We're Linda and Andy Johnson, from Cazenovia, New York. What began as a blog about a bike ride has become a story about our ride through life, trying to overcome a disease that has had a huge impact on us and on many of our friends.

Our journey began in 2007, when Kyle Bryant originated the idea of Ride Ataxia - riding his three-wheeled cycle from San Diego to the annual National Ataxia Foundation meeting in Memphis. It took two months to get there, and in the process he raised $40,000 to fund Ataxia research and he raised awareness of the disease like no one has before. Well he rode to the annual meeting again in 2008 and we joined him! We left from Sacramento and arrived in Las Vegas two weeks and 650 miles later.

You see Linda also has Friedreich's Ataxia. This inherited disease causes the nerves of the body to deteriorate. Linda (and Kyle) can still walk at this point, but it's getting much more difficult. In addition, speech gets slurred, finger dexterity suffers, and other serious complications can develop as time goes on.

The good thing is that research is more promising than ever! Several drugs are going through trials at this time, with other significant research taking place as you read this. There has never been a better time to contribute to this research! Let's cure this disease - for Linda, for the rest of the Ride Ataxia team, and for all of the others afflicted with this disease!

Enjoy our blog! Feel free to write to us any time. Check out the links in the right column below to read more about the disease and our adventures. And if nothing else, be sure to take the seven minutes to watch FARA's video - we couldn't say it better ourselves.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Trikes

Linda and Andy write:

If we're going to do a bike ride, we figured out real quick that we probably need bikes. Andy has a mountain bike and a hybrid bike - he could put road tires on one of them and use that. Linda can't ride a two-wheeler, so we need to do something serious about that.

Turns out there's a bike shop 3 1/2 hours from here in Alfred, NY (http://www.bicycleman.com/). It's a bike shop that specializes in recumbents and also has trikes.

So off we went this morning. We thought there would be one or two to choose from - it turns out there are a slew of choices! The biggest surprise, though, was how FUN they are to ride. Not sure about 600 miles, but around the block they're a blast! We lucked out and had great weather (and no snow on the ground) so we could try them out. Unheard of for January in Central New York! Anyway, Linda decided on the best one for her - a WizWheelz Cruiser. Andy also picked one out, since they're so cool. He may not get one, but in case the urge strikes. We decided not to order anything just yet. We have no idea if we're going to go through with this or not. We don't even have anyone to watch the kids yet, nevermind any of the other logistical hurdles. Stay tuned...

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