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Blustery and Then Some

We got to sleep in until a planned 9 am departure this morning. It started out rainy this morning with some wind. Then, to balance the karma gained by the extra sleep, the caps fell off both the wind-shaker and the rain-shaker and, shall we say, the recipe that we’d hoped for was ruined. To give you an indication of how bad the weather was, Wendy and her Sister didn’t stop to take a single interesting picture during the ride — or so I thought when I wrote this. I received the following image later on:

Wendy's Sister's Sign Sighting

First sign of Duncan – someone is thinking of home.

Okay, so underestimated her. Wendy’s sister was stopping to take “interesting” pictures between bouts with the wind and rain.

I might add that, to me, that sign is an indication that the running of the Hwy 19 gauntlet between Parksville and Nanaimo is almost over. That’s one of my least favourite sections of road to ride on in the Nanaimo area and today, with the wind and rain and all the traffic, it was downright dangerous.  Several Pedalers, myself included, decided to jump around the worst section riding in the Pedaler camper/trailer.

Coffee at Rawmbas

Pedalers' Coffee Break at Rawmbas

Pedalers enjoying a welcome break from the horrible wind and rain.

We did make it to our Coffee Rendezvous at Rawmbas and the free coffee was great both as a beverage and a hand-warmer. Note the hands around the cups in the following image and don’t pay any attention to that stunned looking person leaning against the counter who’s not even holding his mug with both hands.

Kevin Looking Stunned

Kevin looking somewhat shell-shocked.

It was a very welcome stop and, to make things even better, as we were leaving we were each given a very nice Rawmbas water bottle to take with us. So, after a slightly longer stay that intended we got back into our wet gear and headed to our lunch date at the Nanaimo Alliance Church.

To to be continued when I have more time (and pictures).

I’m in Awe…

(This is a guest post by David Peters.)

On the fourth day the heavens opened and the waters came down, really, really hard! We’ve had it all this week. I am well and truly moisturized. We got pounded with rain, wind and vehicle spray. We are at the Nanaimo Alliance church for lunch and our wet clothing has been whisked away to be dryed. We are over halfway to ladysmith. I’m even having hot tea! That speaks to my level of warmth and wetness. Our spirit is not broken and we will persevere. Weather conditions inspires ingenious solutions to stay dry. My gear was good but there is a threshold amount of moisture beyond which even the best protection succumbs. We reached that level and then some. We covered a shorter distance today as planned but the weather presented different challenges than the previous 3 days. I’ve observed that the team members with PD (Parkinson’s Disease) all have a marked determination (dare I say stubbornness) to push on, to push through, to grip the task at hand between their teeth like a pit bull and shake that task and/or goal to shreds. It may not be smooth. It may not be nimble. It may not be without setbacks, crashes, tumbles and frustrations. In the end the task and/goal submits to greater character, to greater will, to greater inner strength. Could I do as they do if I were in their shoes? I’m not sure. From my vantage point it seems daunting and difficult. I am humbled once again when I measure my aches and pains and my trials and tribulations to the those with Parkinson’s, especially those on this journey. Please know that I admire and honour you all.


Day 3 Parksville Arrival

I said I was Parky-brained. In my first day-3 post I didn’t say anything about my arrival at the Travelodge where we’re staying. When I finally arrived, almost out of juice, I was met by a line of  cheerleaders – some from our travelling road show and a large cohort from the local Parksville/Qualicum support group. Doug Pickard, with his endless energy, had recruited and organized a well oiled welcoming machine. But wait, there’s more. There was the presentation of a cheque for more than $1000 from a recent garage sale and a potluck meal that couldn’t be beat.

If you’re going to get Parkinson’s, you could do much worse than to be living in Parksville/Qualicum.

Here are some pictures that Doug sent me.

Welcoming Committee

Welcoming committee at the Travelodge entrance.

Definitely a sight for sore eyes!

Alf and Brett

Alf and Brett Arriving.

