A small group of cyclists are combing their passion for biking with a cause that’s personal to many Canadians – including themselves.
As part of the Spinning Wheels Tour, members of the Rigid Riders are biking across Canada to help raise awareness for Parkinson’s Disease – and they’ll be passing through Collingwood on Saturday.
Parkinson’s is a progressive brain disorder that generally causes unintended movements like shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with coordination. The cause of the disease is still unknown.
Steve Iseman, an avid cyclist with the Rigid Riders who lives with Parkinson’s, put together the team four years ago with fellow member Mike Loghrin.
Iseman explains their cross-Canada journey has been beyond rewarding.
“The weight of the message we’re trying to get across has grown,” Iseman says. “Cycling is so beneficial for people with Parkinson’s. People regard it almost as a form of medicine.”
Jim Redmond, another bicyclist with the Spinning Wheels Tour who has Parkinson’s, says many people who live with the disease feel like they’re alone, but an initiative like this helps remind them it’s actually the opposite.
“It’s a way to bring awareness while doing something we really enjoy,” he says. “Cycling across the country gives us the chance to talk to people and spread the word. You get to share common stories about how you’re doing and what works and know that you’re not alone in this.”
The group began their journey in Victoria, British Columbia on June 25, biking between 125 and 150 km six days a week. They’re projected to reach St. John’s, Newfoundland in September.
The Rigid Riders will be in Collingwood at the Loblaw parking lot on the corner of Pine and Second Street on Saturday, Aug. 13 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. They are welcoming anyone interested to stop by and say 'hello' to the team during this time. Those interested in joining the team for a local afternoon ride should arrive at the parking lot between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to register.
Members of the locally-based Living Better With Parkinson's board will also be at the meet-and-greet to share more about their efforts for local advocacy, education, and activities.
Anyone interested in donating to their venture can visit the Spinning Wheels Tour website here.