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 31, 2008

SAG Crew

Another group that deserves some serious recognition is the SAG crew. We had tremendous support during the ride, and without that support, we never could have done it. Hotels, meals, snacks, drinks, and bathroom breaks were all taken care of by this great group of friends and family.

Let's start with Diane:
This is Kyle's mom, and she was the boss. She handled everything. She even got Twinkies for us! Here's the rig she drove around:

This is Sean's dad: He and Elaine drove a big fifth wheel for the whole ride:

It was perfect for lunch stops and bathroom breaks:

Wally and Mary drove a smaller rig (and pulled a car with it):
They often drove drag, making sure all of the stragglers (like us) kept on going:

Spinner's parents, Dave and Karen, drove a van along with the group also. They were the "route checkers," often driving ahead and making sure the route was all set. Funny how an occasional Navy base gets dropped right in the middle of our planned route!

For about the first half of the ride, Rich and Lee drove a SAG van and toted all of our things to the different hotels:

They did a super job, waiting on us hand and foot. We almost felt guilty with all of the work they were doing, but they didn't seem to mind. Lee is one of the most well-behaved kids we've ever met. He hung out in the van most of the time playing on the computer or a video game.

Here's a rare shot of Tim (on the right):

He is a friend of Bart's and showed up around when Rich and Lee had to leave, so he took their place. He pulled Bart's camper around and hauled our bags in that:

Debbie was another great SAG driver for a few days, although we don't seem to have any good pictures of her.

A huge thanks to ALL of the SAG crew! We certainly couldn't have made it without all of you! Maybe the Speedy Boys could have, but not us!!!

1 comment:

  1. SAG - they were key to our success!