Steve’s Blog – July 4 – Rain builds character – Summit of Anarchist Mountain to Christina Lake

I awoke to pain and rain. One stayed.

Thanks to several helpful contacts (thanks guys), and some self analysis, I realized the cause of the pain – I was locking my right arm against the handlebar, and my shoulder cuff absorbed shocks over the day. Realizing this, I kept a bent arm today and – voila – I am back to my old familiar aches and pains. Heaven.

The rain stayed, spotty at first and slowly intensifying over the day. We had a rare treat today, as Mike opted to join us for the morning. As it was mainly downhill and Mike has about 80 pounds on me, I pedaled like a fiend as Mike coasted. He then became uncatchable when I rode back to check on Jim, who was waylaid with a flat tire.  Flats are usually just a minor nuisance, but on this day we had a deadline to keep, to be in a quiet, dry place for an afternoon radio interview. We are in the wilderness and, since deer and elk don’t carry mobile phones or share memes, there is rarely cell service outside of larger towns. We calculated that we had plenty of time to make our way to one of two appropriate towns, but misadventure, fumbling cold fingers and rain gummed things up enough that we ran out of options.  

With 25 minutes to go, we found ourselves standing in the forest, sheltered (somewhat) from the rain under a Larch tree, only to find that we had no service. We hopped on our bikes in a mad effort to pedal 25 km in 20 minutes, but then came flat #2, and shortly thereafter, flat #3. Alas, the good people of London Ontario may never hear about our wacky adventures or Parkinson’s initiatives. We will try to reschedule.

Jim and I pulled into camp as two cold and shriveled prunes, but  were quickly revived, as usual, by good cooking and a shower (thanks Darlene and … er … water.) Tomorrow’s weather looks more promising. Oh, and to any Americans who may be following this blog series, Happy 4th of July.

One Response

  1. Hopefully you guys packed lots of tubes. Jim is the only guy I know who regularly manages to get flat tires even on his indoor trainer:)

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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.”