When Luke Bolt was 13, he noticed his hand would lock up when wrote with a pencil. It was annoying, but it would be several months before he mentioned the problem to his father Steve one night at dinner. When his mother Jodie heard about the problem, myotonic dystrophy was on the top of her list of possibilities. She is a neurologist. Despite his diagnosis with DM1, and his father’s subsequent diagnosis with the condition, the family pursues an ambitious athletic agenda.
Luke, Jodie, and Steve will all be riding together for the 40th Annual Kaiser Permanente Seattle to Portland bike ride July 13 and 14. The trio are hoping to use the occasion to raise a target of $10,000 for the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation. The event is the largest multi-day bicycle event in the Northwest and is expected to include as many as 8,000 participants.
The ride begins at the University of Washington in Seattle. Much of the ride takes place along rolling, rural roads, although riders must confront a mile-long, seven percent grade at the 45-mile mark known as the “Big Hill.” There’s also a 15-mile stretch around the halfway mark that consists of small, rolling hills. The course takes riders across the Longview bridge over the Columbia River and into Oregon. The finish line is in Portland’s Holladay Park, 206 miles from the start.