Archive for Illinois

6th September Chicago, IL to Valparaiso, IN by Mark

Distance :68miles

A new state to be obliterated by the COA team today and the victim was Indiana. Warm day and a late start as we had to be dropped out from downtown Chicago to Yorkville in the car so we didnt get started until approx 9am despite being up and about  since 630am( thanks to the human alarm clock that is William Kerwin with the usual call “get up”)

Passed through the suburbs of Chicago including Joilet and Chicago Heights .Although hungry we didnt stop at either location for luncheon as there was many a dodgy fellow to be seen lurking and although we felt likeallowing the bikes to be robbed would be a decent reason for not completing the cycle .The lads met us  with food and water just over the Indiana border at a town called Dyer and then a couple more hours of pedaling and we were there

We hit the cinema to see “The Other One.Dont ask me for a review of the film as I fell asleep 5 minutes into movie

4th September Rockford, IL to Chicago, IL by Mark


Chicago the destination and this was a metropolis which we had to plan carefully for.We made the plan to cycle to Yorkville which is a suburb of Chicago rather than cycle into downtown Chicago where we were staying. Rode on a difficult road to Yorkville  where  “the support team” , met us and  drove to the city where we would be then dropped back out to restart the cycle from the next day.The main event of the day was William’s crash into the barrier.The mans story was that he was cycling along and the barrier came out of nowhere and hit himbut in reality ,Kerwinator was cycling with no hands looking at the gps when boom he hit the barrier.At first sight it looked pretty serious as looking over muy shoulder I could not even see the handsome head of Kerwin.All that could be seen was Kerwins legs dangling in the air attached to the bike.It would have been a perfect photo op but I wasn’t sure of the seriousness of the crash.I arrived to find a smiling Kerwin,showing his cut to the index of his finger.(see pics below)

We cycled the highway 51 for the majority of the journey with wind at our backs.Only the one puncture to McNamara’s tyre sustained.I keep telling the man ,if he wasn’ts me to slow down ,simply ask.

It’s a landmark achievement to make it to Chicago and with the rest day the following day we could let the hair down and enjoy what turned out to be a fantastic fundraiser at the Irish Oak bar ,raising over $900

3rd September 2010 Madison, WI to Rockford, IL by Mark

Distance 82 miles

Today we were to hit a new state, the state of Illinois and say goodbye to wonderful Wisconsin. Leaving Mad town was like leaving … all towns we simply can’t check it all fully out in a few hours after a long cycle ,but the show must go ,so on it was to Rockford

After the run in with the state trooper on what we thought were backroads on the previous day we took the gravelly “old road” We passed though Edgerton and stopped at a garage at Janesville for a sambo(sandwich).Its very difficult to try and eat any decent foods along the way so its usually do-nuts or burgers or fries any food at all that’s on sale at gas stations along the way(well that’s young Kerwins excuse for the massive Peter Kay –esque belly which is slowing his progress up the hills

The gruesome twosome plus myself passed over the state border to the sounds of many a car horn but not friendly car horns we had experienced in the like of Montana

The motorists seem to have it in for COA as we cycled our way through Beloit along a narrow road with pot wholes as big as our bikes where we had no choice ut to pedal faster in the fear of being ran over by the angry drivers of the queue of trucks behind us.

Upon reaching Rockford we celebrated prematurely at the best western in the city centre. Smiles were had all round and the usual handshake was given all round after another difficult day at the office, only to find that we were at the wrong hotel. Our hotel Clock Tower Resort in Rockford, Illinois was another 10 mile trek outside city centre .the 10 mile was to take approx an hour

We were met with what has to be our best reception yet.3 tv camera crews and the staff of the hotel and their bar and restaurant the Tilted |Kilt. We were overwhelmed with the response and humbled. Special thanks to Wendi for organising this

Please check out our YouTube video on Rockford fundraiser

[VIDEO] Day 34: Fundraiser in the Tilted Kilt

On September 3rd, the cyclists were met with a wonderful reception at the Clock Tower Resort in Rockford, Illinois. It was followed by a fundraising party in the Tilted Kilt, which featured Irish dancing, Irish music and more!

Plus, stay tuned to witness the lads being interviewed by yet another TV station!

Watch the video

A Beautiful Gaffe: WIFR News, Rockford, IL

On September 3rd, the Cycle of America 2010 team rode into Rockford, Illinois.  Wendi from the Clock Tower Resort lined up interviews with 4 TV stations, including CBS affiliate WIFR.

Thanks to the Irish dancers (McNulty Irish Dancers and the Irish Marching Society), Wendi, Andrea, and all the staff at the Tilted Kilt for a fantastic welcome.

And for fans of moderately amusing gaffes, keep watching til the end!

You can read the accompanying article here:

Irish American News, Chicago

The COA team were interviewed in their hotel by Irish American News (IAN) journalist Katie Hamilton.  She recorded a short video and also wrote an article for the IAN website, which should hopefully be reaching the print edition in October.  Click here to read the article and learn all about William’s brush with death.

Watch the video

Chicago Fundraiser

On the Saturday the 4th of September we headed over to the Irish Oak pub on North Clark Street, Chicago. Our fundraiser there was organized by the talented Lauren Duchscher of the Big Onion Tavern Group and Brendan at the Irish Oak. They managed to get Jameson and New Belgium to donate free whiskey and beer for the night!

Pub-goers paid $5 in exchange for a ticket which would get them two drinks. This was an extremely clever and extremely popular way to raise money! From the ticket sales and the guys and girls at the Irish Oak a record $826 were raised for Livestrong!

We had one of our best nights out yet, with shots of Jameson flying around left, right and centre!

The Clock Tower Resort and the Tilted Kilt, Rockford, IL

We had our best welcome yet at the Clocktower resort and Tilted Kilt pub in Rockford, Illinois!

The lads cycled in to town and were met by a welcoming committee of Irish dancers, reporters from all 4 major TV networks and of course, the lovely girls from the Tilted Kilt.

The Irish Dancers kicked off the festivities, with the Danny Boyz keeping the party going throughout the evening. The staff at the Tilted Kilt continually plugged our cause to their customers, raising loads of money. Anyone who donated got to put their name in a draw for a free night at the Clocktower resort, or a day at the waterpark.

Thanks to the band (The Danny Boyz), the Irish dancers (McNulty Irish Dancers and the Irish Marching Society), Wendi for organizing it, Andrea, and all the staff at the Tilted Kilt. $362 were raised, so thank you to all the kind people who donated!