Day 19 & 20: Champaign, IL to Kankakee, IL

Yesterday we all had a rest day in Champaign. We used part of our day to take our bikes into the shop and get some repairs and/or adjustments done, and pick up extra supplies. Because the next part of our trip is out west and there are less bike shops out there, we need to stock up on extra tires, brake pads, and bike chains. We put an extreme amount of wear and tear on our bikes and want to be prepared! Big thanks to Neutral Cycle and Champaign Cycle for hooking us up with supplies and adjustments. Another huge shout out to Steven, Brad, and Marc who made a lot of calls to set up the logistics of these shop visits. They all really made our rest day truly restful.

For the rest of the day, we got to relax and see any family or friends on campus. It will be a long time until we are back, and we enjoyed getting to relax on our home campus.

This morning we rolled out with several ride-a-longs tagging along! We had a great time hearing stories from other bikers as they completed the first 30 miles with us. The ride today was dedicated to the father of one of our ride-a-longs who passed away from cancer very recently. The ride was also dedicated to Ann Nardulli. Ann was a researcher studying the role of estrogen in breast cancer, working toward understanding the disease and helping to find a cure. She passed away from cancer just last fall.

We had an extra special lunch stop today at Zane’s house!!! His mom and sister hosted an amazing lunch of pulled pork, Italian beef, fruits and veggies, corn, and dessert. We felt so at home and enjoyed the food and company. We had the absolute honor to conduct a portrait with Zane and his mother and talk about why Zane rides, and how they have been affected by cancer. I think that this article says it best: http://www.news-gazette.com/blogs/starting-line/2019-06/honor-my-father.html

Zane (as well as his wonderful family) definitely deserve the rider shout-out today. A home cooked meal, good company, and stories of remarkable strength and love makes the hardest days worth it. I know I am inspired and moved by Zane’s story and will remember it always as I go throughout the rest of my life.

Tonight we are comfortably housed in the Adventure Christian Church in Bourbonnais! This facility is really awesome: it has an indoor turf soccer field where we are able to sleep. They so provided us with a taco bar for dinner!!! (I have been craving tacos since we left for New York, so this was very exciting for me)

Today was an 85 mile day, and we are ready for tomorrow’s much shorter 72 mile day. We are closing in on Chicago and are excited to see some more friends and family before we head out west!

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