BOZEMAN – Around 50 bicyclists traveled from Carter’s Bridge near Livingston to Chico Hot Springs to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s Disease.
This event was put on by the Gallatin Valley Bike Club and had no registration fee. Event Coordinator Jerry Coffey said the only thing he asked from the bikers was to have fun and consider donating anything they could to the Davis Phinney Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping people with Parkinson’s live healthy lifestyles.
“I think people, the community is amazing you know. I set a goal of $3000 for the fundraiser and we are almost at $5000. So people have really stepped up. It is heartening,” said Coffey.
For numerous riders, this event hit home. They aren’t just riding to support a good cause, but they are also riding because they too have been affected by the neurological disease. Bob McKenzie is one of them.
“Probably the best medicine there is available for Parkinson’s is exercise and that is why we are here today,” said McKenzie.
Unlike the other bikers, McKenzie is riding a custom tricycle because his balance is no longer what it used to be since he was diagnosed about three years ago.
“So you end up giving up a lot of things that were important, or that you enjoyed doing in the past and you switch over to something else. That is why I am on this, because I can ride this and don’t have to worry about balance,” said McKenzie.
Coffey said the best part of the ride through the Paradise Valley is the fact that it brings people together to remind them they are not alone.
“I think that is where we are all supporting each other, and just encouraging ‘hey lets go, let’s have a good time,” said McKenzie.
Click here to make a donation to the Davis Phinney Foundation.
Reporting by Mederios Babb for MTN News