Childhood Adventures (Day 25)

Day 25: Rockford, IL – Chicago, IL

Distance: 83 miles

Vertical: 800 feet

Biking Time: 4:40

13 more days. That’s how long we have left of this crazy adventure and honestly I don’t really know what I’m going to do when we’re done. It’s become such a routine: wake up, bike, eat, sleep, and repeat. The thought that life will continue after this and go back to “normal” is honestly kind of scary. I thought that over this trip I would have some giant revelations about my life, what I want to do and who I want to become, but in reality all this time to think has shown me that I have no idea what I am doing, no idea what I want in the future and no idea who I want to become. The thing I have realized over this ride is that’s all right. Just like our rides every day nothing happens how you mean it. We’ve been lost countless times, had to push through when all we wanted to do was quite and at some points had no idea what we were doing and yet we continue onward. If anything this gives me comfort when thinking about the future because when in doubt just keep on swimming, I guess.

But enough about the future time to live in the here and now! So today’s ride we started in Rockford, IL and made our way to Chicago. Chicago, wow, I still can’t believe we have come this far. From the beginning Chicago has been that city that I knew if we reached we would be able to go all the way. It’s just now really starting to sink in just how far we have come, over 2000 miles, something I never could have dreamed of biking just a few months ago, yet here we are.

Our ride started out same as many of the past, a couple of turns through neighborhoods and sides of roads and onto the oh so familiar farm roads between the cities. Luckily for us, and for my sanity (I don’t know how much corn or wheat I can stand to see anymore), we didn’t stay too long on these farm roads and quickly hopped back onto the neighborhood roads and trails as we neared Chicago. It was almost a nostalgic feeling riding through all those side roads and trails and brought back thoughts of the 7th grade. Then, all I worried about was whether my dad would pick me and my bike up from Jeff’s house so I wouldn’t have to bike up my hills to my house and what was the next video game to buy. On top of the joy of finally being able to go through neighborhoods and day dream of simpler times Josh and I were blessed with the fact that, for once, there was no winds. We were flying for almost the entirety of the ride.

Josh finding out that he's a proud farm owner!

Josh finding out that he's a proud farm owner!

As we got closer and closer to Chicago we could see the massive dark rain clouds looming overheard. It was like the city knew it had some Seattleites coming into town and wanted to give us a proper Seattle-like welcome. So 15 miles out from our destination it started to pour and even though we were soaking wet and cold, Josh and I had one hell of a time whooping and yelling as we flew through the rain and puddles.

Today really did make me feel like I was a little kid again. That’s one of the greatest things I have gotten from the ride. That sense of adventure that we all seem to lose as we get older. Things that we dreamed of when we were younger become “impossibilities” as we age. This ride and adventure has shown me the opposite. If you dream of something don’t just think it’s too hard or too impractical, be a little spontaneous and go out and do it.

So, here is to the bike ride and the many more adventures to come,

Nigel Hall