Facts & FAQs

About The Illini 4000

Q. When did the Illini 4000 begin?
The first Illini 4000 Bike America Team rode from New York City to San Diego, California in the summer of 2007. Planning for this trip began in March 2006.

Q. Why are you called the Illini 4000?
“Illini” refers to the “Fighting Illini” the nickname of athletic teams at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the headquarters of the Illini 4000.

Q. Do I need to be a student at the University of Illinois to apply?
No, we have off-campus riders participate in our ride across America every summer. We will work with you throughout the year to provide you with the same information the rest of the team experiences at our campus meetings.

Q. How long does the trip take?
Depending on our start and end cities, our journey may take anywhere between 65 and 75 days. The Illini 4000 tends to average about 70 miles per day, slightly more in the flatter states and less in the Rockies. To date, the greatest distance the team has covered in one day is 125 miles.

Q. How much money are you trying to raise?
The Illini 4000 strives to raise $150,000 for organizations like the American Cancer Society, Camp Kesem, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, the Ishan Gala Foundation and cancer researchers at the University of Illinois each year.

Q. How much money does each rider raise?
In order to participate, each member of the Illini 4000 Bike America Team must raise at least $3,500.00. Much of this money comes from friends, family members, kind hearted strangers, local businesses, and team fundraisers held on campus.

Q. What is a typical day like?
Although no two days are alike, here is a taste of life on the road:

  • 6:00 AM – Wake-up crew rises
  • 6:15 AM – Wake-up crew wakes up the rest of the team
  • 7:00 AM – Breakfast
  • 7:30 AM – Say goodbye to hosts, take photographs, and depart
  • 7:30 AM – 12:00 PM – In the saddle
  • 12:00 PM – Lunch (peanut butter and jelly)
  • 12:30 PM – Back in the saddle
  • 4:30 PM – Arrive at the stayover (church, campsite, school, or wherever we happen to be staying). Interact with stayover hosts.
  • 4:45 PM – Unpack support vehicle and set up camp. Clean-up for dinner (Sink, hose, or actual shower if available)
  • 5:15 PM – Dinner prep, other chores
  • 6:15 PM – Dinner (e.g. pasta, lentils)
  • 7:15 PM – Conduct Portraits with those affected by cancer
  • 8:30 PM – Interact with hosts
  • 9:30 PM – Begin winding down, prepping for bed.
  • 10:00 PM – Lights out. Generally people will be up later taking care of things as needed, but 10:00 is when people start heading to bed.
About Donations

Q. What percentage of the money I donate actually goes towards cancer research?
The Illini 4000 does everything that it can minimize organizational expenses. Thriftiness and the enormous generosity of individuals across the United States helped the Illini 4000 donate 87% of its funds to the groups we support – a percentage much greater than many similar cross-country fundraisers.

To this end, the team must thank the numerous churches around the United States that have sheltered, feed, and boosted the spirits of many Illini 4000 riders.

Illini 4000 riders understand that the purpose of the Illini 4000 is to document Cancer’s influence on American life and raise money for organizations that help those fighting cancer. As such, members of the Illini 4000 Bike America team are willing to make every possible shortcut to save as much money as possible for cancer research and support programs.

Q. How much has the Illini 4000 donated to cancer research and patient support services?
In total, the Illini 4000 has donated over $600,000 to our beneficiaries: the American Cancer Society (ACS), Camp Kesem (CK), the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF), the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation (DRCRF), the Ishan Gala Foundation (IGF), the Andrew B. McDonough B+ Foundation (B+), TLC Camp (TLC) and UIUC cancer researcher Dr. Harley.

2007 $50,000 Cancer Research $5,000
2008 $50,000 Cancer Research $5,000
2009 $35,000 Cancer Research
$17,500 Patient Services (Tripled through matching grants)
2010 $80,000 Cancer Research
$20,000 Patient Services (Increased 50% by matching grants)
2011 $53,500 $10,000 $19,500 $25,000 $5,000 $5,000
2012 $40,000 $10,000 $20,000 $45,000 $5,000
2013 $29,125 Cancer Research $15,000 $8,875 $50,000 $5,000 $2,500 $2,500
2014 $15,000 $15,000 $40,000 $5000 $5000
About Corporate Sponsorship

Q. Is Illini 4000 looking for business sponsors?
Your business can play a valuable roll in the fight against cancer. We offer numerous rewards packages to recognize your companies donations. Please visit our sponsorship page for more information.