Ben Brock rides his bike through the Columbia Icefield on his Parkinson’s Disease Freedom Ride from Canmore to Jasper, August 19.

Ben Brock rides his bike through the Columbia Icefield on his Parkinson’s Disease Freedom Ride from Canmore to Jasper, August 19.

Ride raises $11,580

Ben Brock rode his bike 400 kilometres in Alberta to help raise money for Parkinson’s disease research

Tuesday, Aug. 19 is a day Ben Brock will never forget.

Ben Brock rode his bike 400 kilometres from Canmore, through the Ice Fields Parkway and into Jasper to help raise money for Parkinson’s disease research.

“It was a long day, but a good experience,” said Brock. “It was different than any other ride I’ve been on.”

Brock, who came to Canada from Brisbane, Australia in 2007, was hoping to raise $20 per km, totalling $6,260. The ride nearly doubled his expectations, raising $11,580.

“I was feeling pretty good once I arrived into Jasper, I felt all the generosity and goodwill from around the world and I still had a little left in the tank, so I decided to do a little bit more,” said Brock.

The actual distance from Canmore to Jasper is 325 km, but Brock decided to go for a victory lap of 75 km in honour of everyone who lives and suffers from the disease.

“The legs were a little sore the next day, but all the nuts and bolts stayed on,” joked Brock.

The ride started at the crack of dawn in Canmore, and with his girlfriend, Michelle, driving alongside him, handing him water and calorie-rich snacks, he was able to pull into Jasper just before sunset. The duration of the ride lasted 13.5 hours.

“She helped keep my internal engine pumping throughout the day,” said Brock.

The weather cooperated for Brock, providing him with spectacular views of mountain tops and glaciers.

Brock taped a picture of his father Gary, 73, to his bike for inspiration. Gary was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 23 years ago and the two talked shortly after the race.

“He was stoked for me and happy with the success. It feels good that we were a small piece in the puzzle to help eliminate Parkinson’s,” said Brock.

On when the next ride is, Brock doesn’t know when or where, but said, “Definitely going to do another, so stay tuned.”

For those interested in donating, it’s simple. Head to the Michael J. Fox Foundation website and search for the Ben Brock page. Once there, click the donate now button on the side.

 

Vernon Morning Star

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