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Garth's story

posted Apr 17, 2016, 2:44 PM by Dianne James
Garth has written his story for us to share .....

Riding a bike on a regular basis has proved to be an invaluable way of managing symptoms of my Parkinson’s disease. My name is Garth Evans. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2008 at age 63. I have been cycling since I was around 10 years old when I was given an adult size bike; I used to ride it around our back yard with one leg through the frame until tall enough to reach the pedals with the saddle in its lowest position. Cycling has been part of my life on and off since those early years. 

 We moved back to Brisbane in 2003 after almost two decades away and I bought a bike to take advantage of the expanding network of cycleways in Brisbane. Should I continue to go cycling after I had been diagnosed with PD? Google searches indicated that cycling could be beneficial for people with PD. I am now 71 and cycle 2 to 3 times a week for a total of 40 to 60 km per week.

I am extremely fortunate to have wonderful support from my wife Gena who worries that I might fall off my bike as I did back in 2013 resulting in a broken collarbone. My family is also very supportive. An example was a weeklong cycle tour in France with Gena arranging lunches while our daughter Gill and her husband Frank cycled with me and the others of the tour group. Granddaughter Annabel and her dad have joined in several Parkinson’s Pedallers ride.

Dianne and Alan James are deserving of enormous gratitude for establishing Parkinson’s Pedallers; which includes monthly cycle rides in the Brisbane region and a website that is a rich source of information on Parkinson’s and in particular, cycling and PD.

In addition to cycling, once a week Pilates sessions are also part of my way managing my Parkinson’s symptoms. There has been more time for cycling since I retired from my life as a petroleum geologist at the end of 2014. I don’t feel as if I have Parkinson’s when I am out riding my bike.

If you have PD, I recommend that you visit www.parkinsonspedallers.net first, and then discuss cycling with your GP/neurologist to assess whether cycling may help you manage your Parkinson’s.


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