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SALT LAKE CITY— As temperatures in Salt Lake City reached 98 degrees Monday, a Salem, Oregon man admitted his cycling journey isn’t even that enjoyable.
But, he is driven to endure his bicycle ride across America.
“You never know what’s going to happen to you,” Brent Bundy chuckled. “It wouldn’t be bad if the bike wasn’t so heavy. I have to get off and push up the hills. Not fun!”
But, Bundy is cycling for something bigger than fun.
A small sign attached to the back of his bike declares his cause: "Fight breast cancer. Oregon to N.Y. For Gina."
Gina died of cancer in 2004.
“It’s a tribute to her,” Bundy said. “She was one of my best friends. She was incredible. She left behind three small children. Devastating.”
He is motivated to complete the journey despite physical obstacles he suffered two decades ago.
“I broke my neck in ’97, had up to seven strokes and had to learn to talk, to walk and eat,” Bundy said. “They gave me a 5 percent chance of walking, but here I am.”
His nearly 3,000-mile trek began June 28 in Oregon, and is expected to end sometime in early September in New York.
Bundy said it doesn't matter that he's carrying 75 pounds of personal belongings, or that he doesn't particularly care for cycling. It would be hard to run with that much weight. And with his friend's name attached to the top of his helmet, he cycles on.
This isn't Bundy's first cross-continental ride.
“This is five — fifth and last,” Bundy said.
In previous rides, Bundy said he has passed out, dislocated a shoulder, and was even hit by "a couple of cars.”
He said he is getting too old for the trek.
“Every hill that I came across, I think, 'This has got to be the last one,’” Bundy said. “Well, it’s not. There’s about a thousand more.”
Bundy encouraged women and men to do what they can to identify breast cancer early to improve their chances of survival.