Pennsylvania male bikes a US for St. Jude’s

December 6, 2014 - Picnic Time

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Bernie Buffone sat in a bicycle emporium with a phone to his ear, his boisterous voice and Pennsylvanian accent resonating over clanking ratchets and hissing atmosphere pumps.

Through a black flip phone, simple as they come, he was on a line with his wingman, Addam French, deliberating a subsequent place Buffone would sleep.

The San Angelo State Park was Friday night’s destination.

His bike leaned on a potion box inside Concho Bike Shop, prominent with reserve — a jar of peanut butter cumulative in a H2O bottle holster, a baguette poking from a behind underneath a raise of firmly cumulative camping rigging and clothes, his helmet and an orange comb.

On Jun 30, Buffone over from his home in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, for a bike run that will final about a year, determined to collect 11 million buliding for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He crawled south to Florida, afterwards on to Memphis and New Orleans with stops in Mississippi and Arkansas between, subsequent rolling to Austin and sharpened north.

He rode 6,200 miles to strech San Angelo, hobbling in on a crippled circle about 8:30 Thursday night.

In a former life, Buffone, 63, served in a Army and owned a construction consulting firm. He is loosely retired, appropriation a bike try with Social Security and his pension.

“I played by a manners many of my life,” pronounced Buffone, wearing a highlighter yellow sweatshirt, his face red from half a year’s value of sun. “Now I’m peddling a bicycle for a children of St. Jude’s.”

And what a outing it’s been.

Buffone calls his trek “Kitten Run II.” The initial Kitten Run had a same objective, yet was derailed by injury.

He was run off a highway by a tractor-trailer in North Carolina dual months into a ride, ripping adult his leg and forcing his lapse to Pennsylvania. An undeterred Buffone healed and again set out for St. Jude’s.

Along a way, he has been chased by a furious Louisiana boar and a container of dogs. West of Austin, a rope of coyotes rummaged by his gear. He’s been mislaid in a dim some-more than a few times.

He rides 5 to 7 miles an hour, roving 30 to 40 a day to campsites and “warm showers” where people, mostly associate bikers, horde Buffone for a meal, a bed and a shower. Sometimes after a relapse or a night ride, he’ll nap on a side of a highway or underneath a cruise table.

So far, Buffone maxed out during 124 miles in one day. He boasts about channel Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia in usually two.

Buffone doesn’t lift a map, nor does he use a smartphone as a guide. His talks with his crony French get him many places. French uses Internet searches to pinpoint Buffone’s location.

Lost and seeking directions during a McDonald’s in West Virginia, Buffone met French for a initial and usually time so distant in their partnership.

Something, maybe a mutual adore for a outdoor or a common troops credentials — French is an Air Force maestro — joined them. They finished adult articulate until 5 a.m. underneath a golden arches.

French aligned with Buffone’s goal and became a PR male behind a operation.

“By assisting him, I’m assisting get a income to a people who need it,” French said.

Buffone asks people to present a change in their pocket, observant he doesn’t wish one anyone fretting over how most they give. It all helps, he said.

They don’t keep a using sum of Kitten Run II donations. A solid pour, regardless of a dollar amounts, will invariably assistance St. Jude’s, Buffone said.

“To me, it’s never about how most we’ve raised,” French said. “It’s that we still have income entrance in.”

On Friday, a bike emporium repacked a orientation on Buffone’s bike, practiced a spokes and tuned a thing all before noon, permitting him to get behind on a road. He designed to leave San Angelo on Saturday, firm for a comfortable showering in Midland before streamer west by Roswell.

To assistance Buffone’s cause, send donations to a St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105, underneath a caring of Laura Russell and mentioning Kitten Run II.

Buffone’s travels are chronicled online during

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