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Steve’s Blog: June 29 – Sunshine Valley to Princeton  

No shoulder to cry on. We started with trepidation. It was cold (11c) and raining. It turns out that BC highway shoulders are water soluble, as they seem to have vanished as we progressed. Sometimes the ”shoulder” is ample and clean, sometimes it is missing entirely, but usually it is a 12” gap in the […]

Steve’s catch up blog

We are now at Day 4 and I have been shirking my blog writing duties. Our evenings have been filled with organizational tasks to get things going in the right direction, including all the mundane tasks (shopping, laundry, meals, scissor-jacking the RV). So here goes the (hopefully) one and only catch-up blog: June 25 – […]

Parkinson’s, Fear and the Lion’s Gate

It was a day spent re-organizing the RV, doing interviews and hosting Larry Gifford at our campsite. All the while, Vancouver’s Lion’s Gate Bridge loomed behind us. We drove over it to get to our campground. When we crossed, I was uncomfortable with the height of the bridge, the height of siting up in the […]

Local Legend

We met a legend today (June 24th). Alf Todd is a man who clearly understands how to put Parkinson’s in context and to get on with living. When I asked him about the secrets to coping, he rattled them off quickly, like he was listing his children’s names: complaining is wasteful and isolating, draw strength […]

Where there’s a pill, there’s a way.

Steve sorting pills, necessary for the long days ahead. I write this note while sitting beside Jim Redmond  on a flight bound for Victoria BC.  So much has happened over the last few days that I really am playing catch up.   First, on the weekend I participated in three days of meetings and gatherings […]

Meeting Canadians with Parkinson’s

Mark, Mike #3 and Mike #1 three guys united by Parkinson’s Part of my task on this Journey, besides keeping Jim and Steve moving, will be to conduct interviews with people living with Parkinson’s. To this end, when we checked into our last RV Park before Victoria, the lady at the desk mentioned that there […]

T minus 4

 If you had asked me two months ago how confident I felt about enduring the physical demands of this trip, I might have seemed positive, certain and raring to go. That’s because there was still time … time to train, to prepare, to adjust. Now that I am almost out of time, I’m not so […]

Mosquitoes, mosquitoes, I do but hate thee.

I suppose I’ve been a city boy too long. I like the comforts of home. The three to seven mosquitoes that come out to bother me at twilight in Toronto can be enough to drive me into the house. I don’t know anyone who like mosquitoes. And no, it is not just the mosquito I […]

Name the RV

We have been on the road for 1 week now. We are just across the B.C. border. We haven’t named our RV yet. Perhaps, we should have a contest. We will come up with a couple of prizes. One for whoever first suggests the name we decide on. If you like the name someone suggests […]

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.”