Avera Docs embrace National Bike Month

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It’s just after 7 a.m. While many of us are still on our first cup of coffee, sports medicine physician Dr. Jonathan Buchanan is ready to hit the pavement.

“I ride my daughter to her bus stop. She rides on my handle bars and I take her down to the bus stop and, I drop her off, and all the kids on the bus wave at me because I’m the crazy biker dad. Then I just hit the trails. I stay mostly on the Sioux Falls trails which is awesome because I don’t have to cross any roads; there’s no traffic. And maybe out of my six-mile commute, there’s maybe a quarter of a mile or less that I’m on the road,” said Dr. Buchanan.

Not even 8 o’clock and Dr. Buchanan has already biked six miles and burned a couple hundred calories. He rides in to the Avera McKennan campus and gets a prime parking spot, his office, and is ready to see his first patient.

“I jump into the first room with my first patient and they’re like you have way too much energy. You gotta calm that down a little bit,” said Dr. Buchanan.

18 years Dr. Buchanan has biked to and from work.

“Rain, shine, snow -- in fact, when I lived in Maine for my residency, we had a car for me and it sat for four years. And then we tried to start it; it was dead. So we ended up just donating it to the Kidney Foundation,” said Dr. Buchanan.

Dr. Buchanan hops back on his bike at the end of the day and it’s smooth sailing all the way home – none of that rush hour traffic.

“I like being able to get some energy out before and after work. I get home from work and I’m nice and relaxed. I’m not all stressed out from my day because I’ve had a good workout on the way home and I can just be happy with my children,” said Dr. Buchanan.

While Dr. Buchanan bikes to work, cardiologist Dr. Michael Hibbard bikes at work – his favorite tunes guiding him through his ride.

“I could be riding my bike and doing a telemedicine consult at the same time. I have a trainer here and all of my screens are up, and so I can be working and doing everything and then riding bike all day if I want to. I thought about how much time I spent sitting around on computers and we don’t even have to run around and get charts anymore. We do everything digitally now, so I decided to convert my office into a bike,” said Dr. Hibbard.

Dr. Hibbard’s bike seat has replaced the standard office chair.

“Anybody that comes in here, I don’t have any chairs to sit on here, you either sit at the bike or you don’t sit. All the work is done standing up,” said Dr. Hibbard.

Dr. Hibbard finds he has more energy and focuses better on the bike.

“Yeah I feel like Rocky Balboa to tell you that most days. It’s just invigorating and it’s amazing how much better that you feel when I do if. If I don’t do it, it really feels like a part of the day didn’t get started right,” said Dr. Hibbard.

Both doctors want to encourage others to get involved with biking, whether that be riding to work a couple of days a week or doing it recreationally.