Ride Ataxia is an event that I look forward to every year. It is a chance to raise awareness for FA, raise funds for FA research, and give hope to FA families who would otherwise have none. Not to mention the fun that we always have!
In 2012 and 2013, Portland’s own Sauvie Island was host to Ride Ataxia in the Northwest. These two rides were a huge success, as many pedal strokes were taken to move towards a cure. After a long debate, it was decided that Ride Ataxia Portland would become Ride Ataxia Seattle in the Summer of the following year.
Ride Ataxia Seattle took place on Sunday, August 3, 2014 at Marymoor Park in Redmond, Washington. The different routes included 5, 10, 22, and 53-mile options for riders of different experience levels.
I rode the 10-mile route on a handcycle provided by Outdoors For All. We began the ride with a ‘Cure FA’ chant and headed out onto the trail in the beautiful sunshine. I spent the first 5 miles riding with Katie Snead and Michelle Huebner, who are based in the Portland area and traveled to Seattle for the weekend. We hit the rest stop, scarfed down some delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and turned around to ride the final 5 miles. I rode the final segment with friends from my Seattle based high school and we finished strong, mainly because we knew an Outback Steakhouse lunch was waiting for us at the finish line.
Being from Seattle, I was able to connect with many childhood friends and family. My grandparents came in from Florida, my cousin came in from Colorado, and good friends Josh and Angie traveled from Minnesota just to be with us for the ride.
Once we were finished riding, It was time for lunch! We had ribs, chicken, salad, and bread! To no one’s surprise, it was delicious! As I ate, I mingled with friends, took lots of pictures to post to Instagram (@sambridgman5), and listened to Kyle speak to the research that is being done and the top accomplishments this year. It was an awesome experience to be surrounded by FAmily both old and new and share memories with each other that will last a lifetime.
This year’s ride had 150 riders and raised over $40,000 for FA research. A big thank you goes out to Outback Steakhouse, all of the sponsors, and everyone who came out to the event. Overall, Ride Ataxia Seattle was a great day filled with positive and inspirational people who all have one goal in mind. Together we will cure FA!
View more pictures from Ride Ataxia Seattle 2014 on the Ride Ataxia Facebook page.
See you all soon!
Ride Ataxia Orlando: Sunday, November 2, 2014 in Clermont, Florida