one month.

Today marks one month until our team boards the train in Chicago to begin our adventure! I can’t believe it’s so close already. The reality is beginning to set in that in just a few short weeks, our lives will be consumed by nothing but Illini 4000. This past weekend gave us a tiny taste of what this will be like!

We had our 75-mile training ride on Saturday. It was crazy awesome! The recent abundance of rain added a bit of extra fun to our trip by providing us with flooded roads around what seemed to be every turn! My group made the mistake of walking through the first one without taking off our shoes/socks, so that made for a bit of a soggy journey. However, we survived! At a few points, we had to re-route in order to avoid roads that were completely impassible. Nearing the end of our journey (as we were approaching Homer Lake) we stumbled upon what seemed to be a river in the road! We actually saw a few people travelling through it by canoe, which would have been a viable option if we only had a canoe! However, we all tossed our shoes/socks in our pockets, picked up our bikes, and forded the river! It definitely felt like more of an adventure with all of the flooding. We ate lunch as a team at a gas station, which was also super fun! For most of us riders, it was our first experience with the infamous I4K PBJ lunches. Our mealtime was extra special because we forgot to bring knives to spread the peanut butter and jelly! So luckily, David Walder ran inside and bought some beef jerky sticks and we used those (inside the wrapper!) as our knives. Style points for innovative solutions. There are definitely pictures of all of these endeavors on the Illini 4000 facebook, and they’ll probably be posted on here shortly!

April has been an incredibly busy month, and none of this will calm down before the end of the school year. However, we had a great reminder at the meeting tonight (shout out to Tory Cross!). Though it may seem easy to get overwhelmed with everything going on and the huge commitment we’ve made to the organization, it is important to remember why we made that commitment in the first place. All of us gathered together to stand up for something we found to be unacceptable: Cancer. The long term product of the work we’re doing is not to increase our strength, make our friends jealous with cool pictures on facebook, or see how many group activities we can attend in one month. We’re doing this for people whose lives have been turned upside down by Cancer. This is such an encouraging reminder amongst the busyness of preparing for the summer adventure, coming into finals season, and for some of us (myself included!), gearing up for graduation.

For the families, researchers, and doctors committed to the fight, we pedal. By the hope, love, and support of people we meet, we keep going.

Comments (3)
  • Martha says:

    Free kwoneldge like this doesn’t just help, it promote democracy. Thank you.

  • Bill Dow says:

    Hi Heather! -
    Best of luck on your ride this summer! I gave a donation 2 your ride earlier this year. I also live in Waterloo. Will be doin a big Mountain climb next month(13-th) while you’re riding. Mt. Hood in Oregon. Doing lotsa training around Waterloo now.
    All the BEST 2 all of you!
    Bill

  • Gush, this is just perfect!

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