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By Sam Alcorn
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Nine days into a 19-day bicycle trek across the country to generate money for scholarship, Team Bucknell is credited with raising more than $881,000 toward its announced goal of $1 million.
Team Bucknell, featuring three generations of alumni from the classes of 1953, 1969, and 2007, departed from Santa Monica, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 9, and, if they remain on schedule, will have completed nearly 1,600 miles of the 3,050-mile adventure when they pull up to their motel in Eureka, Kan., at day's end Monday.
So far, the Bucknell-Penn Alumni Bike Race Across America teams have encountered broiling 110-degree days and steep thigh-burning mountain passes. They are now in the country's grasslands. The group's Web site reported no shortage in wildlife in the vast stretch of flatland swept by 35 mph wind gusts:
Cows, rattlesnakes and bugs
"Along the road the Bucknell group met a rogue cow standing nonchalantly, chewing the green grass lining the pavement. A few miles later, the group spotted a rattlesnake sunning itself, fortunately on the opposite shoulder than the one the riders were using. Flies, moths, beetles, and grasshoppers of extraordinary size all seemed to launch themselves at the riders from both groups throughout the day. One could barely ride a quarter-mile without feeling the thwack of an insect hitting his sunglasses."
Said Kyle Rosendale '07 in his personal blog: "To everyone who has been calling, sending us text messages, leaving comments on our blog - please keep it up. We love it! Sorry if we don't get the chance to respond to everyone individually. We have no concept of time on this trip. We are either awake and riding, awake and eating, or asleep."
On Friday, Frank Arentowicz '69 reported that the team had climbed 7,890 feet in Colorado. "More significant, was that we did 3,000 feet of this climbing in an eight-mile stretch in 82-degree heat. The Bucknell Team did this entire climb while averaging over 6 mph on this climb! As I tell the team, 'We were burning hot.'"
And, as he noted in his personal blog, "As the senior riders talked together tonight, we all took great pride in our accomplishments today. This is what our ride is all about - for both of our universities. Working for student scholarships helps students and helps the university."
All told, Team Bucknell will cross 14 states by the time the ride ends in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 27. From there, they'll drive to Lewisburg, Pa., where they will enter Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium to present the game ball at the Sept. 29 Bucknell-Marist football game before kickoff.
Contact: Office of Communications
Posted Sept. 17, 2007