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30 Days of PD: Cycling With Hope, Optimism, and Parkinson’s

30 Days of PD: Cycling With Hope, Optimism, and Parkinson’s

Photo courtesy of John Alexander Day 22 of 30 This is John Alexander’s story: Twelve years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease . Early…

Friday, Apr 22

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Photo courtesy of John Alexander Day 22 of 30

This is John Alexander’s story:

Twelve years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease . Early on, I heard about the importance of exercise in controlling disease progression. Exercise was considered as important as taking medication . One of my favorite activities over the years had been cycling, so I began to consider that as my “go to” form of exercise.

I found a two-wheel bike from a company called Electra. Their “Townie” model was comfy to ride with a beach cruiser feel and designed to allow me to put my foot flat on the ground when I stopped. This bike became my “riding buddy.”

I took a ride on a local trail and ended up crashing into a guardrail on small bridge over a stream. This had nothing to do with Parkinson’s, it was simply “operator error”: I had approached the bridge too quickly. I decided that I needed to brush up my cycling skills, and enrolled in a two-day class called “Cycling Savvy.” There, I learned how to properly operate my bike under just about any condition, giving me the skills and confidence to ride anywhere safely. I also began riding with a group.

Group riding allowed me to practice the techniques I had learned and to socialize with some great people. I heard talk about charity rides to raise money for a good cause, with distances ranging from 10 to 100 miles a day.

Someone mentioned an upcoming “Ride With Larry” — Larry […]

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