Day 78: Petaluma, CA to San Fransisco, CA

Our last ride of the summer was dedicated to Zane’s dad, Scott. Scott passed away after a battle with cancer a few years ago. Zane wanted to dedicate the last day to his dad so that he could do his very best and get as many miles as possible in, just like his dad always did for him. I know that Scott would be so proud of Zane and all that he has accomplished throughout this ride.

Today’s ride was 40-ish miles into San Francisco. We got to all hang out, take pictures, and take in our accomplishment together on the north side of the bridge before biking across and meeting our family on the south side. It was an unforgettable feeling as the summer culminated into one moment where all 17 of us could be together one last time.

I have really enjoyed writing about this summer and sharing our adventures! I must admit, there were days that were much less fun than I tried to make them out to be. There were days when we were all so tired and sweaty and homesick and hungry that waking up tomorrow and doing it all again felt impossible. However, what we did this summer was not impossible. It wasn’t even hard. In fact, it was easy. Each morning we dedicated our ride to someone who was doing or had done something hard. Battling cancer is hard. Losing a loved one is hard. Supporting a friend or family through a diagnosis is hard. What we did was easy, and we were honored to do it for those who are out there fighting a hard fight each and every day. I’m thankful for the stories I heard and the impact they have had on my life. This has been a humbling summer and I will cherish these memories forever.

Thanks to those who followed along with us every day – especially parents, grandparents, friends, family members, and those we had the honor of meeting throughout this summer. If you have an I4Ker coming back home to you in a couple of days, I encourage you to hug them extra tight if you are into that sort of thing. This is a special group of people who are going to change this world! I also encourage you to not prepare them any oatmeal, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or spaghetti for their meals (we are a little bit tired of these particular menu items).

Oh yeah and tell anyone and everyone to apply for the 2020 team :) anyone can, no matter how old you are or where you live or if you like creamy peanut butter more than crunchy peanut butter (even though your opinion on that matter is wrong). The link is on our homepage!

peace & blessings
-Kaitlin

P.S. my very kind team wanted to give me a shout-out, so here are their words! :)

Marie:
Kaitlin is by far the most positive person on the team. Even with 20 mph headwinds and 6000 feet of climbing she still keeps us in good spirits. She’s always there for us when we need a boost and there’s no way we could have made it across the country without her :)

Sisi:
Kaitlin is always super positive and supportive. We’re always excited to see her at the rest stops, and she helps us through the hard days. Coach K is awesome!

Brad:
Coach K is the best! She is one of the most positive, supportive, and genuine people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. She does so much for the team and we wouldn’t be where we are without her! I’m definitely gonna miss her a lot when the ride is over!

Marc:
BIG shoutout to Kaitlin Block, our amazing teammate. She is always eager to help wherever she can, and she holds herself and her teammates to a high standard, going the extra mile to make sure each day goes as smoothly as possible. She is a huge asset to the asset to the team and this ride would have been much more difficult without her.

Mike:
Big shoutout to Kaitlin! She’s an incredibly kindhearted person that I look forward to seeing everyday at rest stops and either sharing my joy with her when I’m having a good day or letting her share some of her joy with me when I’m having a rough day. She is the friend that everybody needs and the glue that holds this team together. I don’t know where this team would be without her. Easily one of the greatest i4kers this organization has ever seen. Thank you for everything Kaitlin.

Zane:
Coach K! Coach Kaitlin! Coach Greatlin!
There’s no one on this team I’d rather be holed up with in the van for more than a month. I could only hope that Kaitlin would say the same for me. In all seriousness, getting to know Kaitlin one on one for so long has bettered me in more ways than just her friendship. It’s been a tough journey for me in some parts of this trip, and without having Kaitlin there I’m not quite sure what I would have done; I think everyone here could have said the same at one point in time. I don’t think we would have made it here without her. Also, the washer fluid is low.

Nathan:
Kaitlin has easily put in more miles on the road than any other member of the team. Driving everyday across the country is no easy task (especially the roads we go on). Additionally, she selflessly works to ensure that everyone is well nourished and in a good mood at rest stops. During hard days, she keeps everyone on task and her positivity helps keep morale high. When the riding gets tough, seeing her and the van is like finding an oasis in a desert. Kaitlin has a unique ability to make a normally bleak situation seem like a lively party. Kaitlin skillfully writes the rider blog behind the scenes, helping keep our friends and family in touch. The amount of work Kaitlin puts into the team is much greater than she gets back. She does SO MUCH for the team. Everything from shopping, sending postcards, driving us everywhere, writing the blog, and the exhausting task of keeping our spirits up. She even wrote everyone positive personal notes with candy for when we needed a boost. Kaitlin is a superhero to me. I’m glad to be on her team, and am so lucky to call her Coach K.

Howe:
Coach K is our best rider. She is always so positive. Every rest stop she prepares everything for us as well as a warm hug. Through the summer we get the best support from her no matter when we are biking or resting. She is the true MVP.

Ernie:
Kaitlin’s love for the state of Ohio, though misguided, demonstrates just how positive and compassionate she is no matter the circumstances. Her wisdom and levelheadedness made every curveball the ride threw our way much easier to overcome. We were incredibly lucky to have coach K rooting us on every mile of the way!!

Jon:
Words cannot begin to properly describe a person as wonderful as Kaitlin.
Her personality reminds me of the sun. Coach K, is simultaneously warm and comforting yet powerful enough to burn the atmosphere. Coach K tends to smile from her eyes and when you make eye contact with her it’s like staring into the grand prismatic. You can’t help but smile back. This ride has been amazing. We saw the giants of the redwoods, geysers of Yellowstone, endless starry nights and lakes hidden within mountains. Yet none of it is as amazing as Kaitlin!

Anisha:
Kaitlin, or Coach K as we love to call her, is truly the most genuine and warmhearted soul that I know. She boosts the team spirits up immensely every day and every single rest stop. I can not even put into words how much more difficult this journey would have been without her tremendous support along the way.

Cari:
A big shoutout to one Kaitlin Block, the heart and soul of our team! Kaitlin is a constant source of support and encouragement, making long days feel shorter and difficult roads feel achievable! Her encouragement, levelheadedness and tenacity help keep this team together, and I honestly don’t know if we’d have made it this far without her. Kaitlin always makes me feel better about myself and what we can all achieve, and I’m lucky to know her :)

Kirby:
Kaitlin Block is such a quality human that I’ve been to blessed to call one of my best friends in my time at Illinois. She’s the most positive, uplifting, and thoughtful person whose impact to the team is well beyond measure. Her support for each and every one of us has not wavered in the past 78 days. Truly the best.

Maria:
I want to give the biggest shoutout in the whole wide world to Kaitlin. For the past 4 years, Kaitlin has been the truest, kindest friend, supporter, and roommate I could have ever asked for. She is the most resilient person I know and she can make any situation fun and exciting! I admire Kaitlin so much and I cannot imagine my college experience or I4k without her. She makes every moment an adventure and makes every day brighter. The world needs more people like Kblock and I’m truly grateful to call her my friend and my teammate.

Leave a Reply