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Steve’s Blog – July 23 – bike time =  talk time- Regina to Abernathy Sask

Learning from yesterday’s challenges, we decided to take a break from the Trans Canada highway and find some gentler options.

At the outset the wind is still in our face, but the gentle bend in our route will eventually work in our favour.

Jim and I ride together today. Usually, we ride at our own paces, and I spend my time doing creative things like writing song lyrics (that I forget by the end of the ride). Today we chatted about a few things, including a more refined media message for our tour.

Abernathy is a pleasant surprise. Nice little village with friendly people

At camp tonight in Abernathy, we were invited to join a fire for a chat. Two local families were a hoot to talk with. One lady is a drone enthusiast, and I thought that would be our topic for the evening (“droning on”?), but Mike is curiously quiet on the subject. I did hear this: why is Saskatchewan so windy? Because Alberta sucks and Manitoba blows. 

Sounds like we better skip Manitoba.

P.S. Just heard that the City of Cornwall, Ont wants to host us with a community ride along and event. This is wonderful, and in keeping with the wonderful precedent set in Kindersley, the best way to connect with people. If other communities want to come on board, please reach out to us at info@SpinningWheelsTour.

2 Responses

  1. Hi:
    I heard your recent interview on a recent CBC radio program. Congratulations to your team on your endeavour! My late father and I are supporters of Parkinson Canada; my dad had a close friend afflicted with Parkinsons and I have a good friend with Parkinsons Plus.
    I cycled across Canada in 2007 as part of the centennial of scouting. I have looked a bit at your itinerary and your desire to keep off major highways. In MB, one suggestion I would have is Hwy 26 between Portage La Prairie and St-François-Xavier, just west of Winnipeg. It was quiet and you follow the Assiniboine River more or less. If you get the wind behind you, you will really sail!
    Once in NB, I would suggest to stay on the TransCanada hwy however. I had some nasty encounters with dogs on the loose on the NB Trail and secondary roads, and reverted to the TransCanada which has a nice, wide paved shoulder.
    I live in Ottawa and hope to ride with you in the region. I will let others know about your ride.
    Best of luck!

    1. Hi Fred, Thanks for the route info. We would be happy to ride with you in Ottawa. At this time it looks like a ride in Ottawa will be on August 25th beginning in Britannia Park.

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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.”