Cycling Lab Rats

Members of the Cycling Lab Rats gather for a photo before hopping on the bike trail. From left: Daniel Garcia, Bill Gullett, Jessica Liebenow, Devin Becker and John Bryant.

Promoting health and using a play on words to further its agenda is the Cycling Lab Rats, a group of clinical laboratory scientist at Memorial Hospital who have taken up cycling as a group. At its core is co- founder Jessica Liebenow, who started the group with a friend.

“We’re all just a bunch laboratory scientist and lab technicians that are just having fun riding,” said Liebenow.

The group started only four months ago but they are already full of motivation.

Liebenow says that the group started out with a co-worker. Cycling was an alternative to the gym for Liebenow but for others, it was an alternative unhealthy habits like smoking. Along with the different reasons for joining the group, members range in cycling experience.

“We have one that’s been doing it for 50 years and it’s just been like a lifestyle of hers – she started in college. Another one he’s been doing it for like 30 years. He said he started when his kids were younger and it was more of hobby to do with his kids,” said Liebenow.

As of now, the group consist of 12 people – mostly co-workers with the exception of some family members. Liebenow said the cycling group has changed the chemistry and the work environment.

“One of my co-workers had mentioned that she really likes that a lot of us are cycling,” said Liebenow. “She said it sparks a lot of conversation that wouldn’t normally happen. It’s definitely helped the moral too. It’s been a very positive change.”

She hopes the group will eventually join the Tehachapi Gran Fondo, a cycling event that happens every September. As health professionals, Liebenow feels like it’s important for others to see them engaging in a physical activity.

“I think that it sets a good precedents to other people who sees us,” said Liebenow. “We all work in the lab so we know that taking care of yourself is extremely important. (Having) a healthy lifestyle is just going to keep us moving longer, living long and having a better quality of life. I think it’s helped a lot of other people, too, because they’re pushing themselves to do it more. I think it’s just a really good lifestyle choice.” 

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