Alf arriving with Grandson — no, wait — It’s Brett arriving with Granddad.

Kevin Arriving

Kevin arriving at Travelodge.

Yours truly!

Team Jillian Arriving

Jillian and Katie arrive at Travelodge

Jillian Carson (another parky!) and Katie Nelson arriving. These are the newest Pedalers joining the ride at Courtenay. With the strong head winds today, it was definitely a trial by fire — except there was no fire, just wind, the ‘fire’ is just…  You know what I mean.

Cheque for the Cause

Doug Pickard donating garage sale proceeds to Alf.

Ca-Ching! We’ve raised over $18,000 so far.

Treat me like ‘Normal’

(This is a Guest Post by Wendy’s Sister)

In preparation for the Parky’s Peddlers 500 km bike ride I asked my sister, “Please tell me what you need on the trip.” Almost immediately she replied, “I need you to treat me like ‘normal’, like before I was diagnosed with Parkinsonism.”

Since then, I have pondered what ‘normal’ is. Is it overlooking different movements or acknowledging? What is ‘normal’?

While riding with varied abled cyclists over the past approximately 350 kms in three days and meeting new friends and family impacted by Parkinson’s Disease I have contemplated this thought…what IS ‘normal’?

While there are common traits amongst us all, we are each unique and endearing in different ways…and this is ‘normal’. I could elaborate further but thinking of DC and his sons provides a great illustration to the Parky Peddlers regarding the range of ‘normal’ (smiles and hugs all around!)

‘Normal’ is flying up the long Waddington Mountain range..or taking breaks when needed. ‘Normal’ is stopping for the phone alarm to take the necessary mediation. ‘Normal’ is peddling with an added movement, little movement or loosing movement while en route.  ‘Normal’ is noticing the range of PD and feeling frustrated or relieved, depending on the day.

The reality is that those with Parkinson’s and their family/friends wake to a new ‘normal’ each day…and adapt…with amazing grace and dignity….in no time….to embark on the day with endless optimism.

‘Normal’ is responding in kind with hope and optimism. ‘Normal’ is offering an arm to lean on, a bike to hold or a hug to give and receive. ‘Normal’ is hearing and telling stories about the days adventures of past and present with humour and compassion.

‘Normal’ is the wisdom of my older sister…’normal’ is the best advice to take and give….thank-you!
love and hugs,
lil’ sis’..

Day 3 Stuff with a Little Feel-Good

Long day. Head wind and hills. Too tired for clever. Short sentences only…

Well, maybe for all you people following the ride I’ll force myself to do a better job.

Today started with a side trip. Sometime earlier (Monday?) The web-site received an email from the contact form from the nurse of a Parkinson’s patient at the New Horizons something-or-other retirement home wondering if a meeting with the Pedaler’s could be arranged. The patient had read an article about the ride in the Times Colonist. Well after a back-and-forth we pulled it off and spent 10 minutes with two Parkinson’s patients, the nurse and someone else whose role I didn’t get (or have forgotten — sorry — tired and have Parky-brain. Here’s the group picture:

Group Photo at New Horizons

Visiting 2 Parky’s at the New Horizons retirement home on our way out of Campbell River.

The next three photos were taken by Wendy and her sister.

Selfie with Photobomb

Two-Person Selfie. Hey! Where’d that rock come from? Photobomb!

Wendy and her sister got photo-bombed — by a huge rock. But was it shakin’? Dunno, but it certainly didn’t stir while we were there.

Lunch in Courtenay

Parky picture after a good lunch hosted by the Courtenay-Comox support group.

Shaw was there too with cameras and microphones.

Revealing Decor

From the how-did-they-find-that department…

David was instructed to point and I was told to publish (well not really but I couldn’t resist). It was a long difficult day and I’m impressed at some of the Pedalers’ abilities to have fun. And, in case you’re wondering, those are just mannequins..

I’ll add more pictures and comments as they come my way. Tomorrow we’re passing through my turf in Nanaimo.