Champaign-Urbana, IL 6/8/2010

Home sweet home!  Well…. kind of.  Riding in to Champaign was surreal.  Couldn’t believe that my training miles were spent on these roads.  We enjoyed a hot breakfast of pancakes and eggs in Rockville and quickly set out to Champaign.  We were prepared for massive amount of rain on a strict time schedule.  We were set to arrive in Champaign at 3pm.

I totally forgot that we gained an hour when we entered Illinois.  It really doesn’t matter too much to me because time isn’t really felt on this trip.  I remember one day and three different instances where the group I was riding with had a conversation about what day it was.  Each day feels like four.  Is that a bad thing?  Probably not.

Today was a very easy 78 miles.  I didn’t push hard.  Illinois helped with being extremely flat.  It was interesting to see my perspective change on the beauty of Illinois.  Before, I thought that Illinois being flat was very boring.  Today, as I looked over miles and miles of flat land, it took my breath.  Sometimes, less is more.  Good job Illinois.

Our first break was spent in front of a house on a country road.  We were there for about two hours.  Most of the time was spent napping.  It must have been a weird sight for the owners of the house to see 28 bikers asleep on their front lawn.  Don’t worry- we didn’t give up there.  Pedal… pedal… pedal…

Helpless kitty!  Jill jumps to the rescue to save the kitty.  Although I don’t like cats, I appreciated her care and love for the kitten in distress.

We stopped at Homer Lake for lunch before we rode into Urbana.  Homer Lake is pretty significant to the team because it was the destination of our first training ride in April.  The ride was 30 miles- difficult at the time.  This time we arrived with 62 miles under our belt with another 15 for the return to Urbana.  It is amazing how much this team has grown in the past year- I hope it will never stop growing.

Our reception into the University of Illinois was decorated with rain and alumni.  The alumni’s hospitality was inviting and conversational.  It was nice to be able to talk about my experience with the Other Guys to the alumni.  I spend a lot of time with the group at school; however, outside of school, the group is kind of insignificant to someone unfamiliar with Illinois.

Tonight I am staying at a friend’s apartment.  A nice taste of home- warm showers, clean clothes, brownies and air conditioning.  Movie night and then lights out.

Comments (4)
  • Nancy Odon (Steve's Ma) says:

    Were you able to get in touch with Ann Vannice? Whose apartment are you staying at?

  • maral (pi's big sis) says:

    keep it up stephen! my whole fam is enjoying your great blogging! :)

  • Kim Gonzalez says:

    What’s on the agenda Saturday? What time do you leave again? I want to see this beard!!! :)

  • Kathy McGinnis says:

    Steve, you are not just a great biker, you are a wonderful writer. As I read your stories I feel as though I am riding along with you. A real opportunity to appreciate the simple things in life. You can’t learn that kind of stuff in class. The McGinnis’ are proud of you and love you very much. What an inspiration you are to all of us!

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