Sunflower Bike Ride Roars Back!

People ride bikes

Scene from a recent Sunflower Revolution ride. Photo for UCNI by Mark Bowen

A group of 12 organizers met this week to begin planning the Sunflower Revolution IX Bike Ride, slated for Sept. 8, in Loveland, Ohio. Returning after a year’s hiatus, the ride will coincide and coordinate with the Sunflower Revolution IX Symposium, a free, educational event for people with Parkinson’s disease and their families and caregivers. Sunflower Revolution founder Kathy Krumme will co-chair the ride with her sister, Exercise Physiologist Sarah Krumme Stahr, MS.

Proceeds will benefit the Davis Phinney/Donald Krumme Fund at the University of Cincinnati Foundation and will be used to support research at the James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders at the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute, a multi-disciplinary institute within UC Health. The late Donald Krumme, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, was the father of Ms. Krumme and Ms. Stahr and an avid cyclist.

In another welcome piece of news, UCNI Clinical Director John M. Tew, MD, reported that Tour de France Stage-Winner Davis Phinney, 52, also will be returning to Cincinnati for the Sunflower ride and symposium. In years past, Davis, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at age 40, has inspired Sunflower cyclists and patients with his cycling prowess, his charisma and his passion for living well with Parkinson’s.

Ms. Krumme, manager of Oakley Cycles, said the ride’s mission is “to produce a unique, high-quality, high-profile, inclusive and profitable fundraising bicycling/walk event that joins athletes, fundraisers, people with Parkinson’s disease, families, doctors and friends via the common goals of raising funds to help further Parkinson’s disease research and wellness efforts and to raise awareness of both.”

Details are still forming, but early planning points to rides of 25 and 50 miles that are timed to end with the symposium, allowing symposium attendees to join hands with their supporters and to participate in a walk or 10-mile bike ride, and lunch. The symposium will be held at The Oasis.

The 2012 ride, Ms. Krumme said, “is going to be a base-building year for a big shebang 2013.”

Attending the organizing meeting, along with Ms. Krumme and Ms. Stahr, were: David Ariosa, Dave Armstrong, Pete Chronis, Ben Contra, Gardner Center Business Manager Kelly Lyle, Gardner Center Neurosurgeon George Mandybur, MD, Eric Mueller, Dave Szkutak, Paul Waldsmith, and UCNI Senior Director of Development Gina Weitzel.

Looking ahead to the event, ForeverFitness founder Ms. Stahr, who has energized hundreds of patients and families at Sunflower symposia, said, “I’m happy to do something in memory of my Dad.”

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— Cindy Starr

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