Elizabeth Township man stays on the move
By Chris Buckley
Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
When Rick Kundman was growing up in Elizabeth Township, his father often worked various hours.
Because the family had just one car, Kundman found that often the best way for him to get anywhere was to ride his bicycle.
“I bought my first 10-speed bike at 21 and I've been riding ever since,” Kundman said.
Although he put cycling on hold while raising a family, today the 63-year-old Elizabeth Township man typically rides as many as 200 miles a week.
Kundman graduated from Elizabeth Forward High School in 1968. He earned a bachelor of science degree from Penn State University in 1973.
He then went to work for Union Railroad, which serviced U.S. Steel plants in the Mon Valley. He worked there for nine years before the demise of the steel industry.
After “kicking around” a couple of construction jobs, Kundman earned a secondary teaching certificate from California University of Pennsylvania. After teaching briefly at Community College of Allegheny County, he taught secondary mathematics in the Jefferson Morgan School District in Greene County.
He was a teacher for 16 years before the railroad company called Kundman. He worked part-time for the railroad while teaching full-time.
But even though he eventually earned a master's degree, Kundman said he made more money with the railroad than teaching. So he went back to the railroad job full-time.
Kundman met his wife, Ava, at a club called The Staircase, in Pittsburgh. They were married July 29, 1974. She is an early childhood teacher at Allegheny Intermediate Unit.
The couple has a son, Benjamin, who lives in the South Side and works as a mechanical engineer for Wabtec. Their daughter, Jessica Tierney, now resides in Australia where she works for an environmental firm.
Today, Kundman enjoys riding recreationally, in occasional competitions and for charity. He even takes his son along for the ride.
Last month, Kundman won a 10K bike race at the Westmoreland County Senior Games.
“The guy I beat was upset because he won the last seven years,” Kundman said. “I beat him by a wheel's length – in the last 200 yards.”
For 14 years, Kundman has completed a 166-mile bike ride from Harmony to Lake Erie to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis. Kundman said he feels a sense of accomplishment finishing the charity ride each year. His son has joined him the past six years.
“I know a couple of people who have MS,” Kundman said. “It's very devastating. It hits you like a sledgehammer.”
He usually completes two to three long cycling trips each year. Kundman recently completed a five-day, fully supported bike ride last week in Virginia.
The past two years, he has completed the century ride. This year, he won a diamond-back bicycle during the 100-mile ride.
Kundman said his wife enjoys trail riding.
“Road riding is exciting; it's a sense of adventure, but trail riding is relaxing.”
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pa. transportation bill may breathe life into Mon-Fayette Expressway project
- Donora woman dies in fire
- Restaurateur’s roots planted in Mon Valley
- Photo gallery: Santa visits Monessen Civic Center, Belle Vernon church
- 2 Mon Valley educators up for state’s Teacher of the Year honor
- Sellew: Enough of Mike Tomlin already
- Mother’s suspicion leads to 4 arrests in Charleroi thefts
- Worker finds man’s body in Monessen
- Confederate Cabinet focus of Cal U’s Civil War roundtable
- Ringgold out to fix buildings, image
- Photo gallery: West Newton’s annual ‘Miracle on Main Street’ celebration