Can I still do it? It has been a long time. Why has it taken so long? Simply put, my plate has been more than full recently. I have no other excuses. Perhaps nothing but an audacious challenge could have roused me from my backslidden blogger status. Even now there is a certain apprehensiveness that goes along with having not written a blog post for over a year. My Parkinson’s has progressed as one would expect such that everything is a little more difficult than it used to be. In more ways than one it is now time to determine whether I can rise again to the challenge.
I’m currently in California preparing for the start of the 50 CC Ride. For the uninitiated, that is shorthand for coast-to-coast on a motorcycle in 50 hours. Very few riders accomplish this endurance feat. But most who try start out in San Diego, California, and end up in Jacksonville, Florida. That is approximately 2400 miles (3860 km). If you drove it without stopping you would have to average 50 miles an hour (80 km/h) to do it in 48 hours. Given that motorcycles require fuel, and human beings require pit stops for food, liquids and other natural bodily functions, not to mention a short nap or two, the average speed will have to be more than 50 mph.
This all started as a bit of a dare, or at least that is how I interpreted it. My good friend, Jim Goertz, told me about how he had completed the 50 CC Ride recently. He rides a Harley-Davidson. If motorcycles were assessed on the basis of loudness, Jim’s bike would win over my “Big Blue” Honda Gold Wing hands down. But when it comes to driving long distances comfortably, nothing beats the Honda Gold Wing. The seed was planted and grew quickly into a full-fledged plan, which was readily adopted by another Honda rider, Andrew Westlund.
On October 7, early in the morning, Andrew and I will be departing San Diego en route to Jacksonville on a journey which we intend to finish within 50 hours at the most.
When I explain to people what I am doing, most of them are shocked that someone who was diagnosed almost 9 years ago with Parkinson’s disease would attempt such a crazy idea. But in some ways, that is exactly the reason I am choosing to do the ride. To prove that I still can do it, yes. But also to prove that anyone with Parkinson’s disease can do things that may seem outrageous at first, but are just challenges that test our willingness to fight back against this disease, or any other ailment that can have the effect of sidelining us.
So there are 2 things that can be accomplished by this ride in terms of Parkinson’s disease. The first is to raise awareness that life need not stop after leaving the neurologist’s office with a handful of prescriptions for pills you will have to take for the rest of your life. In fact, life has been a more exciting adventure since my diagnosis than it was before PD (and it wasn’t too boring before either). The second purpose is to raise the money to help find a cure. On that front I have decided to partner with Michael J Fox Foundation.There you have it. C2C (Pacific to the Atlantic) in less than 50 hours. To keep updated on my 50 CC adventure, or to make a donation ("buy" 1 mile for $10, or more if you can afford it) to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, please visit Kuhn’s Team Fox fundraising page, or the C2C for the Cure Facebook page. You can also follow my C2C for the Cure ride via Instagram at c2cforthecure and Twitter @TWU Bob.