The RV and bikes are heading to Victoria

Well, we have finally begun our journey to the ride start in Victoria. To get here has been an ordeal to say the least. I am not sure if this will be a rant, a tirade or just a story so I will start and see where it goes.

Wednesday, June 8 and our objective is to pick up our custom-built bicycle rack which I had shipped from New York State to Smithville. The reason for this is that the dealership where we bought the RV is going to help us assemble it and put it on the vehicle as it is a 6 bicycle rack we want to make sure it is on correctly

Mike #3 (there are 4 Mike’s in our support group, so we numbered us) came in from Whitby to grab me and the RV, then on to pick up Steve to join us on this adventure. On the way to Steve’s, we went through some road construction, and something jumped out at the driver side mirror and broke it. Having no mirror and on a large vehicle that we’re getting used to driving was not something we wanted to drive and after we picked up Steve, we headed off to Canadian Tire to see if we could do something about the mirror. We found some plastic temporary replacement piece that worked more like a mirror in a fun house, but it did the trick. We started out again after a two-hour delay. The delay was such Steve could not continue with this as he would have to be back in time to pick up his dog from boarding.

The delay also meant that the traffic was far worse. We drove as quickly as traffic and a 32-foot-long RV would allow and made it to Smithville just in time to see the mechanics setting boxes outside their doors as it was late and they were going home. So, there’s the Parkinson’s duo of Mike and Mike opening boxes and assembling a very large bike rack. Due to my usual lack of foresight, I had left the toolbox which I was going to pack on the RV sitting in the living room at home. We managed to put the basic unit on the RV. Thank goodness Mike 3 realized we did not have the time, energy or tools finish the job, so we packed the rest of the pieces in the RV and headed for home.

Thursday June 9th had Mike #3 returning to my house again to work at replacing the mirror. Locating a place that would sell us a mirror proved very difficult not even the Internet helped. After driving around town we ended up with a glass door on Gerard near Parliament. the very nice lady ended up giving Mike the glass for free thanks for his skill with glass cutter and grinder, the mirror was fixed good as new. Unfortunately, time taken meant we were late and unable to get decals put on the RV. Instead I continued to assemble the bike rack.

Friday June 10th started with an e-mail from UPS advising that our Dejero shipment of equipment that had to be installed in the RV, would now arrive Monday instead of Friday. I went downstairs stepped on a nail and confirmed what my wife told me that our sewer was backing up in the basement. However, that little distraction would have to wait because we had a 10:00 AM appointment to get the decals applied to the RV. We returned home and Darlene left for work as she was busy shutting down her real estate law practice. I continued to assemble the bike rack and contacted a plumber. Thanks to the good people at Dejero, they were able to rectify the UPS shipment issue. The equipment was delivered and the installation began somewhere about the time the plumber I was waiting on contacted me to say that he could not get a person over until Monday. There was also the simple matter of me packing the electronics I was taking which were spread out in three places in our house.

Saturday June 11, the day before leaving for Victoria. I was finally able to make final adjustments and fit the bikes on the rack for the first time. My good neighbour Matt took charge of our sewer issue, for which we cannot thank him enough! Now it was time to load the final items into the RV along with my Upright bass and head for the wedding of our fiddle player in our band, Ale House Heroes. Things were going so smoothly that with the atrocious and loaded up RV that we almost made the wedding. Instead, we were able make a spectacular entrance past everyone enjoying cocktails in the yard, as our 32-foot, decaled Winnebago drove past.

It was a wonderful party for Aaron and Janessa, although I only lasted until about 10:30 and went to sleep in our RV which was parked in a field being used as a parking lot.

Sunday June 12, our official departure day. We awoke to thunderous rain. Darlene jumped out of bed and rightly declared; we must get moving before we get stuck! We drove back to Toronto, dropped off my music gear, loaded all six bikes and headed for Whitby to pick up Mike #3. We also picked up chains, cables and locks to secure our valuable load of bikes.

 At last, we hit the road to Victoria. My plan was to relax, gather my thoughts and update the website on our progress. Ha, was I wrong. For the last number of days, I have been buying inverters, and setting up and taking apart different components. The Winnebago is quite noisy when it’s moving. This was particularly annoying while I was on with technical support from Dejero. I feel sorry for the unfortunate technician, Andy, who took my call. I was talking with Andy on my speaker phone, the RV was moving, I could not find the technical words to express the issues. I had to hold the phone in my affected hand and with every bump my ear hit the keypad on my phone causing a loud beep in Andy’s ear. He politely asked me to refrain from doing that to which I replied, I wish I could. Andy asked for the Dejero Gateway’s serial number. This became a 15-minute task to turn over the unit and with poor eyesight try to read tiny numbers as I bounced around.

But we are on our way and despite the hiccups we are having a good trip. So for now I will stop my whining and work on a blog about what we have done and our travels to date.

With any luck I anticipate a YouTube Live broadcast of the start of our ride but there’s a steep learning curve to get there.


One Response

  1. It’s a wonderful thing you’re doing! I’m so proud of you all. Thank you for your honesty in this beautiful journal entry. I look forward to hearing more

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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.”