Why we Ride

Dan Steele

Reason to Ride

The Pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but it has been particularly difficult for people living with Parkinson’s (PLWP), many of whom are elderly. The Pandemic exposed how vulnerable that demographic can be, and how we as a country must provide better service and care to our seniors. All of us within the Parkinson’s community, whether young or old, know intimately how stress intensifies almost all our symptoms. I was lucky to have been able to have undergone Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery just as things really began to shut down. The improvements in my mobility have put some zip back in my step and I want to share this window of opportunity with the extended Parkinson’s family that have supported me for so many years. I’m very thankful to be leading a great planning committee whose primary goal is to encourage PLWP, as well as people with other disabilities and of all ages, to train for our cycling event. For anyone of full health and mobility, celebrate your good fortune with our routes specifically with you in mind. Know that everyone’s participation and fundraising will help towards the research goals of Parkinson Canada.

Dan Steele, Rider and Volunteer Event Coordinator

Kristen Merritt

Family Ties

"Pedaling for Parkinson's Parkinson's has impacted my life and my family. While I'm not an avid cyclist, I am passionate about the power of an active community and a worthy cause.

My father was diagnosed at the young age of 54 with Parkinson's. I will never forget the moment I was first told and through tears saying, "what does this mean?". It was one of those moments, you know it's not good, but don't really understand why.

Being a part of my father's journey and witnessing the strength of my parents on learning what living with Parkinson's means, has only fueled my passion for finding a cure. Through improved treatment, and support for those impacted by the disease, I am hopeful that Parkinson's won't always be a bad thing.

Our silver lining is that it has brought our family closer together, both emotionally and physically. From growing up in a small Northern Ontario town, and now living in the Quinte Region with my family, it is evident that the people are the strength of these communities.

Pedaling for Parkinson's is an excuse for us to get together to be active, celebrate community, and to raise awareness and funds for a great cause.

Bill Rea

Friends ride together

"I got into riding when I was diagnosed with PD back in 2010 as I knew I needed a form of exercise to keep me moving and active and knew that I was getting to an age where I needed to rethink my participation in other sports like playing hockey. In addition to my road bike, I also have a mountain bike that I use fairly often through the conservation area near Orangeville or on the Caledon Trail-way.

In my years of riding I have had my share of adventures. I've had a few mis haps on the road,encountered deer, dead skunks, Turkey Vultures, Wild Turkeys and flocks of geese at various times on a ride. And nothing beats that fresh country air early in the morning after a farmer has spread manure on the fields. But there is nothing like it.

My Pedaling for Parkinson teamincludes three of my best buddies. We all met in first year in Medway Hall residence at UWO back in 1983, and have been the best of friends ever since. My friend Doug Jones is the one constant in all of my rides. He also lives in Orangeville and he is my riding partner on the county roads between Orangeville / Shelburne / Grand Valley. He keeps me going and always has my back when out riding.

He also has a cottage near Parry Sound and we did the PFP ride out of Parry Sound for 4 years before it was moved to PEC. Doug and I decided to participate in our first PFP as we were getting to the point where we knew we could handle the distance and it was a great opportunity to raise funds for a cause that I have a definite vested interest. It also then made a great excuse to get away to his cottage for a weekend every summer it was in Parry Sound. We would make a weekend out of it.

The other attraction to the event is knowing that 100% of the funds raised goes towards PD research to hopefully someday find a cure or better treatments for those of us living with PD.

So now, Pedaling for Parkinson's has become one of our annual traditions is the August long weekend at my family cottage on Kawagama Lake near Dorset ON which is also where my team gets it's name: We've always gone by the name Team Kawagama."

Carol Colden

Exercise to fund research

"Exercise is an important part of staying healthy for everyone but is particularly important to people with Parkinson's.

Exercise is vital to slow the decline of the disease and to improve quality of life. Funding research to find better treatments and to find a cure is also a core part of the Parkinson's community. Pedaling for Parkinson's combines both objectives in a single event.

Committing to the ride also provides great motivation to get out and train."

Carol Colden, Pedaling for Parkinson Rider

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