Steve Quam’s Parkinson’s Awareness Mission– He’s Riding Again!

Steve Quam’s Parkinson’s Awareness 2015

2015 Trip Diary




This posting completes the 2015 Parkinson’s Awareness Mission-The Missing Link journey. [Stay tuned for a 2016 venture TBA.]

Now here is THE REST OF THE 2015 STORY…

Saturday, 7/11/15: After breakfast, I said my “goodbyes” to Verlla & Tom and jumped on my bike. Well, at my age I don’t “jump” on anything. I carefully eased my leg over the top tube, clipped into the left pedal and gently started pedaling as I clipped into the right pedal being sure to not impart too much torque so that I would not spin the rear wheel on the gravel driveway and thus avoid the embarrassment of falling on my derrière in front of my hosts. Within a half mile, my new hosts, Pastors Hazel and Steve, pulled me over and introduced themselves. They hauled my bicycle trailer to their home, making my burden much lighter for the day’s ride. Each of them pastor 3 churches (Yes! that adds up to 6 churches total). Eventually, Pastor Hazel hauled my trailer all the way to my next host church way beyond their 6 churches. They anticipated my every need. Their home was filled will beautiful art works, many done by Pastor Hazel’s late brother. He had tremendous talent. Among so many artistic modalities, he sketched images of people he encountered on blank matchbook covers. Pastor Hazel honored me and her brother’s memory by offering for me to choose one for myself. I picked the one entitled “Amy”.

Sunday, 7/12/15: Both of the pastors wanted me to join them and share my Parkinson’s Awareness Mission at their churches. Since there is only one of me (I haven’t been cloning around recently), they had to flip a coin. Pastor Steve won. His congregations were very receptive to my mission. My bicycle & trailer stayed in 2 of Pastor Hazel’s churches and I slept in the fellowship hall of one.

Monday, 7/13/15: Pastor Hazel and parishioner, Leon, joined me for breakfast in Medina, ND, another (unknown) restaurant patron treated us. Apparently that patron noticed the Davis Phinney Foundation banner on my bicycle trailer as they were leaving and decided to give their support. This world is filled with wonderful, good people. We rarely hear the stories of those people. After breakfast we parted company without a firm plan of where I would spend the night and where Pastor Hazel would leave my trailer. We decided to meet each other at an Interstate 94 Rest Area to see if anything firmed up and to get a better idea of how far I could go that day, given that I was free of my trailer’s weight and I had a tailwind. The hills were tolerable. I made it to a church in Valley City, ND, 64.8 miles for the day. This is the farthest distance that I’ve pedaled in one day since I completed the Copper Triangle in 2011.
Along the route, I met an interesting long distance motorcyclist on an ’84 Honda Intercepter. He was suffering from several maladies, but keeps on riding.
I met Anita, the host church’s Administrative Professional in Valley City, ND. She made sure that I was oriented to her church and that I had everything I needed to spend the night there. Pastor Hazel had left my bicycle trailer there with special banners she had created. These clearly displayed my Web Site: www. (SQPD.US).

Tuesday, 7/14/15: I said “farewell” to Anita, who was back on duty, and left the church in Valley City, ND, at 7:45 AM. With such an early start and the success of the high mileage day of yesterday boosting my confidence, I had high hopes of another good day. I was even entertaining the idea of making it all the way to Fargo, ND. But as I was physically struggling with extreme fatigue to even make it to the more reasonable goal of Casselton, ND, I then had both tires of the bicycle trailer go flat. I was dehydrated, totally exhausted and I had never changed a tire on this replacement trailer. Instead of the 20 inch tires that were on the old trailer, it has 16 inch tires which are less flexible and thus much harder to stretch the bead over the rims. With my finger strength waning throughout the day as well as throughout the years, I was in danger of not being physically capable of completing the task. After a considerable length of time, I somehow finally finished the job. Using my last bits of energy, I got to Casselton, ND, to meet my host, Pastor Randy. We left the bicycle at his church and he hauled me and the bicycle trailer to his beautiful home in Fargo, ND. There I met his wife, Stacie, daughter, Micah & sons, Holden and Braden. I was allowed to use the “mother-in-law suite” as she was out of town at the time.

One of Pastor Randy’s interests is restoring old VW’s and participating in the local VW club. He showed me his 1971 Kharmen Gia convertible which was on rollers and hadn’t been started in a year. He rolled it out, jacked it up, removed the rollers, aired the tires, and promptly started it up without even needing to charge the battery. I was privileged to get a downtown tour of Fargo, ND in said vehicle, naturally with the top down as its first passenger in 2015. Randy mentioned that their Club was hosting a car show in one and a half weeks and that several members and their cars were meeting at the local TV station tomorrow morning for an interview as publicity for that Event. He asked if I had any interest in joining them. As a car enthusiast, I couldn’t and wouldn’t say “no”. He has also recently obtained a 1981 Westfalia Volkswagen camper microbus which he plans to restore. That fascinated me since I used to own a 1970 version of the same thing.

Wednesday, 7/15/15: Hopping in the Kharmen Gia first thing, I joined Pastor Randy for a ride to the TV interview where several VW Club members spoke promoting their upcoming Car Show. Then he took me for the Kharmen Gia’s longest drive since he has owned it: back to my bicycle which had been left at his church in Casselton, ND. I still needed to complete my last day’s ride from Casselton to Fargo.

The weather was beautiful. I started out on back roads and eventually got on I-94. Later I exited into Fargo on Main Street. For a bicyclist, the problem became road construction, as the road narrowed down to two lanes with no place for me to go and no way for cars to get around me. Then a road worker directed me off the highway onto a frontage road that soon dead ended. Then I was stuck with no way to get back in line with the busy traffic and no way to continue forward. After some time I got across to a business’ parking lot on the other side of the highway. From there I was able to continue from business to business and eventually on to sidewalks. I was ready for a break and it was lunchtime. I found a fast food restaurant. While eating and checking my email, I learned that there was a problem with AmTrak and the train that I was scheduled to take in the middle of the night to Minneapolis was canceled. I would have to rebook on a train later in the week. Calling Amtrak to rebook naturally meant being put perpetually on hold and also being cut off at times. In the meantime, I was watching a nasty storm approach. I eventually got scheduled for a train to leave Fargo TWO days later ! As I got back on my bicycle, the storm soon caught up with me. It was the worst I have ever experienced while bicycling: winds of 50 miles per hour and more, torrential rains and lightening. I also missed a turn and went far out of my way. Are we having fun yet?

Thus concluded the missing link of 760 miles, Havre, MT, to Fargo, ND. Added to the 3,220 miles that had been done in 2014 completes my 3rd solo bicycle ride across the USA, Bellingham, Washington to Edisto Island, South Carolina, 3,980 miles. The unfortunate delay in the 2014 journey, postponing its completion to 2015, occurred due to an accident in early July 2014. I was struck by a car as I approached Havre, MT. I was able to restart the journey a few weeks later in Fargo, ND, and continued the eastbound journey to Edisto Island, SC.

