The Century Ride at CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour 2018

CowaLUNGa 2018 takes place August 4-6, 2018.

Proving your endurance by riding the 100-mile “century” is one of the ultimate badges of honor for cyclists. But at CowaLUNGa, biking 100 miles means even more:

All fees and fundraising support RHA’s work toward healthy lungs and clean air for all!

This is RHA’s 22nd year hosting the CowaLUNGa bike ride, so you can rely on our expertise from years of experience to give you a world-class event.

Interested in riding a century at CowaLUNGa? Here’s what you need to know!


Century Riders receive all normal benefits of the 2 or 3 Day Rides, including:

  • Fully supported route (bike, SAG, medical) from start line in Gurnee to finish line in Wisconsin
  • Event shirt
  • Finisher’s medal
  • Start line snacks, morning and afternoon rest stops with food and beverages, dinners and breakfasts
  • Overnight accommodations (choose indoor or outdoor)
  • Free parking at Gurnee Mills
  • Bus ride and transportation for your bike back to Gurnee


CowaLUNGa’s Century Ride takes place on Day 2, so you must be registered for the 2 or 3 Day Ride to be able to ride the Century. Learn more about each day of the bike tour. All 2 or 3 Day registration fees and fundraising minimums apply.

CowaLUNGa 2018 Registration Fees and Fundraising Minimums

*Lung Health Champions: Commit to raising a minimum of $1,000 and receive numerous coveted benefits including a custom commemorative CowaLUNGa Voler cycling jersey and an invitation to RHA’s Annual Recognition Night. Learn more about becoming a Lung Health Champion. Note: First-Time Riders can receive the registration discount and also be Lung Health Champions!

**First-Time Rider Discount: To qualify for this discount, you must be a new rider and have never ridden the CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour before. Discount only applies to registration fees. Fundraising is required. Offer expires June 15. To get a coupon code for this discount, email us or call (312) 628-0210.


On Day 2, the route opens at 6:45 a.m. All riders, including non-Century riders, will ride approximately 65 miles through areas of Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine State Forest with rest stops in the town of Lyons, Wisconsin and at the LaGrange General Store in Whitewater, Wisconsin.

If you want to ride the Century, you’ll sign up and receive the route instructions at the second rest stop at LaGrange General Store, where the additional 35-mile loop starts and ends.

Entrance to the Century Loop opens at 11 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m., so plan your riding day accordingly. Cue sheets will not be given out after 2 p.m. No exceptions. RHA reserves the right to cancel the Century Ride at any time to ensure the safety of our riders.

Century riders must complete the loop by 4:30 p.m. to ensure coverage by the CowaLUNGa support teams.

Lunch is on your own and you’ll ride onto the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s campus to end the day. Check-in is required at each day’s finish line. Please note that CowaLUNGa riders are required to wear helmets at all times on their bikes. NO HELMET, NO RIDE.

“When looking for a multi-day ride, important things for me are good SAG support while on the road, indoor plumbing at rest stops, sleeping indoors, and supporting a worthwhile cause. CowaLUNGa has all of those things and more. From the moment I check in on the morning of Day One until I load the bus for the ride home, the RHA team takes care of my needs, so all I need to worry about is riding.”

Kristen W., Veteran Cyclist (Kenosha, WI)

Ready to ride? Start your journey! 


Still have questions? Email us or call (312) 628-0210.

New Insights on Flu in Healthy Children Thanks to RHA-funded Study

A key component of Respiratory Health Association’s (RHA) mission is to help people live better through funding lung disease research. In 2016, RHA awarded research funding to Dr. Bria Coates of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine to study how the influenza A virus impacts the immune system response in the development of lung injuries in children. Last month, Dr. Coates’ findings were published in The Journal of Immunology.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 50 percent of all children under 5 years old who die from influenza (commonly known as the flu) annually were previously healthy. This comes in stark contrast to adults who die from the flu, who typically had a medical condition that increased their risk of mortality.

Previously, it was believed that children were more susceptible because their immune systems were not strong enough to respond. However, Dr. Coates’ findings suggest that children’s immune systems overreact to the flu virus, causing more inflammation which leads to greater lung damage and the potential of increased mortality – a previously unknown immune response.

These findings suggest new ways of treating the issue in children in the future.

Dr. Coates credits RHA’s funding for playing a crucial role in allowing her to do this research.

“RHA’s funding is wonderful for an early stage investigator,” said Dr. Coates, “It served as the springboard to advance the project.” RHA’s funding allowed Dr. Coates to publish findings demonstrating why this topic area is important for continued research and requires additional funding.

Dr. Coates intends to continue exploring what drives the increased immune response, how to mitigate its effects, and develop new therapies. “All we have is supportive care to treat the flu,” said Dr. Coates, “so any advancements in therapy would be huge for the field and for the public.”

