The Final Countdown

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It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWN! Bah duh duh DAH! Duh duh dA DUh! Three. Count them. Three days remain in this trip of a lifetime. Absolutely crazy. Unbelievable. After 177 days on the road, it’s quite absurd to picture this trip ending. Just as it took adjusting to life on the road, it’ll surely take some adjustment to fall back into normality.

I rode into Chicago a few days ago. Saturday to be exact. This time, I didn’t have to venture through the entire city. Just down to Wrigley Field. Despite a game day atmosphere due to a noon first pitch that day, I was able to traverse traffic to make it to ballpark 29. One. More. To. Go. Wrigley is obviously a special ballpark. The history behind it makes it fit right into the Chicago neighborhood. It’s not overwhelming, it’s not obtrusive. It’s just there for baseball. Nothing less. Nothing more. It doesn’t try to be fancy. The ivy doesn’t protrude obnoxiously. Heck, up until earlier this year there weren’t even jumbotrons. Even Wrigley couldn’t escape the grasp of modernity.

I headed to the ballgame on Sunday with a few friends in hand. Between Tony (my host in Chicago), Hannah (a fellow Badger), and Aidan (my cousin) we had a great group to take in the action at Wrigley! With Sunday Night Baseball taking place, it was meant to be an exciting time. Twenty game winner Jake Arrieta took the mound for the Cubs versus the Pirates in an almost guaranteed preview of the NL Wild Card game.

I had great seats for the game courtesy of Brooks and none other than Marlins Man. Yes, Marlins Man. You know that guy in the bright orange jersey who is continually seen behind home plate at big time games? Yup. That’s him. He offered up one of his seats at the ballgame which was overwhelmingly courteous of himself. So I got to enjoy some big time ballplayers from quite close up. Cannot complain about that. Thanks Marlin Man! Hi5!

I was also able to meet up with Bill Allen and his wife before the game who have been following the trip in it’s entirety. It’s always to incredible to meet people who have been following your journey without you even knowing it. It really shows me how large of an impact that I’ve been fortunate to make on people. Thanks to supporters near or far or wherever you are who have followed along in one shape or another. ALL of you are awesome!

The game itself was a gem from Arrieta with him pitching six innings of perfect baseball. Trust me. I was hoping for the perfect game/ no hitter. I’ll have to keep waiting to check that off my baseball bucket list. Maybe one day. Wrigley was rocking, and it felt like postseason baseball came a few weeks early. The energy and the excitement made the game a heck of a lot of fun to watch. Cubs ended up winning and waving their W flag to Go Cubs Go. Thanks to Hannah, Tony, and Aidan for all coming out and enjoying a game of baseball with me! Hannah even rocked a Wisconsin hat, so she know’s how to stay true to Wisco.

With a few off days I decided to venture up north to the land of beer and cheese for some Monday Night action. Nope. Not baseball. But football. Green Bay Packers football, the best kind there is. My beloved Packers were taking on the Kansas City Chiefs in a rematch of Super Bowl I. Though a lot has changed over the years through the NFL one thing that is consistent is Lambeau Field and the Green and Gold. I’m a die hard Packers fan. My preferred headwear is a cheesehead, and I WILL wear a Packers jersey to church on Gameday Sundays. It’s totally acceptable too. The game was a beauty, with Rodgers doing what he does best in leading the Pack to a victory. It’s one of my favorite times of the year when for a few weeks baseball playoffs overlap with NFL football. Between all the action I get so excited on having so many sports to watch! Can’t wait!

A big thanks to Greg Miller and Smart Etailing for doing some great tuneups on my bike for me! I had a few problems arise that I was hoping would hold off until I finished next week in Milwaukee. Unfortunately, with my luck, it just didn’t happen. Not a big deal though. Thanks for the tuneups, and getting my bike looking awfully pretty for her final days of riding on this trip! Hi5!

I’ve been keeping busy here in Chicago with a morning interview on 120 Sports this morning before I take off tomorrow for Milwaukee. Two days of biking remaining, and then I’ll be done. Has it hit me? Kind of. It’s going to be different not having to worry how many miles I’ve got to ride, but in reality, I am so proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish. Proud of the kids who are able to receive mentors. Proud of the mentors who’ve signed up to get involved! This is a team project that I could not have done by myself. No way. Not a chance. Get outta here. However you want to put it, I got by with a little help from my friends. So to each and everyone of you who lent a helping hand at one point or another, or simply provided words of encouragement. THANK YOU. I’ve got a few days left before this trip is in the books. You can guess what I’m going to do. Just. Keep. Pedaling.

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