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.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Weekend Off - Almost

Andy writes:

We went up to Winterlude in Ottawa for a long weekend with 2 other families. Winterlude in Ottawa includes ice skating ~ seven miles on the frozen canal (Linda rides in a sleigh that I get to push), body sledding, elaborate ice sculptures, and two-story high snow sculptures! This year we were fortunate enough to be able to book a sheet ("lane" to normal people) at the Ottawa Curling Club! Everyone learned the rules and got to try it out! (Linda was the "official" photographer).

When we went to leave this morning, I discovered it was over 50 degrees at home, so we hurried off and made it home in time to get on the bikes for a quick ride outside before dark. We rode six miles in 40 minutes (nine miles an hour). Unfortunately the temperature had dropped to 35 degrees by the time we got out there. We were happy with our progress though, and Linda welcomed the opportunity to practice shifting, braking, and steering.

The generous donations continue and so does our thankfulness! Thank you!!!