we have our ride along to Highland Park- if you are in the Chicago area come join us!

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