Steve’s Blog – July 28 –  U-Turn – Winnipeg, Man 

Steve’s Blog – July 28 –  U-Turn – Winnipeg, Man

Amazingly, we haven’t taken a day off of riding since our rafting trip in Fernie, B.C.on July 12 (17 days ago), though we did have a very short ride in Kindersley (30km) on July 19 (10 days ago). Still …

Today has been one of the most memorable to date. Two television interviews, a chance to meet a legendary advocate for Parkinsons causes, a (mercifully short) cycle with a team of champions, a meet and greet in the park and chance to meet the people behind U-Turn Parkinson’s, repairs to the recumbent bikes, a gruelling boxing workout, and a chance to appear on a famous “coffee talk” show. 

Where to begin.

First, the date started with a Global TV (Winnipeg) morning show interview!/story.php?story_fbid=426597272838204&id=100064638041438&m_entstream_source=timeline , and later, a CTV evening news [] Jim takes the lead  on both and does a good job. I did find tape of my radio yesterday on CJOB (Winnipeg)

Next I get to meet Tim Hague Sr. He is a Canadian legend and someone who I have been eager to meet in person. He is a tireless advocate for Parkinson’s research and life improvement. He is a co-founder of PD Avengers and created an effective and well-run organization called U-Turn Parkinson’s, that runs programs to encourage physical activity. The clever name comes from a feature of the show Amazing Race Canada (which he won). Tim is exactly my kind of guy. Next time I see him I’ll ask if he wants to be best friends.

We are treated to a roll through Assiniboine Park and surrounding streets with an amazing collection of cyclists. It is personally motivating to spend time with these people who find a way to stay active, even when it’s hard – or, perhaps, especially when it’s hard. We get back in time for a fun and timely meet and greet in the park.

Tim draws us together for some frank talk about our initiatives and his. It is recorded and, if it looks good, will be released as one of Tim’s Friday Coffee Talks.

We squeeze in a little time to call and travel to several bike shops to seek replacements for the worn tires on the recumbent bikes, finally succeeding. Phew! Dan, if you see this, your bikes are looking good.

Finally, we join the champions at a boot camp-style parkinson’s boxing class put on by the U-Turn team, including Tim’s daughter and dedicated volunteers.

And this is our day off! I spent the day with curiously over-active dyskinesia (involuntary body movements) which intensify over the day. Of course, it strikes at the precise time that I was hoping to look cool and collected. I’ll be watching this, and I have asked the guys to watch this as well. I am hoping it’s a blip, and it seems to be settling down now. 

Damn Parkinson’s!

Got to sleep now, as there are cupcakes to frost at first light. Don’t ask.

3 Responses

  1. Hey, Steve,
    It’s Nancy, Mike’s sister-in-law. I am trying to make a few calls in Waterloo to try and organize some support for the tour as you pass through Waterloo. Do you have any details of what your route would look like specifically? I have contacted the Mayor’s office and am planning to talk to someone at Bingeman’s and McPhails Cycle. Greg and I plan to ride with you guys while you’re in town. Also, all are welcome at our house. Showers and beds are available to all of you. I have been enjoying your blog. You guys are amazing!
    Go Team!
    So proud of you guys! Thanks for doing this!

  2. Hi Steve, I just read through all your fantastic blogs from beginning to end. Great trip, well explained. Wonderful. Take care. Enjoy the ride around Superior.

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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.”