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.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Day 8 - Bakersfield to Tehachapi

Andy writes:

I can only guess what people thought... John - there's no way they can do it. Woody - what are they even thinking doing this bike ride anyway, why not just drive? Mom and Dad J - they're giving it their all; I'll bet they can do it. Mom and Dad S - they're crazy; they're going to get hit by a truck.

Well, the interim results are in... we made it! To the top with no help from a motorized vehicle! Linda pedalled and pedalled and pedalled (I did too). We're now in Tehachapi and feeling great! I know, we're not done yet, but this was big. It was definitely a long day of hard pedalling. And I'm going to keep this short so we can get to bed.

Here are the statistics:

Ride times: 9:14 to 5:07
Distance: 35.5 miles
Average speed: 5.8 MPH
Elevation gain: 3667 feet
Roadkill: two cats, one totally intact car windshield with just a crack
Rating: 10 because we made it

Here was the morning breakfast, provided by the church people...

Here's the elevation profile of the ride. The dashed line is lunch. Click on it to see it better, just like all the other images.

Here are a few photos from the day:

And finally, here's a nice photo from my aunt (Hi Aunt Lorraine!) showing the snow they have up in Maine right now:


  1. That LAST pitcure looks great;) You guys are so AMAZING, 5.8 moving mph - that's GREAT!

  2. Awsome! Enjoy the ride down the other side!

    Al M

  3. You both are amazing! I'm so impressed and I know you can do it!
    Much love!

  4. I knew you guys could do it! After all, look at what you'd already accomplished....amazing. Andy I was glad to hear through the family-vine that your knee has been better, hope it's still okay after climbing that "hill".

  5. WOW you are all AWESOME! How'd you do it? It must have been that determination you taught me about. Your strength is amazing! Keep it up! PS. Say Hi to Spinner for me :)

  6. Angela you would have made it also! Linda's determination alone got us up and over with NO PROBLEMS!

  7. I am happy to comment on this