Good morning riders! I was lucky enough this morning to be greeted at my desk with a most inspiring e-mail. Jan van Vugt: Jan the Bicycle Man, commented on our Facebook about a month ago, telling us about how much better he feels when he rides his Montague Folding Bike.

“When I get up in the morning, I am often shaky. The first ride of the day reduces most of this without the use of Parkinson’s medications. I ride 10 to 15 km a day and feel great,” Jan said in his e-mail.

Thanks to our folding technology, Jan has the option of folding up his bike and putting it in the trunk of any car or taxi. If his tremors begin acting up, it only takes a few seconds to fold the bike and store it away. “Riding a folding bike makes it twice as nice. If I become too tired to ride, it is nice to be able to put it in any car for the ride home. When I am riding on a Montague bike, I don’t even feel like it is a folding bike. The 26” wheels make the bike handle like any non-folding bike. This bike will go with me on my holidays, wherever I go. It is better than taking a bottle of pills with you and has no harmful side effects,” continues Jan.

Jan was also nice enough to include links to inspirational stories like his demonstrating the benefits cycling can have on Parkinson’s patients. The first can be found on the website for the Michael J Fox Parkinson’s Foundation’s website, and it features champion cyclist Davis Phinney. Phinney has been battling with Parkinson’s for over nine years and, in 2008, underwent surgery to combat his tremors.

Phinney’s list of accomplishments extends all the way to winning two stages of the Tour De France and participating on the Olympic Cycling team. Phinney’s boasts a superstar family including his wife, fellow Olympic Cyclist Connie Carpenter, and his prodigy son Taylor Phinney (we like his name) who was chosen, at the age of 17, for the Beijing Olympic Cycling team. In the summer of 2008, Taylor participated in two world-wide cycling championships: defending his title at the junior world title in South Africa and the Beijing Olympics. This served as Phinney’s motivation to take serious steps towards beating Parkinson’s.

Phinney’s surgery, implanting electric probes in his chest and a battery pack in his chest, went extremely well, his tremors reduced to a mere annoyance. Congratulations, Davis Phinney on all your successes!

The second link led me to an amazing story about a 58 year old man from the Netherlands who had been living with the disease for ten years. Dr. Bastiaan R. Bloem of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands was shocked when the 58 year old man who was severely affected with Parkinson’s and could not walk more than a few steps without falling told him that he is a regular cyclists, sometimes biking 10 km a day! Dr. Bloem took the man outside to where one of the nurse’s bikes was kept, and recorded the footage of the man mounting the bike and even making a U-turn in the parking lot with complete control.

“People with Parkinson’s disease can often dance, run, walk smoothly and do complex movements for a few minutes if they are given appropriate signals — emotional or visual cues…But this effect, known as the kinesia paradox, does not last long. Riding for miles and miles is very different from walking for a few minutes. And until now, Bloem said, it was not known that patients with Parkinson’s could ride bikes,” according to Seattle Today’s website.

We at the Montague Corporation love hearing and having the opportunity to share stories like these, so please remember to send us your story about how you use your Montague Folding Bike to improve your life, your community, and the environment.

As always,

Ride Safe!

The Montague Corporation

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