Running with the bulls in Pamplona would be easier than competing with morning rush-hour traffic on shoulder-less roads in the Chicago suburbs. The odds were in my favor today, thanks to my entourage of Rob (husband) and Jeff (law school friend).
Today’s Route from St. Charles to Crete
We left my mom’s house this morning in the midst of the Friday morning commute. My ride through Illinois cornfields juxtaposed with today’s ride in the suburbs, characterized by deafening traffic, shoulder-less roads, and bottomless potholes, made me long for the quiet, isolated communities peppered throughout Colorado. We took Route 64 to Glen Ellyn to Route 38 to Lemont. Luckily we then found the fabulous Old Plank Trail, which offered us a much-needed respite from all the people crammed behind steering wheels in a hurry going somewhere important. (Here’s a picture of Jeff and Rob on the Old Plank Trail.)
Before joining the Moxie Ride, Jeff’s longest ride was 30 miles. Today he clocked in 80 miles without griping or grousing. (Rob and Jeff have decided that it must be my hazing ritual to require new people on the Moxie Ride to do at least 80 miles on their first day.) In spite of riding a heavier bike than us and falling over once (the result of getting used to new clipless pedals), Jeff was a champ. He finished the day ready for another 30 miles … until he finally sat down after dinner (Below is a picture of exhausted Jeff).
Ellen is Director of Quality Control for Freddie Mac. When I interviewed her for the documentary, I discovered the secret to her success. Ellen loves constantly learning, being challenged, and working for a boss who supports and entrusts her to make smart decisions to run a region of the company. But it’s her approach to leading 25 people that blew me away. Ellen said, “The way to be successful is to have successful people. Have people ready to step into the next level job. They should all be ready to have my job.”
My friend Gailene, broker manager of the Baird & Warner real estate office in Orland Park, lives nearby our final destination today. To my delight, Gailene joined us for dinner at the RV park and brought scrumptious salmon and 2 bags of marshmallows!
After I seduced Gailene with s’mores, she was ready to be interviewed for the documentary. Gailene said that what she loves about her job is the people and the energy they create. She loves the everyday challenge of watching and helping people discover that they can be successful. I would work for Gailene or Ellen in a heartbeat!
Day 55 Stats
Total miles: 3,301.77 miles
Total interviews: 91
Road kill count: 1,211 (added 41 today in spite of the fact that for awhile this morning the Starbucks count was beating the road kill count. If the Bible belt is staking its claim with churches, the suburbs is doing it with coffee houses…)
Destination for Day 56: State #8 – Indiana!