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With Team Bucknell decked out in blue Bison jerseys, the riders prepare to saddle up in Santa Monica, Calif., to start their 3,050-mile ride. 

By Sam Alcorn
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Team Bucknell is in its third day of cycling coast-to-coast to raise $1 million for scholarships, having faced fierce desert temperatures and one mishap along the way.

The three generations of Bucknell alumni — part of the Bucknell-Penn Alumni Bike Race Across America for Scholarship — left Santa Monica, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 9, and are now pedaling across Arizona. If they stay on schedule, they will be bedding down in Flagstaff, Ariz., having clocked 518 miles of the 3,050-mile trip that will end in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 27.

The first day, the riders — Walter McConnell '53, Frank Arentowicz '69, Pat O'Malley '07, and Kyle Rosendale '07 — experienced the grueling Arizona desert heat when temperatures topped 110 degrees.

Energetic and motivated
"While the heat was oppressive, the riders were energetic and highly motivated, not only be their passion and excitement, but by the support of many friends from the Los Angeles area," the group reported on its Web site.

And the ride has not been without incident.

"We had a little mishap late this afternoon," said Arentowicz in a blog posting. "I had placed my new bike on the roof rack of the Film Crew Van to get it out of the way of the other riders. Unfortunately, we had to go under a low roof to get to our motel rooms in Indigo. Well, I think you know which item won out, and it wasn’t my new bike. It is 11 p.m., and our professional mechanic, has just left my room."

(See previous stories: Sept. 7 and Aug. 20.)

Birthdays
During the course of the ride, Arentowicz will celebrate his 60th birthday and McConnell will turn 76 next month.

McConnell turned in 65 miles the first day and, at one point, encountered a group of women who "bragged to Walt that they had run 18 miles (and) then asked him where he was headed. Suffice to say they were surprised to hear Atlantic City as his answer," the Web site reported.

Day Four of the cross-country trip will take the Bucknellians through more of Arizona and they'll finish the day's ride in Kayenta, Ariz.., some 666 miles from where they started.

Check back here for updates throughout the ride. For more information, visit www.alumnibikerace.com. Want to meet the Bucknell riders? See where meet-and-greets are being held en route.

Contact: Office of Communications

Posted Sept. 11, 2007

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