Local scouts bike 150 miles for merit badge

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Contributed story

On June 18, nine boys from Scout Troop 259 completed their Cycling Merit Badge requirement by taking a 50-mile ride through Suffolk. The route started at the Suffolk Executive Airport, head down Desert Road to Gates County, NC, back north on Arthur Drive and Holland Road and returned to the airport via Quaker Drive and Copeland Road. The ride, including stops, took about seven hours.

&uot;It’s always been a requirement that scouts have to ride 50 miles in less than eight hours,&uot; said Bill Leber, whose son Greg was one of the participants. Riders ranged from age 11 to 16. &uot;Everybody really felt good. It was really hot for about two-thirds of the way. The furthest any of them had ridden was about 25 miles, and this was a lot harder.&uot;

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Prior to the ride, the boys had completed safety and maintenance activities along with six different rides totaling 100 miles. One was taken through the Harbor View


A variety of wildlife was spotted along the way, some deer, quails, herons, snakes and a vulture.

Troop 259 is based at St. Therese on Portsmouth Boulevard in Chesapeake and draws its membership from Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Suffolk. Jim Martin was the merit badge counselor for this achievement.