Cyclists head cross-country solo - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Cyclists head cross-country solo

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

It was a bright and hot Sunday morning, when Jason Machett tipped his bicycle tire into the Atlantic Ocean.

It was the end of a 5,125-mile cycling trip from Monterey, Ca., crisscrossing the country and ending up on Tybee Island.

It took Jason Machett a little over a year. His inspiration was his mother, Gena Machett, who raised him as a single parent.

"It's perfect to finish on Father's Day because, this is my pops too," Jason said, hugging his mother.

As Machett got ready to take a load off, another cyclist was gearing down in downtown Savannah.

Carol Bontekoe's cross-country trip made an unexpected stop in Savannah two months ago.

"I stopped biking because I met a really cute bartender," Bontekoe said, sitting in the courtyard of the home she and that bartender now share.

Before stopping in Savannah, Bontekoe had racked up thousands of miles, riding from Texas to Miami before heading north. She had intended to end up back home in Chicago.

Bontekoe credits bike riding with helping her shed 150 pounds.

Her cycling trip was all about teaching Girl Scouts, traveling from troop to troop to educate them on the health benefits of biking.

Bontekoe says she also wants to teach children that just because you grow up, doesn't mean you have to stop having adventures.

"I wanted to let them know that someone is out there just riding their bike across country," Bontekoe said. "I didn't know that was an option, growing up in rural Michigan."

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