Alumni Begin U.S. Bike Journey
Avi Keremidchieva and Andre Lekich to promote sustainable transportation
by Bill Sulon
May 29, 2010
Avi Keremidchieva waves as fellow bicyclist Andre Lekich rides between two TV cameramen at the start of a 3,200-mile bike journey across the U.S. Friday. Family members and Dickinson employees sent the biking alumni, both members of the class of 2010, off with applause. They plan to promote sustainable transportation. Photo/Bill Sulon.
Less than a week after graduating from Dickinson College, two alumni set off Friday on a new journey, a 3,200-mile bike ride across the country.
Andre Lekich of West Chester, Pa., and Avi Keremidchieva of Bulgaria, rolled off campus shortly after 11 a.m. Friday to applause from relatives and Dickinson employees. The bicyclists, who graduated Sunday, are scheduled to arrive in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 4, with stops at campgrounds, organized rest areas and the homes of generous alumni.
Along the way, the bikers intend to raise awareness about Dickinson, promote sustainable transportation and take in the wide-range of scenery, people and experiences America has to offer.
“Attending Dickinson for four years was a great experience,” said Keremidchieva, who majored in French and international business and management. “This will be a great opportunity to show the importance of sustainable transportation and see the country.”
Keremidchieva, who wore the Green Devil mascot head for her descent down the steps of Old West at commencement, said she hopes more people will consider biking to get around.
“If we can bike across the country, maybe people will realize they can bike around Carlisle,” she said.
Lekich, who also majored in international business and management, said the journey is “once-in-a lifetime opportunity to see places and people.”
His parents, Ivo and Rosa Lekich, took photos and video of their son and Keremidchieva as they rolled off the Dickinson campus from the base of the Benjamin Rush statue in front of Old West.
“It’s a daunting challenge, but one that ultimately will be very rewarding,” said Ivo Lekich. “Traveling at a slow speed is a wonderful way to see the country.”
Keremidchieva and Lekich will bike across Pennsylvania and through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Oregon. They plan to chronicle their adventures, with text, photos and video, through their blog. The trip was made possible through the generosity of Student Senate, which provided funding for equipment.
“You are both examples of the ways in which a person can make a very big difference in the world,” said Norm Jones, assistant to President Durden. “On behalf of President Durden and the entire Dickinson community, thank you for carrying forth the very important message of living in responsible and sustainable ways.”