Mental Health Charity Lyft Drive Day 11: 900 Miles Chicago to Omaha
- Today (July 3):
- Miles Driven: 900
- Cities: 4
- Time Taken: 15 hours
- Miles Driven: 7385
- Cities 38
- Time Taken: 150.5 hours
- Read more about my trip across 65 Lyft cities here:
- How you can support or donate:
I woke up around 8am at a rest stop 60 miles from Chicago. It was a quick ride into the city with very little traffic since it was Sunday. I got into town around 9:30, and had to drive around a bit near Michigan Avenue to get a ride. I picked up 4 people that were going to pregame for a booze cruise later that day. They also made watermelon jello by making jello inside of a hollowed out half of a watermelon. Then I told them about adding a whole bottle of rum into a watermelon.
After dropping them off, I made my way up to Milwaukee where I encountered my second tolled road. There was a toll booth in the middle between Chicago and Milwaukee so I only had to stop once. Because I always use electronic tolls (EZ-pass), I haven’t stopped at a toll booth in years so stopping at toll booths 3 times in two days was pretty new to me.
As I was driving towards downtown, I get a ping from just south of the downtown area. I picked up a couple that was just heading home after doing the beer trolley tour that morning. A beer tolley is where a group of people pedal to move the entire trolley. The driver isn’t drinking, but the propulsion comes from the guests, who are drinking. They also told me about Summerfest, which is a huge concert series in the Milwaukee waterfront that last about a week and a half. I remembered them telling me that Selena Gomez was there on Wednesday night. I also found one of my friends went there a few days after I was there.
Once I was done in Milwaukee, it was a quick drive over to Madison. It was there I picked up a couple that went up the block trying to find two bikes to rent from the bike sharing program. I felt bad that I didn’t interact with them that much as I was paying a lot of attention to NPR’s Moth Radio Hour. The guy seemed to have heard it earlier that weekend so he knew the story. Hopefully they understood.
The next city on my list was Minneapolis. I got there around 7pm but after a few minutes, I found it odd that I wasn’t getting a ping, especially since I drove through all of St-Paul on my way to Minneapolis. I used my other cell phone to check where other drivers are and to see if there are a lot of drivers around me. The odd thing was that I couldn’t find my own car. I drove around a bit to make sure my car wasn’t appearing on the map. I also checked out driver requirements for Minneapolis-St-Paul and compared it to other cities I have driven in and they didn’t seem that different. I chalked it up to local regulations not allowing me to drive here, which I verified with the manager of driver acquisition and compliance.
After striking out in Minneapolis (my first city I wasn’t able to drive in, other than NYC), I drove down to Omaha. I knew I would barely be able to catch the bar crowd and asked a driver there via Twitter about where to go. As I was driving into downtown, I get a ping from about 5 miles out. I didn’t want to have to wait for another ping so I took it and drove to pick them up. Not surprisingly, there were not going far. It was a group of 4 that wanted to be driven back to their car. It ended up being a minimum fare ride, but I talked to them about my charity and they left a nice tip (donation).
I left Omaha towards Lincoln, but I wasn’t sure how busy it would be there at 1:30am, so I decided to pull over into a rest area and sleep in for the night. During my conversation with a passenger in Lincoln the next morning, I found out that it was really busy in Lincoln last night to the point where she wasn’t able to get a ride home. However, I wouldn’t get there until 1:30am and I wasn’t looking forward to driving around drunk people at 2am, especially since I have been driving for 16 hours already.
How Can You Help?
I have set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise additional money for charity. It will be running for the next few months. Below is the link to the campaign:
Even a dollar will go a long way so give what you can and it will be deeply appreciated!
You can also help by emailing ridesharedashboard at gmail.com with travel advice, what to see in each of the below cities and your best food recommendations. I have traveled extensively abroad, but I will be visiting many of these states for the first time.
Want to Know Where I am now?
I will continue to post regular updates of my trip on my Facebook Page and my Twitter feed so look there to keep track of where I am! I usually move through 4-6 cities a day so I’m definitely a moving target.Have more questions about Uber or Lyft? Head on over to our Rideshare Driver Training Course! Driver Promotions