You could say it came down to the wire. Yes, quite an appropriate description, indeed. This requirement for Cycling merit badge was completed with six minutes and 10 days left on Joey’s “youth clock”. Cycling merit badge is the last merit badge he needed to fulfill all the requirements for his Eagle Scout rank before he turns 18 on August 17. Noah and Joey, both Life Scouts, crossed the 50-mile point at the intersection of Hudson and E. Davis Blvd. at 2:39 p.m.
The 50-mile ride is considered to be one of the toughest physical challenges of all merit badges. To earn Cycling merit badge, a total of 150 miles must be ridden (two 10-milers, two 15-milers, two 25-milers and one 50-miler). The merit badge requirement states that the 50-mile ride must be completed within eight hours. The boys rode the first 13.5 miles on the Suncoast Parkway Trail and completed the final 36.5 miles in South Tampa. They had six minutes to spare after battling fatigue and dehydration on one of the hottest days this summer.
A minimum of 21 merit badges must be earned for Eagle, 12 of which must come from a list of required merit badges. Boys can choose one from the Cycling, Hiking, or Swimming group to count towards the total of 12 required Eagle merit badges. Noah has now earned all three in that group with the completion of today’s ride.
Joey completed his Eagle project near the end of July; Noah is aiming to complete his Eagle project in the fall.
Congratulations to both boys on joining an elite group of Troop 22 members who have completed this grueling requirement! (Special thanks to Mr. Gaines for providing the lift to the Suncoast Parkway Trail at 6:00 AM!)