Students Connect Nutrition with Fitness on Bike Tour
Biking 900 miles through Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois proved to be an adventure for Maurie Luetkemeier’s “Sports Nutrition on Wheels” Spring Term class.
Starting in Alma, the group of about 30 Alma College students biked to Muskegon and then rode vans around Lake Michigan to Milwaukee, where they resumed their bicycle trek along the Lake Michigan shoreline, averaging 60 miles per day.
“The experience was a huge physical challenge,” says the integrative physiology and health science professor. “I hope students can feel good about what they accomplished. I also hope they understand more about the connection between what they eat and how they perform.”
Class photo: "Sports Nutrition on Wheels"
Spending so much time on a bike required a strong mental commitment. As a result, the trip turned into a journey of self-reflection for Wayne sophomore Zakk Hardyniec.
“I had a lot of time to think and reflect on life,” he says. “Dr. Luetkemeier and I spent time talking on some of our rides. It was amazing to be able to have one-on-one time with my college professor.”
Students biked along roads and bicycle trails.
On the bike tour, students also had the opportunity to visit the Trek Bicycle Center and Gatorade Sports Science Institute, where Luetkemeier completed his most recent sabbatical and found inspiration for the class.
“While on sabbatical, I had time to ride in this area, and I thought it was some of the most beautiful scenery I had ever seen while biking,” he says. “I knew it would be fun to share that experience with students.”
Students visit the Gatorade Sports Science Institute.
The beauty of nature doesn’t come without the wrath of weather, however. In addition to tornado watches, the group experienced six straight days of thunderstorms, throwing off their tight schedule.
While overcoming these challenges, the group learned some valuable lessons, which is why Hardyniec describes this Spring Term experience as “remarkable and irreplaceable.”
“We not only learned what we are made of, we made friends,” he says. “We shared a once in a lifetime opportunity that was nothing less than enriching.”
Professor Maurie Luetkemeier (right).
Luetkemeier says his students were enthusiastic about taking turns driving and helping riders. In addition to buying groceries and cooking dinner for the group, they also supported each other on tough days.
“Everyone did a great job,” he says. “Their attitudes are what made the trip successful. The group bonded together very nicely, and everyone was cooperative.”
Posted: Thu, July 7th, 2011 at 8:55AM