Objective.—To describe the incidence and types of injury and illness treated during a multiday recreational bicycling tour.
Methods.—In July 2001, 2100 bicyclists rode 520 miles from Minneapolis, MN, to Chicago, IL, during the 2001 Heartland AIDS Ride. A volunteer medical staff provided medical care along the route. All patient encounters were recorded in an injury and illness log. Information from the log was used to describe the incidence and types of injury and illness treated during the event.
Results.—A total of 2100 riders participated, with 244 patient encounters recorded. The 2 most common reasons for requiring medical care were dehydration (35%) and orthopedic injuries (27%). Forty patients were transferred to the hospital and 7 required admission.
Conclusions.—Individuals charged with providing medical care for recreational bicycling events should be prepared to treat a wide variety of injuries and illnesses. In this and other studies, dehydration, heat illness, and overuse injuries were the most common reasons to require medical care. The results of this study suggest that implementation of prevention strategies before and during bicycling events may significantly reduce the requirement for on-site medical care.