In case you hadn’t noticed them earlier today, bicyclists participating in Stop The Cycle left the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, IL this morning in the light rain, headed downstate on Route 66 toward Springfield and, by the end of the trip, to St. Louis. The six-day trip will raise money to combat child sexual abuse and is the bicycle equivalent of a charity marathon. Stop The Cycle is short for the slogan Stop the Cycle of Abuse. The organizer is the Children’s Advocacy Center of North & Northwest Cook County, the local chapter of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois.
The historic former U.S. Route 66 is, of course, a perfect road for these fundraisers to ride, being without heavy car traffic most of the time and still paralleling I-55, putting them close to any highway conveniences they might require. The riders began in Hoffmann Estates yesterday and took IL Route 53 down to where it met the former Route 66, then on to Joliet. Their goal is to ride the route in stages, covering about 60 miles per day. The road ‘race’ began yesterday in the northwestern Chicago suburbs, with Governor Quinn giving the cyclists a rousing send-off. The cyclists arrived in Joliet late in the day.
The charity bike ride is an excellent way to get a good look at the charms of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, especially if the weather clears up for the rest of the trip. The riders will be escorted along the way by various police departments in the areas through which they’ll ride, to maintain safety. Their first rest stop today was expected to be at the Gemini Giant statue in Wilmington, IL. We hope they get to stop in more of the interesting places along the route and sample some real Route 66 cuisine downstate in places like the Palms Grill Cafe in Atlanta and the Ariston Cafe in Litchfield (they’re already too far south to hit Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket or White Fence Farm for fried chicken). Here’s what the rest of their trip schedule looks like, if you’d like to cheer them on their way (which would be very nice of you, hint, hint):
- to Joliet
- Joliet to Pontiac
- Pontiac to Bloomington
- Bloomington to Springfield
- Springfield to Staunton
- Staunton to
Of course, just because the event has already begun doesn’t mean you can’t pledge money now. Of course you can! Please DO. And if you like, you can donate in the name of a particular cyclist. Assuming you know someone who’s riding in the event. A good road and a good cause; how can you beat that? Answer: you can’t. That’s all for now, fellow roadies!
Until next time,
Your own road race announcer, Marie