Thursday, 7/16/15 – Saturday, 7/18/15: I enjoyed extra time with my gracious hosts, Pastor Randy & his wife, Stacie, due to my train delay. I finally made it back to Minneapolis on Saturday, July 18, 2015. Figuring it was a piece of cake bicycling from the St. Paul train station to my sister, Eileen, & her husband, Eddie’s home in Minneapolis, I ventured out and promptly got hopelessly lost. After finally getting my bearings straight, I broke an axle on the trailer. Eileen and Eddie to the rescue!

Sunday, 7/19/15: It was great to spend a little more time with my sister, Eileen, and her husband, Eddie, as I got my trailer axle repaired and made other preparations for the next part of my trip. I had successfully completed my goal of finishing the MISSING LINK in time to drive out West and train at high altitude in the Rocky Mountains to acclimate for the Copper Triangle. This one day ride covers 78 miles, with peaks above 11,000’. It is a fundraiser for the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s and I had planned to participate for the 3rd time. I WAS ON TARGET despite the train delays!

7/20/15-7/28/15: Leaving Minneapolis, I drove to my brother-in-law Rod’s, parent’s home in Waverly, Nebraska. Jack & Bev were gracious hosts with food and fellowship, giving me the rest that I needed before my week of training in Southern Wyoming. My home base at Ryan Campground in the Snowy Range of the Rocky Mountains is not nearly as comfortable as my hosts’ “bed and breakfasts”. Rides from the campground at about 8,400’ elevation to Libby Flats at just under 11,000’ elevation approximated the demands of the upcoming Copper Triangle.

Highlights of my training included riding the only bicycle that I bought new (in 1972) that I still ride. I couldn’t understand why the derailleur wrapped itself around the spokes of my rear wheel. I had just replaced that derailleur only 30 years ago! This 43 year old bicycle is considerably lighter for the demands of the Copper Triangle than my coast to coast (not coaster) Surley Long haul trucker which had done such a yeoman’s duty completing the Missing Link. I tried to make repairs on the road, but the derailleur and chain were so locked up that I couldn’t even PUSH the bike. Fortunately an angel appeared: a fellow Ryan Park camper who hails from Toronto. He carried me and said bicycle the 10 uphill miles back to the Campground in his SUV. I adapted my picnic table to serve as both a bicycle work stand and a vice to make repairs. It seemed to work after a short test ride, but by that time, the day was shot! The next morning, I was ready to get back on track with my training. I headed up the mountain towards the summit. Several miles into the ride, the derailleur repeated its errant behavior: wrapping ITSELF around the rear wheel again. Luckily, I was able to free up the chain enough to coast back to the Campground at Ryan Park. Now I had to call in the big guns and drive the 40 miles across the Pass to Laramie, WY in hopes of finding a savior. PEDAL HOUSE’s owner/mechanic had a prize collection of vintage racing bicycles and immediately replaced my derailleur on my ancient Lambert bicycle. WHEW!

The next day I was able to truly get back on track and successfully ride to Libby Flats. My confidence was adequately boosted with that ride. With further trouble free training on the Lambert, I felt up to the Copper Triangle challenge.

Wednesday, 7/29/15: This year I was honored to join Wendy’s Crew fundraising for Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s. I met Wendy two and a half years ago when we were both involved with creating the free Exercise DVD the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s has produced & distributed to people with Parkinson’s, as well as others who support those of us with this malady. At that time I was also honored to meet her husband, John Paul, who I have consulted with over the years concerning ways to enhance my efforts to bring awareness to Parkinson’s disease. In order to match the scheduled time to meet John Paul at their home, I got up at 5:30 AM, broke camp and was out of there shortly after sunrise. The temperature was so bitter cold that my hands froze and could not release the hooks on the tent until I started up the car with the heater on to thaw out the frozen fingers. Soon I was on my way before anyone else in the campground stirred. Wendy and John Paul hosted me on this day, which was really beneficial because I needed to pick up Jeanne, my wife & care partner, at the Denver Airport early the next morning, Thursday, the 30th. They not only made me feel a part of their team, but also a part of their family. Wendy was kind enough to let me practice her alto sax. I missed playing my own, which was too bulky to bring on the trip.

Thursday, 7/30/15: Jeanne’s flight was quite late, however I was unaware of that fact until we finally met up. The airport security guards were intolerant of me waiting near the arrival area exit even though I had found an unobtrusive place to pull over that bothered no one. Unable to find the “cell phone waiting area”, I was destined to a life of driving ‘round & ‘round, until I either spotted Jeanne waiting for me or someone else I wanted to “pick up”. Low and behold, Jeanne arrived first, WHEW ! We traveled West until we were out of the airport congestion & found a restaurant for breakfast, or was that “lunch”, maybe “dinner”. Having fine tuned our tummies, I remembered that I had forgotten something at Wendy & John Paul’s. We checked the map & decided it was not too far out of our way to stop there. We had the good fortune to get there while Wendy & John Paul were still at home. That was GREAT because Jeanne had not yet met them in person. That gave the four of us a wonderful opportunity to get more acquainted. Jeanne & I eventually headed to Leadville, Colorado, the highest elevation city in the country at over 10,000’, for a good night’s rest before a very full weekend of Copper Triangle activities.

Friday, 7/31/15: After a motel breakfast, we put the bicycles back together, and did a ‘shake down’ ride from the motel to my starting point for tomorrow’s Copper Triangle ride. More about when Jeanne rode my Surley Long haul trucker later. We caught a bit of the Leadville local color, including a hearty lunch. Driving down to Copper Mountain ski resort a bit early, we checked out the Vendors as they set up before the Ride Packet Pick Up tables opened.

It was great to meet up with my friends at the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s at Copper Triangle related events and get connected with additional members of Wendy’s Crew after we reconnected with Wendy & John Paul on the Mountain. Wendy was kind enough to let me play her alto saxophone as background music during part of the dinner’s festivities. It was a pleasure to meet the rest of Wendy’s Crew & sit with them at the special dinner that included Davis Phinney & his wife, Connie Carpenter (an Olympic Gold Medal winning bicycle racer). I had a brief opportunity to talk to my friends, Davis & Connie privately. What an inspiration & honor!


Saturday, 8/1/15: We got up early to prepare for a 4:30 AM start. I was surprised that they would have us start so early in the dark. But, then it became obvious that they had planned ahead as there was a full moon adequately lighting the way. We left our motel room at 4 AM. On my Surley long haul trucker, Jeanne escorted me to my starting point in Leadville, while I rode my 43 year old Lambert bicycle trailer free & unencumbered of the usual heavy weight in my panniers. After all the Copper Triangle hoopla we experienced yesterday, I was baffled to find no one else there at the starting point. I must have gotten here late and I was the last one. Maybe I got my time mixed up with change of time zones coming from the Southeast. Regardless, I started on Hwy 24 at 4:30 AM. I soon arrived at my first rest stop, Tennessee Pass (Elevation 10,424’), which was surprisingly called “Aid Station #2”. Maybe it’s the new math?! The aid station workers were ready for me & I was surprised to hear that I was the FIRST bicyclist, when I thought I was the LAST bicyclist. At this stage in my life, being confused no longer bothers me as it happens so often.

