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.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Day 12 - Baker, CA to Primm, NV

Andy writes:

Once again this is a little late, but I'll try to catch up.

If you recall, we were quite concerned about the day's ride. A big hill, to say the least! The whole ride was on the freeway again. We got a nice early start, knowing it was going to be tough. But this time we came up with an excellent strategy to overcome the hill: iPods. Linda put on her iPod and started cranking up the hill. She did great! 35 miles up the hill and another 15 down the other side. Here's the profile, this time with my speed overlaid on it:


Not super-fast, but we did the whole thing with no big problems. Lunch wasn't until the top of the entire hill at about 33 miles, so that meant we really had to keep going all morning!

Here are the statistics:
Ride times: 7:37 to 3:42
Distance: 50.1 miles
Average moving speed: 8.3 MPH
Roadkill: none. But we did have some excitement with live animals. We saw four snakes. Collin and Jina also saw a nice rattlesnake right on the shoulder and had to stop to get around it. We couldn't identify the snakes we saw, although I almost ran right over one (my tires went right next to it and it picked up its head just as I went over). The best one was when Linda was in the zone... the weather was beautiful, big blue sky, mountains all around, and she was cranking Wide Open Spaces (Dixie Chicks) on the iPod. Lunch was just ahead, and the hill was almost behind us. She started slowly waving her arms in the air, totally at peace with the day, riding no-handed. Then she saw the coiled-up snake right in front of her! She grabbed the bars and jerked around it (almost going into traffic or flipping over) and screamed at the top of her lungs for the next minute or so! Pretty funny!

Here's the typical scenery:


Oh, and I had a flat tire IN THE HOTEL ROOM tonight! We rode over a lot of debris today, and a tiny little wire finally got me. I changed it right in the room so it's ready for tomorrow:

3 comments:

  1. wow, that's an impressive hill. Congrats on making it over!

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  2. Linda J writes: Andy exagerated ... I didn't even hit the rumble strip! Totally in control! (The screaming was accurate.)

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  3. I think that "I" was the one that hit the rumble strip, but I didn't scream ;) - the evevation and your speed overlay ... just good stuff!
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