After saying goodbye to the Rockies and the rolling hills of the pacific coast, the Spinning Wheels tour entered the prairies and central Canada provinces.
Seeing new faces and making connections continues to be the motivating force behind this cross-country cycling tour. When the crew made their way to Kindersley Saskatchewan in late July, they met more 80 individuals, thanks to a community barbeque hosted at the museum.
In his blog, Steve writes, “Kindersley is the perfect example of why we are on this journey. What we are doing is hard, really at the edges of what we can physically do. But it is for a purpose of matching importance. Kindersley is a place where neighbours are important – they are essential parts of the community, with shared interests.”
In shared interest
When the Spinning Wheels tour decided to come to town, the community came together to raise more than $2000 for Canadians living with Parkinson’s. With limited notice, many members of the Kindersley community who have Parkinson’s themselves came out to meet Steve, Jim, Mike and Darlene, and share in some truly special conversation together.
Attendee, Nancy Kelley had a chance to speak with the members of the crew about the importance of living an active lifestyle with Parkinson’s. She received her Parkinson’s diagnosis 17 years ago and has been a long-time participant in Parkinson Canada’s SuperWalk.
Whether its hosted in Kindersley or in nearby Saskatoon, Nancy has been participating for years and believes deeply in raising funds to fuel research and resources for Canadians living with Parkinson’s. She says, “Each year I fundraise for further education, advocacy, research and hopefully a cure! I am continually humbled by the pledges and support for my participation in this event every year.”
She has also been a support group facilitator for the past 15 years. While the group has seen its changes over the years, Nancy has been its constant.
An active lifestyle
Nancy is familiar with the positive impact cycling and walking have on her. Each morning you can find Nancy doing a half-hour cycle or walking the track at the local wellness center. Even within the support groups she hosts, they have enjoyed dance, boxing and other activities, too, “just to help with everything,” Nancy says.
A firm believer in the active lifestyle approach, Nancy says it meant so very much to her and the community to welcome the Spinning Wheels Tour to town. “They’re on a great mission for Parkinson’s. It was wonderful to meet them,” says Nancy. “The only way to keep going with Parkinson’s is with exercise. But then again to keep motivated it always helps to do it with a friend. The Spinning Wheels tour is taking different routes and connecting with Canadians who need to see what an active lifestyle can do for them.”
Friendships were surely made that day, as the feeling was mutual. In his blog, Steve writes:
“The generosity, openness and warmth of Kindersley and our wonderful hosts made a lasting impression on each of us, and we are so happy that we bent our route to spend time here.”
Manitoba and Ontario
Since then, the cyclists have covered Manitoba and most of Ontario!
The crew reports their ride thus far equates to longer than the distance between California and New York – more than 4,000 km. “We have also travelled 25,898 m of vertical rise, which is equivalent to climbing approximately ten times the highest vertical rise in the 2022 Tour de France (Col du Galibier at 2,642m),” Steve shares in his blog.
Keeping up with media opportunities at every turn, the Spinning Wheels tour has been featured in multiple television and radio interviews and a YouTube live chat.
Before making their way to Ontario and into the familiar arms of their loved ones, the Spinning Wheels tour stopped in to see Parkinson Advisory Council (PAC) member, Liz Loewen in Manitoba. Steve speaks of deep appreciation for Liz and her husband’s hospitality and shares on his blog that Liz makes an excellent addition to the PAC.