So, I continued on my way on Hwy 24 toward the next rest stop at Minturn, CO. Of all things, I encountered a testy climb, Battle Mountain. It didn’t look bad on the map, but it sure was bad on the road! When I finally crested Battle Mountain, it was easy street downhill into Minturn, which was oddly named “Aid Station #3”. Again I was greeted with helpful hands and heart with plenty of food and drink, and informed I was the FIRST bicyclist. I find this really confusing as I am the slowest bicyclist in my local bicycle club. Fed & refreshed, I continued on my way to a confusing entrance to a bicycle path off Hwy 24, but parallel to I-70. Finally I started to encounter other bicyclists, coming from where? Yes, behind me!!! To my dismay the path turned upward. Many bicyclists reached my 3rd rest stop, AKA “Aid Station #4” at the base of Vail Pass before me. That is where I met up with John Paul and most of my other teammates from Wendy’s Crew. He rode at my painfully slow pace with me for a considerable length of time, as did other teammates and friends. As the route steepened and continued on ‘forever’, I was soon stopping very often, totally fatigued. My kind escorts one by one finally graciously accepted my urging for them to continue on, I would be fine. By mostly pushing my bicycle, interspersed with short distances of pedaling, I arrived at my 4th rest stop at what? “Aid Station #5”? Vail Pass. As it is often said about life: “it’s all downhill from here.” As I coasted into Copper Mountain at 4 PM, completing 55 miles in 11 ½ hours to throngs of people, I felt like I was finishing the end of the Tour de France. I felt like all this attention was overdone for being only the end of the first day of my 3 day ride. Soon my first contact with the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s in 2010 and now my close friend, Cindy found me in the Chow Tent. Although our time together was all too brief, I know Cindy & husband, Dean, who had driven all day from Austin, Texas, to be part of this exceptional event are superb supporters in the Parkinson’s community. That evening our friend, Lauren, invited us and other friends for dinner. We met some truly fascinating people who are benevolent supporters of people with Parkinson’s. Among them was my special friend & a Person With Parkinson’s, Margaret, who escorted me for an entire day on my coast to coast bicycle ride in 2012. I had also gotten the golden opportunity to meet up with her at the 2013 Copper Triangle and we had not seen each other since. It was great to spend some time with Polly, my friend, and the executive director of the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s. That night we were staying at the Copper Mountain Resort, so it was a short walk to our bedroom from Lauren’s festivities.

Sunday, 8/2/15: I wasn’t sure what the starting time was. We weren’t given a specific starting time for today’s ride, and we felt no particular need to rush since only 23 miles of the route remained. After we had a nice breakfast, we realized we had not really noticed anyone clearly preparing for a serious bicycle ride. The fact that no one else was around surprised me. Mounting the Surly once again, Jeanne was kind enough to escort me since the day’s goal was the steep climb to Fremont Pass, Elevation 11,318’. I was glad to have Jeanne’s support because it was a steep, steep climb. It was a beautiful day, and the sun was high in the sky, so I didn’t feel a need to take all the warm clothing that I had worn the day before. After hours on our respective bicycles, we oddly never saw another bicyclist or even a remnant of an “Aids Station”. Fortunately we had remembered to pack some fruit & snacks to share between us. But then we got to a point where the temperature was starting to drop as storm clouds rolled in. Then it occurred to me: I had no warm clothes nor rain gear! I got chilled even though I am originally FROM Minnesota (now we live in South Carolina). We were approaching 11 miles and it had taken us 6 hours. Jeanne coasted down the mountain in 45 MINUTES to get the car as I continued the climb toward Fremont Pass. She got back up the mountain with the car as the wind was picking up. By the time my bicycle was secured in the car, the rain had started. Time to rest for the evening in a nice warm & dry room.

Monday, 8/3/15: Disappointed, but not daunted, I was ready to finish the Fremont Pass climb and whatever else it took to complete the loop to Leadville where I had started only 2 days before. Now I realized we had stopped only a short distance below Fremont Pass. I bicycled the last 12 miles of the Copper Triangle in 1 hour, with only one forced ‘break’. Jeanne wanted to take some pictures of me with the Pass’ elevation sign. She was hoping to drive ahead, unload the Surley and bicycle back to where I was, and then escort me on to where she had parked the car. She was only successful with her goal just before the last climb into Leadville. Jeanne coasted about ½ mile from the car, then climbed with me that last mile. Again, no “Aid Stations”, no cheering crowd like I received the previous Saturday even though then I was among the final riders to cross the ‘finish line’. Anti-climactic? Not really. If I had continued, I realized that my Copper Triangle attempt in 2013 was going to take even longer than my 2011 ride. I had started at 3:15 AM & had to crawl in the SAG at 9:30 AM. I was becoming a danger to other cyclists due to the frequent stops because of my fatigue. It was a difficult decision for me to make as my 2013’s Parkinson’s Awareness mission was focused around that ONE ride. The SAG driver asked me where I wanted to go. I said, South Carolina. He said he couldn’t do that for me, but he could drop me off at the last “Aid Station” such that I could coast down the last 6 miles to the 2013 Copper Triangle finish. I took him up on his offer. So today, I didn’t have the crowds around me, but I had the strongest supporter of my life, of my journey with Parkinson’s and bringing awareness to living well with Parkinson’s cross the imaginary finish line by my side, my wife, Jeanne.

I’ve heard rumors that some people have actually done this ride in one day. As a matter of fact, I did complete the entire ride in one day in 2011. I set the record for the slowest completion of the Copper Triangle in one day: 14 hours and 41 minutes.

Post Script: I want to give some suggestions to the organizers of the Copper Triangle.

Play down the first day and play up the subsequent day(s). I actually think with a little more support and organization, you could reduce this from a 3 day ride to a 2 day ride.     ; – )


After the completion of the bicycle ride to LEADVILLE:

August 3, 2015: As we were leaving the Copper Mountain area, we drove on to Dillion & met most of WENDY’S CREW so Angie could sign the book she co-authored with her dad, John Paul. Jeff sacrificed his bicycle cap as a further memento of the support Steve received for being a member of Wendy’s Crew. It was either that, or Jeanne just said, put a lid on it. It was great to have one more opportunity to see Bob & Janie, & of course, Wendy. What a Crew! As we drove on toward Denver, we called Margaret (see 8/1/2015 for further background) & Dave and spent the night after a delightful Chinese dinner and a brisk walk around their neighborhood lake. She has a bicycle so light Steve could lift it with one finger. In contrast, you would probably need a forklift to elevate Steve’s loaded touring bike and trailer.

