Adrenaline Rush on Two Wheels

Dr. Seth KaufmanAs if the Emergency Department didn’t generate enough adrenaline for Dr. Seth Kaufman, the Berkeley resident spends a chunk of his free time cruising up to 40 mph on a road bike.

“Despite the danger, it’s a stress reducer,” insists the medical director who oversees the emergency departments at both NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield and NorthBay VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville.

“You don’t really think about the danger when you’re riding—you get used to the traffic and you know where to ride. Actually, it’s very meditative.”

He needs the quiet time. When he’s not dealing with the organized chaos of the emergency department, he’s got enough organized chaos at home with a 2-year-old and a newborn. “My wife is very supportive, but she says please don’t call when I’m riding unless I’m in trouble. If she sees my cell number pop up, she gets worried.”

Dr. Kaufman started mountain biking about 15 years ago when he was in college, but found that it required so many preparations, that road biking was a better fit. And with the hilly landscape of Berkeley, he’s got exciting challenges right outside his front door. But that doesn’t stop him from getting out and about.

Dr. Kaufman’s Simple & Nutritious Fruit Shake

Combine frozen blueberries, Greek yogurt, a banana, protein powder and a little white grape juice in a blender to make a delicious and nutritious smoothie.

He recently rode a century—a 100-mile race—at Lake Tahoe, his first, and participated in the Wildflower Century, a popular event near Chico. He’s hoping to get another century in this fall.

Although he often rides by himself or with a training partner, he recently rode with a team, learning to stay in line and on task. “It’s a team sport, and it’s actually a lot of fun. You have to have good reflexes, and learn to deal with the wind, and resistance. You ride as a unit,” he explains. “You have to respond quickly if the guy in front of you stops. There’s an art to riding in line.”

And in some cases, the exercise and the quiet time don’t just benefit him. Last year he raised $4,100 by participating in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Team in Training event.

Dr. Kaufman encourages anyone interested in cycling to check out the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. “You get discounts on bikes, they teach you how to ride, and you meet other cyclists. It’s a good deal.”

Dr. Seth Kaufman with bike

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