Champaign, Clifton, Homewood 06/08-06/10

After a crazy night of karaoke and a wonderful breakfast, the team woke up early for the ride into Champaign.  Scheduled to ride in at 3pm, we lollygaged our way into Illinois; some slept for hours at rest stops, some saved a kitten, and others rocked out to the sweet sounds of Nate’s playlists. We grouped up about 2 blocks away from the Alumni Center with the attempt to ride in together… Conor, Steve, and I tailed in the back and found out how easy a group of 28 can get split up by a few cars and a red light. 25 riders showed up to a warm greeting at 3pm and us 3 showed up fashionably late at 3:02.

Since I forgot the keys to my apartment, whoops, a lovely group of females took in Steve and I. Jacquelin, Ali, Angie, Colleen and Whitney (shout out!) opened their apartment for food, baths, laundry, sleeping locations, and a movie night. My only request was Mac’n'Cheese for dinner and Jacq made it happen. She followed the main course meal with a tasty desert: brownies with chocolate frosting and butterfingers and deliciousness. While the rest of the team was out and about mingling in Champaign, I’m pretty sure I fell asleep around 8:30 until Jacq moved me into her absurdly comfortable bed.

The next morning we had a late start. Diana had the mosher and I must say, no one will ever top it. She wrote a song including a shout out to everyone on the team… I loved seeing “the other side of Diana.” Personally, my favorite part was how she nailed each individual person so perfectly. 10 months ago, we were all perfect strangers, and now we spend every waking moment together, getting to know each other probably too well.

The ride into Clifton was long and boring. I’m pretty sure there was a point in the day where I just thought “UGH I hate this bike.” No worries though, I still love Hilary. The day was just hot and tedious, cornfield after cornfield. Resisting from falling asleep on the bike seemed to be a common goal and it didn’t help that our cues forgot to mention that 68 miles really means 74.

The one thing that did motivate me to get there was knowing that upon arrival my mother would be waiting to bring me home for a doctor’s appointment the next day. I’ve been riding through the pain, popping pain killers and just making it work. Most of my teammates can tell you that about every 25-30 miles I start to hurt, pull over, take another one and just go. It has helped to be in Illinois, land of no hills… I even wrote a song riding into Champaign about how much I love Illinois, but that was 2 days ago so of course I forgot it.

Moving on… my mother picked me up and obliged to my request of cold grapes waiting for me in the car. We stopped at R.E.I. and Dick’s to pick up some necessities and drove into Chicago where my bed anxiously awaited my arrival. Who would have thought that sleeping alone in a room in a bed would have been so weird. It took me about, oh I dunno, 45 seconds to get used to it again before I was knocked out sleeping. This morning was different… I took a hot bubble bath and blew my hair dry… I look so gorgeous I belong modeling in New York fashion week. Instead, I blog from my basement, waiting for my appointment at 10:45am, praying for a miracle, and missing my team. I go back to them this afternoon, and tomorrow we ride into Chicago :)

… and while I’m super pumped about the Hawks winning the cup, the parade is downtown tomorrow at noon… the exact time for our arrival into Millennium Park… this ought to be interesting.

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