I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Windy City

So I’ve always heard that Chicago has gotten its famous nickname from its politicians’ general lack of morality, but after riding in to the City of Broad Shoulders two days ago, I could be almost certain that meteorology played at least some sort of role. I came to this conclusion because some of the weather I have seen in the past few days was absolutely unbelievable. It was really one of those you had to be there moments.

Let’s backtrack though. The last time I posted I was getting all pumped to get over my nasty fall (see post “My First Fall”) and even more so to get into Champaign and see all of my friends. Well I can tell you that both were successful and after seeing my friends on campus, I felt more drive than ever to get home and see my family in the northwest suburb of Mundelein, IL. The first day out of Champaign felt like we were in a sauna the entire way to Clifton. But once we arrived, we were again treated like kings, sitting us down and feeding us a delicious meal. But the best part was that the church we stayed at was hosting a pool party that night and invited us to come! It was great to be in a pool after a long and hot day of biking and the icing on the cake was the diving boards where everyone took a load off.

The next day we rode to Homewood which is just south of the city. Linsey Rock is from nearby Peotone (if you’re like me, you may know of this town because of the ┬ápotential third airport) and her family planned for us to go to a lake–it had a diving platform offshore which was saweeeeet!–and then a barbecue at her house. This was not only a chance to have lunch, but also doubled as a safe haven from the blazing hot sun. We accepted the hospitality for as long as we could before departing and definitely waited out the hottest part of the day.

One of the highlights of the Homewood trip and really this whole summer was a Portrait I was able to sit in on. Lisa, one of Linsey’s high school friends, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in January of this year. She had lost all control of the left side of her body and her hair as a result. What shocked me so much was her undying strength and positive attitude towards her situation. She said something along the lines of “this is the only life I got, and I can’t spend time wishing things were different.” Her words brought tears to many of the team including myself. It was one of the first times that I really knew what we had been riding for all these days. It really showed that though many are affected by this awful disease, the human will can always come on top. Lisa you are an inspiration to us all. This is why we ride.

The ride into Chicago was unbelievable. We woke up earlier than normal in efforts to arrive on time at the Bean in┬áMillennium┬áPark. However, Mother Nature chose differently. We awoke to the cracking of thunder and flashes of lightening so we had to wait it out. In a little bit, all but the rain had gone away and we rode out. But this kind of rain was some we hadn’t seen all trip. I am talking about an absolute torrential downpour. After a flat tire took place within the first mile of departure, I was already soaking wet to the bone. What was interesting is that the streets in southern Chicago were all flooded, so naturally, being wet already, we rode through them. Some of the streets were over THREE FEET of water!!! Needless to say, it made for the wettest and perhaps most fun ride to date.

We rolled into Chicago and after riding to UIC to pick up my belongings I was on my way home. I was so excited to be with my family and my friends who came home for the summer. We had a little get together at my house that night including a late night bbq. I slept in the next day but only till 9:30 am. I guess that’s what happens when you wake up at 5:50 am for two and a half weeks before!

The next day was the ride-a-long and my sister Cathy, her husband Jonathan, and their daughter Cecelia rode with me on the 16 mile journey. Cecelia, being only two years old, rode on a carrier on Cathy’s bike. Again it was a rather blustery day in Chicago with temperatures below 60 degrees for the beginning of the ride. We persevered and rode into the picnic and I was greeted by many of my siblings along with my parents. It was great to see them supporting me and my mission. We feasted out and since I live so close to our stayover in Deerfield, I went home for the third straight day.

It feels so good to be home, so much so that it may be hard to leave. Though thinking back on all of our trip thus far, it will be so exciting to see what’s to come. After Wisconsin, each state we enter, it will be my first visit! This country has already impressed me so much and I cannot wait to be amazed very soon.

Thanks for reading and sorry for such a delay between posts!

P.S. I got a mohawk today. I’m pumped!

Comments (3)
  • Eileen Rock says:

    I was truly grateful to have hosted I4K for lunch the other day, if for no other reason than to have the opportunity to listen to Lisa’s portrait. Her strength, spirit, positive attitude, and perseverance are awe inspiring.

  • Bev Carr says:

    Glad to hear everything is going great! I can’t wait until you see what’s beyond Wisconsin! It is one big beautiful country that will take your breath away. Lots of mountains but so much beauty! Ride safe. Tell Ron and Lauren Aunt Bev says Hi!

  • Nancy Replogle says:

    Sean, Nice Mohawk!! Perfect for your long journey ahead. Glad to hear you have such terrific support from your family and friends. I met you during the Chicago ride along — Cecelia is a real trooper — it must run in the family:-). Nancy Replogle

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