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Lewis and Clark Reloaded

The 3,041-Mile Bike Trail


Mary Rose Grant
School for Professional Services
Saint Louis University


Frank and Joe are 24-year-old fraternal twins who share similar interests, including cycling. The brothers decide to attempt their first long-distance bicycling trip, retracing the journey of early American explorers Lewis and Clark to the Northwest.  Along the way, serious problems arise.  Students review normal physiology of organ systems as well as changes that occur during physical exertion to piece together an understanding of the medical condition of one of the cyclists. The pivotal point in the case is learning that seemingly harmless and legally available substances can lead to potentially fatal outcomes, affecting organ systems already taxed beyond normal limits. This case is designed for use in a human biology course after students have learned about the integumentary, respiratory, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, and urinary systems.

  • Understand physiological changes and adaptations organ systems make with physical exertion over an extended period of time.
  • Define the term “ergogenic aid” as applied in sports and exercise.
  • Identify the effects of caffeine on different organ systems.
  • Discuss the role of caffeine as an ergogenic aid in endurance sports.
  • Explain the side effects of caffeine intoxication.
  • Identify potential dangers of caffeine use in combination with other substances.
  • Practice critical thinking and analytical skills to make a diagnosis.
  • Examine legal implications of caffeine use, or “doping,” before competition.
  • Analyze ethical issues of using caffeine, or any ergogenic product, to enhance performance in amateur and professional sports.
Keywords: Caffeine intoxication; ergogenic aid; substance use; performance-enhancing drugs; doping; exercise physiology; physical exertion; endurance sports
Topical Area: Ethics, Legal issues
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Interrupted
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Physiology   Sports Science  
Date Posted: 06/30/05
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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