From St. Augustine, FL to San Diego, CA, in 46 days, Tiverton's Devin Beck reported that he moved "pretty quickly" across the country on his bicycle to help raise money for Haiti's plastics recycling problem. His trip covered 3,002 miles of U.S. highways and backroads.
"I feel like I did amazing," he said Tuesday night over the phone in Pacific Beach, San Diego. He said some bikers he met along his trip asked why he was going so fast.
Beck, 23, also a PGA golf professional at Wannamoisett Country Club in Rumford, left St. Augustine, FL, on Jan. 11 to San Diego. He slept in a tent and found affordable lodging along the way. He raised $6,000 for the non-profit organization Executives Without Borders and their work in Haiti. Beck's original goal was $2,000, but reached that before even leaving on his bike.
All the money raised will go to Executive Without Borders' "From Trash to Cash" program in Haiti, also known as Ramese Lajan. Two of the biggest problems in Haiti, which were exasperated by the devastating earthquake in 2010, are the lack of good paying jobs and the incredible amount of plastic waste throughout the country, Beck said.
The most challenging part of the trip was climbing hill country in Texas, where Beck cited some 1,000-foot climbs.
"My legs weren't ready for the hills yet," he said.
And Super Bowl weekend Beck said he faced a daunting 40-mile ride from Brackettville to Del Rio, TX on a loose gravel road, dead into the wind.
"On the day I left it was snowing, and it turned into sleet and hail," he said.
His favorite stop on the ride was the McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis, TX, which reportedly used to be the world's third-largest telescope. He said it was one of his steepest climbs. His highest elevation reached was approximately 8,300 feet in Emory Pass, NM.
Beck's friend who works in Executives Without Borders is visiting him in California in a few days to go over the fundraising, and then return to Boston to meet with the executives. With golf season always taking a winter hiatus at the East Providence country club, Beck said would do the trip again and would like to see a more regular fundraising basis for the non-profit. He added he hopes to get to Haiti in November to see how the funds are being used.