Bike to Mary: La Crosse man leads 200-mile pilgrimage

To some, Chris Pundzak’s life might seem like an uphill battle, but it’s one he’ll gladly bike with a smile on his face.

The 27-year-old was pronounced close to death at birth, spent a month in a neonatal intensive care unit and by age 5 was found to have cerebral palsy.

The La Crosse man is an IT support specialist, an avid biker and devout to his Catholic faith. Pundzak’s tied all three together to create the Bike to Mary pilgrimage riding almost 200 miles from Holy Hill Shrine near Milwaukee to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse. Pundzak is the website administrator, the lead rider and doing it all to raise money and spread a message.

“I always wanted to bike for a ‘higher cause’ and this is one of them. With regarding pro-life and my disability, I am doing this so others can see how beautiful life is with how we spend our time,” Pundzak said.

The trek is Tuesday through Sunday and Pundzak will stop in Portage on Wednesday with about 14 fellow riders. The public is invited to bring a dish for a 7 p.m. potluck at St. Mary’s Catholic church at 307 W. Cook St.
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