CARBONDALE, Colorado — Steve Hovey was never one to sit back and let life’s unexpected twists and turns control his active lifestyle.
After he was diagnosed several years ago with Parkinson’s disease, the New Jersey resident said doctors advised him to slow down and to use medication to control his condition.
“I was only 49 when I was diagnosed,” said Hovey, who is participating in this week’s Ride the Rockies with a group representing the Davis Phinney Foundation out of Boulder.
“I had always been an avid cyclist, I exercised regularly and was a pretty healthy eater,” he said while relaxing in downtown Carbondale Monday afternoon after his second-day of the Ride.
About five years ago at a bicycling event in New York, he was introduced to the Davis Phinney Foundation.
Phinney, a former Olympic Bronze medalist and one of the top U.S. riders from the late 1970s until his retirement in 1993, was later diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
He started the foundation as an inspiration to other Parkinson’s sufferers to inspire them to continue living their lives and not just sit around waiting for a cure to be found.
Hovey is one of 12 riders from across the country who are part of the Davis Phinney Foundation team in this year’s Ride the Rockies.
“I decided to embrace the philosophy of Davis Phinney and not let Parkinson’s control my life,” Hovey said. “I just want to enjoy life and think about all the blessings we have, and that whole approach really resonated with me.”
Phinney Foundation Executive Director Polly Dawkins said the group includes three riders who have Parkinson’s.
“We have had incredible support along the way,” she said. “The ride was just so stunning today, I found myself in tears.”
Hovey said it’s the most aggressive biking event he’s ever done.
“I’ve done single-day century rides, but never a six-day stage event like this,” he said. “I hope I can make it all the way, that’s my goal. So far, so good.”