Biking in the Midwest

tour of grandview

Tour of Grandview Criterium

It’s mid July and the Tour de France is heading into the home stretch, but here in the Middle of America, biking events are heating up.  The famed Ragbrai–a traverse across the state of Iowa–begins in a week. The Hotter’N Hell Hundred Endurance Ride (a hundred mile ride during a month where the average daily high is 96 F) takes place in Wichita Falls on August 24…..

I’ve lived across the USA and across the world, but I’m a native Midwesterner, and proud of that fact:  born in Iowa, secondary school in Michigan, now rearing my children in Ohio.  I don’t know if many people realize what a ‘big deal’ long distance bike riding is here in the American Heartland.  The region has come a long way since the days of the movie  “Breaking Away,” the plot of which turns on the idea that an Indiana high schooler’s  devotion to long distance biking is quirky, and foreign; that in the 70’s a word like “Campagnolo” would be more apt to be identified as a pasta than a bicycle parts maker.

The Tour of Grandview and The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA) are just two of these festivals of Midwestern, mid-summer biking, both taking place in Central Ohio.  And I have the privilege of knowing and working with the Medical Director of both:  Dr. Tom Pommering.  I asked him to do a guest blog on his adventures in June covering the 25th annual GOBA, and the following is his report!

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Thomas L. Pommering, DO, FAAFP

with ice dr p

Dr. Tom Pommering enjoys the ice after an ‘optional’ 100 mile ride. Cool down, then time to get to the medical tent to care of some riders.

GOBA is a week-long bicycling tour that brings up to 3000 cyclists, ages 2-90, from 40 states and several countries on a daily 50 mile ride through the peaceful countryside of Ohio.   With such a large and diverse group of people performing this daily strenuous activity, there exists a need for a unique medical system to support this group for a week.  For almost 20 years, I have had the privilege of directing the GOBA Medical System.  There are many logistical challenges to providing medical coverage to a large participant group that is traveling to a different venue each day while being exposed to the elements, environment and each other.  Here are a few pointers I’d like to share with anyone else who may be tasked with this responsibility. Read more of this post

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