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, March 17, 2008

Day 2 - Lodi to Turlock, CA

Linda writes:

The day started out very questionable. Andy was up from 1 AM to 5 AM with diarrhea and debating on throwing up ... Linda slept through the whole thing. When we got up at 6 AM, we packed our on-the-bike bags as though Andy would not be out there. He did "suit-up" (is that what you call it?), and by the actual start time, Andy decided to give it a go. What's the worst that could happen, right? Unbelievably, he held out in the morning, and actually was feeling good in the afternoon!

The riding was fab (is that a California word?), the wind was at our backs a bunch, and the views were fantastic! The roads we were on were country lined with almond trees and cows! A successful and gorgeous day!

Mileage: 57.3 miles
Average speed: 11.4 miles/hour
Roadkill count: 4 skunks, 4 cats, 1 rat, 1 unidentifiable
Flat tires: Andy - 0, Linda - 0, Others - 2?
Day rating: 9 (cuz Andy started out sick)
# of times a team member fell because pedals were clipped in: 1 (Andy)

And here are a few photos from the day:

Here's Linda, Sean, Kyle, and Andy at the Mexican restaurant. Kyle and Sean are the main organizers behind this event (and they've done a great job!)

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