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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kansas Cyclist Podcast Episode 20 - KansasCyclist.com and EPNetwork

Episode 20 of the Kansas Cyclist Podcast includes an interview of David Williams who is the sponsor and faculty adviser for the Newton High School Student and Faculty Bike Club and who uses cycling as a means to better health and well being.

We also check in with Brent Hugh, the Executive Director of the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation, regarding the efforts to have the State of Missouri continue to fund the Tour of Missouri Professional Bicycle Race.

David “Mr. Bill” Williams is a speech and debate teacher at Newton High School in Newton, Kansas. David has a really interesting and compelling personal story — he had been morbidly obese since elementary school, maxing out at weighing 370 pounds, and eventually it began to catch up with him with diabetes, alcoholism, liver disease.

At this point, David made a decision to take control of his life. He stopped drinking and began to watch what he ate, the pounds began to come off, and when he added cycling on a stationary bike, he began to see real improvements. When he got bored with pedaling indoors, David took to his son’s mountain bike and began riding outdoors, and found he loved it. Eventually, David dropped more than 130 pounds and greatly improved his health.

In September of 2008 he started the Newton High School Student and Faculty Bike Club, which is the only high school cycling club in the state. David teaches his students about bicycle safety and bicycle maintenance, and leads group rides on trails and streets in Newton. The bike club only officially meets once a month for rides during the last hour of the day, but there are many more rides that take place outside of school among students and faculty.

It’s great to see a program like this launch in Kansas, and we’re hoping it proves to be a model for other schools — getting kids out on their bikes and promoting a safe, healthy, and active lifestyle.
You can follow David on his blog, Cycling & CX, or contact him on Facebook or Twitter.

In the “On The Scene” segment of the podcast, we get an update on the Tour of Missouri from Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation Executive Director, Brent Hugh. Brent’s been part of the Tour since the beginning, and no one is more knowledgeable about the race, or is a bigger fan.

You can show your support for the Tour of Missouri by following it on Facebook, signing the petition, or, especially, by contacting Governor Nixon at 573-751-3222 or http://governor.mo.gov/contact, and the Division of Tourism at 573-751-4133 or tourism@ded.mo.gov.

This post is copied and adopted from Randy Rasa's Show Notes for Episode 20 of the Kansas Cyclist Podcast. 

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