We awoke this morning to heart-stopping cold. It was 2c at 7:00am, and felt colder. Plus we
were on the wrong end of a time zone change, so our morning prep went slow. We rode 116km,
with the return of hills. Our evening is spent in the company of a succession of visitors to our RV
Park, searching for ways to offer us comfort – funds, firewood, homemade pickles, fresh
tomatoes. The famous friendliness of New Brunswickers remains true.
So, with all this talk about cycling success I imagine that it is easy to conclude that PD is not
holding us back. It is. Here are some observations:
Mike undergoes an astounding transformation each morning and evening. He is often up first,
due to PD induced sleeplessness. Getting out of bed is cumbersome and laborious, taking time,
patience and physics. Once up, changing clothes is typically too difficult with fingers that won’t
pinch and arms that won’t bend. Often, Mike will shuffle walk, knees straight and toes askew,
taking 10-12 micro steps compared to a normal stride for a man his size. He will often sit down
at the kitchen table to work on his computer – updating the website content or working on a
video project. Again, hand dexterity is challenging, like trying to operate the computer mouse
through a pillow. His voice is faint and facial gestures frozen. He takes his first dose of
medication at 7:00am, and then roughly every two hours thereafter, but the effects can take
more than an hour to kick in; maybe two. But when it does, the most fascinating transformation
occurs. Like Houdini wriggling out of his shackles and restraints, the real Mike suddenly
Today is a riding day for the real Mike. He gathers his things, throws a leg over his gravel bike
and pushes off. Today he rides 80 km into a headwind. He likes to be in front, especially for
downhills. His cannonball-sized calves tighten and release with each pedal stroke, and his grin
brightens as the speed climbs. The real Mike is flying.
Eventually this ends. First comes fatigue – sloppy posture and steering problems. Then his
energy drops. Sometimes this will trigger anxiety. The real Mike knows what’s coming. Against
his will and wishes, the real Mike slowly yields to restraints and shackles until, once again, he is
stiff and corpse-like, though tonight the constrictions are pulled a little tighter as penance for his
frivolities of the day.
Mike goes through this every day. We each have our own “behind the scenes” story that we
don’t like to share, but I thank Mike for letting me detail my observations.
We thought you should know.