Magical Moments in Minnesota: Where Dreams Come True

We woke up today in Albert Lea, MN (pronounced Lee as in Fee, like Casey. Not like Princess Leia from Star Wars. You’re welcome for clearing it up.) At our usual morning preride huddle, we were encouraged to partake in a scavenger hunt of sorts, and as a result we had one of our most I4Komplished days so far, collecting over $150 dollars and 3 portraits all on the road! First we talked with Mike Holland, whose grandson underwent chemotherapy for a rare blood disease. After a sucessful bone marrow transplant, he is now fully recovered. Later, we talked with Jeri Morris, a stomach cancer survivor that was treated at the Mayo Clinic that we visited at the same time as her brother fought colon cancer. She is now interested in cancer research and advocacy. Lastly, we talked with Sammy Jo Helmers, whose grandmother is fighting cancer and whose mother survived ovarian cancer, but has recently had a relapse.

BIG thanks to Larry, owner of the Bike Shoppe in Fairmont, MD. He provided us ice cold water, great cycling advice, wonderful conversation & encouragement for our journey (and in return we bought ALL of his cycling caps!). Another thanks to El Agave for feeding lunch to some of our riders. Finally, we are extremely grateful to First Baptist Church in Jackson for housing us for the night. We couldn’t do this trip without the generosity of our stay over hosts!

Tomorrow we hit up the eternal South Dakota. We’ll keep you updated the whole way!

You stay classy, friends and family,

The Illini 4000

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