Day 27 (Thursday, August 19): Pontiac to Chicago Illinois: Tailwinds into the Windy City.

Friends, family, students and colleagues, we are looking forward to seeing you all Monday at noon as we arrive at the Dome. We are so excited to be coming home. Hard to believe it is almost over. See you soon.

Hurray! We're almost there!

Two great things to report: we had tailwinds for most of the ride, and we made it to Chicago! It was a spectacular day in terms of weather, wind, and our excitement to arrive here.

Throughout the trip the photograph on the side of the van of Michael, Marcia and Christa, given to us by Cindy and Mike Parseghian the day before we left Tucson, kept us motivated and focused on the ride, also making everyone we met aware of Niemann-Pick. It is our “Play Like a Champion” sign, a reminder to us how important awareness is for Niemann-Pick. Michael, Christa and Marcia rode with us the entire way, and their photograph told the story to the thousands of people we met on our ride across the United States.

Our "Play Like a Champion" sign

The morning started out with a beautiful sunrise. We just knew it was going to be a great day. The weather forecast showed a tailwind the night before, and boy, did we have a tailwind! It kept us moving along at average speeds exceeding 20 mph.

Nice tailwinds 30 miles outside of Chicago

Prior to riding into Chicago, we passed through Joliet, Illinois. It was an interesting city, with a large, gothic-looking high school, two prisons, and a lot of murals. It had a very interesting style.

Joliet, IL -- a large mural by a train trestle

As we headed north into Chicago, Renate was ready to take a right turn down 294 to head home:

Right turn to the Dome

When we got within a mile or so from Chicago, she got a flat tire. We have been keeping track of our flats throughout the trip by sticking a leprechaun on the window. We are up to 45 flats!

Another flat -- up to 45 for the trip!

In downtown Chicago we were spotted by Mike Lee, the recent Notre Dame graduate and now professional boxer. He came over and signed our van.

We wish to thank Peter, Patrick, and Wendy from Destination Cycling. Patrick and Wendy leave from Chicago this weekend, and Peter will bring us home to the Dome on Monday. It seemed like a long ride, getting up everyday and riding 80-120 miles a day, but today it seemed to go so quickly!

Patrick and Wendy from Destination Cycling with Greg and Renate

We can’t wait to see you all on Monday. Thanks so much for following our blog and being so supportive. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. We cannot cure or find therapies for Niemann-Pick without your help—thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

See you soon—Go Irish!

5 Comments so far

  1.    Katie on August 20th, 2010

    You two are awesome!! Keep up the good work. Where can I get a ND bike jersey like yours Renate? I have the navy blue one with the leprechaun but would like one like your purple one too.

  2.    paul mccauley on August 20th, 2010

    Greg and Renate-
    Congratulations on an awesome accomplishment. What great role models of compassion and competence you are for the students. I look forward to seeing you in September.
    Paul McCauley, MD, ND 1966

  3.    Julie Flory on August 20th, 2010

    Can’t wait to see you Monday at the Dome! It has been an amazing journey. I’ve enjoyed following along. See you soon.

  4.    Christopher Mahon on August 21st, 2010


  5.    Matt and Susan Gursky on August 21st, 2010

    What a thrilling day! Not only the anticipation of being so close to home, but finally getting some relief from the heat. Monday is suppose to be a beautiful day in South Bend. We are looking forward to welcoming you both back.

    God bless!