"What better way to celebrate our youth than by biking across the country?" Mark wrote in the initial Instagram post. "Through sheer determination and stubbornness, we will be completing the 4,200-mile trek across the famous Transamerica Bike Trail. While on this life-changing journey, our goal is to raise $10k for Ocean's Harbor House. They are a nonprofit dedicated to providing a safe haven for vulnerable youth, while providing them the tools to build a brighter future."
Mark became familiar with Ocean's Harbor House first through his father, a longtime supporter of the nonprofit, and then through some bike trips-- considerably shorter ones, only 400 miles or so-- that benefited the agency. Matt and Mark are inching closer to their $10k goal, with $7,370 raised already to date, and still weeks left in their quest.
"The journey itself has been super humbling," Mark said. "Yes, physically of course, but also having the opportunity to experience many different cultures throughout our journey. We have traveled over 3,000 miles so far and are currently in Montana, our 8th state of the trip."
The duo is expected to finish their trek by the second week of November, provided the weather holds up.
"The journey itself has been super humbling," Mark said. "Yes, physically of course, but also having the opportunity to experience many different cultures throughout our journey. We have traveled over 3,000 miles so far and are currently in Montana, our eighth state of the trip."
Mark continues to draw from his experiences at High School North as inspiration for endeavors like this, and that goes beyond his athletic accomplishments and memories. He credits teachers like Christian Kane for instilling in him the value of giving back to those who truly need it.
"Seeing him accomplish his dream while building the Field of Dreams felt like we all had won," Mark said about the former HSN teacher and Field of Dreams founder. "Yet despite how much he juggled at once, he still found the time to care about each and every one of his students on a personal level."
What the end of this adventure might lead to next is anyone's guess. Mark does love to surf and has spent the past five summers coaching sailing at Toms River Yacht Club. He's already had success on foot, and his work on wheels is, literally, well documented. Could the sea be calling?
Maybe it's best to allow this extraordinary venture to be completed first. Besides, it's clear by now that whatever Mark decides to do, he'll give it his all, and it will be for the benefit of those in need. He won't be-- or might be?-- spinning his wheels.
Follow Matt & Mark Cross America on Instagram, and donate to their cause at their GoFundMe page.