May 28, 2008
Written by Andrew Weiner
Illinois Institute of Technology
Today started early with breakfast provided by Mike Hill from the Alpha Epsilon chapter at the University of Florida. After a t-shirt presentation for Mike we got on our bikes and prepared to depart for Gainesville. The ride was similar to the day before. Many long, rolling hills marked the ride into the city. We stopped around 45 miles to prepare for our police escort through the city to the ARC of Alachua County. When we finally got there we waited for a couple minutes while everyone prepared for our arrival. We rode two laps around the parking lot to the cheers of all the people there. Once we put our bicycles down we started signing autographs for anyone who asked. We had an excellent lunch of barbecued chicken. After visiting for awhile, we had to say our good byes and left for the Gainesville Health and Fitness Center. There, Mrs. Sheila Spence had paid for all of us to use the facilities and get stretched by a pair of professional trainers. This was a welcome relief after the 11 days since we had left Miami. From the health center we went to Tacachale which is an old army base that has been converted into a community for people with disabilities. We had a dance with the residents of Tacachale. After the dance we said goodbye to the residents and left for a long awaited dinner at the Swamp, a restaurant across from the University of Florida’s football stadium, which was sponsored by the Spence’s. We had an excellent dinner which included pastas and cake. At the end of our dinner some of us stayed for a little while and the rest returned to Tacachale to prepare to depart for Jacksonville in the morning.