Journey to the West!

Riding out of Champaign, away from what many of us consider home, was, in a way, freeing. We are no longer riding toward a known destination, but rather out into the west, into the future. We have a little less than two months left in our journey, but have already completed so much. Leaving the Alumni Center, several friends and family of Illini 4000, including Geoff Merritt (owner of That’s Rentertainment), rode along with us on our trip to Clifton, hometown of Shannon Cleary, one of the 2012 riders. We’d like to thank those that rode with us throughout the day; they certainly made the headwinds we faced more enjoyable! We arrived at Zion Lutheran Church in the early evening and were treated to a fantastic dinner and dessert, coveted showers, and of course, the swimming pool—thank you good people of Zion Lutheran Church!

Today was important for the Portraits Project as well, as we completed seven portraits here in Clifton. One of the interviews was with a breast cancer survivor, who told us
that the best way to live life is to stay grounded and take life one day at a time. It is always touching to meet people like her, who just want the best for others, and it only furthers the emotional connection each rider has with the cause. It is hard for those affected by cancer to tell their stories, but without them our mission for this ride would be in vain. We’d like to thank those that shared their stories today: Betty Schatz, Marilyn Rosenboom, Flora R. Wood, Eugene Dawson, James Gigl, Gayle Clair, and Steve McLaughlin!

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