Bicyclists ride along Broadway in downtown Paducah Sunday. The Spokes for Strokes bicycle tour, sponsored by Western Baptist Hospital and Bike World, hopes to promote awareness about strokes and raise money for local stroke services. The ride begins at7 a.m. Saturday, June 2 in Noble Park.
Seconds count when it comes to immediate treatment following a stroke, and local cyclists hope to propel that message forward as they take to the F.A.S.T. track in helping promote community awareness.
Western Baptist Hospital will host its first Spokes for Strokes bike tour on Saturday, June 2, not only to boost awareness of the leading cause of long-term disability in the country, but to fund local stroke care services.
And with a lengthy list of healthy benefits including strengthening the body’s vascular structure, cycling was an easy decision for helping to get the message out, said Dr. Joseph Ashburn, director of stroke services at Western Baptist Hospital.
“The more you exercise the better your vascular supply to your brain and throughout your body, as opposed to a sedentary lifestyle,” Ashburn said.
“The American Heart Association recommends moderate severity of exercise in regards to heart and stroke prevention, and bicycling fits in nicely with this, as it helps prevents cardiovascular disease.”
With routes available for all skill sets of riders or walkers — a mile walk/ride along the Greenway trail in Noble Park; a 10-mile ride through Paducah; and 35 or 62 mile tour across McCracken, Marshall and Graves counties — the ride raises donations to help bolster Paducah area stroke services such as support and educational groups.
“Exercise is great for the community to take part in and especially when you are involved in exercise that will bring out the education about strokes,” said Hutch Smith, owner of Bike World, sponsoring the ride.
At every turn of the ride, cyclists will be reminded of stroke warning signs, as the course is marked with the easy-to-remember acronym F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech, Time). Registration for the ride begins at 7 a.m. at Noble Park Shelter 19, and the ride begins about 8 a.m.
For all funds raised to participate in the ride, Western Baptist Hospital Foundation plans to equally match those donations.
Call Will Pinkston, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8676.