Rolling farmlands mark Craig's route through Illinois towards Indiana, with less than 1,000 miles left to go to the end of the race.

Illinois has a rich tradition of family farms and orchards, with pumpkin patches (plenty of them) and fresh farm markets.

Not that ​Craig will be stopping to browse the offerings at a local market... Illinois is seventh on the list of 12 states to get through, with the finish line firmly on his mind.

Having been riding non-stop now for many days, the scale of the race will be hitting hard, and Craig will need to dig deep to stay focused on a high pace speed while managing his energy burn.


  • Average June temperature: 17 - 29 degrees Celcius

  • Population: 12.8 million (2.7 million in Chicago)

  • Home to the world's largest bottle of catsup (ketchup).

  • Pumpkin capital of the world, producing 82% of the world's canned pumpkin.

  • Metropolis - the home of Superman - really exists in Southern Illinois.

Solo Kiwi Family

Craig’s wife Kate and his two daughters Brooke (11) and Hanna (9) support him in this huge challenge. Kate, herself a keen cyclist & sporting enthusiast, has a very successful massage clinic in Blenheim, while their two daughters (also competent in many sports) attend local Blenheim schools.

Craig’s in-laws, Phil and Bill Paterson, of McDonald Downs, a high country sheep station in North Canterbury is where Kate and her three sisters all enjoyed growing up. The 11,000ha station, carries fine wool sheep and Angus Hereford cross-bred cattle. All the Paterson family support Craig in his venture ahead.

Further family support comes from Craig’s Uncle Ross and his wife Julie from their kiwifruit orchard in Tauriko, Tauranga, along with their daughter Sarah, a qualified veterinarian, who works and lives in Matamata and her brother Andrew who works for the dairy giant Fonterra in Tokoroa.

Craig’s parents, John & Vandra, live in Blenheim. They spent most of their lives in Auckland where Craig and his sister Leanne grew up. John & Vandra as always in Craig’s endurance endeavours, will be giving love and support to Craig and his crew for a safe successful race while Craig’s sister, Leanne, who works in the funeral industry, and her husband Martin, an osteopath, and their young son, Ben, who will turn five years old on the third day of the race in June, will be supporting Craig from their Rotorua home.

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© 2019 by SOLO - a Craig Harper expedition

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