Ride Logistics

To make CowaLUNGa a smooth and enjoyable tour for you, RHA Special Events staff handle all of the key planning elements — food, lodging, transportation and more. Please note, CowaLUNGa is a smoke-free and vape-free event.

“
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. Breakfast, rest stops, and dinner keeps me well fed and hydrated. The two overnight accommodations are adequate – not luxurious, but everything a tired rider needs such as warm showers and a soft bed. With the on-road support including bike repair vans, a medic van, and multiple general SAG vans I know if I need help it’s always close at hand.” 
- Kristen W., Veteran Rider, Kenosha, WI

GET READY TO RIDE

Ready to ride? Sign up for the Cow e-mail list.

You’ll receive occasional event updates throughout the year and alerts when registration opens in spring 2018. After you register, we’ll email you regularly with all the information you need to prepare for the event, including fundraising tips and what to pack for the ride.

Your Bike & Equipment

It is recommended, but not required, that you ride a road bike for this event. Please bring a lock to use during your stops along the route. Secure storage is provided each night for two-day and three-day riders. For all route options, professional movers will pack your bike at the finish line and transport it back to Gurnee Mills (cost included in registration fee). Riders are required to bring and wear secured helmets at all times on their bikes during the CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour. NO HELMET, NO RIDE.

Training

Whether you’re enjoying the 18-mile ride or tackling the entire three-day tour, you’ll find CowaLUNGa more enjoyable with adequate training. Plan your training using a variety of available resources, including unofficial training rides during the summer led by Cow veterans.

Fundraising Support

As a CowaLUNGa rider, you have an important impact on air quality and people living with asthma, COPD, lung cancer, and other lung diseases. Lots of support is available to make your fundraising as easy and FUN as possible.

EVENT DAY - SATURDAY, August 4

Start Line

The CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour begins in Gurnee, Illinois at Gurnee Mills. Located just west of I-94 off Grand Avenue, our starting line festivities will take place in Parking Lot J (lot location subject to change). Check-in begins at 7:00 a.m. Light snacks will be provided and indoor restrooms are available. Enjoy music, have your photo taken, and warm up before the day’s ride. Family and friends are welcome to join you at the start line, cheer on your departure at 9:00 a.m., and then spend the day shopping at Gurnee Mills.

Parking

If needed, free parking is available at Gurnee Mills in a designated area. Your license plate number must be provided at check-in as the lots are patrolled. A parking pass will be provided and must be placed in your vehicle. Please leave valuables at home or store them in your trunk while on the ride.

Check-in – 7:00 a.m.

Rider packets are distributed on Saturday when you check in at Tent 1 (no packet pickup is required prior to the event). Your packet includes a personalized Fanny Flag (like a bike license plate), your official event shirt, a cue sheet that details the day’s route, and various other goodies. Check-in is required at each day’s finish line and you must be off the route by dinner time.

Fanny Flag (your bike license plate)

Each rider in the CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour gets a personalized Fanny Flag to attach to his or her bike. You’ll create your Fanny Flag name during the registration process. Some riders go simple and display their names. Others use nicknames, funny phrases, or a short inspirational saying. As long as it’s not offensive, your Fanny Flag can be as creative as you wish. Have fun with it!

The CowaLUNGa Fanny Flag has a number of purposes:

  • Serves as your personal CowaLUNGa identification for the entire ride – to other riders and SAG vehicles
. It is what we call you while on your bike…choose wisely.
  • Identifies if you are a team captain, Lung Health Champion, and/or high fundraiser
  • Shows other riders how many CowaLUNGa events you’ve cycled in – a small cow sticker denotes each year you’ve participated
  • Signifies if you are riding in memory of someone – a ribbon will be added if you designate this information during the registration process
  • Indicates if you are riding as a member of a team
  • Acts as a conversation starter.

ON THE TOUR

Total Support

Your safety is our number one concern. We provide all-day, on-route volunteer medical support, support and gear (SAG) patrol, hydration, and mobile bike repair. We also transport your personal belongings, referred to as your “gear,” from one overnight stop to the next. Nearly 30 volunteers and event support staff are present to make your ride enjoyable and safe.

Daily Cue Sheets

A cue sheet is provided for each day of the ride, offering turn-by-turn directions and mileage for the route. Suggested lunch stops are also included. Your Day One cue sheet will be available at the start line check-in. Day Two and Day Three cue sheets are distributed when you check in at the finish line each day.

Great Food and Hydration

Our goal is that you never go hungry or thirsty as a CowaLUNGa rider! Snack foods are offered at the start line and all-you-can-eat breakfasts and dinners are provided each evening. A vegetarian option is always available. Water is provided all day on the route by each SAG vehicle and at each rest stop. Electrolyte beverages are also available at the rest stops. Lunch is on your own each day and the routes are planned so that you’ll have multiple options from which to choose. Past rider favorites are noted on the daily cue sheets.

Rest Stops

Two rest stops – a “morning” and an “afternoon” location – are offered each day complete with your favorite fuel-up foods, fresh fruit, and hydration options. Restrooms are also available.

Accommodations

Riders who stay for the two-day and three-day tours will enjoy indoor cabins and multi-room lodges on the first night at Conference Point Center. Three-day riders stay overnight in dormitory rooms at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on the second night. Outdoor camping is available as an option the evening of Day One – you supply your own tent, we transport it for you.

All beds are twin-sized in double-occupancy rooms. Single rooms are assigned by special request only. Higher fees will apply. For details, contact Gina at (312) 628-0210. You must provide your own bed linens and towel.

Rooms are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. A list of your preferred roommates, if desired, must be provided at the time of registration. Every effort will be made to honor these requests and early registration will be given priority. We attempt to place team members together.

Please note: overnight venues are often occupied by other groups during our stay.

Return Transportation

All of the CowaLUNGa route options are one-way and include return transportation for you and your gear back to the start line at Gurnee Mills from 18 Mile rest stop (school bus) and finish line of the Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 rides (air-conditioned coach buses). Bike transportation is provided by movers who securely pack your bike, transport it back to the start line, and unload it at Gurnee Mills.

If you prefer to arrange your own transportation, you can depart as soon as you have checked in at the finish line of your ride.

Free parking is available during event weekend in a designated area at the mall. A parking pass will be provided at check-in and must be placed in your vehicle, as lots are patrolled. Please leave valuables at home or store them in your trunk while on the ride.

Ready to ride? Sign up for the Cow e-mail list.

You’ll receive occasional event updates throughout the year and alerts when registration opens in spring 2018.

Still have questions? Visit CowaLUNGa FAQs or contact Gina Schwieger, Senior Director of Special Events, via email at gms@lungchicago.org or call (312) 628-0210.