August 4, 2015: The morning graced us with a photography session. Margaret took photographs of us and created wonderful portraits, unlike our usual t-shirt, sunglasses and hat versions. Getting more into the swing of face to face (rather than email or phone calls) introduction of Jeanne to Steve’s former hosts, we contacted Paul & Barbara. We arrived shortly before Paul returned home on his typical mode of transportation: a 60” diameter front wheel Penny farthing. What a thrill to step back in time, yet realize this serves as his main daily transportation now in 2015 rather than the 1890’s.

August 5, 2015: Missing a few attempted connections, we drove hard the remainder of eastern Colorado and 3/5ths of the way across Kansas. This allowed us to make the delightful connects starting early the next day.

August 6, 2015: We started reconnecting with Steve’s multiple years’ hosts at breakfast with Terry & Karen. We put enough miles on the odometer to meet up with Catherine for an early lunch in Emporia, KS. At her suggestion we visited a bicycle shop that specializes in second hand rides: used bicycles & bicycle parts. A Japanese bicycle touring frame from the 1980’s about Steve’s size was brought to our attention. The frame appeared straight & serviceable, & included a number of useful parts. It is now part of our menagerie. We probably have enough parts at home to make it a complete bicycle for our son, Mikkel. Needless to say, it has become another item on the ‘to-do list’ as if Steve has nothing better to do with his time. Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha !!!! By dinner time we had made our way to Johnna and Tim’s on the Kansas-Missouri border. All of our connections today had hosted Steve several times. Tonight, they welcomed both of us to spend the night.

August 7, 2015: A drive through Adrian, MO too early in the morning to make a house call, Steve pointed out the sponsoring church. A few pictures of the area helped photographer Jeanne to get a better sense of Steve travels. By noon we reached Columbia, MO and found Pastor John and his lovely bride, Taffy, available to lunch with us. After a nice relaxing meal and great fellowship, we journeyed on to Jeanne’s neck of the woods as a child. A dinner visit with Bob and Nancy and the visiting extended family on our way to Jeanne’s cousin’s for the night meant we had made our way virtually across Missouri in a day with many delightful meetings (and meals) along the way. Gary & Crickett welcomed us with an ideal dessert, served by their visiting daughter & granddaughter. A good night’s rest was in store.

The dawn (August 8) brought another day to connect with family in the area: Gary’s parents and staunch supporters of Steve during his travels. This was one town that Jeanne didn’t need to be introduced in! The only figment of one’s imagination is due to the rare sightings, since Jeanne moved out of state right after High School graduation (those who know Jeanne, know that has been MANY years ago). After the customary tour of special places in the area, we enjoys several hours of reminiscing and of course several games of pool. Uncle Blaine is an awesome pool shark with a great eye to plan multiple shots ahead. They are still navigating how life changes when you retire. Aunt Betty just retired Fall 2014 at age 86. Reluctantly, we closed our visit with the folks and headed south. The days of vacation are waning for Jeanne and there is barely enough time left to make the drive back to South Carolina. …but wait, if we continue south on I-65 in Nashville when the road construction sends us away from our usual easternly I-40, we’ll be less than a handful of miles from Jeanne’s niece who has also been Steve’s multiple trip host in Decatur, AL. Active and busy, Sonja’s family accepted our last minute call, and we slipped in one more wonderful visit with loved ones before the final drive home on August 9. We considered a stop in Birmingham at the Motorcycle Museum but wisely decided it was time to get home in time to rest and do the obligatory laundry before Jeanne’s work week began. What a fun couple of weeks for Jeanne meeting as many of Steve’s hosts from the past 6 years of Parkinson’s awareness bicycle and motorcycle rides as we could squeeze in! Steve has said it for years. Jeanne has known it to be true via phone calls and cyber contacts. But face to face contact remains the ideal confirmation that there are sooooooooooooo many grrrrrrrrrrrreat people in the world! Steve has found Living Well with Parkinson’s is so much more than words. It is a lifestyle, intentional, and abundant in blessings. That does not mean there are no hard places and rough days and moments. But it does mean that life can be more than the label of a disease.

Diary 2015 segment: Sunday, 7/5/15 – Friday, 7/10/15

Sunday, 7/5/15: I played “Amazing Grace” unaccompanied on my concert flute, during the offertory – not my best sound due to chapped lips, but it didn’t fall apart. I talked briefly during the service about my Parkinson’s Mission. Organist Melissa was very supportive to me during the service and to my mission. Pastor Dana had to leave quickly to make it on time to his 2nd charge. I talked more to individuals about Parkinson’s in the fellowship hall following the service, including a Person With Parkinson’s. I also talked separately with his Care-partner/wife. I then went on my way, cycling to the tourist town of Medora, ND, near Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I picked up the church key at the arranged location and had dinner at a local restaurant. I was good for the night.

Monday, 7/6/15: I pedaled up the steep climb out of town to Interstate 94 East. As I approached Dickinson, ND, completely drained, a Physical Therapist pulled me over, made a donation and gave me words of encouragement. I met a couple bicycling coast to coast going East to West: NY-Seattle. I saw another cyclist also going West on a recumbent. I got settled down thanks to Pastor Dick. He then met me for dinner, treating me. I’ve received such tremendous support.

Tuesday, 7/7/15: After breakfast, I hit the road. Anyway, I only hit the road softly, I didn’t hurt it. I had “fun” getting from the bike path onto Interstate 94 as I was leaving Dickinson, ND. After a few miles on the Interstate, I was able to get onto secondary roads. Both have their pros & cons. With no hosts lined up and limited resources available in Richardton, ND, I called the monastery there, Assumption Abby. I eventually talked to the Father in charge of “hospitality”. He said sure “what time will you arrive?” If I made it by 4:45 PM, he could set me up before church services (which they have 5 times a day) and I would join them for dinner directly afterward. If not, I would have to wait until after the service to get settled. I pushed it and arrived at 4:30 PM. The Father in charge of hospitality sent a monk out to greet me and teach me the ropes. That monk showed me my room, which he himself had renovated. He took delight in pointing out his special nuances. It had a sink & shower. The toilet was down the hall. He showed me where I could do laundry and places I could keep my bicycle & stuff out of the weather. Then the Father came and greeted me before they started church service. He then came to my room after the service to escort me to dinner. The dining room had a fabulous vista of the valley, which pretty much belongs to the Abby. They own 2,000 acres. The Father sat with me for dinner and filled me in on the history of the monastery. He patiently waited as I was the last to remain eating my dinner. He brought me back to my room and informed me what time he would came by my room to escort me to breakfast. I was then left to my own devices: always a dangerous thing. The shower felt good. I was able to do my laundry with no hassle.

