Bicycling with Parkinson’s

There was an interesting article in the New York Times yesterday about a man who has end-stage Parkinson’s disease and is unable to walk, but somehow, is able to ride his bike for miles. I don’t know much about Parkinson’s disease, but apparently this is highly unusual and quite intriguing to experts in the field. I was trying to imagine what a sense of freedom a long bike ride must provide for someone who is otherwise immobilized by disease.

Read the article

5 Responses to “Bicycling with Parkinson’s”

  • brad says:

    Very trivial in comparison, but I tore the meniscus in my left knee last year and walking has become very painful for me; I used to be a hiker and mountain climber and now can’t even walk half a mile without pain. But bicycling doesn’t hurt at all, and I can ride all day without even a wince.

    The tear isn’t bad enough to be worth attempting to fix with surgery, according to the specialists I’ve seen, and they just told me to live with it (and take Advil if the pain’s really bad). It’s “useless pain,” meaning that I can continue to use my knee without exacerbating the underlying problem.

  • sam says:

    my dad has parkinson’s and has seen some benefit not only riding a bike (albeit on a trainer with a stand) but more so from forced-exercise tandem riding. Kent State has done a bunch of research on the topic, see here
    http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2009/06/27/wellness/medical-update/parkinsons-research-update.html

  • keith says:

    My mother has Parkinson’s just like the man in NY Times article. Her legs freeze up and she can’t walk at all. I printed out the article so she could read it and she found it very interesting; she even seem to show a little interest in bikes. She is 20 years older than the man in the article, and has lost all of her balance, but maybe some type of stationary bike like the one shown in the link provided by Sam (thanks Sam!) could restore some activity in her life and also some hope. Thanks, Alan and Sam, for the information,
    Keith

  • Steve Fuller says:

    There’s a gentleman with Parkinson’s that rides his recumbent trike every year on RAGBRAI. He is not as far along as the man in the article, but it was great to ride and talk with him about his experiences a few years ago.

  • TravisP says:

    While not Parkinson’s, my son has cerebral palsy that leaves him unable to sit, stand, or walk on his own. But he can pedal, so we ride tandem on a Hase Pino.

    For the time we’re on the bike, he’s out front enjoying the rush of the road beneath him and the air in his face. He loves it.

 
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