rigid riders

The Rigid Riders

A GTA Parkinson Cycling club

We are the Rigid Riders.

We are a group of people living with Parkinson’s Disease who have chosen a different path and decided to fight back.

We cycle. Cycling has proven health benefits for people living with Parkinson’s Disease.

Our members cover the full range of cycling abilities and many of us have not cycled since we were kids.

So, to the list of reasons why you are not cycling now, we say:

1) Make the time. You are experiencing change and you must adapt.

2) It will hurt more if you don’t manage it. Muscle rigidity, balance, and flexibility may be at risk if not addressed now.

3) It’s free to join. We help with equipment, volunteer coaching and optional spin classes (at a cost).

4) We are a supportive team, and we understand what you are going through.

5) PD can subdue your motivation. Together we motivate each other.

Our goal: complete a 40-kilometer route in a Pedaling for Parkinson’s Event later in the year.

In preparation, we will train as a team, including indoor spin classes through the winter and outdoor cycling routes in the spring. Spouses and/or care partners are welcome to join.

We are currently most active in the GTA. We are looking for eager organizers in other areas. If you think that you may be that organizer, let’s talk.

To find out more or to inquire about joining the team, email us at gorigidriders@gmail.com

Don’t delay; we are stronger together, and we want to hear from you.

rides through the years

Rigid Riders - The Story So Far Celebrating the Rigid Riders inaugural season in 2019
The Rigid Riders Year 2 – 2020
Rigid Riders Ride 2021

Why We Are Doing it

You have probably heard of Parkinson’s Disease. You may even know people who suffer from it.  Get used to it, as Parkinson’s Disease is the world’s fastest growing neurological condition, set to double in number by 2040.

Parkinson’s Disease occurs when the brain’s dopamine-producing cells die prematurely. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter necessary for many functions of the brain and body, including muscular control, and its loss affects all forms of movement and balance, as well as non-motor functions such as memory, concentration and motivation.  Think of dopamine as the electricity in an electric car: without it, the lights dim and the wheels stop spinning.

There is currently no cure, no bio-markers to aid detection, and little is known about how it is triggered, except that Canadians are disproportionately afflicted

Most people living with Parkinson’s reduce or even discontinue regular intensive physical activity after their Parkinson’s diagnosis.  Why?  Their actual skills and abilities do not suddenly evaporate on the date of their diagnosis, though their mental fortitude often does.  As a result, many abandon the very restorative health practices, such as regular exercise, when they are needed the most.  For people with Parkinson’s, intensive exercise can boost energy, sharpen the mind, elevate spirits and keep the body mobile.  Studies indicate that intense exercise can help train the Parkinson’s afflicted brain to use dopamine more efficiently and be able to do more with less.

Let’s use the dopamine we have to build the lives we want.

What are We Doing

Canada is a big country.  It is home to over 100,000 people living with Parkinson’s disease, 9 in 10 of which suffer in silence, isolation, or without the support of a knowledgeable organization or community.  Starting in June 2022, we aim to cross our big country by bicycle to meet as many of these people as possible to personally deliver this message: get moving to stay moving.  

We start In Victoria, British Columbia and ride east through every Canadian province, and hundreds of cities and towns along the way.  Our route is approximately 8,000 km, and we expect to average 125 km a day, six days a week for approximately three months.  Our Spinning Wheels Tour team will include two riders with Parkinson’s Disease, as well as two ride-along supporters to keep things moving.  Along the way, we will be meeting with people whose lives are touched by Parkinson’s, and encourage them to get moving with us, get engaged in support communities, and to set up their own group athletics.

We are not athletes, just people with the resolve to do what it takes to live well with this disease, and to encourage others..  

Along the way, we hope to hear these words, “If they can do it, I can too.”