September 20, 2018

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Biking through Iowa with ACMC’s Dr. Steven Meister

Dr. Steven Meister, ACMC-Marshall, Family MedicineACMC-Marshall family medicine physician Dr. Steven Meister always looks forward to late spring and summer in Minnesota. It means he gets to pull his bike out of storage to hit the road, trails, sidewalks—really anywhere he can ride his bike. It’s one of his favorite things to do when he isn’t in the clinic.

He first started riding as a teenager to get to work, but necessity quickly grew into a love for cycling. It’s not uncommon for him to ride his bike to work or go on 25- to 35-mile bike rides before or after work with fellow ACMC-Marshall bikers Dr. Jill Vroman and physician assistant Stephanie McKee. But what he loves most about his summer “road trips” is participating in RAGBRAI.

RAGBRAI is an annual bike touring festival across Iowa every summer. The ride has become so popular that it’s now limited to 8,500 riders. Since its inception in 1973 more than 326,650 people have ridden at least some portion of the 19,542 miles of RAGBRAI.

Dr. Meister has biked RAGBRAI with his wife seven times; she has biked it 15 times.  It’s become a fun summer activity, and in some ways a family tradition, for his eldest son, his wife and him.

“It’s awesome and such a fun way to see the countryside. You ride across the state of Iowa, starting by dipping your rear tire in the Missouri River. Every day we ride at least 50 miles and end up logging anywhere from 425 to 530 miles over the course of the week,” Dr. Meister said.

He adds, “We get the chance to visit different towns we ride through, towns I probably wouldn’t visit otherwise. Then we camp out at night before starting all over the next morning.  You meet a lot of really interesting people throughout the week.”

Each year’s route is just a little different, and that’s one of the things that keeps it interesting for Dr. Meister and his family.  This year they’ll start in Sioux City and end the trip in Davenport, biking nearly 470 miles or more if they take some of the special routes set up.

“We’re really excited about this year’s ride in July. Who am I kidding? I look forward to it every year,” he said. “What’s not to love about spending a week biking through the great outdoors with my family? It’s fun and an easy way to do something good for my health!”