Day 77: Healdsburg, CA to Petaluma, CA

Today’s ride was dedicated to my Uncle Eddie (Pug) Michener. Uncle Eddie had been battling multiple myeloma for about 6 years, and passed away on Wednesday morning. He had gotten to see his grandson every week and was very loved by many, including me, my mother, and my grandma Gin Gin.

We had a super short ride today, only 34 miles into Petaluma, our last stayover of the summer. We are staying at the United Church or Christ and have been hanging out here since lunch time washing our bikes, signing each other’s jerseys, and enjoying this last night together. For dinner we had delicious pasta and lentils AND buttered chicken made by Viraat. It was absolutely amazing!

Well, this is a sad one to write, but I’ve got to write my last rider blurb about my best friend Maria. Maria and I have been roommates for three years straight now, including the summertimes. We applied to this trip together and it has been so incredible to get to live this adventure every day with someone so awesome and supportive. No matter what kind of day it has been, I can always count on Maria saving me a place at the stayover in the coldest room in the building and right next to a power outlet. That might seem like a small thing, but it is the biggest thing in the world after a day on the road. It is historically difficult for me to do a trip like this: we are running on very little sleep, waking up early, eating unfamiliar food with unfamiliar people in an unfamiliar place each night. Having not only a familiar face, but one of my favorite people on earth to get to do this trip with has been so awesome and has allowed me to step even further outside of my comfort zone and truly embrace the spirit of this trip. Maria is the best listener you will ever meet, no matter how mundane your story is. She is thoughtful and kind and makes every day memorable. I’m not quite sure what I am going to do in a few days when I can’t come back home (or to a random church in a random city) to chat with Maria about anything and everything.

Tomorrow we cross the bridge and end what was the longest ride in Illini 4000 history. It’s hard to be with a group of people for so many days straight without any breaks. But it was pretty easy with this group. I’m lucky to have gotten to know everybody and to have been a part of this family. Tomorrow will be my last post/summary of this trip! I am both excited and sad about that!

Comments (1)
  • Beth Nodus says:

    Kaitlin,
    Thank you so much for your daily blog posts. They have been not only well written, but insightful, thoughtful, heartfelt, and sprinkled with a touch of humor. I have greatly enjoyed reading them each day. You have done an amazing job of keeping family, friends, and supporters well informed.

    Also, I’d like to give a shout out to Marie for the “Illini 4000 2019″ video. It is awesome!
    Beth Nodus

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