Respiratory Health Association funds groundbreaking local lung disease researchers like Dr. Coates at major institutions. Other research areas of focus have included asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and more. These grants are designed to aid local scientists and investigators with generating the preliminary data necessary to compete for future federal funding. For more information, visit Research.

Make Every Mile Count with Lung Power Team

Planning to run a race this year? Whether it’s your first triathlon or your 100th 5K, dedicate your efforts to healthy lungs and clean air as a member of Respiratory Health Association’s Lung Power Team.

Joining is easy and the option to choose your own race gives you flexibility to find an athletic pursuit that matches your schedule and skill level.

Team benefits include complimentary training resources, fundraising support, and all the motivation you need to reach the finish line.

“Training is more meaningful knowing that I’m making a difference for people living with lung disease. The support I’ve received from RHA has been terrific,” shares Christopher N. of Chicago, who has run with the Lung Power Team since 2013.

Asthma, COPD, lung cancer and other lung diseases may have touched you personally and clean air affects us all. Make every stride more meaningful in the race of your choice by raising funds for education, research and policy changes that help people live better.

If you’d like to join, contact Rebecca Weinberg-Doptis for more information.

Save the Date – State Lung Health Education Day is April 18

On April 18th we’re bringing a busload of volunteers down to Springfield to meet with state lawmakers and educate them on lung disease and efforts to improve lung health. Whether you’re a seasoned advocate or a newcomer we want to empower you to speak up for lung health. Just sharing your story can be enough to influence policy and improve lives for years to come. The full day event includes a coach bus ride from Chicago to the Statehouse, advocacy training, a tour of the Capitol building, meetings with legislators, and a sit down lunch with special guest speakers. Email Matt Maloney at to reserve your seat on the bus.

New RHA Quit Smoking Resources Available

Do you work with clients or patients who smoke? Are you interested in providing resources to individuals who are thinking about quitting? Respiratory Health Association has developed new print materials to assist and motivate individuals throughout their quit smoking journey. They are appropriate for distribution in a variety of health and community settings and include a self-help guide, a poster identifying the benefits of quitting smoking and other resources. To learn more, visit our Quit Smoking Resources or contact Lesli Vaughan by email at or by phone at (312) 628-0208.

RHA Issues Reports on Clean Energy and Health and Reimbursement for Asthma Services

Last month, RHA released two groundbreaking new reports on lung health. The first discusses Clean Energy and Lung Health. With 2017’s Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act, Illinois is increasing investments in green energy sources, such as wind and solar, as well as energy efficiency initiatives to make better use of existing power. What does this mean for our health? RHA examines how green energy displaces harmful emissions from dirty energy sources, namely coal fired power plants and helps mitigate climate change, which comes with its own set of health concerns. This publication ultimately makes the case that clean, renewable energy isn’t just an environmental issue, but a compelling matter of public health.

In the second, RHA and collaborators at Chicago Asthma Consortium, American Lung Association, and Sinai Urban Health Institute submitted to the Illinois Department of Public Health a report on sustainable financing for in-home asthma interventions in Illinois. There are a number of evidence-based in-home asthma management interventions that are not being widely implemented due to a lack of funding, including reimbursement through Illinois Medicaid. In this report, RHA and its co-authors identify several potential funding mechanisms for in-home asthma management, including: adding Community Health Workers (CHW) as authorized providers; establish a Health Home program through Illinois Medicaid; and amending contracts with Medicaid Managed Care Organization to utilize CHW services.

Have you tested your home for radon?

January is Radon Action Month, which means it’s a good time to check your home and protect your loved ones. Radon is an odorless, invisible gas that is generated as radioactive minerals in the ground break down. This gas comes up through the soil and can enter homes through cracks in building foundations. Exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer. Radon is actually the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US. The only way to know if radon is in your home is to test for it. Illinois law requires daycare centers and certain places of employment to regularly test for radon, but there are no such requirements for residences. Use Radon Action Month as a reminder to test your home. We recommend testing your home every two years. Testing kits are inexpensive and are available at most hardware stores or online. Check out our radon resources to learn more about radon and how you can protect your home and family.

Flu season is in full swing. Protect your family and others.

As you have likely heard, cases of the flu have increased dramatically across the US over the last three weeks. Flu is now widespread in all states and Illinois is one of 26 states that are experiencing particularly high levels of flu activity this season. Flu season goes through March and it is of great importance to protect yourself, your family, colleagues and community members. Flu can be serious for anyone, but those living with lung disease are particularly at risk.

The best way to protect yourself – and everyone else – is to get a flu shot. If you haven’t got your shot yet, it’s not too late. Vaccination can prevent the further spread of the virus and can reduce symptoms if you get the flu. Flu shots are often covered by insurance. Call your health care provider or check local health department resources to find out where you can get a vaccine near you. If you or loved ones are displaying flu symptoms (fever and respiratory symptoms, such as cough and runny nose, and possibly other symptoms, such as body aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) please stay home from work or school, remember to wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when you cough, and promptly contact your health care provider.