07 April 2010

Bikes are good for you: Parkinson's sufferer can still cycle

Remarkable videos published by the New England Journal of Medicine show a 58-year-old Dutch man with Parkinson’s Disease. He can hardly walk a few feet before suffering from the ‘freezing gait’ typical of the condition – yet he can ride a bike for miles with apparently no problems (both pics).

Of course, the disease has many forms, and we can’t generalise. In 1970s Yorkshire, for instance, Parkinson’s Disease was more familiarly know as the pathological desire to interview people (“Layzengenmen, wyou please welcome, Mister Binggggg, Crosbeeeeee!”)

But what other eponymous diseases have symptoms of note for the cyclist?

Bell Palsy – the furious and ineffective ringing of a towpath cyclist trying to pass a pedestrian deafened by their iPod
Binswanger Dementia – the blocking of cycle paths by council wheelie bins
Bloom Syndrome – the belief that flowers woven into a front basket make a female cyclist look attractively wacky
Bright Disease – the wearing of luminous yellow high-visibility jacket on a fine summer’s day
Brucellosis – delirium common in Australian legislature that believes helmets should be mandatory
Coats Disease – reduced vision caused by the cyclist in front having unfastened flapping outerwear
Down Syndrome – planning of cycle routes involving uphill trains followed by long freewheels
Tourette Syndrome – coprolalia endemic among taxi drivers
Turner's Syndrome – cyclist's belief that they can abruptly veer 90 degrees right or left across lanes of traffic without signalling

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