In 2011, longtime friends, Peter and David founded a new event, “Pedaling for Parkinson’s”, to raise awareness and research funds for Parkinson’s. Over three days, cyclists pedaled over 100,000 pedal strokes 1 pedal stroke for each Canadian diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Our inspiration was David’s father, diagnosed with Parkinson’s and a close friend/neighbour of Peter’s recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
In 2011, 20 riders participated and over $18,000 was raised. Fast forward to 2018, the final year of the Parry Sound ride, and more than 350 riders took place raising in excess of $700,000 for a lifetime total of $1.7 Million in support of the Pedaling for Parkinson's Research Grant through the Parkinson Canada Research Program.
The event flourished thanks to the support of the local community, a true togetherness of volunteers, riders and community members coming together in their shared connection to Parkinson's. The ride has always been a ride with a purpose. Fundraising success is important, but thanks to the character instilled by Peter Istvan, David Newall and their families it has always had a true sense of community. Of friends, new and old, coming together to demonstrate their support of one another in their Parkinson journeys.
So moved by that experience Jim Redmond and Krista Simonett of Ottawa, Ontario are eager to take up the mantle and give riders a chance to continue or to build new meaningful connections.
Jim's reasons to ride are very personal: "Riding gives me my freedom back. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about a year and a half ago when I was 44. Somebody showed me a video about a guy with PD and how he could barely walk but could still ride a bike. I bought a second hand bike and gave it a go. It worked even better than I thought that it could. My mind and my body have a sense of freedom that I rarely get with just the medications. I feel like I can do anything when I am on my bike. It’s pretty incredible."
What is your reason to ride? We hope you will consider participating in the Pedaling for Parkinson’s and help make a difference in the lives of people and families affected by Parkinson’s.
The Pedaling for Parkinson's Team
Reflections on Pedaling for Parkinson's from its founders, Peter Istvan and David Newall
The event founders ran the ride in Parry Sound form 2011 to 2018
Jim Redmond, co-host of our Prince Edward County ride, reflects on his reason to ride
Shot while participating in the Parry Sound edition of the event
Want to see the video that inspired Jim? View it here.