Steve’s Blog – July 5 – over 1,000 km and highest point thus far – Christina Lake to Castlegar

The route looks simple – almost a perfect triangle in profile. Up one side and down the other. Add to that a shorter distance than usual (80km), and this was looking like a light day. Boy did we ever get that wrong.

Mike started us off with some cool drone shots to capture the outset of our journey today. (Watch for these on the website blog posts.)  Jim and I have developed a comfortable stretching regimen, whereby we do a bit of dynamic stretching before we start, and then stop after an hour of riding for deeper tissue stretching when we’re warm. Jim says that it is having a noticeable impact on his flexibility.

For the second day in a row our day’s schedule is dictated by the need to get to a spot with cell service in time for a radio interview. Castlegar – our end point – was the only reasonable option.  The timing looked tight but doable.

We couldn’t have known how tough this hill would be, as the slope looked gentle. It wasn’t. It was a long haul (35km) to the 1,535m summit. Jim says that his legs are feeling sluggish, but to me he looks like a well maintained machine.

I am feeling pretty good today and picked up my pace slightly. (In fact, I found out later that I currently hold the top spot on Strava for this route this year. See screen captures. Jim also had an amazing climb, and takes the 5th spot so far this year.) I hate stopping on a hill (even a 35 km hill), but I take two breaks: one to stretch with Jim and another to take a short video from the gorge-ous Paulson Bridge. I continue up and wait for Jim close to the summit. I scramble up a rock perch to get an old school manual drone shot of Jim, and wait for over ½ hr but there is no sign of him. I know there must be trouble, but there is no cell service to learn more. The RV goes by, and honks but can’t stop. I thought that I saw Jim in the passenger seat, so I scrambled down and start pedaling furiously, thinking that they might stop at a pull out. I pedal hard but don’t find them, but I see that the interview time approaches.

I made it in time for the interview (London Live with Mike Stubbs Show, London, Ont 980 CFPL) and so does Jim, with one minute to spare. It turns out that his tire flat troubles continued today.

By my calculations, we have crossed our first 1,000km with 1,079.2 km and 11,939 km vertical rise ( or the height of almost 22 CN Towers).

Tomorrow we have a short, scenic pedal to Nelson, with hot showers and a home cooked meal, courtesy of two friends of my family. When you are on the road, these offers are golden.

5 Responses

  1. The blogs are great. You are making excellent progress. Happy to see that you sorted out your shoulder Steve.

    The prairies are not too far away now.

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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.”