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Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

May 18, 2010 at 8:14 AM

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Biking to work keeps Glenn Hinrichsen's heart strong

Posted by Gabriel Campanario

glennbikerm.jpg

May 13, 7:18 a.m. [Click on sketch to view larger]

Last Thursday I caught up with bike commuter Glenn Hinrichsen at Lake Sammamish Parkway near Marymoor Park. It was not even 7 in the morning and he had already covered more than two thirds of his 16-mile commute from Kenmore to Bellevue. I was hardly awake.

Hinrichsen, 59, started biking to work 8 years ago and now bikes pretty much everywhere. "I log a little bit over 3,000 miles a year. I've got 1,400 so far this year," he said.

A year after he took up cycling, Hinrichsen found out he had two blocked arteries in his heart during a routine medical checkup. "I had really high cholesterol," he said. He had a stent put in his heart but a week later he was on the bike again, riding the Daffodil Classic, a cycling event in Pierce County. "It was only a 20 mile loop," he said.

Now he said his cardiologist is "happy as a clam."

"He said he never saw anybody's cholesterol drop so much without medication and it's all because of my biking," said Hinrichsen before pedaling away to work. "I wish I had picked it up 30 years before."

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