Bikers (as in motorcyclists) acknowledge each other in passing.  You see the subtle wave between the oncoming biker and the one you are following in your car.  There is a  connection between those who are out on the road, feeling that engine roar or purr (depending on the bike) beneath them.

Cyclist (as in bicyclists) also share a camaraderie.  Pedaling my way between Stanfield and Hermiston on 395 I was stunned by the sudden presence very very close to me.  “On your left” I heard the deep voice say. I knew exactly what to expect and that he expected me to hold my line so he could safely pass. The someone passing me was a tall lanky cyclist. He looked back and said “hope you are having a great ride” as he distanced me.  Coming down the hill by the water tower (yes the one responsible for many letters to the editor. You know… the trade mark watermelon replaced by “Watch Hermiston Grow”) I saw another riding pedaling up.  My speed was picking up and I hardly ever remove my hands from the handle bars.  The rider looked up and acknowledged me with a nod and a wave.  I manged to  return these friendly gestures.  There is an understanding between riders. And we acknowledge that with these greetings

When Anne and I first started riding together, I was very slow.  I am slow now so you can imagine what it must have been like for Anne to ride with me then  We planned to meet at the Mormon church (in contrast to my meet up spot with Nancy, the Last Chance Tavern).  I watched for Anne and when I spotted her, I  spotted another rider with her.  Anne must have acknowledged the rider coming in as she was headed out.  The rider turned  around to join her.  The very fit 60 something gentleman saw two women who looked like they were “riders” and decided to take another spin. We can really look the part wearing our bike shorts and jerseys, don’t ya know!  We  slowly pedaled out to Space Age and gentleman rider (GR) left us in his dust. We stopped to use the bathroom and hydrate.  After our defueling and fueling break, GR  pulled up.  “Where have you ladies been?” Um, well we had gotten there  in our own time, that was for sure.  We crossed the  highway and  rode out Echo Meadows . GR started commenting on Anne’s bike and giving riding advice.  His manner was not too appealing to Anne (she lets her thoughts be known) and  before too long he was at my shoulder offering cycling tips.  Not wanting to lose my balance, I ever so slightly turned my head to him and said “Look, its enough for me to stay upright on these skinny tires.  I don’t need your help right now!!”. I don’t make a habit of being rude to other cyclists, or really to anyone. It must have become obvious that neither Anne nor I were interested in improving our riding under GR’s tutelage that fine day. Another rider turned onto the road heading our direction.  GR acknowledged him, and was acknowledged back.  “See you girls, I am going to ride back to town”.  Off he went.  Harmless.  GR gave us alot to talk about in rides to come.

About 10 years ago I offered to help a young deacon with some accent reduction so he might be better understood by the congregation. Last fall he returned to our church as a priest. After the long passage of  time and the thousands of people he must have met in numerous churches he served in, he remembered my name! WOW I was impressed. He reached into his pocket and pulled out my business card.  He said “I called you but they didn’t know you there”. (How quickly one can be forgotten by some but remembers by others)  I saw him again on ASH Wednesday, the first day of Lent,  You know…the reason behind Mardi Gras?  I went to a midday service to receive the ashes, the symbol reminding us to repent and be saved…that we came from the d

ust of the earth and shall return there.  I ended up in line to receive the ashes from him.  He very seriously dispensed the ashes, reciting the brief prayer. And then it came, the acknowledgement, the  wink, a quick smile and twinkling eyes.  We shared a memory of a pleasant time long ago working together. 

A wink, a wave, a nod, a smile,  catching an eye across the room… in that split second of acknowledgement we understand each other. In this world on misunderstanding its a good place to be. Pray for more understanding.  Pray for more connections in this unconnected world. 

Published by Carol Clupny, author The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman's Remarkable Journey with Parkinson's Disease

I am a middle aged woman with Parkinson's Disease. When I was first diagnosed I spent a lot of time researching the disease. Seeing a video of a man in the advanced stages of the disease attempting to get out of his chair and then "freezing" as he tried to walk across the room got me off my butt and moving. Great adventures on the Camino de Santiago and with TEAM Pedaling for Parkinson's across IOWA, as well as the day to day adventures of life have lead me to writing. My first novel, a memoir, was published early 2019. It is called, you got it THE RIBBON OF ROAD AHEAD. Living with the degenerative neurological disease Parkinson's, ULTREIA is a word that guides me. I have chosen it as the name of my business ULTREIA BOOKS. It comes from Latin and old French and means "unfailing courage". In the old days, pilgrims would call "Ultreïa" to each other as encouragement "Go up, go further!" Nowadays we would say "You can do this thing". It takes courage to live with Parkinson's. May I face each day with unfailing courage. Ab Here is more about me; I was living an active lifestyle riding horses, hiking, climbing and snow skiing when at age fifty I was diagnosed with Parkinsons. Retiring from my career as a speech-language pathologist I decided to “take to the road” to battle the disease. My first steps, walking out her door to the mailbox, lead to trekking over 1000 miles of pilgrimage trails on the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain. A dusty bike discovered in the garage resulted in four rides on the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa with the Pedaling for Parkinsons Team. These adventures inspired me to write a memoir The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman’s Remarkable Journey with Parkinson’s Disease. I blogs about my everyday life as a middle-aged woman in the mid-stages of Parkinson’s disease. My honest, humorous, and casual narrative style brings the reader to an intimate understanding of my resilience and acceptance. My blog, sharing the name of my book ”The Ribbon of Road Ahead” can be found at After completing a Masters of Science in Speech Pathology from Eastern Washington University I received certification in School Leadership and Administration from Lewis and Clark College. I provided speech pathology services and later became a program director completing 32 years in the wide geographic expanse of eastern Oregon. Active in the Oregon Speech-Language and Hearing Association I received honors of the association and the presidential award for work on recruitment and retention of speech and hearing professionals. Il presented numerous papers and projects at local, state and regional professional conferences. I was appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to two terms of the Oregon Board of Examiners of Speech Pathology and Audiology, the state’s licensing and consumer protection agency. Since my diagnosis in 2008, I has become active in the Parkinson’s community as an advocate, an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation and support group facilitator for Parkinson's Resources of Oregon. I was appointed the regional patient representative for the Parkinson's Foundation’s Women with PD TALK study. In September of 2019 the Michael J Fox Foundation selected me to participate in the Parkinson’s Policy Forum in Washington DC. As an attendee at the World Parkinson Congress in 2016 in Portand, Oregon, I presnted a poster session examining the decision making process for patients considering deep brain stimulation. At the 2019 WPC in Kyoto, Japan I presented a poster on vision concerns of women with PD and lead small group discussions. Myr book The Ribbon of Road Ahead has provided many speaking opportunities for Carol. In 2019 and early 2020 she visited 24 support groups in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California to share her thoughts on living well with the disease. In addition, she has presented talks for The Center on Aging in San Francisco, Parkinson's Place in Las Vegas, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation in Richland WA and virtually through their HOPE online program. In late 2020 I rejuvenated her voice and narrated her book. It became available as an audio book in 2021. As part of this project I read stories over the airwaves on RadioParkies Australia with DJ Madonna and in Great Britain with DJ Johnny Parky. She and her husband Charlie have two adult sons. They live on a small hobby farm in eastern Oregon. Contact Information: Carol Clupny PO BOX 128, Hermiston, OR 97838 (541) 720-4256

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