Connecting people through the power of movement.
Joe’s vision continues through the Cycling Ohio for Parkinson’s event in 2021.
Tha MORE ABOUT JOE’S STORY
For as far back as I can remember, I have relied on my able body. First to serve my family farm, then to build my sports field construction business and when time allowed, to fuel my passion for extreme physical challenges. As a farm boy, born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, it was ingrained in me that hard work pays off and that you don’t quit until the job is done. As my 65th birthday approached in 2019, I took time to reflect on what was to come and I realized that this able body, which has served me well for all these years, might not always be pacing with my mind. It brought up new and uncharted territory for me: what if I can’t always “gear up”? Maybe an even better question was – have I leveraged all the faculties I’ve been allotted to their fullest?
At this stage in my life, both professionally and personally, I realized that I had an opportunity before me. One that allowed me to take on a grueling physical (and even larger mental) challenge with the greater mission of bringing cognizance to a serious brain disease – Parkinson’s. With over 10 million individuals worldwide, 7,000 in Cincinnati alone, this illness affects so many people’s ability to do their day-to-day routines in which they once took for granted. Starting Friday, August 2, 2019, I rolled out of my barn in Anderson Township on a hybrid bicycle questing to loop the mid-western portion of the United States amidst the goal of pedaling 6,500 miles in 90 days. For the duration, I bike packed and wild camped – surviving on the requisite materials I brought along with me and was able to thrive on the gracious generosity of those I encountered on my journey.
Through this sabbatical, I strove to raise awareness around this neurodegenerative condition and in doing so, gave myself a very small glimpse as to what those living with Parkinson’s experience daily. From what I understand, it appears there are many paradigms between what I had to bear and what individuals that live with this disease feel. Some days I woke up invigorated and ready to take on the day, while others did not fare as well. With Parkinson’s, I’ve been told that many a morning it feels like you are waking up in concrete. I know from experience, as I awake each day facing another 75 to 100 miles, that I felt the same. While it was definitely a physical challenge, it also most certainly became a mental one. These are the times where I needed the most encouragement. These are the times I asked that you – my wonderful friends, family, and supporters – to keep me going.. and you did.
I was able to successfully complete the 6,500 mile cross-country bike ride while helping to raise over $314,000 for the cause of Parkinson’s. This 2019 event inspired the idea that I wanted to turn this initiative from “me to we” and grow the movement beyond a one-time event. I learned that together we can make more happen than what we can do by ourselves. If we can join up together, we can further aid the context of movement. That is why my next event under the Gearing Up for Good umbrella, embodies multiple regions, people and riders. Still with the celebration of movement, Cycling Ohio for Parkinson’s will take riders from the riverfront of the Ohio River in Cincinnati, Ohio to Lake Erie’s shore in Cleveland, Ohio, hence, why I like to call it “Water to Water.”
THE IMPACT FROM YOUR SUPPORT
Our Purpose: Together we will go further.
Our Mission: Connecting people through the power of movement.
- We inspire you to stretch beyond perceived limits to not just live but thrive.
- We encourage the miracle of movement.
- We care and have compassion.
- We persevere.
- We are committed to physical and mental quality of life.