A one of a kind charity ride accessible to all skill levels takes place in Milford, Prince Edward County, for the first time starting today through to Sunday (July 12-14). Rider fundraising proceeds are directed to the Pedaling for Parkinson’s Research Grant awarded through Parkinson Canada Research Program.
In 2011, long-time friends Peter and David founded a new event, “Pedaling for Parkinson’s,” to raise awareness and research funds for Parkinson’s. The inspiration was David’s father and a close friend/neighbour of Peter’s, who were both diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Over three days, cyclists pedaled over 100,000 pedal strokes: 1 pedal stroke for each Canadian diagnosed with Parkinson’s. 20 riders participated and over $18,000 was raised.
Each year since, the number of riders and the amount of money generated has increased. This culminated in a 2018 ride that saw nearly 350 participants raise $700,000 as part of a lifetime total of $1.7 Million. 2018 was the final year of the ride in Parry Sound. However the incredible spirit of Parry Sound ride, built on a strong community of support, fundraising success and commitment to stand together in mutual support of one’s Parkinson journey lives on in communities across the country.
This year’s flagship ride is organized by Jim Redmond (who lives with Parkinson’s) and his wife Krista Simonett, who took up the mantle of the Parry Sound ride, giving 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.”
More information about this year’s “Pedaling for Parkinson’s” with a link to donate online can be found at this Parkinson Canada page.
Release details: submitted | Parkinson Canada
Photo (cropped): Parkinsons.ca