Day 30: Light at the end of the ~country~ road

Day 30 did us dirty!!! Today the team road 101 miles in one of the hottest and most windy days yet! The day started out warm as we road to Austin, Minnesota to have lunch at Alison’s (2016 rider) house. She made us a lovely spread of Mexican food which was a much appreciated replacement for PB&J. A group of us then biked over to the SPAM museum where we learned that SPAM is more than just meat in a can hahah. Then it was back on the saddle, this was when the wind really started to pick up! It was insanely windy, 20 mph winds for the rest of the day. I was appreciative of the wind because it cooled us down in the heat. It also prevented us from going faster than 10 mph, which made for a very very long day. All the groups didn’t get in until almost 8 o’clock,and we still needed to shower and eat dinner. Our hosts were incredible and stayed until almost 11 to accommodate us!

I would like to thank all of the amazing people at Our Savior’s Lutheran for being the kindest people and making our stay after a long day great! The ride dedication was for all of our fathers on Father’s Day and Ryan also dedicated it to his grandfather who had cancer.

~Tailwinds~
Mandy

Flat count: 0
Song of the day: Hard day’s night -Beatles
Memorable moment: Learning the art and crafting of SPAM.Also seeing a rainbow after it decided to rain on us the last 15 miles just to throw another curveball in the day :)

Day 29: An incredibly restful day

Today was a rest day in Rochester, Minnesota for the team! We started off the day with a tour of the Hope Lodge in Rochester. There we got to meet and collect some portraits of people who are currently battling cancer. I really enjoyed meeting the people and hearing their stories. They were all so incredibly thankful to us for what we are doing. To see their gratitude for groups like ours was really touching. It is so important to know that people with cancer appreciate the efforts we are taking to help battle the illness that has taken a toll on their life.

After the Hope Lodge, the team went to lunch and then to see The Incredibles 2 movie. It was nice to give our legs a break for the day and kick back in the A/C.
Tomorrow we are back on the bike for another century ride to Mason City.

~Tailwinds~
Mandy

Rider Spotlight: Sofie Schwink
What’s been the best part of I4k so far?
Talking to people along the road and seeing their reactions. Seeing how appreciative they are of what we are doing and how they can relate to it.

What motivates you to do push ups at rest stops?
I remember the first day it just keeps my

Favorite rest stop snack?:
Chocolate bars (heath bars or snickers ice cream bars are my go to)

What’s your favorite type of music?
Classical and classic rock

What do you do when you are struggling on the bike?
I try to think of things that start with the first letter A-Z
( finding stuff that starts with X is hard)

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
Have more patience for other people. Sometimes I get frustrated with small things. Being able to roll with the punches too!

What’s your dream place to live?
Anything in the Pacific Northwest

What place are you most looking forward to on the ride?
All of Utah. I’ve been to Utah one other time and am excited to bike through it this time. Also San Francisco because I am excited to see family

What has been your favorite day on I4K so far?
Day 4: It was pouring rain and my group passed the lunch stop by three miles and Matthew got a flat and when we stopped to change the flat we saw there was Burger King and then we all had lunch there.

Team Knife or spoon?
Knife for peanut butter and spoon for jelly

If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Ability to make anyone fall asleep at any moment and in any place.

What’s been the most challenging part of I4K?
Being away from home and being away from family. Being from Champaign I am used to seeing my family often, so having Champaign as a rest day was a very restorative day for me. I try to call often but that is definitely the hardest part for me.

New edition to a crayon box what would you be?
Morrow Plots Yellow- because I’m loyal to my roots and the corn. It’s the color of yellow that evokes feelings of a full belly

Favorite pair of socks:
Unicorn and rainbow pair
Song of the day: The Incredits (theme song of incredibles

Day 28: Rochester round 2

Today the team rode 83 miles from La Crosse, Wisconsin to Rochester, Minnesota. The day started off easy and we had lunch at Culver’s! Coincidently there was buy one get one shakes so the whole team pretty much got one! After lunch we had lots of slow and steady climbing that stretched about 10 miles. They are longest climbs we have done yet, but surprisingly they were not as bad as we anticipated and the downhills motivated the speedsters to reach new velocities on the downhills. Mid afternoon it’s got extremely warm and the crosswind picked up. So much so that many of us felt like we were going to be blown off our bikes!

