April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, a time when the Parkinson’s community comes together to raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurological disorder that affects movement, mood, and cognition. According to the Parkinson’s UK, an estimated 172,000 people will be living with Parkinson’s in the United Kingdom by 2030. Living with Parkinson’s can be challenging, but it doesn’t define who you are. There are so many inspirational stories and incredible characters whose lives have been affected by this disease.
One of those amazing people is Wesley, a professor who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014 and a Volt Bikes customer who owns a Volt Pulse which has helped him reclaim his independence and adopt a new sense of freedom in getting around. He kindly shared his story back in 2018 so we thought that a friendly catch-up after 5 years was due!
How many miles have you now covered on your Volt Pulse?
Oh – very good question. I’ve done approx 500 – 1000 miles on it (far less than I would like to have done but things like operations and other hospital visits tend to get in the way only too regularly).
How often do you use the bike?
When I got the bike I was using it for local trips to the doctors so weekly. Val, my wife has since decided that it’s not wise for me to go out and about alone on the main road (I have to agree with her on that one 😂) so perhaps for the past three years it’s been perhaps monthly during the non-winter periods.
What has been your best cycling adventure on your Volt to date?
Not exactly the best but the most significant “adventure” was when we were out on one of our local bike trails with two friends, one of whom is a GP. I had one of my “funny turns” while on the trip and we ended up with the ambulance being called out to me plus the logistical issues of getting the bike back in one piece given that I was in no state to ride it back myself. Apart from that I would give my stock answer of “whichever trip we happen to be on at the time” as I always love the freedom of being able to be out and about again which my Volt Pulse X gives me.
Is your wife still keeping up with you on her Volt Kensington? Is she enjoying her bike?
Val is indeed. She tends to turn the assistance levels to either minimum or off while I have mine at the upper end of the pit of necessity but she’s always been as fit as a flea and keeps up without any trouble at all. She loves her Volt Kensington, particularly the very traditional styling.
Now you’re an experienced Volt cyclist do you have any advice or tips for others with Parkinson’s that you would like to share?
- Try the bike out first,
- Budget for a heavy-duty bike carrier with towbar,
- Depending on just how one has been affected by Parkinson’s, always consider being accompanied by another cyclist when out and about (I need this but not everyone will),
- Similarly always take a mobile phone, emergency (including puncture) kit, weather gear, water and emergency nibbles,
- Always ensure that the battery is fully charged before using. I got caught out once on a local trip and given that I’m incapable of getting far at all without the assistance the bike gives me I found myself in trouble at the time,
- I not only wear a helmet but also elbow pads and hand protection nowadays.
Wesley’s experience with his Volt Pulse demonstrates the freedom and independence that electric bikes can provide for those with health conditions. We hope that you found his advice and tips useful, feel free to comment if you have any more or even better share your own story with Volt!
March 13, 2018
February 11, 2014
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