SUMMIT, NJ - He hasn't slept in his own bed for 14 months and, in his own words, "his body is shot", but Brent Bundy is set to complete the sixth edition of something most folks couldn't even contemplate doing -- riding across the United States on a bicycle.
Bundy doesn't do it for fun or fitness, rather the 'Tour de America' treks are labors of love for Bundy who, clad in trademark pink, rides to honor the memory of his close friend Gina -- who tragically lost her fight with breast cancer at age 34 -- and all those who have battled and continue to battle the disease. Wherever he goes, Bundy stresses the need for cancer screening.
Before finishing his latest sojourn, the 51-year-old Bundy did a 'cycle-by' at Summit's Overlook Medical Center, where he was met by Donna Delicio, manager, Carol G. Simon Cancer Center, Jannine Valledor, breast nurse navigator, Carol G. Simon Cancer Center, and Anne Davidson, assistant manager, The Breast Center at Overlook Medical Center.
The ride is not intended to raise funds, but gathers copious amounts of visibility thanks to thousands of miles logged by Bundy, whose journey takes him from Seaside, OR, and concludes in Staten Island. Bundy takes a route that begins in the Northwest, continues through Idaho and Wyoming, then drops down into the bread basket of the nation before heading northeast and -- ultimately -- right up to the Atlantic Ocean.
Along the way, he stops and spends the night at a potpourri of locations, including private residences of friends he has met over the years, firehouses and even hospitals.
He's had his mishaps over the years, many of which -- for whatever reason, but likely sheer coincidence -- have happened in Pennsylvania. These include a car striking him, him striking a car and, this past January, Bundy getting whacked a piece of ice that flew off a vehicle. The frozen projectile rendered him unconscious and resulted in surgery and a months-long delay in tour number six.
Bundy says that the first ride was nearly impossible, the second difficult but, from the third one on it has been pretty easy, which is even more remarkable for someone who says that, before he began the tours, he was a runner who "didn't really like to ride."
After lugging his 70-pound bicycle -- adorned with the names of survivors and supporters alike -- more than 30,000 miles over the past 15-plus years, Bundy was quick with his answer when asked what he will do when wraps up the sixth ride. "I'm probably going to climb into my bed and go to sleep."