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, March 15, 2008

Day 1 - Sacramento to Lodi, CA

Linda writes:

Phenomenal day! Not only did we make ALL 55 miles, we actually enjoyed it! The skies were blue, and the sun was shining! We actually stripped down to our biking short-sleeve shirts and Andy was in his oh-so-cool biking shorts! We averaged 10.7 miles/hour which is what we were doing in the bedroom. We are very pleased, and actually looking forward to tomorrow!

Statistics:
Mileage: 55 miles
Flat tires: 0 for Linda, 0 for Andy, 3 for Kyle
Road kill: 4 possums, 1 skunk, and 1 small black bird
Snake sitings: 0 live, 5 flat skins
Rating for the day: 10

Las Vegas or Bust!!

Name bands for each rider ... in case we are found on road dead ... hmmmm ... should we reconsider ...


50 people started the ride together at the base of the California capitol building!


Happy rider ... for today anyway! :-)

And of course don't forget to check out where we are!

11 comments:

  1. Great start ! I hope for continued great weather for your ride. If it makes you feel any better, it snowed here this morning....

    You were both (along with Mom and Dad taking care of Brian and Kelley, or is that the other way aorund....) mentioned prominently tonight in our prayers. The kids and Maggie and I could not be more proud of you both.

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  2. Hope the rest of the days are as good as the first!

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  3. Great start guys! We're all routing for you. In church today Rev. Steve was routing you on and everyone is going to keep you in their prayers! The Perriello's

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  4. Nice work Andy!
    Spinner

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  5. Great Job Andy and Linda, we have been thinking about you. We saw the great story channel 9 did last week. The kids like linda's bike!

    Maybe you will be ready join Suzannes on her next Ironman?
    Keep going,

    -The Bucks-- Manlius

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  6. Great job! Lots of cheers from your Sensis friends.

    - Retha

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  7. Glad to hear you're having such a good time and thanks for the roadkill count. Keep crankin'!

    Al

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  8. Andy, sorry to hear you got a stomach bug...you shouldn't have chugged the rest of that Kendall-Jackson chardonany that had gone bad...it may have done you in :) I had a great time riding with you two and the rest of the team for the weeekend. Good luck with the rest of the ride. (My roadkill count for day two: 4 skunks, three cats, one mouse/rat, and one unidentified creature, yuck).

    -Lance Hershman

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  9. Linda and Andy, Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to say bye before I left. It was a pleasure meeting you both. Have fun at the rest of the ride and best of luck! Susie

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  10. You go girl! Andy, any chafing you want to talk about?

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  11. Hey Linda and Andy,
    We're so proud of you. It's been fun tracking your adventure; well except the road kill part. Love Eli & Matt

    (Actually, I like the road kill updates, Matt)

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