Rollathon 2008 Completed

Click here to see a detailed PDF map of Rollathon route
May take 2 minutes to load

201 Rolled Miles - 6 Rolling Days - 33 Rolling Hours
Morton Grove IL - Davenport IA
All in a Wheelchair

Since his spinal cord injury after a motorcycle accident in 1999 at the age of 19, John J2 Mryczko has been using his wheelchair in unconventional ways. In 2002 he rolled his chair 80 miles from his home in Morton Grove Il, to Lake Geneva Wi. Ever since then he has been trying to top himself, so after looking at the map in 2007 he decided that in summer of 2008 he would roll across the Illinois state. He decided to do the Rollathon for 3 reasons, to raise awareness for spinal cord injury treatment research, raise money for his adaptive off road vehicle, and lastly to complete a new challenge.
Click here to watch a short film about Rollathon 2008
  On July 4th 2008 John J2 Mryczko left his home in Morton Grove Illinois at 12pm and started rolling towards his goal of crossing the Illinois state in his wheelchair. J2 rolled 5 to 6 hours per day and traveled an average of 30 miles per day. Each day brought new adventure and new roads to conquer. Day 1 started off with sidewalk riding, but by the end of the day J2 was sharing the side of the road with cars and trucks. Much of the Rollathon was like this and at times seemed dangerous, but J2 focused and continued on. Cars and semi trucks would pass just feet beside him at speeds of 50 miles per hour or more.  There was very little room for error on many roads which shoulders were just as wide as his wheelchair, and many roads with no shoulders at all.  Then there were also those long country roads, some paved and some gravel which seemed deserted and had no traffic at all. Homes were no longer side by side like in the city or suburbs there were only farm houses which were spread out every 2 to 3 miles with nothing more than
fields of vegetation between them. At a few points during the rollathon J2 was chased by barking farm dogs which thankfully had more bark then bite.
  By the end of day 3 J2 had rolled all the way to Dixon Illinois.  After every day of rolling 6 hours and more then 30 miles in the hot sun J2 was drained. When waking up on day 4 he was disappointed to see scattered showers and thunderstorms which put a hold on him getting back on the road. J2’s mom Halina Mryczko who had helped him and was his roadie for the first 3 days had to return to work and was replaced by J2’s friend Kristian Rogowski. On day 5 J2 was back on the road, it was very cloudy with rain clouds to the left and right of him, but sunshine and clearing right above him and the road ahead. He was able to roll from Dixon IL to Rock Fall IL In 5 hours.    
Day 6 started out like all the others, but in the middle of the day became unique. After 2.5 hours of rolling J2 rolled threw a small town called Prophets Town. There his roadie Kristian had found out that there was a small rehab in town called Spinning Wheels so J2 decided to stop in. He had gone there just to hand out a few promotional fliers, but ended up speaking to many of the patients and spending a few minutes of time with them.After the brief rehab visit J2 was even more inspired to finish his cross state Rollathon. Three hours later he had finished the day rolling

35 miles and was less then 30 miles from finishing Rollathon 2008.

On day 7 the final day of Rollathon 2008 the day was threatened by scattered rain and thunder clouds. With the end so near J2 did not let the clouds intimidate him and continued on. Many of the gravel country roads were muddy wet and did not make travel easy. There was also much evidence of the recent flooding which happened just weeks before the Rollathon. After 4.5 hours of rolling on day 7 J2 had reached the Mississippi river and Rollathon 2008 was complete.

J2 was able to complete his goal and met many people in the process. He could not have done it without the support of family and friends, and all those who contributed to make it possible. He is also grateful to his sponsors. MK Powered Batteries supplied J2 with power and he was able to have 3 power supply packs. Frog Legs supplied J2 with new large front wheels and great suspension. Fox Racing Shox have also helped and donated new suspension for the rear of J2’s chair.


J2 had this to say:

“The Rollathon 2008 across the Illinois state was amazing and also very draining. I don’t think I fully realized how tough this would really be. Being out there at times was exciting, but also lonely. I got to do a lot of thinking about the past, present, and future. I was able to meet a lot of people and I hoped I inspired some. If I ever do anything this big again I hope others will join me. I have much more respect for those who bike long distances such a across the United States. If I wasn’t in this chair I would probably be one of those people. I would like to thank my mom for helping me the first 4 days, and my buddy Kristian who helped me the last 3 days. I also want to thank my buddy Daniel Partyka for tuning up my chair before I left, and Mark Roder who let me barrow his battery power case. Last but not least thank you to those who donated and made this trip possible, and to my sponsors MK Battery, Frog Legs, and Fox Racing Shox who are not afraid or ashamed to have a disabled action sports athlete on their team.”

  Click here for Rollathon 2008 daily specs.                  

Click here to see a detailed PDF map of Rollathon route
May take 2 minutes to load

Click here to listen to J2 speak about Rollathon 2008 on Tony Hawk's Demolition Radio

Click here to watch a short film about Rollathon 2008