Originally published in Castine Patriot, August 29, 2019
Bicyclists hit the road for Parkinson’s
by Monique Labbe
Five dedicated cyclists from Castine are combining their passion for the sport and a shared interest in giving back to participate in this year’s New England Parkinson’s Ride in September.
The members of “Team Castine”—Gordon “Mac” MacArthur, Tom and Amy Gutow, Mary Tobey and Rob Thomas—came together organically, according to MacArthur.
“I had heard of the New England Parkinson’s Ride before but had not participated in the event. With the passing of Barb Thomas [Rob Thomas’s wife and Mary Tobey’s mother] earlier this year and the knowledge of at least two other Castine residents with Parkinson’s, I decided to see if the New England Parkinson’s Ride fit into my work schedule,” said MacArthur.
It did, and he reached out via social media to see if any of his local riders would be interested in joining him. The Gutows expressed interest immediately, and MacArthur signed the three of them up for the ride. Not long after, Tobey and Thomas joined the team as riders, and Thomas’s daughter Sarah signed up to volunteer at the start/finish line.
Team Castine is hoping that by taking part in the event, people in their community who are affected by Parkinson’s disease will know they have people rallying behind them.
“I wanted to honor Barb and her contributions to the community, especially the Adams School. She played a big part in my kids’ early childhoods. I also wanted the other members of the community who are dealing with this disease to know we were thinking of them,” said MacArthur.
The members of Team Castine have been busy training during the mornings, evenings and weekend hours, riding around the Blue Hill Peninsula and even as far as Belfast. MacArthur said that he also hits the stationary bike while at work on a ship in the Gulf of Mexico, as he will not be back on land before August 29.
The New England Parkinson’s Ride takes place in Old Orchard Beach on September 7. Riders can chose between 10, 30, 50 and 100 mile courses. MacArthur and the Gutows are planning on riding in the 100. The ride is put on in coordination with the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Each team member has been raising money to qualify for the ride, at a minimum of $150 each. The team’s goal is to raise $1,000. To donate to the team, or to a specific rider, go to fundraise.michaeljfox.org/new-england-parkinsons-ride/teamcastine.