Day 33: You Are Now Entering South Dakota

Mason had the ride dedication today. Here is his statement:

“My mom is a chemo nurse and I have met a lot of her patients throughout her career. There were so many people that I met who were so grateful for my mom to be a caretaker and she has shown that kindness back tenfold to others and myself. By doing this ride I just wanted to keep in mind the work that we do and my mom does go towards them (the patients). I want to keep the memory of the patients that have passed and their fight alive. There was one patient that I remember talking to the night before he passed away. We had a really nice conversation and he was only asking me questions, even though it was his last night alive. It has been inspiring to see the selflessness of people through my mom’s patients and by meeting people during this journey.”

Today’s ride was heavy rain in the morning which eventually cleared up around noon. Our first stop in South Dakota has treated us pretty nicely. We had showers, food provided for us and WIFI. Our awesome hosts even brough us to Thursday night out which featured an Irish band and outdoor seating. They even invited us onstage in front of the audience. Since Watertown is such a small town many of the locals recognized us as outsiders and came up to us to ask us about our I4k shirts.

We have already started to see advertisements for the famous “Wall Drug” in Wall, SD. Will all the hype be worth it? Stay tuned.

Describe your home town: Plantation Florida (close to Fort Lauderdale) classic suburb. Pretty close to a Chicago suburb. Population is pretty close to Naperville “not as rich, much more Jewish”

How did you learn about i4k: I was at Illini sights and sounds. A couple groups that talk. Then I checked it out again on quad day.

How did people react when you told them you were doing this? Spanish side of my family thought I was insane to be doing any physical work over the summer. My stepmom’s family was confused as to why I didn’t want to be with my girlfriend. My parents were supportive. My dad knows that I will randomly pick up things that others might not expect of me.

What were your expectations for this trip: I thought it would be much harder. I thought I would be in much more pain and I would be struggling. Either I have gotten stronger or the routes aren’t as hard as I expected. I thought it would be fun but being able to sit in on Portraits has exceeded my expectations. Meeting people and talking to them has given me much more of a push to finish the ride. I have been surprised at the kindness of the random people we meet. Complete strangers will show you kindness and it has been a bit overwhelming.

What has been your favorite state so far: I really liked Wisconsin. The lakes were great. And even though we rode through Minnesota we didn’t actually go into any of the lakes. Devil’s Lake in Wisconsin was really cool. I liked being able to explore the nature of the state.

Favorite stayover: Hutchinson. The water park there was awesome.

Favorite ride: The first century with Mickey and Nodus was real fun. It sucked, but it was a good ride because we made it fun.

Favorite team memory: Dan’s rant about Notre Dame. When we were in the thunderstorm and stuck at a gas station. Phil got a pizza that got stuck in the oven when the power went out, so it was just kind of sitting there kind of half-baked and then our group was hanging out in the carwash in the gas station waiting out the rain.

What are you still looking forward to: Wyoming and the state parks like Yellowstone

Describe I4k in one word: memorable.

Bein’ stoic and managing.



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