Alumni cyclists, from left, Walt McConnell '53, Kyle Rosendale '07, Frank Arentowicz '69, Jay Kosa '07, and Pat O'Malley '07 Saturday at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.
Bucknell-Penn Alumni Bike Race Home Page
By Sam Alcorn
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Three generations of Bucknell alumni were lauded Sept. 29 at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium, having exceeded their goal of raising $1 million for scholarships for Bucknell students by cycling coast to coast.
The intrepid cyclists -- Walter McConnell '53, Frank Arentowicz '69, Pat O'Malley '07, Kyle Rosendale '07, and Jay Kosa '07 -- completed their 19-day, 3,050-mile trek Thursday, arriving in Atlantic City, N.J., before sunset for a quick dip in the Atlantic Ocean.
It is said to be the first such effort by alumni to raise scholarship money.
The five Bucknell cyclists -- part of the Bucknell-Penn Alumni Bike Race Across America -- were honored prior to the start of the Bucknell-Marist football game. At midfield, accompanied by Bucknell cheerleaders, they presented a check in the amount of $1,168,514 to Laura Denbow, executive director of Alumni Relations and Career Services at Bucknell.
Then, led by team leader Arentowicz, the cyclists presented the game official with the game ball. The stadium crowd cheered.
"We made it!" was how Arentowicz, a Bucknell Board of Trustee member, began the last entry in the personal online blog he updated during the course of the journey that started in Santa Monica, Calif., on Sept. 9. "For the Bucknell riders, I think today will be remembered as our most special day."
En route, Arentowicz celebrated his 60th birthday.
McConnell, who will turn 76 this month, reported in his personal blog on the final leg of the journey: "I led us single file to the ocean where they met us for the finale, many photos and then a mad dash to jump into the Atlantic … I also brought my bike to the beach and held it over my head standing in the ocean. We had done it! Ocean to ocean and ONE MILLION PLUS (dollars) for Bucknell!"
Arentowicz and McConnell completed at least two 100-plus mile rides during the course of the trip that took them through 14 states, including Thursday's last leg into Atlantic City. Appropriately, all five Bucknellians pedaled the last 10 miles together, having experienced one of the most grueling cross-country cycling routes with more than 100,000 feet of thigh-burning climbing elevation.
"Not only had we done it, we were now three generations of Bucknellians bonded forever by what we had done together -- three fantastic young graduates Jay, Pat and Kyle, 'middle age' Frank, and one old geezer. What a thrill that words can hardly describe," wrote McConnell. "We had covered over 3,000 miles and marveled daily at the expanse, beauty, and diversity of our country and friendliness of our people. We are truly blessed."
(Earlier updates: Sept. 28, Sept. 26, Sept. 24, Sept. 21, Sept. 19, Sept. 17, Sept. 12, Sept. 11, Sept. 7, and Aug. 20.)
Contact: Office of Communications
Posted Oct. 1, 2007