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Bicyclists end cross-country journey in NJ

NEWARK, N.J., Aug. 14 (UPI) -- After bicycling more than 3,000 miles across the country, two men ended their journey in Newark, N.J., officials say.

Joe Batista, 62, and his biking partner John Sowell, 44, ended their bike trip that took them through 14 states in front of Newark City Hall Saturday afternoon, The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger reported. They were greeted by friends and family.

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"I'm on a high that won't come down for another week," Batista said. "To do this at my age, it's absolutely gratifying."

The bikers met three years after riding together through a mutual acquaintance.

The men started their journey in California July 17 to raise money for different causes. Batista was riding for Sister Pat's Kids Camp, a non-profit that provides camp experiences for children with cancer and blood diseases. Sowell rode for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark's bicycle exchange program and an United Way initiative geared toward men's health.

Batista's wife Rosalie closely followed the men along their trip, which averaged about 105 miles a day, by car.

"If she hadn't come, I wouldn't have done it," Batista said.

Apparently, the most difficult part of the trip for Batista was not being able to find chocolate ice cream.

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"For about 10 states, we couldn't find chocolate ice cream," he said. "The first thing I want to do is stop at Dairy Queen."

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