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Alan's cycling story

posted Jul 13, 2012, 11:59 PM by Dianne James   [ updated Jul 14, 2012, 12:02 AM ]
I was diagnosed with Parkinson's on 29 June 1998 by Professor Peter Silburn at the ripe old age of 45. I have been through all of the available treatments – 

*   Medication gradually increased until my on/off times and lack of sleep were among a number of problems
*   Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) which gave me a new lease of life after 9 years of medications (which were reduced by two thirds on average and gave me a great eight hours sleep a night)

Since January 2012 I have discovered what I hope will be the next stage of my treatment – CYCLING. My wife Dianne encouraged me to start cycling again (in my pre PWP life we were members of a cycling club – the Brisbane Bicycle Touring Club). We re-joined the touring club and have been on four 2 or 3 day tours of over 100 km each.

At the end of the first day of the first tour I was pretty tired. I went to bed and slept for over an hour. Now I can handle at least 75 to 80 km days with no problems. I can feel my fitness improving and my muscle tone and balance are also better. My weight is gradually decreasing.

When I’m on the bike I feel normal – I don’t feel that I have Parkinsons. My stiffness and rigidity are on holidays for that time. And when I get off the bike my handwriting is improved, and it takes some time for my stiffness and rigidity to return.

Dianne was “surfing” the web and came across a number of events where PWP cyclists have their own groups and enter long distance rides. There are also people researching the improvement of Parkinson’s symptoms resulting from pedalling at a high number of revolutions of pedals per minute.

We decided to start a web site which includes all of this information. The web address is

We would like to encourage others in our local area to cycle with us, and are encouraging others with Parkinsons to join us on a cycle ride on a nominated day in September.