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 21, 2008

Day 7 - Wasco to Bakersfield, CA

Linda writes:

Interesting day ... lot of very busy roads with a lot of traffic. And although there was usually a bike lane, it was a little tight with the trike. The good news is everyone made it through without incident. We (Andy and I) even learned a safer way to make a left turn on a 3-lane road from the right side ... without turning into road kill!

The day was originally planned to be 27 miles, but we changed our plans and went another 20 miles from tomorrow's ride, then we shuttled back to the hotel. So tomorrow we'll shuttle out to where we left off. Looks like 37 miles tomorrow with an elevation climb of 3,700 feet. (Sounds insane!) My Great Uncle just wrote to us and said he has had motorized vehicles die going up this hill. That doesn't sound good! Tomorrow will probably settle all the wagers! Here's a view of the "hill" we'll see close-up tomorrow:


Back to today ... After the shuttle back, we jumped on our bikes in the parking lot and "road in" for the local television station spreading the word!



Then a local church group sponsored the group to a delicious dinner in the 4-star Double Tree hotel, where the rooms were also donated by the hotel! Dinner for those who like to hear about food (aka my family) was lasagna, spaghetti, fettucini alfredo, salad, and oh-so-soft bread. Dense chocolate cake with a very yummy frosting for dessert! ... I ate every bite! Loading up on the carbs! :-)



Statistics:

Miles: 47.1 miles
Average speed: 10.4 (traffic!)
Road kill count: 1 rabbit, 1 very large dog, 1 sofa cushion
Rating for day: 8 (busy roads ... but we lived!)
Riding time: 8:44 - 2:24

3 comments:

  1. Linda, Andy and the entire group, you are doing just great. Smart move to make that extra 20 miles yesterday. I am sure it made to-day much easier???
    We love all the nice pictures and just found out to-day a dounle click on them makes them bigger!!!Wow.

    Andy you will be interested to know that Presque Isle got 12 inches of snow yesterday and last night. Now a new record of 184 plus inches. Afraid there will be more snow when we get back then when we left..
    Love you all and have a happy Easter, we will.
    Mom and Dad J

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  2. HAPPY EASTER TO ALL OF YOU. You are doing great! Can't wait for morning to read about climbing the "hill". And thanks to Mom and Dad J. tip about enlarging the pictures, I am studying them all again. The pictures are wonderful! Keep it up. Love, Mom and Dad S.

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  3. Road Kill is not a good thing to be - I know that spinning would be hard to do under a car/truck/Bus.
    Spinner

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