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.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Day 11 - Calico to Baker, CA

Andy writes (while Linda sleeps):

No scorpions in our shoes this morning. That's good. We're totally into the desert now.

Today's Statistics:
Roadkill: just a simple mattress
Mileage: 56.2 miles
Average moving speed: 11.2 MPH
We've still not had a single flat tire, although others have been having them occasionally.

The ride today was all freeway (I-15). Wind at our backs again, wide shoulder, but a lot of highway traffic. For example:


We're getting a lot closer to Vegas now - yeah!!!


We made it to Baker, very tired again. Here's the giant thermometer in town:


"Uncle Bud", the brother of Linda's grandfather, and Louise came to town and gave us a nice visit. They took us to dinner at the local Greek restaurant - it was excellent. Thanks Uncle Bud!


And he took a quick spin on Linda's trike:

Tomorrow we reach Nevada. Unfortunately, it's going to be a very difficult day. As bad as the climb to Tehachapi, with another 15 miles afterwards. We're hoping for a serious tail-wind!

10 comments:

  1. What a surprise! I'll bet it was great to see Uncle Bud. Maybe he will get hooked on biking! You are almost there, so keep on spinning those wheels. You are all doing great and thanks to the SAg crew. Love, Mom S.

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  2. Making the natives a little nevous there skipping a day of posting :) Though I can't imagine how tired you must be getting at the end of eah day now.

    Trying to imagine someone riding a bicycyle (or several someones) down the Mass Pike and just not liking that picture - be careful.

    Good luck today ! You can do it - you have already come so far !

    Jefff & Mags

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  3. The end is in sight!! Just keep that Vegas strip in mind while going up that next big hill! And savor that fantastic weather....you'll miss it once back in CNY.
    Jackie and Ed

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  4. For some reason we did not get your posting until this am. looked for it at 10:30p when I went to bed last night. Sooo glad to see it this morning. We thought you were in no mans land and did not have any coverage. We can certainly understand you being tired. Whew!!
    Keep that sun block on, looks hot.
    We are with you all the way and after to-day it will be a much better ride. Kids are great and they saw your posting before going to school this morning. We have the day off to-day, yea!!
    Our love and prayers to you both,
    Mom and Dad J.

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  5. You guys are really amazing! Keep up the great work!

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  6. Words can't express how proud we are of your accomplishments so far, this is so huge. Every time we see a photo of Linda she is smilin! We love reading about your adventure, and worry when we don't see a posting. Best of luck for the rest of the trip. Love the Caz Curling Club.

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  7. oops, forgot. What a great picture of Linda, Andy and her Uncle Bud and Louise. Is that a little gray or white in your beard Andy???
    Love, Dad J.

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  8. I can't believe you're almost there - YEAH!!! WHOO-HOO! One more day! Hang tight on that stretch tomorrow. There's no stopping you now...

    Angela

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  9. When are you coming back to work? I can't believe you have been gone this long. I can send you something to do while you are peddling!

    Just kidding. Great to see you are so close to the end.

    Don't give up!

    Bob M

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  10. Dana (& Rhonda & Teddy)March 27, 2008 at 5:18 PM

    Well I missed a couple of days of checking your updates, since I'm in Europe this week on business, but as I sit here in the hotel checking up on you, it looks like you're still doing well (but understandably getting tired!) Keep it up, you're doing great! As of this writing, I'm guessing that you must be approaching Las Vegas (?) I'm also guessing you were too tired to post yesterday after hill #2.

    When you make it to Las Vegas, we're going to double our donation to your ride, AND WE HOPE EVERYONE ELSE THAT READS THIS WILL DO THE SAME!!!! You guys are doing great! What an experience!

    From the Grand Hotel Villa Politti, Siracusa (not Syracuse), Sicily, Italy

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