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Two Cyclists Announce Bicycle Ride Across Iowa to Raise Funds for Therapy Equipment for the Rehabilitation Clinic at St. Francis Manor

April 19, 2018

Two Grinnell cyclists, Tim Stahl and Jon Duke, will soon be pedaling their bicycles 370 miles across Iowa on gravel and dirt roads. Tim and Jon, who work together in the Rehabilitation Clinic at St. Francis Manor, are putting their endurance to the test for the purpose of raising funds to purchase therapy equipment that will help rehab patients improve their endurance. They are scheduled to kick off their bicycle rides on May 4, 2018 in the town of Hawarden, Iowa located on the Big Sioux River just west of Orange City and end three days later in Lansing, Iowa on the Mississippi River.

They came up with their team name, “Stroke for Stroke Cycling,” in recognition of their physical therapy patients who are recovering from strokes and who will benefit greatly from each of the many pedal strokes needed to purchase advanced equipment such as a LiteGait system. “LiteGait is a body-weight supporting system that communicates with a smart treadmill, shared Jon Duke, Physical Therapist. “It safely helps patients learn to walk again after a serious medical condition such as a stroke.”

With this ride, Tim and Jon also hope to inspire others to lower their risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other diseases by engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise. The importance of cardiovascular health strikes close to home for Tim Stahl, Physical Therapy Assistant. “I was in horrible cardiovascular health just 18 months ago,” recalls Tim. “After two trips to the emergency room due to heart palpitations, I decided that things needed to change to improve my health. Jon, who has been an avid gravel bike competitor since 2015 and has raced in events as long as 240 miles, encouraged me to give cycling a try. At first, I could only ride 15 minutes on paved roads before becoming completely fatigued, but I kept at it. Cycling has completely changed my life now—not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually.”

Over the past year, Tim and Jon have ridden outdoors in temperatures as cold as 4 degrees but most of their training this winter has been inside. Together, the two have pedaled the equivalent of over 5,000 miles on their indoor bike trainers—a contraption which takes the place of a bike’s rear wheel to make it stationary and also provides resistance to simulate grade elevations. 

“Since starting our fundraising efforts in January 2018, we have been humbled by the generous support shown from our many clients and friends,” said Tim. “Thanks to Seeland Park residents Gary & Connie Shebeck kicking off our fundraising campaign with a $5,000 challenge pledge, and a subsequent $6,000 challenge pledge by Ken & Mary Eggman, we have already raised the $30,000 needed to purchase the sophisticated LiteGait system.” Additional funds received will be used to purchase other needed rehab equipment, including a recumbent bicycle to assist patients with improving their strength and cardiovascular fitness—a great way to commemorate Tim and Jon’s endurance ride.

Donations in support of Tim and Jon’s bike ride across Iowa to raise funds for physical therapy equipment can be dropped off or mailed to St. Francis Manor at 2021 4th Avenue, Grinnell, IA 50112; or made by credit card.  Checks should be payable to the “St. Francis Manor Foundation” and a note made in the memo section designating use for the physical therapy equipment fund.  All gifts made to the Foundation are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

For more information about this event or the outpatient or inpatient therapy services available visit Rehabilitation Clinic at St. Francis Manor

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