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, February 9, 2008

Training Ride

Andy writes:

What a day! The team in California is going to do a 60 mile training ride in a couple of weeks, and since we won't make it out there for that we decided to do our own training ride right here. Today was the day! Of course we can't ride 60 miles outside very easily this time of year, so we were stuck in the house. We figured if we rode for six hours that would be about like riding 60 miles. It's clearly a lot different inside than outside, but it was the best we could do. So we both rode for six hours today. And I'm talking six hours of pedalling. We took breaks and ate lunch and everything, but that was off the clock. In fact there wasn't even any coasting - it really was six hours of actual pedalling! At least we got to enjoy the beautiful scenery - 3 "Myth Busters" shows and 2 movies - "I, Robot" and "RV". We're a little tired, but I think we did pretty well. Actually, Linda fell asleep within about two minutes of lying down afterward, but that's not too unusual. Luckily we get to take the day off tomorrow!

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