Wednesday, 7/8/15: The Father in charge of hospitality escorted me to breakfast at the appointed time. He told me that the monks aren’t allowed to talk until after breakfast, but we could whisper. Through our various conversations during my brief stay, it was apparent that this Father knew a lot about music. It turned out that he was the Abby’s main organist. I told him I still had a little packing to do. He said that if I needed him for anything, he would be in his office, which was just across the hall from my room. So I sought him out there as my packing progressed. I asked if I could play my flute in the cathedral to hear the acoustics. He said sure and that he would be happy to come with me and show me the sanctuary. It was a place of incredible beauty. When I started to play, the sound was awesome. It reminded me of a recording I have of Paul Horn playing in the Taj Mahal. I played a variety of religious and secular songs while he listened with rapped attention. I was in 7th heaven. Feeling bold, I asked him to play the organ. WOW! The sound was indescribable. The low stops had such authority. He then prompted “listen to something softer” WOW! That was also incredible. With experiences like that, it was time to slither out the door (or become a monk there).

I decided to take Interstate 94 (a straighter route) and thus do 2 days ride in one day, to New Salem. There were few resources in the towns I would skip. I did face some challenges in the construction zones on the Interstate. I arrived on schedule even though I’d covered 50 miles (a lot for me to do in one day pulling my heavy trailer). I camped alone in the North Park “campground”. Not completely alone: the mosquitos were very hungry.

Thursday, 7/9/15: I broke camp at 9:30 AM, ate breakfast at the Sunset Inn Cafe, New Salem, ND. A kind couple, a Lutheran Pastor & his wife whom I had met and talked to the night before at dinner, gave me a coupon for a free breakfast plus a donation to the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s. There sure are a lot of good people in this world! At various times during this day’s ride to Bismarck, ND, I met 5 cross country cyclists that I stopped and chatted with, and saw two others that I waved “hey” to in passing. I really appreciate the camaraderie that long distance bicyclists share. Each have a fascinating story to relate. Jeff, the son of last year’s host Bev (who visited me in 2014 in the Havre, MT, Hospital Emergency Room, and served me in so many ways again this year), made sure I was well taken care of. He took time out of his very busy schedule to meet me, listen to my mission & story, continuing the great hospitality that has become the norm for my Parkinson’s Awareness Mission coast-to-coast bicycle sojourns. With the great support I’ve experienced from both him and his parents, it is obvious that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

For these 3, 4 and sometimes 5 month trips, I can only carry one pair of street pants made of light nylon with a built in belt and zip off legs so that it can multitask as shorts and swim trunks. Because the pants have such unique features, I’ve used and repaired (several times) the same pair on each trip since 2010. Well, this time the zipper failed beyond repair. After dinner, I walked into the first clothing store I could find, and instantly found a pair that fit me on sale for a reasonable price AND had these exact features. Yes, God’s Grace has been like a bubble around me manifesting itself in more ways than I can count.


Friday, 7/10/15: What first appears to be a possibly negative situation always seems to have a silver lining. Case in point: while bicycling on my way through Bismarck, ND, I had a flat. I know, it was only flat on the bottom, but turning the wheel didn’t help. Plan “B”: find the reason, remove the offending object, replace the tube, remount the tire, pump it to the desired p.s.i., reinstall the wheel and repack everything. Oh! I forgot the most important thing: educate a whole schoolyard full of young day-care students. They all stopped playing and grouped around the yard fence near me asking great questions. I was having so much fun teaching them, that there was no need for the usual four-letter words that frustration sometimes brings out. It dawned on me (like the sun that morning) that my mission that morning was teaching them the art of bicycle repair and not whatever other agenda I had on my mind.

Mission accomplished, I picked up some groceries, maps, did a 5 mile stint on Interstate 94 and then took back roads to Sterling, ND. There it was great to meet Verlla, Tom, their son and a fellow church member and friend. The son was fixing the friend’s car. He lives in Bismarck, ND. I guess he does “house calls”. Naturally, I was well fed and appreciated the comforting shower. Because I have the loss of smell often associated with Parkinson’s, I can only imagine how much Verlla and Tom appreciated it too.


Diary 2015: Thursday, 6/25/15 – Saturday, 7/4/15


Thursday, 6/25/15: I broke camp at the city park in Saco, Montana, to eat breakfast at the Cabin Cafe. There I met 2 young ladies bicycling coast to coast and then a middle aged man from Tampa, FL, going from Seattle to Washington DC. Later it appeared that he was bicycling with another older gentleman, however, I didn’t meet that person. As I arrived at a convenient store at the Western edge of my destination town for the day, Hinsdale, MT, the above mentioned 4 showed up plus an older couple from Northern British Columbia, Canada and a middle aged man from England who started in San Diego and was going hither and yon for about 9,000 miles to New York. He had already visited Jasper, Alberta, Banff, Waterton Lakes, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. After all my new bicycling buddies moved on to bigger and brighter things, I meandered on to the Sweet Memories Ice Cream Shop. I had a hot fudge sundae on the house ’cause the owner didn’t feel it was up to their standards. It was fine for me. I asked the way to the Milk River Park. After I made it out the door, a man came out and told me that if the mosquitoes were too bad in the park, I could stay at the Lutheran Church. I asked, “Who do I need to contact to stay at the church?” He said “no one, they leave it open for cyclists”. So I had him point it out. It was just on the other side of the park next to the shop. I got settled in and went back to Sweet Memories for dinner quiche. I enjoyed practicing my flute in their sanctuary. Sanctuary much ; – )


Friday, 6/26/15: After enjoying a comfortable night of sanctuary at the church, it was again time for quiche at the Sweet Memories Ice Cream Shop. Rested and tummy full, I pedaled to the roadside rest area about 1/2 way to my host in Glasgow, MT. I arrived at Pastor Scott’s after cycling 29.5 miles in stifling 100 degree heat. I was wasted! He and his family were quite cordial however, in spite of their need to pack for a backpacking trip-the first for his grandkids. He made sure I was well fed. I slept soundly.


Saturday, 6/27/15: The Pastor and I had breakfast at the hotel in Glasgow. I then made my way to Bergie’s Ice Cream Shop at Nashua, MT, a much needed respite from the high heat. Refreshed, I bicycled into town and soon found Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. Fortunately, Shirley was there. She patiently listened to my story and my need for their church to host me that night. She showed me the class room where I would spend the night. Her husband showed up and they both gave me a tour of the church. After they heard me play my flute in the sanctuary, she decided that I needed a bigger audience. She said they would come back with more people to hear me play and listen to my story. Shirley returned with snacks. True to her word, 13 church members showed up including Pastor Bonnie and the Pastor’s mother. Wow! What a receptive, welcoming bunch! The Pastor was the best at “name that tune” as I played my flute. Before evening’s end, Pastor Bonnie made some phone calls arranging for me to be hosted tomorrow night by Pastor Greg’s church in Wolf Point, MT.


Sunday, 6/28/15: It was a hot, tiring haul 36.3 miles to Wolf Point, MT. Despite my best efforts, I became very dehydrated in the stifling heat. My front tire going flat 5 steep blocks before arriving at the hosting church was the last straw. My brain was fried and incapable of making even simple decisions. I tried to take a few small bags to the church, but could barely walk. Pastor Greg found me and took the heavy bags in his car to the church. By that time the sun was starting to set and the stifling heat was beginning to abate a little bit so I could change the tire and grind my way to the church. Being an avid cyclist, Pastor Greg made sure that my needs were met.


