Day 2: The Real World, Illini 4000

Each day the team dedicates the ride to someone affected by cancer. Today we rode for Mason’s grandfather. He lost his battle to cancer in 2011.

From the first day of starting school to the first day of starting a new job, we all know that the first day doesn’t really count. Today, day two, I actually felt like what a real day as an I4k rider is actually like. We got up at 5:45 we rode some miles, had a few PBJ sandwiches, and arrived at the stayover. Okay… maybe we did get lucky today because the place we were spending the night at greeted us with a homemade banner crafted by some cute kiddos, had a multi course meal waiting for us when we pulled up, allowed us access to their sauna and hot tub, and had what we riders like to call the jackpot (showers and wifi).

I’m not sure if there is something in the water in this little town, but every person that I met was overwhelmingly kind. Our hosts made sure we had everything we needed and went above and beyond turning a YMCA hockey rink into a pseudo youth hostel.  Some of the team had to take care of a few bike repairs and the shop we went to gave us complimentary parts, helped us with repairs on a multitude of bikes, and even stayed open well after their hours to ensure that we would be safe on our ride. Word of advice: if you ever find yourself in Delmar, New York hit up Savile Road bike shop, they really know their (cycling) stuff.

Hearing of all the evils of the world in recent months, moments and people like this really give me hope.

Today felt like the first real day because a shower brought me more joy than it ever has and eating pineapple from a communal bowl with bare hands didn’t phase anyone at the table.

Although we were not blessed with the idyllic weather of yesterday, today we were blessed with the kindness of strangers.  I am so happy I decided to do this ride.



(Maggie Benson NOT Mackenzie Bach)


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