The rainy day

It was a dark and stormy day in Champaign this morning as the Illini 4000 team woke up and anxiously awaited the decision from ride leaders Zach and Tyler. With 17 mph winds and projected lightning strikes throughout the day, the 90 mile ride was called off-much to the approval of the teammates. Many of the riders took advantage of the morning off to prepare for finals sleep all morning.

To prepare riders for a typical I4K night a ‘mock stayover’ was planned to get used to the daily routine of the summer. Chores included preparing dinner, a flat tire and tent setup tutorial, cold calling restaurants for food donations (with no luck), and social media updates.

The standard meal of spaghetti, red sauce and lentils was served and to my surprise it was very satisfying…updates will be provided at the end of the summer whether I will still look forward to this dish or the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches served during the ride.

This evening provided us with a taste of what we will experience this summer and I am looking forward to spending more time bonding with the team.

Rider shout outs: Earlier this week riders Michaeline and Christine donated 8 inches of hair. With a multitude of organizations accepting donations, they chose Pantene Beautiful Lengths to ensure that cancer patients would receive their donations. Awesome job girls!

MB

 

Deadline Extension

Still want to apply for the Illini 4000, but missed the deadline? Well you’re in luck!. We decided to extend the deadline another week just for you. The new deadline will be Wednesday, September 21st at 11:59pm.

If you’re still unsure and have more questions, we’ve got another info session coming up too. It will be Monday, September 19th at 6pm in the English Building , room 150.

 

Apply Now Before You’re Too Late

For those of you still interested in joining the Illini 4000, we’ve got one more info session tonight (September 8th) at 8pm in the English Building, room 259. The deadline for applications will be September 14th at 11:59pm.
Check it out before its too late at illini4000.org/apply/

Join the 2017 Bike America Team!

The Illini 4000 is recruiting again, looking for people interested in helping in the fight against cancer. We have one more info session Thursday, September 8th at 8pm in the English building, room 259. If you’ve already been to an info session and are as ecstatic about Illini 4000 as we all are, the application is now available.

If you are ready, you can Apply Now!

Feel free to get ahold of us with any questions you may have at contactus@illini4000.org

 

Day 71: Petaluma to San Fran!

What a day! We have officially made it! It’s funny how some of the biggest moments are sometimes the hardest to put into words. It was an incredible ending to an absolutely amazing summer, with an even better group of people.

Today’s ride was dedicated to Mofei’s friend’s friend, Mingxuan Ju. After he was diagnosed 9 months ago, he decided to donate all of his healthy organs. Unfortunately, he passed away 99 days ago.

Our ride was 47 very hilly, very curvy miles, but we were all so excited that I think adrenalin pushed us up the hills. Catherine Kemp’s brother was kind enough to drive the van for us so that no one had to miss out on today’s ride.

We got to the Golden Gate Bridge, took a million pictures, and then finally crossed. It was very populated, but we definitely took in what we were doing. It felt surreal to remember crossing the bridge in NYC, and to be crossing an even larger bridge on the opposite side of the country.

Across the bridge were greeted by family and friends at Baker’s Bay. This trip would not have been possible without all of their support, and it was fun celebrating with them.

We raised $87,000 and collected 36 portraits this summer. It’s an accomplishment we are proud of!

However I wrap this up won’t be enough. But I’ll end with this: Thank you to everyone that followed us, supported us, was kind to us on the road, and provided for us. Our mission wouldn’t have been successful without you. And to everyone who has fought or is fighting cancer: thank you for inspiring us each and every day. We sincerely hope that this ride will not be necessary in the future. Until then, we will continue fighting cancer on two wheels.

DR

Day 70: Lower Lake to Petaluma

Today was a great day! Lindsey and I dedicated today’s ride to our own Jack’s. Jack Marston, the father of 2 of Lindsey’s classmates, died in 2004 of skin cancer. A close family friend of mine, Captain Jack, has gall bladder cancer and it has recently spread. He is a very kind, loyal man with the sharpest memory and a love for sports.

Today’s ride had quite a bit of elevation change, and with it temperature change. We started in our warm gear, took it off at the top of the first big climb, and then froze on the descent. Today’s down hills were some of the most fun we’ve had. The roads were very curvy and beautifully lined with tall trees. The views of Napa were gorgeous, and we rode past numerous vineyards. Today is the first day we got to see the typical beauty of California. We also got to appreciate the beauty, because the other side of the mountain wasn’t scalding hot, and we didn’t experience any horrible winds. Everyone had a very enjoyable ride!

Lindsey worked at a water buffalo farm, Double 8 Dairy, in Petaluma last summer, and we got to visit it! She gave us a tour of the farm, we played with baby water buffalo, and tasted many flavors of water buffalo gelato that they make in house. It was so fun seeing her so excited to show all of us, and we had a wonderful time.

We did dessert before dinner, but dinner was also a success. In-N-Out is a popular burger chain in the west, and we all decided that we’d rather go there than have pasta and lentils. It was a fun last dinner together.

We are all in disbelief that we finish our ride tomorrow. It’s a very bittersweet feeling, but we are very much anticipating the sense of accomplishment we will feel as we cross the bridge. It will be odd not being together constantly, but we know that we will always share this unbelievable experience.

We are having a jersey signing party tonight and probably staying up way too late reminiscing about favorite and funny moments. Lindsey is currently playing sad songs like “You’ll Be In My Heart.” It has been an incredible summer that deserves to be reflected on. I am looking forward to spending this last night together.

We’ll see many of you across the bridge tomorrow!

DR