Monday, 6/29/15: Pastor Greg stopped by before I was on my way and showed me his custom touring machine. He assured me that my next way station would be UNlocked. And so it was. But before I left town, I ate breakfast, grocery shopped and several miles down the road, stopped at the last opportunity for amenities, a bar. Then came the longer, hot slog to Vida, MT. After dealing with such oppressive heat, arriving at the church was a great relief!


Tuesday, 6/30/15: The fellowship hall at the church in Vida was cool and comfortable. It was time to Circle the wagons—or at least get my wagon to Circle, MT. It was a hot ride, but probably slightly below the 100 degrees of yesterday. I paced myself and slowly made the grind to my goal. Nevertheless, I was wiped out. So, I stopped at the first gas station/convenience store as I entered the edge of town to get cooled down and refreshed. Church support at Circle was handled by the Sheriff’s office. I pedaled there, then to the grocery store and back to the assigned motel (near the gas station previously mentioned). There was plenty of room for the bicycle and trailer in my digs. I ate in the room and soon caught some “shuteye “.


Wednesday, 7/1/15: I was in a little better shape making the 25 miles to Lindsay, MT. On my way there, I met two young female East-to-West / coast-to-coast cyclists. I arrived in Lindsay by mid-afternoon. My hosts for the next 3 days, who actually live in Glendive, MT, came and picked me up (I’m such a pickup). What a special evening we had, dining out with their friends and at sunset visiting Makoshika State Park. One of the most beautiful and breath taking places I’ve NEVER heard of (see pictures on my photo page). The views were awesome! Andeen and Bruce even showed me where they were married in the Park, 35 years ago.


Thursday, 7/2/15: Dan, who is a friend, co-worker of Bruce’s, as well as a member of last night’s dinner party, carted me (but not my cart) back to Lindsay, MT. He was going that way anyway. With a tailwind and without the trailer, I made good time pedaling to Glendive, MT. Before I entered Bruce’s subdivision and before entering Glendive itself, I

got on Interstate 94 going East toward Wibaux, MT. Later, I got onto a side road and continued the equivalent of half the distance toward Wibaux. This meant that by the time I’d bicycled back to Glendive, I will have essentially covered the full distance to Wibaux. With Bruce’s & Dan’s help, I was able to cover 51 miles without pulling the heavy trailer on this hot day. We again had a good time eating out with friends.


Friday, 7/3/15: I took a REST day from CYCLING. I made an omelet for the 3 of us. So then how does one shoot time on a rest day? Well,… Andeen, Bruce and myself joined their friends, Loren and his wife, at a private out-door shooting range. Andeen brought 2 handguns that belonged to her father, a revolver and a physically smaller but higher caliber automatic. Their friends brought quite a collection of various handguns and a rifle of a type used by the Polish Army. The range was well set up. The only thing it lacked for me was the broad side of a barn. I tried various hand guns. The larger caliber ones had quite a kick. I enjoyed the rifle the most. With my total lack of experience with guns, I managed to jam several. The rifle finally had to retire from this day’s adventures. Loren later took it apart at home and was able to get it back in tip top shape. I’m best at shooting the breeze. After the shooting range we drove to a place on the river where they have a brief annual run of paddlefish. The season ends for this type of fish after just 100 fish have been caught.


Saturday, JULY 4th. Everyone enjoys a parade, right? Well, we did, with Glendive’s annual 4th of July PARADE. I hope there weren’t any emergencies at other places, because all of Glendive’s EMS vehicles were in the parade. My hosts were pointing out people they knew in the parade. Feeling left out, I said “I know that woman.” It was our waitress from the other evening when we were eating out with friends. Soon it was time to hit the road. Bruce and his granddaughter took me to the rest area at Wibaux, MT. I saddled up and made it across the state line to Beach, ND. I never found the beach, but I did find the church that was hosting me. It was open because Melissa was practicing the organ. She was so supportive as I explained that I would like to play my flute during the service the next day but I wasn’t sure if I could. You see, my lips had become chapped due to the heat, dehydration, and wind of 15 days of riding the bicycle. It was clear that I would not be able to get up to pitch (A440) for her to accompany me. So if I were to give it a try, it would have to be unaccompanied. Later, after Melissa had left, Pastor Dana came over and invited me to the parsonage for dinner. Pastor Dana Bar-B-Qued outside. It tasted great! I practiced my flute some more and hit the hay.

Tuesday, 6/9/15 ( through 6/12/15): I left our home in Anderson, SC, to begin my 2015 efforts  for Parkinson’s. I drove our son’s Volvo station wagon to Asheville, NC, with 3 flutes (Concert, Alto & Bass) and 2 bicycles inside: my Surley Long Haul Trucker to do the “missing link” pulling my Burley bicycle trailer 800 miles, Havre, MONTANA to Fargo, NORTH DAKOTA, and my “new” bicycle (well, the only bicycle that I currently own that I bought new, which was in the year of 1972). Yes, that’s right, I will do the Copper Triangle on my 43 year old Lambert bike, fund raising for the Davis Phinney Foundation (DPF) as a proud member of Wendy’s Crew.

In Asheville, I participated in a 4 day residential workshop for Alto, Bass & Contrabass flautists, conducted by Dr. Chris Potter, the national expert in low flutes. We practiced & performed duets, trios, quintets and with the entire ensemble. We got a tour and demonstration at the shop where Adell wooden flutes, Concert & Alto wooden head joints and Penny Whistles are hand crafted. I had the privilege of trying their Concert flute and their wooden Alto flute head joint. These instruments are prized & used by some of the world’s finest flautists. These creations produced a rich beautiful sound on the instrument’s full range, unlike any I had heard before.

Carol kindly let me try her Contrabass flute. What a rare experience! I’d never even seen one before in person. Many other attendees also let me try their prized flutes. I had been trying to go to this workshop for 5 years. It was a joy and pleasure that it worked out for this year.

Saturday, 6/13/15: I drove to Xenia, OHIO, to briefly meet up with my wife, Jeanne, and her 4 sisters during their “Sister’s Retreat”. I figured since I’d been the token male at the flute workshop, I may as well be the token male at the sister’s retreat 🙂

Sunday, 6/14/15: I played bass flute at Jimmy & Carol Lynne’s (brother-in-law & Jeanne’s sister) church in Xenia. Speaking of flutes & flautists, Jeanne’s (much) younger sister, Mona reminded me that I once took her on a date to hear & see Jean-Pierre Rampal. Jeanne would soon turn the Honda Insight toward home, as her vacation was drawing to a close. I was headed to Indianapolis, to spend the evening with Denise & Cork, friends I’ve known more than 40 years. Sharon (another of Jeanne’s sisters) needed a ride to her new home in Indianapolis, so she rode with me.

