The director of St. Bernards Sports Medicine program has found a way for local cyclists to turn pedal power into green for a good cause. It’s through the Arkansas Ride for the Cure—an event to debut as part of this year’s HMG Health & Fitness Expo.

When Andy Shatley, a physical therapist and former professional athlete, was looking for a fun way for Sports Medicine to engage area athletes in giving back to the community, he found it in the form of a recreational bicycle ride that will benefit the Arkansas Affiliate Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

He’s hooked on biking, and the cause is of special interest to him too because his mother, Dianna Payne Shatley of Jonesboro, is a breast cancer survivor who has battled the disease on two separate occasions. And her sister, Kathy Payne Coleman of Fort Smith, also has been treated for breast cancer.Dianna Shatley 2009

At 8:30 on the morning of April 18—the opening day of the HMG Health & Fitness Expo—he is looking for a sea of bikers to pedal along a flat, well-marked, back-roads 10-, 20- or 50-mile route in Northeast Arkansas, with several rest stops along the way.

The Jonesboro ride is only the third such Komen fund-raiser in the United States (others are in Aspen and Nashville). It is the result of a formal agreement between St. Bernards and the Little Rock-based Komen affiliate. This year’s ride sponsors include St. Bernards Healthcare, St. Bernards Sports Medicine, HMG and Gearhead Outfitters.

Registration information is on the HMG web site www.hmg.md. Just click on the Health & Fitness Expo banner, then the Ride for the Cure link to register online. A limited supply of special edition Ride jerseys is available.