Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bike Away From Diabetes

As some of you know, I am an Objibwa/Potawatomi Indian. My reservation (where both my parents were born) is Walpole Island Indian Reserve on the St. Clair River. But what most of you don't know is that on a national average diabetes in Native Americans are at a much higher rate than the average white person.

Here are some alarming statistics;

1. American Indians/Alaska Native adults were 2.7 times as likely as white adults to be diagnosed with diabetes. 2. American Indians/Alaska Native adults were almost twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to die from diabetes in 2006. 3. American Indians/Alaska Native adults were 1.6 times as likely as White adults to be obese. And 4. American Indians/Alaska Native adults were 1.3 times as likely as White adults to have high blood pressure.

So with this in mind The Walpole Island Health Center asked me to come for a few visits to help motivate and educate tribal members on cycling and cycling safety and more importantly, promote a healthier life style thru exercise. We had 4 Saturdays set aside with the first one to talk a little bit about cycling and some of the rules and throw in a smaller ride. The other days we will slowly increase our mileage on our rides and hopefully conclude with about a 10 mile trip.

We had riders from age 12 to 40 something's. Everything went well and our first trip included a rest stop for drinks, fruit or a snack bar and then we headed back. We took turns having ride leaders and we practiced our single file riding and hand signals.

We also handed out small log books to keep track of our time spent on the bike. This would help them keep a few minor details of how they felt during the ride, the wind and weather and the time on the bike. At the end of the our four schedule rides, we would award the participant who had the most minutes.

The four sessions went well, we had a little humidity and heat, but no rain and the participants ended up doing a 2 hour ride with a lunch stop in the middle. Our rider with the most time on the bike won a bicycle and another boy won a unicycle! We averaged 12 participants per session and to me that's a success story indeed!

Back Road Ride

Hey, long time no has been busy, a good busy. I didn't ride the bike much but managed to get back in the groove of late.

Saturday a few single speed buddy's and I set out to do a back road ride. We had planned for a "3 hour cruise" or maybe a little bit more. Four of us set up at a leisurely pace and the usual banter came just before the first climb for the Polka Dot card. We hit the climb and sized each other up to see who may "win" the first climb, I personally like to let everyone lead out and see who's feeling it today. Everyone's techinque is different and sometimes tells a different story. I like to stand and "dance" on the pedals and this time was no different. With the final turn out of the way and just Chris Werth and myself out front, it was time to hit the gas and see what you had.

After it was all said and done, the heart rate up to 177 bpm and me seeing stars (not really), I looked forward to the long downhill and just take it easy. As we all go together again, the usually comments ensued and we kept going.

We did a nice loop towards Romeo and Wayne and Bryan had more important things to do so they turned around at about 40 minnows and Chris and I kept going. We did a nice loop just on the Romeo city limits and then towards Rochester. I was planning on doing the Watters Bump and Run race, a fairly gnarly (you will get wet) 4 mile running (yes, running) trail race with some He-Man drills thrown in. When we got to Bloomer the tailend finishers were just coming in and they were wet from head to toe. During our ride out we quickly asked two participants if they liked the race and both raved about it, so, I may have to give up a future 50 miler to do this race, sorry.

Any who, it was back on the bikes, ride to the Paint Creek Trail back to home, and as we passed Chicken Shack, Applebee's, Sagebrush Cantina and finally Buffalo Wild Wings our attention turned to food, but we had a nice spin and cool down all the way home.

50 miles, 2480 calories burned, avg. heart rate was 132, max 177, fun factor 4 out of 5 stars.