A Rochester Bicycling Program Aims to Increase Healthy Living

Jul 6, 2012

A local nurse is trying to inspire her community to peddle their way to a healthier lifestyle.

Theresa Bowick is the brain child behind the Conkey Cruisers. It’s a program using bicycling as a way to get city residents up and moving.

Bowick says the idea came after two incidents. First, someone thought she was running from the police. Second, she was accused of being an undercover officer, while running in the Conkey Avenue neighborhood.

Bowick says the comments were made because she was told nobody exercises in that neighborhood.

"Having those two encounters within an hour of each other was the inspiration behind Conkey cruisers," Bowick says. "I could not let that go without introducing exercise, health and wellness into my neighborhood that would be fun and change that negative image of what folks thought they saw that day when i was out running."

Bowick says people living in her neighborhood rarely exercise because of crime and dogs. Despite those fear factors, Bowick says it's time to get healthy.

"When we are looking at changes in healthcare, a lot of the health care is going to be based around your health care status,” Bowick says. “Where are you with your cholesterol level? Where are you with your weigh? So this is an opportunity for people to get ahead of those programs that are going to be offering higher premiums when you're living unhealthy."

The Conkey Cruisers is a six-week program for residents between the ages of 6 and 74. And it's free. Residents will ride for an hour using the newly developed El Camino Trail on the city's Northeast side.