Flat Illinois into hilly Wisconsin

I just wrote a long blog and it all somehow deleted before I could submit it, so I’ll try again!

Riding into Chicago on Friday was fun, despite many flats from glass on the road.  It was great to arrive at Millenium Park and be greeted by so many people!  Thanks Dad, Jenny, Granny, Papa, Mary and Mr. Schindler for coming.  It was wonderful to see you there and know that so many people support this trip!

I thoroughly enjoyed my day off in Chicago by relaxing at home with Ewan, minimizing the time spent working on my bike as much as possible, eating lots of delicious food (thanks Mom), and sleeping.  It was hard to leave on Sunday.  Reaching Chicago was an important and celebratory landmark of our trip and in a some ways seemed like the end of the trip while leading up to it.  However, we were about one third of the way through in Chicago and the hardest parts are yet to come. 

A couple parts of the last couple days stand out, such as reaching Wisconsin and almost immediately finding ourselves on hills.  It has actually been really nice to be on hills again, as these don’t compare to what we’ve done already.  It was nice to work hard to climb after days of being pushed along by the wind, and the downhills aren’t nearly as scary as before.  The roads we’ve been on are mostly low-traffic and smooth which helps a lot.

When we were close to the Wisconsin border, the entire team except for about 3 people reached a dead end which didn’t match up with our cues.  We were unsure where to go, but luckily there was a 6th grade boy named Matthew there who was eager to show us the way.  He got on his mountian bike, went home to get his helmet, and then led all 17 of us plus the van with its hazard flashers on down a busy street.  We held up lots of traffic as we were going about 4 mph.  Soon he reached as far as he was allowed to bike, so then he pointed us in the right direction.  It was a funny situation, especially after being frustrated by biking on a busy road full of potholes.

That night we arrived at Lake Geneva and all jumped in the lake!  It was cold but fun to swim around and then take warm showers and eat delicious food at Brad’s lake house.  Thanks so much Mr. and Mrs. Topol and Andrea’s mom for the hospitality!  It was amazing.

Yesterday’s ride was pretty nice but longer than expected because of missing a turn and a lack of mileage on the cues.  Today’s ride was mostly really nice with some challenging hills.  After leaving Madison, we rode on smooth roads through farms and passed through many small towns, some of them Amish.  My group had a scare near the end when some type of insect, over an inch long, flew into Sany’s ear.  It was so far in we couldn’t see it, but she could feel it beating against her ear drum.  We weren’t sure what to do, but finally decided to drip some water in there which caused it to crawl out.  It was a crazy situation which I hope never happens again.  However now we’ll know what to do if it does happen again! 

Hopefully this blog wors this time…

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