Pedaling For Parkinson’s – Lanny’s Reasons to Ride

Photo of Lanny Thomas

Lanny Thomas’ positivity and drive shine through within minutes of meeting him — it’s no surprise he was the top fundraiser taking part in Pedaling for Parkinson’s in . We caught up with Lanny recently as he continues to train for this year’s 40-kilometre fundraising ride in beautiful Prince Edward County.

Lanny was diagnosed in . After the initial shock, it didn’t take him long to realize that community would be an empowering and vital part of his Parkinson’s journey. He reached out to Parkinson’s Canada to become involved with a support group. He was further inspired to get involved with fundraising for a cure. He ended up leading the organizing efforts for his local SuperWalk for several years.

“The more I learned, the more I realized how important it was to bring awareness about the disease. It’s also a community of wonderful people all working towards a common cause.”

Since his diagnosis, Lanny has embraced the importance of exercise to relieve his symptoms, from yoga to walking, but cycling has become his passion. It’s one he shares with his P4P team members, several of whom are also living with Parkinson’s. Even though they don’t all live in the same area, they’ve found ways to support one another during the pandemic.

“I upload my rides to the cycling app, Strava, and my team can see my progress and support me with a comment or shout-out. Of course, we are all looking forward to connecting in real life as we ride through the Prince Edward County countryside.”

In addition to the emotional connections he has made, the Pedaling for Parkinson’s event is important to Lanny because donation dollars go directly to research grants.

“I appreciate that the donations of those who support me directly fuel much-needed research to improve quality of life and ultimately find a cure.”

Last year, Lanny had an idea to bring awareness to his campaign and enlisted a friend to help create a video. Lanny wrote and recorded the script in the car after his friend shot a video of him riding. The result was spectacular and moving, which was proven by the response of strangers who reached out to Lanny after seeing it. Lanny found the process of making the video to be very beneficial and personally fulfilling, as do many others who choose to share their experiences, whether through videos, blogs or in support groups. He is motivated to continue whenever he revisits it, even if, as he says, “it always brings a little tear.”

For Lanny, mobilizing both physically and toward a cure has been empowering and beneficial to his health. Knowing that every kilometre he cycles is moving towards raising funds for research spurs him on, as has meeting the many other inspiring individuals involved in the cause.

He’s also become involved in helping others living with Parkinson’s to take up cycling. This winter, he provided technical assistance to Randy Brotman with setting up her virtual spin classes based on Dr. Jay Alberts’ protocol.

“That has been an awesome experience, and we’re hopeful that there will be more classes in the future for surrounding communities.”

Lanny’s passion and commitment to helping others as they manage their own wellness are an inspiration. He is equally committed to health and fitness as he moves through his own journey, no matter what.

You can register here for this year’s Pedaling for Parkinson’s fundraising ride. Rides are scheduled for in Prince Edward County, Ontario and in Summerside, Prince Edward Island or you can chart your own course as part of “Go the Distance” the online ride.

4 thoughts on “Pedaling For Parkinson’s – Lanny’s Reasons to Ride”

  1. Hi Lanny, Great article. It’s so nice to see you doing so well. This is Claire
    from the Support Group on-line.
    Best Regards, C

  2. Great to see how your spirit stays strong and your commitment to this cause is never ending. Keep up this wonderful work for a common goal. Proud if your accomplishments Lanny.


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