Crash delays Burleson man's quest to pedal cross country for heart health

Posted Monday, Mar. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Rob Davis has started a blog called Coast to Coast for Heart Health at coast2coastheart.blogspot.com/

The website for his nonprofit organization Healthy Hearts can be found at www.healthyheartsusa.org

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One year ago, Burleson's Rob Davis announced a plan to bicycle across the country to raise awareness for heart health.

Davis, a nurse in a hospital cardiovascular intensive care unit, recently contacted the Star-Telegram with some good and bad news about that effort.

The good: He has since started a nonprofit organization called Healthy Hearts to provide education and individualized assessments for heart health.

The bad: He was nearly hit by a car two weeks ago during a training ride, forcing him off the road and into a crash that tore ligaments in his knee.

Davis expects to need four months to recover, so his cross-country ride, which was scheduled to start this June, is postponed until next summer.

"Yeah, it was pretty disappointing," said Davis, 33, whose plans were featured in the Star-Telegram last April. "We've worked pretty hard to set everything up and ask people for support. So you hate to go back now and say, 'Well, we're going to have to wait until next summer to make it happen.' "

Davis' interest in heart health is driven by more than his job at Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth.

His mother died from a pulmonary embolism and stroke at age 29. His father died of a heart attack at 42.

Despite his family history and his healthcare job, Davis wasn't always a healthy adult. A few years ago, overweight and on the brink of being prescribed blood pressure medication, he worried that he was heading down a predictable path.

His parents had both been overweight and did not eat well.

"I realized I could change things," he said. "I can control my blood pressure, and I can exercise and give myself the best chance possible."

Davis had planned to start the 3,700-mile trek near San Diego and end it 50 to 60 days later in Maine. He and his wife were buying a recreational vehicle for to serve as rolling support and a temporary home for his wife and their daughter and son.

He had planned to contact local media along the way and to give educational talks.

Now, instead of preparing his supplies, Davis is awaiting surgery. But he said he is taking an optimistic view on the accident.

"I'll come back stronger and better for next year," he said. "With more prep time, we may be able to have more riders and more educational events."

In the meantime, the nonprofit he started with a fellow nurse and a patient who had open heart surgery will organize informational meetings and health checks, he said.

Healthy Hearts' mission is to promote health in Dallas-Fort Worth communities, he said.

The new plan is to start the cross-country ride in June 2014, he said.

Alex Branch, 817-390-7689

Twitter: @albranch1

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