Former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell ended his 3680-mile, 10-state, 50-day bicycle ride across North America in Rehoboth Beach early Tuesday afternoon surrounded by fellow bicyclists and hundreds of spectators.
“I am so thrilled to be home. It is a beautiful country. But there is no place like Delaware!” Markell stated just after he crossed the finish line next to the Rehoboth Bandstand.
He and Sen. Tom Carper addressed the crowd that gathered. “When [my wife] Martha and I heard that Jack was going to get on a bicycle in Oregon, on the west coast, and ride all the way to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, my wife and I looked at each other and said: ‘He has lost his mind,’” Sen. Carper told the audience.
“You have done something I think that a lot of us would dream of doing, would love to do, and never have the tenacity to actually do it and do it successfully… you are an inspiration to all of us,” Sen. Carper added. “We are enormously proud of you.”
“I started on June 19th by dipping my back wheel in the Pacific Ocean,” Markell stated. “So the purpose of ending right here in Rehoboth Beach… I am about to take my bike shoes off and I am going to take my socks off. I am going to take my bike and I am going to dip the front wheel in the Atlantic!”
During the trip, Markell, 56, said he lost only four pounds. The ride started on June 19 in Astoria, Oregon and consisted of 50 total days, 46 riding days, passing through 10 states and into Ontario, Canada. He traveled through parts of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and, of course, Delaware! He averaged 80 miles per day with a total of 3680 miles.
“We raised a lot of money for Delaware organizations that serve kids under the umbrella of Motivate the First State,” Markell stated. “Motivate the First State is about getting Delawareans active doing good deeds. You can go online to MotovateTheFirstState.com and sign up and logon. We would like you to,” he told the excited crowd.
He shared highlights from his travels on a blog he created, while raising more than $120,000 for Motivate The First State. About a week ago, a handful of fellow bicyclists joined his journey, and as they approached Rehoboth, more than 100 other bikers came along as well.
Markell is not the only athlete ending his cross-country bike ride in Rehoboth Beach so far this summer. On July 23, Mark Williams, a Boston University finance professor and former RBP lifeguard, decided to end his cross-country fundraiser for “Bikes Not Bombs” at the beach patrol to honor the late Tommy “TC” Coveleski.