100 Miles for Hope in one day!

Willow Springs, IL

Each year, a local cycling group hosts a "century" ride - a 100-mile bicycling journey. Current pandemic issues resulted in the cancellation of that event. I was disappointed, as it was always a motivator for me to do an outright-100-mile. Even though that event was canceled, I was still motivated to take that challenge in a solo effort. An extra motivator was the American Legion 100 Miles for Hope program! Thus on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, I gathered my armor as a veteran, American Legion member and cyclist. My bicycle and I were ready. at the start/finish point near Morris, Ill. Launching at zero-dark-thirty, the ride was very chilly; by the end it was a humid, sweltering 94 degrees. The journey was peaceful and scenic, covering farmlands, wind farms, quiet, deep back-country roads ... and it even included part of old U.S. Route 66 and taking in some iconic sites along the Mother Road. As an avid cyclist, I probably would have accomplished 100 miles or more prior to Veterans Day, but the 100 Miles for Hope program was definitely a key factor in motivating me to accomplish this goal in one day!

Image frames: At left is an overlaid GPS track of the cycling route (aerial image courtesy Google Earth); at center is the Route 66 Hall of Fame Museum in Pontiac, Ill.; at right is a quiet back-country road in Livingston County, Ill.

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