Doug Bahniuk relished the idea of riding his bicycle through 900 miles of remote Alaska. This would be a rugged trip for any healthy bike nut but Doug is a bike nut diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease. He planned to use the trip to raise awareness of what those who suffer from PD are capable of. Then some thief stole the bike he had been training on and customizing for the 900 miles of bad road between Alaska's North Slope and the city of Anchorage.
Doug brings a certain brio, even bravado to his adventures. In a recent interview with Off and On, he scoffed at the tribulations that his proposed ride could have in store " I've learned to shrug it off, not feel sorry for myself, and concentrate on what I have to do. And I remember to feel joy. When all those things happen, I remind myself to feel pride, to enjoy the beauty, to enjoy the rain. I tell myself that I'm a tough SOB and I challenge the Gods to bring it on."
That's vintage Bahniuk, which makes this from his recent post on the theft of his bicycle seem especially poignant "It was gone. Stolen. I am crushed."
What can you do to help? Well, you could do what I did. Go to the donation page of the Davis Phinney Foundation, designated beneficiary of the ride, and drop a dime on Doug. Then fire them off a note explaining what inspired your donation. It doesn't have to be much, my guess is that any show of support now will pay big dividends to Doug's morale. We can't give Doug his bike back, but we can restore some of the faith in humanity the thief stole along with it.