Why I Ride


Cycling has always been a part of my life:  beginning with tricycling, advancing to a borrowed bike that I successfully begged my dad to adapt with a banana seat and sissy bars, and a few years standing pedaling an adult 2-speed that shifted with a quick backpedal motion.  In junior high, I went to bike camp and bought my first new bike – a 10-speed ordered from the J.C. Penney catalog.  Dad wasn’t quite sure why anyone needed 10 speeds, but my brother (in college riding a Motobecane sporting campe components) supported my need.

I eventually inherited the Motobecane (Morticia), riding it through college and then took a bit of a sabbatical from riding.  (Well, I tried a stint of mountain biking, but ended up putting slicks on my Marin and riding it on the road).

In the meantime, my dad retired from both farming and agricultural banking.  He had been developing his passion for cycling and racing, mostly doing 12 and 24 hour races.  He opened a bike shop servicing everyone from Omaha to Iowa City. I enjoyed drafting him whenever we could get together for a ride.

In 2004, our good friend, Tim Sweitzer, told us he had MS and was thinking about riding the MS 150. Kevin and I immediately said “we’re in!”  Yup, I gave up Morticia and took the infamous Bianchi out for a spin.  Wow – more speeds and easy shifting.  Hooked again.  Purchased a Specialized Roubaix which I again had my dad modify – this time with gearing to help me on the mountain climbs.

Oops, I just outed myself as a less serious rider.  It’s true.  I didn’t get the speed gene, but I did get the endurance gene.  I love to ride, and ride and ride.  Hopefully, this will serve me well in our coast-to-coast ride.  I’m counting on it.

As for why I am invested in the Davis Phinney Foundation, large credit goes to Kevin for signing us up for the first Copper Triangle, and for every one since.  This will be our 8th year.  Kevin, Rick and Tom have well described their connection with Davis so I won’t retell that tale – please read their Why I Ride stories also!

Participating in the foundation’s activities has motivated me to expand my skills in my work as a speech-language pathologist.  I have earned my certification in LSVT LOUD treatment for Parkinson’s and in Allied Team Training for Parkinson’s. We now have a Parkinson’s Team at Boulder Community HomeCare and we are excited about making this a hospital-wide approach.  I make sure each of my patients has a copy of the Every Victory Counts manual developed by the Davis Phinney Foundation. It is our go-to tool for addressing their questions regarding Parkinson’s, getting them prepared to go to their doctor’s appointments and monitoring their symptoms in order to help guide the doctor’s decisions regarding medications.

Last year, Tom and I participated in the Victory Summit and what an event it was!  To see a huge room filled with persons with Parkinson’s and their care partners learning, dancing and motivating one another was . . . worth riding across the country.  I want every person impacted by Parkinson’s to have this experience available to them.  So, let’s ride!
I would be honored to have YOU participate in our endeavor. Please consider contributing to this wonderful cause. I thank you, the Davis Phinney Foundation thanks you, and my patients thank you!