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Pedaling for Parkinson’s

Pedaling For Parkinson’s was founded by Dr. Jay Alberts, a neuroscientist and researcher at the Cleveland Clinic, and Cathy Frazier, a woman living with Parkinson’s. While riding a tandem bike at RAGBRAI in 2003, they discovered that cycling reduced Cathy’s symptoms. This experience led Dr. Alberts to study the effects of aerobic exercise (and cycling in particular) on cognitive and motor function through a project funded by the Davis Phinney Foundation in 2009.

Five cyclists wearing Pedaling for Parkinson's gear riding on a road next to an open field. In the foreground is neuroscientist and PFP co-founder, Dr. Jay Alberts, on a 3 seater bike with his two kids in Iowa.

The results of that research defined a therapeutic protocol that was subsequently deployed in a few cycling studios across the country. Delivering almost immediate results, the test environments were converted to indoor stationary cycling classes that quickly became available to people living with Parkinson’s, and thus Pedaling for Parkinson’s was born.

Since 2013, Pedaling for Parkinson’s has taken hold in YMCAs, gyms, and other community spaces across the country. Taught by local instructors, these accessible classes engage participants in a simple protocol three times a week and are proven both scientifically and anecdotally to help people with Parkinson’s feel better and live well today.

In 2023, the founder of Pedaling for Parkinson’s, Dr. Jay Alberts, chose the Davis Phinney Foundation to become the stewards of this innovative and effective program. With Davis’s roots in cycling and the Foundation’s history as an advocate for exercise, this was a natural next step to ensure the sustainability and broad availability of this program for people living with Parkinson’s across the country (and, soon, globally).

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