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 14, 2008

Surprise Greeting Party and Bike Assembly

Linda writes:

First flight out of Syracuse was a 1/2 hour late leaving, after that the other two flights were on-time and pleasant. So we arrived at the Sacramento Airport at 11:00 PM California time (2:00 AM Cazenovia time), came down the escalator, and who is there yelling, "Linda Johnson! Linda Johnson!" ... Linda's mom and dad! They flew in from Florida to meet us at the airport and send us off on Saturday! What a nice surprise!

This morning we had a quick breakfast and went to the parking garage where Andy put our bikes together. Damage during shipping - a bent derailler flange on Andy's bike (he bent it back using pliers he brought) and my speedometer was cracked (mom and I bought a new one at the bicycle shop down the street). He was done by noon, and we took them for a quick spin around the capitol park. He adjusted his derailer, mine was good, and it looks like we're good to go!

We're meeting the team along with friends and family at the Outback for a 1:30 celebration lunch. Weather is low 60's and clear skies. So far a very nice day!

1 comment:

  1. I can't imagine the excitment you both must feel and relief at having your bikes assembled and in working order.

    We are all (Dr. Lynch and crew and Felicia at FARA) cheering you both on and will be checking your blog for to read about our adventure.

    Can't wait to greet you in Vegas!
    All the best, Jen Farmer