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Steve’s Blog – Sept 9 and 10 – cxx – Sackville to Truro and Halifax

I have forgotten to mention that our group is now 5, as we are joined by Jim’s wife, Krista. She
is a natural fit and, for me, arrives with sleuthing skills to find a perfect pie and help celebrate my

birthday. It turns out that it is also Jim and Krista’s wedding anniversary, and there are ample
wines and spirits for toasting.
Our route today is a two leaf clover, as we drive to Truro to do a few out and back loops, while
the others sell shirts outside a mall. It is a tiring day got everyone, though thanks to those who
dropped by, and especially to the generosity of the Home Hardware management.
Saturday, we start early (for us), and get out before 8:00. The bronze sun stabs through thick
morning fog to give our morning ride a Mount Olympus vibe. We should do this more often. We
ride 115 km to get to a venue in Halifax and, along the way, I ride fast with some local riders
(sometimes it just feels good to give it everything you have, rather than holding reserves for long
distances. Naturally, I’m baked for the remainder of the ride, but with a smile.)
The Halifax event is the annual “Ride With The Mayor”, but with a twist – with the assistance of
Jack and Ken from Parkinson Society Nova Scotia, we are feted in the Mayor’s speech, and
spend the entire ride having wonderful conversations. In the evening, we meet Jack, Ken and
their friends, as well as a friend of Mike’s, and I fall into a terrific conversation with Theresa
about ways that we can best serve the Parkinson community. We both come away with ideas
and some enthusiasm. Those are the best conversations.
We now count our remaining time on this tour in days, rather than weeks or months. My time
here is evaporating.

4 Responses

  1. Happy belated birthday. You are making big waves for PD research and raising awareness. Keep it up, you’re doing an amazing job 👍

  2. Just watched the dip into the Atlantic video – what an accomplishment. I’m just so darned impressed!! Love and appreciation to all of you!

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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.”