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Dynamic Chiropractic – May 31, 1999, Vol. 17, Issue 12

Biking to Benefit Spinal Research

By Editorial Staff
In 1997, seven chiropractic students from Logan College of Chiropractic participated in the inaugural Tour de Spine, a bicycle ride from Illinois to Florida designed to raise research money for the American Spinal Research Foundation. The event raised more than $16,000 in sponsorship proceeds, contributions and pledges in support of ASRF (see "News in Brief" in the October 6, 1997 issue).

While Tour de Spine has since expanded to include other chiropractic colleges, two other bicycling ventures have sprung up to help raise funds for spine-related research and to promote chiropractic in general: "SPRINT Across the Continent" and the "Chiropractic Awareness Expedition."


SPRINT ("Special People Reaching INside Themselves") is the development of Tom Hyde,DC, and Owen Bartruff,DC. SPRINT will be a 6,500 mile bike ride from Anchorage to Miami. The proceeds from SPRINT will be used to benefit the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the world's largest research center dedicated to treating and ultimately curing paralysis that occurs as a result of spinal cord injury. According to Miami Project statistics, 100,000 spinal cord injuries occur every year in the U.S. Between 70-80% of those injuries occur in men; 75% happen to people between the ages of 15 and 33.

Making the journey will be two Florida chiropractors (Owen Bartruff and Tom Hyde), Darol Kubaez (who hopes to represent the U.S. as a competitor in the 2000 Paralympic Games), and Dot Burnworth, 24, a University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) graduate and triathlete.

Dr. Bartruff was an organizer of the Tour de Spine in '97, '98 and '99, as well as a rider. He is a 1998 graduate of Logan, where he was class president in '97 and '98. A football player of note at the University of Florida (he later signed with the Pittsburgh Stealers), Dr. Bartruff recently ruptured his Achilles' tendon while in training for SPRINT. Because of the injury, he will begin the cross-country trek with a hand cycle, at times pulling a trailer with Sprint inside, Sprint being his black labrador retriever.

Teaming with Dr. Bartruff to organize and participate in SPRINT is Dr. Tom Hyde, a 1977 Logan graduate with a practice in Miami. He has been president of the Dade County Chiropractic Society and the Florida State Chiropractic Association, and is the secretary general of the Federation Internationale de Chiropratique Sportive. He served many years on the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in Florida, and was a member of the USOC medical staff at the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis.

The SPRINT ride is scheduled to start on Memorial Day weekend from Anchorage, Alaska. The riders will: cross the Yukon Territory; cycle through British Columbia and Alberta; conquer the Canadian Rockies; pass by the wheat fields of Montana; salute the presidents at Mt. Rushmore; meet up with 20,000 riders in Iowa (the "Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa"); pedal along the shores of Lake Michigan; turn south along the Mississippi; ride by the Arch of St. Louis; visit Logan College of Chiropractic and help launch the '99 Tour do Spine; head down through the blue grass state and over the Smokey Mountains; and on into steamy Atlanta.

During the last week of August, the SPRINT team will link up with participants from this year's Tour de Spine in Jacksonville, Florida. Together, they will ride the 150 miles from Jacksonville to Orlando, arriving just in time for the start of the Florida Chiropractic Association's fall meeting. The riders culminate the trip when they arrive in Miami on September 12.

Several professional athletes and celebrities are scheduled to join the riders as they make their way across North America: current National Football League stars Trace Armstrong, Kevin Carter, Brad Culpepper, and Tony McCoy; former three-time Tour de France cycling champion Greg Lemond; and members of the rock group Sister Hazel.

The Chiropractic Awareness Expedition

The plan for the Chiropractic Awareness Expedition (CAE) journey is to ride south along the Continental Divide trail, which explains the trip's slogan: "A Mountain Bike Ride Across the Spine of America."

Two chiropractic students will be leading the CAE this summer. Bobbee Palmer is an eighth-quarter student at Palmer West. She's an accomplished distance runner who has shifted her training to mountain and road cycling. Jonna Uibel, a sixth-quarter student at Palmer West, has been racing mountain bikes competitively for the past five years.

Bobbee and Jonna's trip will begin on July 2, on the Canadian border near Roosville, Montana. Their two-and-a-half-month journey will take them through nearly 2,700 miles of trails; only about 10 percent of the route will be traversed on pavement. The students will pass through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico, with the completion of their trip scheduled for September 12 (the same day, coincidentally, for the finale of SPRINT) on the Mexican border near Antelope Wells, New Mexico.

As with this year's Tour de Spine, all proceeds from the Chiropractic Awareness Expedition are earmarked for the American Spinal Research Foundation, a nonprofit, national voluntary health agency. ASRF's main purpose is to fund research to identify the most effective treatments for reduction of chronic pain and for restoring mobility and general well-being for people who suffer from back pain, headaches and other conditions related to the spine.

Follow Them On Line

Both bike expeditions are using the resources of the internet to help raise funds for their respective causes and spread the message about chiropractic.

SPRINT's website ( is divided into a dozen sections, including: brief biographies on the riders; a route which shows where the team will be on any given day; a link to the Miami Project; and information on how to become a sponsor for the trip.

The CAE's site ( ) is laid out in a similar fashion: There's a state-by-state map of the journey; background information about the trip and the riders; and an updates section to let people know how far Bobbee and Jonna have ridden. There's even an online donation form users can print, fill out and then mail to CAE along with their contribution.

You Can Help

The success of these bike rides depends in large part on the participation of the chiropractic profession, whether through volunteer work or charitable contributions. If you would like to volunteer your time, or to make a donation to each organization, contact:


5117 Sandy Cove Ave, Sarasota, FL 34242
(941) 376-4988

email: "> website:

Chiropractic Awareness Expedition

Expedition 1999, 1035 Aster Ave #1104, Sunnyvale, CA 94086 (408) 247-4962 email: "> website:


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