DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- One bicycle traded mobility for the ability to make ice cream.
Two Parkinson's Disease organizations partnered to bring awareness of the disease to RAGBRAI® riders.
The new BikeLayne.com launched this past week, in conjunction with RAGBRAI and team Pedaling for Parkinson's. BikeLayne.com organizers brought what they call the one and only ice cream bike at RAGBRAI.
"We've been having it out next to Beekman's Ice Cream out on the route so people can pull over and get some ice cream from Beekman's and take a spin on the ice cream bike, which actually does make ice cream," Claire Rose of BikeLayne.com said. "While we have them, we talk to them about Parkinson's."
Team Pedaling for Parkinson's raised about $40,000 to help people with the disease. This is the team's eighth year in RAGBRAI, and this year it had 50 riders and five support people.
Included in the riders was Nan Little, a Parkinson's patient who said cycling gave her back her life.
"In three and a half weeks, my symptoms disappeared. It was like a light switch: on, off," Little said of her time training for her first RAGBRAI in 2009. "From walking like this and not being able to put on a seatbelt, to being able to fully rotate my head, put on a seatbelt."
Little and others on team Pedaling for Parkinson's said the research of Dr. Jay Alberts shows that intense cycling -- "forced exercise" -- can help treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Little said she's a believer, after the change she's seen in her own life.
"It's hard for people to believe that I have Parkinson's and that I'm doing this ride," Little said. "Especially after I got up Potter's Hill. People are like, 'You're what? And you have what? And you're 64 years old?'"
Little was so inspired, she started a cycling program for Parkinson's patients in her home city of Seattle.
For more information on Parkinson's Disease and cycling, visit the links on the left.
Online Reporter Becca Habegger