Happy One Month Anniversary Illini 4000!

After our day off in Rochester, and scoring sooooo much Panera bread its ridiculous, our group traveled to Owatonna (pronounced Ooo- ahhh–tonnahhh). With a short 45 mile ride and eating lunch at a lake, we were able to relax the rest of the afternoon, or at least most of us.

When we got to the church we were staying at I started to help clean out our van, because it was ridiculously dirty. XiXi and I took the car, spontaneously I might add, to find a vaccuum to clean out the built up dirt in the car. After driving and calling gas stations  for 30 minutes, we finally found one that had a vaccuum. Who knew that it would be so hard to find a vaccuum? After cleaning the car, I then went to Walmart to buy grocery’s for dinner, and then helped Connie prepare an awesome lentil, vegetable soup with homemade hummus and bread. After eating more Panera donation desserts, I knew that it was time for bed, because sleeping less than 6 hours a night takes a toll on the body and mind when riding 70+ miles the next day.

After waking up to another beautiful Minnesota morning, we were on our way to New Ulm, MN. However, before we left I had to give a Mosher speech.

For those who don’t know what the Mosher is, here is a short introduction. Last year on the ride, someone picked up this ski pass in Telluride, CO of Eric Mosher. After passing this card around, more or less sneaking it into the back pockets of another rider, and you are caught with the Mosher card when breakfast is called that morning, you are responsible for giving a Mosher speech. The speech can consist of anything you want from why you are doing the ride to replaying funny messages on your phone from other riders, to a celebration dance with the whole team and their bicycles around you.  

Basically, the Mosher is a way to start the morning immediately before the ride. Today, was the first day I got stuck with the Mosher. Andrew is the only other person that hasn’t done the Mosher, therefore, I have outlasted 18 other people. Anyways, my Mosher today was pretty much thought up on the spot.

Today I talked about why I did this trip. I said I wanted to do this trip to help inspire others, learn about myself, and meet new people. Individual inspiration and motivation keeps people going and working hard on this trip. From tackling big hills, to tough head winds, rerouting continuously, we all find some days more difficult than others. While riding we also find time to think about our life, where we are going, what we want to do, how we want to get to the next phase of our life (whichever that may be), and sing songs to keep ourselves occupied on the ride. Some days are longer than others, just as in everyday life, and some days we have more opportunity for self-reflection. I have found that no matter where you are and what you do, reflecting on our actions and motivations can help drive a person to make themselves better. 

Personally, from doing the Mosher, which I have dreaded (and still do), I found that although there are things in life that I may not want to do or realize, it was silly to stay blind to something that is in front of you the whole time. I knew that the Mosher was coming, but I didn’t want to realize it. Only when it is thrown in my face I then had to deal with it. As we progress day by day from one point to the next we don’t realize these life lessons, but  looking into the future and the past realizing that we just had our one month anniversary makes you realize that time passes by so quickly. So take sometime to realize the important and fun things in life, but don’t stay blinded to the obvious facts in life.

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