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 3 - Turlock to Madera, CA

Linda writes:

65 miles! I'm pretty sure I signed up for the 50 mile fun-in-the-sun trip, and we went 65 miles today! Unbelievable! And we made it! The whole day was actually phenomenal! More sunny skies, flat roads, and almond trees.

Andy's knee started acting up this morning, and during lunch, with a mere 40 miles left to go, it was very painful. (Who brought this old man anyway!?) Tomorrow his bike will probably fall apart! (Actually, the pedal crank set is making disturbing snapping sounds ... might we have to stop at Target in Fresno tomorrow and pick up a new bike?) After lunch and 3 Advil, Andy's knee was OK for the rest of the day.

I will admit that at Mile 58, I started dragging and my right quad was starting to hurt. We pulled over, slathered some pain cream on it (thanks, Sally), took 2 Advil with gatorade, and ate a banana ... within 5 minutes something/all of the above kicked in, and I was able to finish with a bang, rolling into the Holiday Express before 6:00!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everybody! Jina (a teammate) handed out green beads with shamrocks on them to the riders this morning. We all happily wore them and just noticed our necks are now green ... nice.

FYI - Kyle is also keeping his blog up-to-date. If you have time, check it out, he's a great writer and provides more detail about the day and the rest of the team. (There is a link to the right of our blog.)

Thanks so much for your comments! We are loving them!

Riding hours: 9:10AM to 5:54PM
Mileage: 65 miles!!!
Speed: 9.8 MPH
Roadkill: 2 skunks, 1 puppy, 1 dog (the size of a cow!)

Flat tires: Andy - 0, Linda - 0, Others - 2 (Steve's tire sidewall blew like a gunshot while sitting quietly against a tree at lunch!)

Day rating: 9 (it was a bit long)
# of times a team member fell because pedals were clipped in: 1 (Andy)

A few pictures from the day:

1 comment:

  1. ~Thanks for the road kill count~

    Love Brian

    ~You guys are CRAZY!~