Bike With Healers
Our mission is to encourage healthy physical and psychological activity in people of all ages, and reverse the consequences of a sedentary, stressed and indoor lifestyle in order to improve the health and well-being of Berkshire County.
Throughout history, generations of patients complied silently to medical professional orders representing the traditional patient-provider relationship where the provider was perceived as the “knower” of the patient. The medical model of health worked to sustain these efforts as medical knowledge became more pervasive, rendering patients’ bodies, minds and hearts docile to the influence of institutionalized education, residential training, and technological advancements. The effect represses patient autonomy potentially lending itself to foreclosing substantial, transformative change. Change, however, is possible on both ends of the patient-provider relationship. Patients are capable of becoming empowered. Just as, clinicians are capable of caring.
Caring for a patient nowadays is challenging. These challenges are exacerbated, in part, by a healthcare system that limits access, quality, costs, and resources to healthcare services. This is especially true for at-risk populations. Practitioners are seeing more patients than ever before in a shorter amount of time. In spite of this, there are a number of practitioners who use their Saturday mornings to hike and talk about health with community members and other concerned practitioners. Hike participants and practitioners are creating alternate routes for how we conceive of the patient-provider relationship and reduce work fatigue. For them, these relationships are partnerships based upon the mutual exchange of information that take into account localized, health histories informing major medical decisions and the adoption of health behaviors.
Bike With Healers was created by Eric Krawczyk, a licensed mental health counselor, certified forest therapy guide and the developer of Nature Treatment, a commnity health initiative based in Berkshire County.
Bike With Healers invites champion health practitioners to headline a monthly bike ride in various local parks.
Bike With Healers offers a space for community members to interact with healthcare providers and each other while engaging in meaningful discussions about assessment options, treatment choices, the management of diseases, prevention of illnesses, and preservation of wellness.
Bike rides range from 1-2 hrs long and includes an introduction and overview of the guest "Healer's" specialities. In biking and talking with a practitioner there is a relationship formed around care that is much richer than the traditional relationships providers have within the confines of the current healthcare system. These experiences of biking and talking enliven the patient-provider relationship where participants begin to see and understand their health differently achieving what was once thought impossible.
WHO'S THE GUEST HEALER:
Dr. Stephen Alsdorf is a family doctor in general private practice in Pittsfield. He studied medicine at the University of Massachusetts (Worcester) and did his residency at Boston University. He is a passionate trail runner, backcountry skier and cyclist who is dedicated to helping his patients access the healing potential of nature and their own bodies.
WHERE TO MEET:
In the gardens behind the historic Springside House at Hebert Arboretum. There are bathrooms across from the greenhouse.
From the North:
Route 7 south to Pittsfield. The Arboretum is located just past Reid Middle School on the left.
From the South:
Route 7 north to Pittsfield. Stay on Route 7 through the downtown area. The Arboretum is located just north of downtown on the right hand side of the road, second right after Springside Avenue and just before Reid Middle School.
From the East:
Route 9 west into Pittsfield. Follow signs for Route 7 north. At the intersection of Route 9 and Route 7, take a right to stay on Route 7 north. The Arboretum is located just north of downtown on the right hand side of the road, second right after Springside Avenue and just before Reid Middle School.
From the West:
Route 20 into Pittsfield, then follow signs for Route 7 north. Stay on Route 7 through the downtown area. The Arboretum is located just north of downtown on the right hand side of the road, second right after Springside Avenue and just before Reid Middle School.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
The Hebert Arboretum is a living tree library located within one of Pittsfield's premier city resources, Springside Park. Encompassing 231 acres within the city, the park is a unique sanctuary for plant and animal life.
This will be a mountain bike event on dirt roads and singletrack trail in the vast network of trails in the park. We will follow a course used during week 5 of this year's MTB Training Series race http://www.berkshiremtb.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2017_berkshire_mtb_course_week_5.jpg We will stay together unless we have MTB guides who can lead smaller groups based on interest and ability levels.
Our sponsors Berkshire Bike and Board have a small inventory of very nice rental mountain bikes available for this event at a reduced rate. Please contact the Pittsfield stores to check on pricing and availability. Just mention that you are attending our event.
Members of the Berkshire MTB nonprofit www.berkshireMTB.com and the Berkshire Mountain Biking community will be on hand to assist with inspecting, fitting and instructing participants in how to have a safe and enjoyable ride. Please note that all support is volunteer and in no way should be considered liable for the information and assistance offered. Participants are expected to be responsible for the safety of their experience.
The bike will still be on if it's raining, unless it is a violent storm or prolonged downpour. If it is raining it's important to have layers to put on or take off so a pack of some kind is recommended. If we need to take cover during a thunderstorm we will head indoors or under cover, but if it’s not thundering, we will just stay outside.
1. Lite Rain/Showers – Ride event as planned
2. All day/Soaked Trails – decision made on Friday by 7:00 pm
Reroute ride to less delicate trails/roads with in park
3. Lightning within 5 miles:
Prior to start – postpone events 15 minutes, brief participants,
seek shelter in hard topped vehicles. Cancel events if
lightning is still within 5 miles 15 minutes later
During ride – take shortest known trail back to safety
Please wear appropriate cycling clothing for the temperature and bring extra layers to stay warm. Bring water or a thermos with a hot drink. I suggest you bring one more warm layer than you think you will need. We will be moving at a pace that keeps us all together, but can split up into ability groups. Bring anything else you may want to be warm and comfortable outdoors (gloves, hat, neck warmer, etc.). Again, think in terms of wearing one more layer than you think you’ll need.
If you have any questions or need to contact me before the hike , please call or text me at 413-591-9355. Signal may be spotty there so it may not be possible to communicate with us after 9:00am.