Would you expect anything less than for me to start of this blog with stories about the weather? I hate to say it again people, but my spring weather drama continues. It seems to be a recurring theme at the beginning of each week, that we start off indoors, and finish big at the end with vert shows. The weekend saw some heavy rains in the Chicagoland area, and it saturated a lot of the fields we were due to set up on this week. Our first show this week was at Conant High school, and the rain pretty much turned their field into a small swamp, so we had to bring the party indoors today.
The plan for this afternoon, was to do 4 lunchtime shows. Now normally lunchtime shows are very short, but at this school, they were 55 minutes each. That meant we didn't have to rush through the anti-tobacco speech and could actually deliver our message in the proper amount of time. The downside to this, was that meant the 3 BMX guys had to pretty much ride for 4 hours straight today, and that is exactly what they did. I know by the end of it all, those guys were dead tired, but they did not show it during the show one bit. We traded Trevor Meyer out for Gabe Weed this week. It has been awhile since Gabe has done one of these tours, and he picked a grand day to come back with 4 long shows, welcome back to the tour Gabe.
Besides the lengthy shows, we had a couple of special guests today. First off, we had some visitors from our official hotel sponsor of the week, the Hilton Garden Inn of Hoffman Estates. We had also some local anti-tobacco help today. The folks from the Cook County department of public health, sent out their mobile anti-tobacco display, and talked to students about the same message I do. Instead of just talking about, they went ahead and showed the students of Conant High, just how bad tobacco is. They had plenty of literature on hand, but they also had these rubber models of a healthy lung, and a lung with emphysema. It was pretty disgusting, but it instantly gave the viewer an idea of what smoke does to your lungs. They had displays of the amounts of tar a person amasses in their lungs from smoking, they had models of peoples teeth and gums showing what chewing tobacco use can do to you. All sorts of nasty disgusting displays. Pretty much you can read about stuff like this and not be too turned off to it. The minute you get a visual of some of this stuff, its instantly nauseating. It was definitely a valuable tool to add to our fight against tobacco.
Besides the riding and our special guests today, I noticed something else. The trivia portion at the end of each show, went smoother than usual and very very fast. As I walked through the bleachers and asked students trivia questions, they answers just rolled out with ease. I also noticed another phenomenon, many students had taken the time to actually take notes on the tobacco facts I told them about in the show. One girl in particular took such detailed notes, it was almost like reading a script of everything I said. That was extremely impressive, and it let me know that people do care about our message, and it was also validation as to why we have done this tour for 10 years now.
We broke in the Chicago week with a 4 show day, the rest of the week (until Thu that is) looks pretty simple. Hopefully this rain and cold front moving in tonight will blow through kick, and we can have decent weather the rest of the week.