Day 9: Westfield to Ashtabula

Read to the end! Important mail drop info at the bottom!

We made it to Ohio! Our morning got off to a great start. Jan, a Volunteer of the church we stayed at Westfield came in to see us off, and as we kept talking to her we realized that she has been affected quite a bit by cancer. We asked if she would be interested in doing a portrait, and she graciously agreed.

Jan has had two sisters and a niece pass away from cancer, a brother that is a survivor, and a nephew that is battling it now. It is difficult to fathom how someone could stay positive through so much hardship and loss. She cited her faith and her family as important coping mechanisms. Her family emails a lot and they all help each other when they can. It is stories like Jan’s that are inspiring and make us realize that if she can be positive today, so can we.

After the portrait there was some bike maintenance that needed to be done, so most of us played silly games to warm us up and occupy ourselves. We rolled out around 8:30 and rode 75 miles to Ashtabula. We rode along the lake again, causing more strong winds. However, it was fun getting to cross the Pennsylvania and Ohio state borders and we weren’t in a big rush to get to the stay over.

First Presbyterian Church provided a delicious pasta dinner for us, and we got to shower for the first time in three days. We feel like new people.

We are 1/8th of the way done with the ride! We can’t decide if it feels like it went fast or if we should be further along. Either way, I have a feeling the rest is going to fly by.

Lastly, if you would like to send letters or packages to any rider during the ride, you can send it to any of the following mail drop locations where we will be staying. Please address all mail as follows:

[Stayover Name]

ATTN: Illini 4000, [Rider Name]




Zanesville, OH:

Westwood Baptist Church

2395 East Pike, Zanesville, OH 43701


Indianapolis, IN:

Carrie Watkins

700 N Alabama St Apt 1215, Indianapolis, IN 46204


Minneapolis, MN:

St. Olaf Catholic Church

215 S. 8th Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402


Boise, ID:

Immanuel Lutheran Church

707 W. Fort Street

Boise, ID 83702


Klamath Falls, OR:

Yeti’s Lair Climbing Gym

369 S. 6th St. Klamath Falls, OR 97601



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