Finding time to exercise is rarely a challenge for Benjamin Snell, M.D., who often logs 10 to 13 miles on his bike by the time he sees his first patient.
Dr. Ben Snell’s affinity for cycling began in boyhood in Minnesota, where his parents instilled the joy of exploring the world from the back of a bike.
Dr. Snell is Managing Physician at Lancaster General Health Physicians Family Medicine Twin Rose, where he has practiced since 2014. At least twice a week, year-round, he gets on his 21-speed Redline and commutes to his office in Columbia or Wrightsville. For this family physician and healthy living advocate, it’s a rewarding way to lead by example.
“I lived in Washington, D.C., for about a decade and went to medical school at Georgetown. I used biking as my main source of transportation and continued that when I moved to Lancaster,” he said.
Dr. Snell’s affinity for cycling began in boyhood in Minnesota, where his parents instilled the joy of exploring the world from the back of a bike.
“My dad used to ride to my Little League games, and when I was in middle school, he took me on statewide bike tours across Wisconsin and Iowa,” he said.
Riding remains a family pastime for the father of two. Dr. Snell and his wife, Megan, a speech/language pathologist at LG Health, enjoy time with their 9-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter, riding along the Northwest River Trail, which runs from Columbia to Bainbridge along the Susquehanna River.
This summer the family visited Maine and brought their bikes along, finding daily opportunities to get around on two wheels.
“We rode to the fireworks and the coast—just short road trips. You get to see things at a different pace than you do from a car, without any windshields obstructing your view. It gets you places faster than walking, and it becomes a part of the activity,” he said.
When asked about his most unusual biking adventure, Dr. Snell recalls a trip to Ireland in 2003 that included his wife, parents and in-laws.
“We rented bikes in a small town and were given directions for a four-hour ride that ended up taking eight hours. As the sun was setting, we were riding downhill at a pretty fast speed, when we encountered a herd of goats on our path. That was fun.”
When not navigating past goats or commuting to work, Dr. Snell prefers a single-speed bike for cruising around Lancaster.
“I bike with my kids to school, music lessons and sporting events. When I was growing up, my bike was how I got around. I really want that for my kids as well,” he said.
During his Family Medicine residency at LG Health, Dr. Snell did a public health rotation and became involved with Lancaster Bikes, a coalition that champions bike safety. He has stayed connected with the biking community over the years and is heartened by the City of Lancaster’s growing commitment to bike culture.
“In Lancaster there’s been a lot of positive change in terms of bike infrastructure. We now have a bike share, designated bike lanes and a lot more bike advocacy,” he said. “It’s been very much a reason for me staying rooted in this community.”