Monday, 6/15/15: I headed to Galena, where I was hosted last year by Pastor Patricia and her husband, Ben. Even though Pastor Patricia was scheduled to be out of town, Ben was willing and ready to host me again. This was the day I was hoping to meet up with coast to coast bicyclist for Parkinson’s, Henry Prescott. We had been in sporadic phone contact with each other, but had not met in person. It was a challenging drive for me due to on and off torrential storms and my tiredness/sleepiness. I also struggled with my iPhone GPS. I’m technologically challenged. Anyway, I met Henry at a hotel in a suburb of Chicago. Nice fellow! The weather got worse as I made my way several more hours to Ben’s. I arrived very late, having been on the road (including stops) for 15 hours.

Tuesday, 6/16/15: Continuing in the car, I still struggled with sleepiness as I made my way up along the Mississippi River to my sister, Eileen and Eddie’s home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Wednesday, 6/17/15: I prepared for my 2015 bicycle ride for Parkinson’s, the “Missing Link”.

Thursday, 6/18/15: I checked my bicycle, bicycle trailer (with Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s [DPF] banner attached) and the trailer’s BOB bag at the train station before having lunch with Eileen. Eventually I headed to the train station myself. Departure to Havre, Montana, was at 10:45 PM. Once on the train, I heard a voice say “You must be Steve?” My Hingham, Montana 2014 host, Bev, had told her friend to look for me. Bev knew my schedule & realized we were scheduled to travel on the same train from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Hingham’s closest train station, Havre. Bev alerted both of us to be watching for the other. We sat near each other to chat before we dozed off to sleep.

Friday, 6/19/15: I want to tell you about the independent nature of the Davis Phinney Foundation (DPF) banner that had been made for me in 2010 to display on my bicycle trailer as I traveled. This banner is tough. Last year it took a direct hit from a car going 75 MPH and stayed intact. Admittedly it now sports tire marks.

As you just read, I took the train from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Havre, Montana, where I will start to pedal the completion of the “missing link” (Havre, MT-Fargo, ND) from last year’s 3,220 mile coast to coast pedal, which will add another 800 miles to that total.

I disembarked the train in Havre, Friday afternoon, 6/19/15, to the open arms of my hosts. They quickly loaded my things into an open bed pickup. It was very windy, typical for the plains of Havre.

When we arrived at the hotel, I unfolded the bicycle trailer and no DPF banner was to be seen! The host and I searched the Highway and all around the train depot. Keith even had the agent check the “lost & found” to see if it had been turned in. NOTHING! It felt like my identity had been stolen, as it draws people to seek more information if I’m nearby and gives website information if I’m not. When I see the banner it reminds me of my mission and assures me that I am not alone, for I am a member of the Tribe living well with Parkinson’s.

It was time to move on with the days’ activities. I had a wonderful dinner with hosts Pastor Linda and Keith.

Later, I got a voicemail from the Shelby, Montana, train depot agent. Relieved that the DPF banner was located, the next question was how to get it in my hands. Shelby is 4-5 bicycling days WEST of Havre, and I was headed EAST the next morning! The train stations were closed now, so all answers would have to wait until morning.

Saturday, 6/20/15: A morning phone call to the Shelby agent facilitated the wayward banner’s reboarding the next Eastbound train. It arrived Saturday afternoon, 6/20/15, riding securely in a box on the train back to Havre. After so many years on the road with me, the DPF banner apparently shares the wanderlust. It is now securely restrained to the trailer, seat belts fastened ; – }

While I was waiting for the Banner to make it’s way back to me, I visited the cemetery in Havre, MT. My grandparents are buried there, but couldn’t find their plots. I think it has been 51 years since I last found them (by chance). I couldn’t remember any landmarks that would have helped me locate them in this rather large cemetery.

Having retrieved the Banner from the train station, I started to pedal toward Chinook in mid-afternoon. When I reached the end of this first day’s journey, I found the church there unlocked for me as promised. Soon I met Sharon and had a wonderful talk with her as she cleaned. After she left, Pastor Jack showed up. We talked and then he finished his sermon preparations.

Sunday, 6/21/15: I played “Amazing Grace” on my concert flute for offertory and later talked about my mission. I pedaled to Pastor Jack’s 2nd church (Harlem Presbyterian Church) and met Jack on the road in Harlem, MT, just as I entered town. Naturally the church was open and ready for my invasion.

Monday, 6/22/15:

Road kill report for the first 2 days bicycling: 4 skunk, 3 small birds of various kinds, 1 snake and 1 raccoon.

Yesterday I grocery shopped prior to going to the Presbyterian Church, so I hit the road well supplied. Pastor Jack had warned me about the mosquitoes I would encounter as I entered the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. I had reservations about that, and with good reason. They were nasty, tenacious little things. I also lost my nice safe shoulder to ride on. That part was soon solved when there was a paved side road I could use to get off Hwy 2. It added some mileage, but that was worth it as I rarely encountered another vehicle on that side road. I did encounter a whitetail deer that was hiding in the bushes at the side of the road, however. Then there was this very large cow wandering (wondering?) on the road. This was NOT free range. The mosquitoes were another matter. I couldn’t take a break from pedaling without being completely engulfed by these tenacious creatures. This became a problem since I tire so easily. It was with much relief when I connected with my hosts Polly and Edward in Dodson, MT. And such great host they are. I was immediately well fed, had a wonderful shower and was able to do laundry. They even invited the former mayor to interview me for a newspaper article and to join us for dinner.

Tuesday, 6/23/15: I played my concert flute for Polly and Edward. They even got the former mayor on the phone to listen. As I bid my farewells, Polly got out some mosquito spray, how thoughtful. She gave me the bottle. I then continued on my journey to the fine accommodations provided by the Lutherans in Malta, MT.

Wednesday, 6/24/15, was another beautiful day for bicycling, good weather and Polly’s pest control. I made it to Saco, MT. I ate lunch at the Cabin Cafe. As I was leaving a woman from Athens, GA, pedaled up. She was fully loaded, going coast to coast. We continued our conversation at a table in the Cabin Cafe. I enjoyed dessert as she had lunch. She then continued onto Glasgow, MT, as I stayed in Saco to camp in the city park between Hwy 2 and the very active railroad tracks.

May 27, 2015: Welcome to Steve’s 2015 diary. We thought we would take a moment to fill you in on a few things Steve has been doing in his ‘off season’. He continues to knock off Bucket list items: the music therapy presentation in American Sign Language interpreted into spoken English; and attending a Low Flute Camp. He was honored and enjoyed The Davis Phinney Foundation Victory Summit & Parkinson’s Community Weekend in Greenville/Spartanburg shortly after he reached the Atlantic Ocean last October. He has had wonderful opportunities for speaking engagements for the Landrum Parkinson’s Support Group, and later at The Cliffs at Glassy Mountain, Landrum, SC, and as team member on 2 weekend spiritual retreats; live radio show interview (see link on home page); presentations at Anderson County Library evening program and at the 2014 national music therapy conference; volunteer at regional music therapy conference; table at GAPS Spring Community STRIKE OUT PARKINSON’S walk; featured in Alabama district church newsletter (see link on home page); several music performances for holiday party, street music, and regularly for our church in his usual roles; exercise that included some bicycling; and the all important honey-do-listS Jeanne has created for him.

