One of the reasons Misagh Karimi, M.D., chose oncology is because it is fast-paced and always producing exciting new developments that are helping patients. Small wonder, then, that Dr. Karimi enjoys an invigorating afternoon mountain biking in his free time. The City of Hope Newport Beach medical oncologist and gastrointestinal cancer specialist spoke with us about the thrill of putting two wheels to trail.
Where is your favorite place to ride?
Crystal Cove is my favorite. It is a state park located off Pacific Coast Highway between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach, stretching inland from the beach. The backcountry canyon trails are a great place to go mountain biking and feel like you are getting away from it all even though civilization is nearby.
What do you enjoy about mountain biking?
I like the combination of physical activity and stress reduction. Mountain biking is a terrific overall workout: it works your arms, back, and legs, and it gets your heart pumping. The brain is always engaged, thinking about how to handle unexpected obstacles, especially when you are going downhill. And I enjoy the camaraderie that comes with riding with good friends and spending time in nature.
Do you see similarities between the benefits of exercise and the whole-person approach to care at City of Hope?
At City of Hope, we have a long tradition of whole-person care, treating the whole patient, not just the illness. Exercise is good for emotional and mental health as well as physical health; it has so many benefits that contribute to our overall well-being. In that sense, being physically active can be a form of caring for your whole self.
Have you ever participated in a race or a long-distance ride?
I have not ridden competitively, but I watched some of the mountain bike races in the Tokyo Olympics. The racers are amazing athletes, and the courses are tough. I’m happy to keep to the woodsy trails of Orange County and enjoy the wildlife and the spectacular views.
What is your advice for someone who is interested in starting mountain biking?
Start with road biking to build endurance. Pick easy paths first. Be careful and always wear a helmet. And don’t forget to enjoy the nature around you.
Hope is growing at City of Hope Orange County. Our new locations in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach Lido and Irvine Sand Canyon join City of Hope Newport Beach to form a four-location network of highly specialized cancer care for Orange County’s 3.2 million people. To make an appointment at any of our four Orange County locations, call (800) 826-4723 or click here.