BEL AIR, Md. — A 24-year-old from Bel Air, Maryland, made it his goal to spend the summer of 2017 traveling over 4,000 miles across the United States to help raise money for pediatric heart disease.
While he may have finished the ride of a lifetime at the end of July, he continues to make efforts to reach his fundraising goal.
Spencer Buchness, an amateur long-distance cyclist, quit his job as a graphic designer to begin his nearly three-month journey by bike on April 22 in Ocean City, Maryland, with the goal of reaching San Francisco.
He traveled through 14 states, raising $15,000 along the way for the Save a Child’s Heart foundation, an organization he volunteered with in Israel.
Buchness said that although he didn’t train for the trip, it was one he had always wanted to partake in.
“I was staring at a map of the world one day and I realized I could go anywhere and I think a lot of people forget that,” he said. “This ride is something I’ve always wanted to do for the last three years, so I risked it.”
He pedaled through Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California.
On average, he said he spent about six to seven hours per day on his bike, riding through the various weather conditions like hail, thunderstorms and tornado warnings, experiencing extreme highs and lows in temperatures.
“I don’t stop unless I physically can’t keep going,” Buchness said. “I’ll be riding up a hill, yelling at myself to keep pedaling, with sweat in my eyes … but right when you want to walk, you think about those children affected by heart disease, thinking OK, all right, we’re doing this.”
Buchness said he chose to raise money for the Save a Child’s Heart foundation…