; -)

Steve will be leaving home on June 9 and will begin bicycling east from Havre, Montana on June 20, 2015. Keep your eyes tuned in for his updates to be posted here.


Steve Quam is a small part of a very large team. You are members of this team. The things that have been accomplished since 2010 have only occurred through all of us working together with our prayers, support and donations. Even though Steve was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2008, the Disease was first identified nearly 200 years ago. It’s a degenerative brain disease with no cure, and no definitive way to diagnose it except by autopsy. We don’t even know what precisely causes it. But working as a team we are literally changing the face of Parkinson’s. Here is just one example.

There is a Parkinson’s exercise group called MOVE IT OR LOSE IT where people are working out at levels far beyond what they could imagine. You would expect to see the anguished facial expressions of people exerting their all or the masked face of Parkinson’s. But what you actually see are friends laughing, smiling, and enjoying the increased freedom that exercise has given them. That freedom translates to a better quality of life since there is no magic pill, nor cure for Parkinson’s.

This is why Steve rides.

We have brought our message as far west and north as Fairbanks, Alaska, as far south as Tallahassee, Florida, and as far east as Italy since 2010. This is how: Steve rode his bicycle from the West Coast to the East Coast in 2010. A year later rode his motorcycle 16,000 miles round-trip to Fairbanks, Alaska. In 2012, rode his bicycle from the East Coast to the West Coast, and in 2013 blended those efforts and motorcycled his bicycle to Colorado, then bicycled the Copper Triangle. Since it was an even numbered year, in 2014, Steve started his THIRD solo coast to coast bicycle ride, and was able to complete 3,220 miles.

Having a safe, comfortable place to spend the night is greatly appreciated. Equally welcomed are meals because Steve burns 5,000 calories per day riding his bicycle. However, any donated FUNDS have NOT been used on these expenses. Steve and Jeanne have gladly shouldered the trip costs. All donated funds go directly to organizations that help people with Parkinson’s including the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s (DPF) whose mission is teaching people how to LIVE WELL today with Parkinson’s which matches the Quam’s philosophy¹ and approach to this disease. The Greenville Area Parkinson Society (GAPS) and the Anderson Area Parkinson’s Support Group also provide innumerable valuable programs to the Quams and many local families affected by Parkinson’s. For our friends to our north, the Parkinson Society Canada is similarly helpful.

Although it is an ODD numbered year, Steve will climb back on the bicycle to finish the Missing Link caused by the unfortunate accident last summer in Montana. This 800 mile stretch will complete his 3rd Coast to Coast ride. Immediately following that, he will again do the Copper Triangle in Colorado which includes bicycling over Fremont Pass at 11,318’. This year, Steve is honored to join WENDY’S CREW as part of the Copper Triangle fundraiser with the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s.

You can find a personal link to Steve’s donation page here.

Follow Steve’s (map) progress, read his diary, see pictures at


If you have any contacts for support along the route:

HAVRE, Montana to Wolf Point, MT to Glendive, MT to Dickinson, North Dakota to Fargo, ND

please notify Jeanne at                  Cell: 864-353-2711



Steve has been featured on the radio and in print! Please take a look at these excellent radio spots and magazine articles.
Listen to Steve’s Recent Interview on the Parkinson’s Radio Hour May 2, 2015

One of Steve’s hosts in ALABAMA during PAM 2014 just had an article about Steve included in the Northwest (Alabama) District UMC magazine. We received permission to have it posted, so here is the original link.

2014 Trip Diary
2014 Photo Gallery
2014 Photo Gallery – Part 2
2014 Trip Map
From the man who already rode his bicycle from the West Coast to the East Coast in 2010, who then a year later rode his motorcycle 16,000 miles round-trip to Fairbanks, Alaska, who then a year later rode his bicycle from the East Coast to the West Coast, and who then in 2013 blended those efforts and motorcycled his bicycle to Colorado then bicycled the Copper Triangle, now ST. MATTHEW UNITED METHODIST CHURCH’S OWN STEVE QUAM PLANS TO BICYCLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY FOR A THIRD TIME!

Watch Steve and Jeanne on Your Carolina TV!

In late May Steve will begin bicycling in northwestern Washington State. To be more Pacific; on Friday May 30, he will dip his wheels into that large ocean just West of Bellingham, WA, will ride across the northern part of the US with plans to arrive in the Minneapolis, MN area by August 28th (so he can be with his mother on her 102nd birthday! and two weeks later, in the same area, attend his 50th High School reunion), will then follow the Mississippi River, cross through Kentucky, and continue eastward until he reaches the Atlantic shore on Edisto Island, SC!

Steve Quam, a person with Parkinson’s disease, seeks to share a message of hope and encouragement, and to show that life dreams are still feasible even after a diagnosis of a chronic degenerative brain disorder. He is living the motto of the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s: It is possible to live well with Parkinson’s! Steve has been representing The Davis Phinney Foundation since 2010 and has been active in the Parkinson’s Support Group of the Upstate (SC) since 2008.

Let’s help Steve and Jeanne kick off this new trip!!! St. Matthew and members of the community are invited to join Steve for an Appetizer Social in the St. Matthew Family Life Center on Saturday, May 10th, at 6 PM. Bring along an appetizer/hors d’oeuvre to share and come enjoy scenes and stories from Steve’s previous cross-country and Colorado rides!

But wait, there’s more! You can bike with Steve! Even though we will have to go across country with Steve in spirit, we can ride with Steve during this kick-off weekend! If you want to bicycle with Steve during this event, here are your options:
1. Friday, May 9th at 9 AM, Steve will leave from his home in Anderson, SC, and bicycle about 35 miles to St. Matthew United Methodist Church.
2. Saturday, May 10th, Steve will leave from the gym parking lot on the lower level behind the Church (701 Cleveland St., Greenville, SC, next door to Halter YMCA) at 1 PM and bicycle the Swamp Rabbit Trail (bicycle path) to the parking area in front of Grandview Cemetery on Hwy 276, North of Traveler’s Rest, SC, the Northern most point of the paved trail.
3. For a shorter ride, you can join him at the parking area on the Northern most point of the paved Swamp Rabbit Trail at Grandview Cemetery, Hwy 276, North of Traveler’s Rest, SC, at 3PM to bicycle back to the Halter YMCA on Cleveland St. and next door to the Gym at St. Matthew United Methodist Church.
4. You can join Steve at any point along the Swamp Rabbit Trail in either direction.
5. Bicycle with Steve an hour, a day, a week or 5 months!

To learn more about Steve’s story, check out the following video developed by the Davis Phinney Foundation:

Steve’s story from Davis Phinney Foundation on Vimeo.

You can E-mail Steve and Jeanne at: You can gain more information about Parkinson’s, the Copper Triangle Ride and/or donate in Steve’s honor here/

You can also donate in Steve’s honor to his very supportive & informative local support group: Parkinson’s Support Group of the Upstate (PSGOTU):