I would like to thank Zumbro Lutheran Church for hosting us tonight. The ride dedication for the day was for Alex’s baby cousin who passed away from a heart related disease on the first day of the ride.

Tomorrow is our rest day where we will be going to the Hope Lodge, exploring Rochester and getting lots of rest!

~Tailwinds~
Mandy

Flat count: 1
Song of the day: Do you like Pina Coladas?
Memorable moments: Culver’s, because a hefty amount of memorable moments on I4K revolve around food

Day 27: Laxing in La Crosse

Today the team rode 82 miles from Reedsburg to La Crosse, Wisconsin. It was a wonderful day for a bike ride, with sunny skies and beautiful trails. We started the day on the 400 trail. We had our first test stop in a little town that is essentially built for the trail and for bikers. It was really cool to see such a popular trail that is recognized by the public. We then hopped on the Elroy Sparta trail which included several tunnels from old railroads. This was one of the coolest finds on the trip so far. One tunnel even doubled as a waterfall because the decaying rocks let water seep in on both sides of the tunnel. It was impossible to take photos of because the tunnels were pitch black and we only had our bike lights, but it was a moment I won’t forget! We were also on the La Crosse state trail and the Great river trail.We were lucky enough to be on the trails for 77 of the 82 miles which made for a very talkative and stress free day. The team also got to visit and tour the local Mayo Clinic in La Crosse for a rider event.

I would like to thank First Presbyterian Church for hosting us tonight. Today’s ride dedication was for Hitarths grandfathers who both had cancer.

Tomorrow we cross into Minnesota as we make our way west!
~Tailwinds~
Mandy

Flat count: 1
Song of the day: Vienna -Billy Joel
Memorable moment: A bee flew into Matt’s jersey while riding. He attempted to grab it and stop it from stinging him but sadly it still successfully stung him. Their group was then named the bad news bees *buzz buzz*

Day 26: Rolling to Reedsburg

Today the team rode 61 miles from Madison to Reedsburg, Wisconsin. The day was shorter but with lots of hills. It was sunny with strong winds in the morning, which made it difficult to go more than 12 mph. With a slow start to the day the team as whole had a more casual and relaxed day. We had our lunch stop at Devils Lake, where some of us took a dip in the lake to cool off. It was so gorgeous and one of my favorite places so far on route. After two hours at the lake we reluctantly got back on our bikes to finish the last 20 miles. We all enjoyed our time at the lake so much we didn’t want to leave! The climbs in and out of Devils Lake were long and winding but we made it out alive!!! We ended the day with Culver’s like a true Wisconsioner and free tacos from Taco Bell! All in all a successful day :)

I would like to thank St. John’s Lutheran Church for hosting us for the night and providing us with delicious Lasagna! The ride dedication for today was for Nick’s grandparents who passed away from lung cancer.
Tomorrow we head west to La Crosse Wisconsin for more cheese and more fun!
~Tailwinds~
Mandy

Flat Count: 4
Song of the day: Running with the devil – Van Halen
Memorable moment: Our team for the day was feeling the burn the last 5 miles, we saw a Culver’s and knew it was the mooove (one of our teams sayings). We pulled in to see two other groups also stopped there. It was indeed confirmed as the mooove hehe

Day 25: Mad for Madison!

Today the team rode 77 miles from Lake Geneva to Madison, Wisconsin. The hills were alive and well on the ride today and definitely proved that a flat land is supreme! We started the day riding along Lake Geneva and ended it by riding along the lakefront trail in Madison which is not too shabby by the way. It was muggy and humid most the day but we successfully didn’t encounter rain today (hooray!!) For one of our rest stops we got cheese curds and they hit the spot! The cheese quality in Wisconsin is no joke!! For dinner we got the pleasure of eating at the company that the past ride leader works for now. It was super cool to see and hear about the story of the company (ETC) and get a tour around! Thank you so much for having us!!

Today the ride dedication was for my grandma who successfully caught her cancer in time before any serious measures had to take place. I would also like to thank our hosts tonight at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Madison. We are right in the heart of campus so many of us took the evening to explore the city, get ice cream and look at the water on the terrace. It was breathtakingly beautiful to sit up along the water and watch the sunset. Madison, bring some of your beauty to Champaign please.

~Tailwinds~
Mandy

Flat Count: 5
Song of the day: Drift away -Uncle Kracker
Memorable moment: Hitarth jumping into the lake spontaneously at the terrace.