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Parkinson's Pedallers join the Great Brisbane Bike Ride

posted May 25, 2016, 5:10 PM by Dianne James
A group of nine Parkinson’s Pedallers were among the more than 2,000 cyclists riding in Great Brisbane Bike Ride on Sunday May 15 2016.  Two of the cyclists have Parkinson’s disease while the other six were family and friends.

Parkinson’s Pedallers was established in 2013 by Dianne and Alan James to organise monthly rides in the Brisbane region and maintain the website as a source of information on Parkinson’s disease particularly with relation to the benefits of cycling in managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Many studies have demonstrated the benefits of cycling for people with Parkinson’s, a definitive conclusion as to the cause is yet to be established. The repetitive nature of cycling on the balls of the feet has been suggested as a possible cause. There also appears to be benefits of pedaling at higher revolutions per minute (cadence). Cadence of 80 - 90 is more beneficial tha
n say a typical cadence of around 60. 

Pictured are three of our riders who have Parkinson's and planned to take part in the Great Brisbane Bike Ride.  Alan, John and Garth... A
lan diagnosed in 1996, John in 2007 and Garth in 2008. All three are regular riders each month with the Parkinson’s Pedallers group.  Unfortunately, Alan was a late withdrawal because of a heavy cold; Dianne elected to look after Alan and did not ride.

The Great Brisbane Bike Ride (GBBR) is organized by Bicycle Queensland as part of Bike Week 2016. The 40 km ride starts at West End and follows roads south of the Brisbane River to the Sir Leo Hielscher Bridges at Murarrie and then along Kingsford Smith Drive and Inner City Bypass to a refreshment stop at Suncorp Stadium. Then it was along the Bicentennial Bikeway to Toowong and then to the Eleanor Schonell Bridge (the Green Bridge) at St Lucia. Then the route is across the bridge, up over Highgate Hill and back to the finish at West End. The GBBR includes a 75 km and 110 km routes as well as the optional Mount Coot-tha Challenge which is a timed ascent of Mount Coot-tha. Diabetes Queensland is the beneficiary of the 2016 GBBR. 

Riders were John and Mark Quinn, Peter Brownsdon, Greg Sewell, Garrie McAlister, Gavin Douglas, Rob and Rameez Kneebone and Garth Evans.  Eight riders completed the 40 km; Greg succumbed to the temptation of a train ride home at about three quarter distance.  The Parkinson’s Pedallers wore high visibility vests screen printed by Helen Charles with cycling logos and PP’s URL.  Helen and her husband Harold were travelling in the Kimberly region and so unable to ride in the GBBR.

A special thanks for organising this event goes to Bicycle Queensland and its huge team of volunteers manning not only the start and finish but every turn point along the route.  Queensland Police did an excellent job of holding traffic at intersections while large groups of riders crossed intersections.  Left-hand lanes were reserved for cyclists on much of the route and all of the inbound section of the Inner City Bypass was closed for the exclusive use of GBBR cyclists,

Parkinson’s Pedallers looks forward to participating in similar rides in the future.

Our thanks to Garth Evans for writing this article for our news page.