Category Archives: Parkinson’s disease

Bike Racer’s Inspiring Father-Son Story Will Touch Your Heart, Says NY and PA Bicycle Lawyer

Taylor Phinney's inspiring story has gone viral with bicyclists.

Taylor Phinney’s inspiring story has gone viral with bicyclists.

Here is an inspiring story to help all the bicyclists out there who are enduring another cold, gray March day. Spring is coming, maybe not soon, but it will get here!

In the meantime, the Wall Street Journal has a story that will make your day.

This story captures one of the reasons that I truly love bicycle racing. Sure, there are stories that we are not proud of (the doping scandals of recent years, topped by the spectacular fall of Lance Armstrong), but there are many, many stories like this of strong, brave riders exhibiting the best qualities of sportsmanship.

Davis Phinney.

Davis Phinney.

One strong, brave rider is Taylor Phinney, the son of legendary riders Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter-Phinney, who was competing recently in Italy’s Tirreno-Adriatico stage race. The 22-year-old bike racer from Boulder, Colo., finished last in a stage that was so difficult that many riders quit.

But Taylor didn’t quit. He kept going for his father, who is battling Parkinson’s disease. His legs were weary and he lost ground when his first bike busted its chain, but he finished. He was 37 minutes behind the winner of the stage, but it didn’t matter.

He had finished. For his father.

The emotion flowed at the news conference after the race, and his achievement went viral online.

“I knew that if my dad could be in my shoes for one day—if all he had to do was struggle on a bike for six hours, but be healthy and fully functional—he would be me on that day in a heartbeat,” Taylor Phinney told Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal. “Every time I wanted to quit, every time I wanted to cry, I just thought about that.”

Davis Phinney didn’t learn about his son’s tribute until after the race, but his heartfelt response will leave a lump in your throat:

“I have almost no words for how amazing it makes me feel,” Davis Phinney said. He wrote in an email to his son: You make me so happy and beyond proud—and that is better than any medicine and can defeat any disease.

I don’t want to give away the last line of the story. It’s perfect. You’ll have to read the story. You won’t be sorry you did!

Thanks for reading.



James B. Reed
NY & PA Bike Accident Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
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Why Bicycling Might Save Your Brain!

A Parkinson's disease researcher made a remarkable discovery after a ride on a tandem bicycle with a patient.

One of my Oregon bicycling buddies forwarded me a link to this interesting article in The New York Times about preliminary research that suggests that tandem bicycle riding could be one of the exercises that minimizes the devastating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Jay L. Alberts, a Parkinson’s disease researcher at Emory University in Atlanta, participated in a bike tour across Iowa with a patient to raise awareness about the disease, according to the Times.

After the first day of riding, though, something unexpected happened. One of the patient’s symptoms, handwriting that could become unreadable, improved dramatically.

After that, Dr. Alberts started a series of experiments with patients on tandem bicycles. The early results focus on whether exercise can help combat the disease and also — more importantly — whether intense, forced workouts affect brains differently than slower, easier workouts.

Studies have shown that forced exercise is typically more beneficial for the brains of animals. Continuing research is analyzing how forced exercise, rather than voluntary exercise, may have a beneficial impact on the physical and mental health of people.

After eight weeks of hourlong sessions of forced riding, most of the patients in Dr. Alberts’ study showed significant lessening of tremors and better body control, improvements that continued for up to four weeks after they stopped riding, according to the Times.

The tool of choice for these experiments is a tandem bicycle, which is also my tool of choice for a great deal of my own cycling.  My patient (and strong!) wife can readily attest to the fact that our tandem riding often turns into forced exercise when one of us prefers to ride easier or shorter while the other prefers to go longer or harder — now I can tell her that this forced exercise is GOOD for us!  🙂

Thanks for reading!

Thanks, Jim


James B. Reed

NY & PA Bicycle Accident Attorney

Ziff Law Firm, LLP

Mailto: [email protected]

Office: (607)733-8866

Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)