Ride Across America: Final Day

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

With a dip of my front wheel in the Atlantic Ocean in Rehoboth Beach, I completed my final 111 miles at an average speed of 16.3 MPH. Thank you, tailwind!

Thanks also to the dozens of cyclists who joined this last trip as well as the teams from DelDot and the Rehoboth Police Department who were so helpful.

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

Although I rode across the country, there is no place like Delaware. The scenery, the warmth of the people and our support of each other all make us The First State in so many ways.

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

I am so glad to be home. Thanks to Carla and my whole family for your support of this trip. Thanks to my fellow cyclists for keeping me going. Thanks to those who kept me healthy, prepared me and supported me in every way.

Ride on,
Jack

Ride Across America: Day 45

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

I’m home!

On Sunday, I rode 69.3 miles at an average speed of 13.6 MPH.

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

As we rode through southeastern Pennsylvania, I commented to one of my fellow cyclists that although I’ve ridden across the country, I think the roads we have in Delaware and the region are some of the most beautiful anywhere.

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

We were greeted at the Brandywine Picnic Park by a large and enthusiastic group of cycling supporters of Greenways and they accompanied me home.

I couldn’t have received a warmer greeting from Carla, Molly, my sister’s family and my mom as well as our wonderful neighbors and friends. Michael kept calling from California to welcome me home as well and my brother reached me from Florida.

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

My cycling buddies from the last week have been amazing with particular thanks to Marty for creating the routes and Dave Ford for being the best SAG guy ever! Talk about an amazingly positive attitude!

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

Just one more day — Tuesday to Rehoboth!

Ride on,
Jack

 

Ride Across America: Day 44

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

I’m in Kutztown, Pennsylvania after riding 79.7 miles at an average speed of 10.8 MPH and climbing a personal best of 6,700 feet.

It was — at least for me — an epic ride with the elevation gain, a trip through Knoebels Amusement Resort, a climb up Hawk Mountain (a refuge for birds of prey) and lots of beautiful scenery.

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

Can’t wait to be home!

Ride on,
Jack

 

Ride Across America: Day 43

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

I’m in Cedar Run, Pennsylvania after riding 70.8 miles at an average speed of 13.7 MPH. The last few miles were on a great trail, the Pine Creek Trail. Earlier on, we had a fantastic ride when we entered Potter County.

As four of us were climbing a hill about 40 miles into the ride, I was in my normal place — lagging the others.

In my mirror, I saw two cyclists gaining on me quickly. The first one said in a snarky voice, “If you can’t ride fast, get off the road.”

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

In my head, I was preparing a pointed and pithy comeback, when I realized he was wearing a Bike Delaware jersey. That’s how I realized Marty Lessner and Mike Berlinger had arrived and were ready for the rest of the trip to Rehoboth Beach!

Ride on,
Jack

Ride Across America: Day 42

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First StateI’m in Wellsville, NY after riding 59.4 miles at an average speed of 13.5 MPH.

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

Our routes for this phase of the trip were prepared by Marty Lessner. Marty is a great friend and cyclist. And as anybody who has cycled with Marty knows, the hillier and dirtier the route, the better. Hence big hills in the beautiful Letchworth State Park and some gravel and dirt roads for good measure!

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

Tomorrow, we enter Pennsylvania.

Ride on,
Jack

Ride Across America: Day 41

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

I’m in Perry, NY after riding 76.1 miles at an average speed of 14.1 MPH.

I’m on the final phase of my journey and have left my friends from America by Bicycle and am now riding with four awesome Delawareans: Dave Sokola, Dave Ford, Steve Steinwedel and Dave Sysko.

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

We had some intense climbs – 2600 feet in all with a particularly nasty 17% grade on one short section.

As a graduate of Newark High School (as is Carla), I was interested to learn that Perry, NY is home of the Yellowjackets!

Ride on,
Jack

Ride Across America: Day 40

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

I’m in Niagara Falls, NY after riding 74.4 miles at an average speed of 15.5 MPH.

I was last at Niagara when Carla and I brought Molly and Michael about twelve years ago. The Falls are just gorgeous although everything around them is really cheesy.

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

Still, getting to New York makes it clear we are close to home and close to the Atlantic Ocean, where I will dip my front wheel on August 7 in one of the country’s best, cleanest beaches — Rehoboth Beach!

Ride on,
Jack

 

Ride Across America: Day 39

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

I’m in Brantford, Ontario — the hometown of Wayne Gretzky — after riding 69.5 miles at an average speed of 14.4 MPH.

Weather reports this morning called for a stiff headwind for most of the ride, but fortunately, we dodged that. It was a really nice ride, past ginseng farms and, for a portion, on a very nice bike path.

Tomorrow, we ride to Niagara Falls and then I say goodbye to the wonderful people I’ve ridden with for the last six weeks. They will go on to New Hampshire while Dave Sokola and I will be joined by a few other Delawareans as we ride home.

Ride on,
Jack

 

Ride Across America: Day 38

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

I’m in London, Ontario after riding 83.1 miles at an average speed of 13.2 MPH into a very stiff headwind.

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

Cycling can be very humbling. I have felt strong and fast the last couple weeks and today was frustrating, hard and slow.

We crossed over into Canada this morning from Port Huron and the bridge authorities closed the bridge so we could ride safely.

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

I’ve been very impressed with the choices the people of Ontario make for the names of their towns (Delaware) and their slogans (“More to Discover” sounds a lot like Delaware’s “Endless Discoveries.”)

Ride on,
Jack

Ride Across America: Day 37

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

I’m in Birch Run, Michigan after riding 74 miles at an average speed of 15.5 MPH. We had a nice ride, with a headwind when we rode south. I pushed harder than normal (after all, this is a marathon rather than a sprint) and had little left for the last twenty miles.

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

We had a very nice stop at the corn and soybean farm of the Reeves family. They have been hosting stops by America by Bicycle for several years and couldn’t be more gracious.

Jack Markell - Ride Across America - Motivate The First State

Ride on,
Jack