Day 21: Kankakee, IL to Elmhurst, IL

Today’s ride was dedicated to Thomas Thomas Senior. Thomas was a friend Viraat’s father, and after beating colon cancer earlier in his life, he recently passed away. We rode in honor of both his strength and for those who miss him.

Today we woke up to a homemade breakfast made by the lovely Adventure Christian Church! We want to thank them again for being such amazing hosts and waking up so early to make us all breakfast. It certainly made the 71 miles easier on us. Today was quite an adventure! While many of us have GPS systems installed on our bikes, we also rely on paper directions that we call ‘cues’ that attach to our bikes for us to read. Usually, there are maybe 1-2 sections of cues, but today there were 7 sections – meaning that we had a whole lot of different directions to follow! We were fortunate to be on paved bike paths through much of the day – until one of the bike paths happened to be underwater due to the recent influx of rain in the area. No worries though, all groups went around the water and made it to our stayover safely!

Speaking of our stayover – we are so thrilled to be staying in the home of Marc’s parents tonight! They have been extremely generous and given us a day we will never forget. As soon as we rolled into their driveway, they had friends and family lined up to cheer us on and greet us. Not only that, but they also organized an entire dinner complete with a taco truck and delicious guacamole. It was so amazing to be surrounded by friends and family who are so deeply supportive of our journey. It is also so amazing to be sleeping in such a comfortable and welcoming home – I know we all feel very fortunate to have such wonderful accommodations.

This evening we also had a wonderful opportunity to interact with community members. We were able to attend a local Relay for Life event and speak about our mission, as well we conduct a couple of portraits. There is nothing more inspiring than hearing the stories of those who have been affected by cancer.

It is only right to give Marc and his family another shout-out today! This morning, Marc certainly woke up with extra pep in his step and was excited to show us around his home today. After meeting his parents, friends, and neighbors, it is no wonder that Marc turned out as awesome as he did – he grew up around some great people!

We are excited to roll up to Chicago tomorrow! It is crazy that we left Union station over 3 weeks ago on a train and will now be back after biking from Central Park. Time is flying, and we are ready for another rest day with friends and family before departing for the west.

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