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rideATAXIA Blog

In January 2007, rideAtaxia was born when Kyle Bryant and his father began their 2,500 mile, 60 day cycling journey from San Diego to Memphis, TN to raise awareness and funds for FA research. Now functioning as a program of the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), rideATAXIA offers single day, challenging and family fun bike rides at locations all across the USA. From firsthand accounts of Kyle’s inaugural journey to the most recent news about our annual bike rides, the evolution of rideAtaxia is chronicled in this blog.


2018 Woodstock and rideATAXIA Chicago

ChicagoFA Woodstock and RideATAXIA Chicago are two events I have always wanted to make it to. I went to FA Woodstock on Friday, July 20th for the day and got to meet a lot of Midwest FA families. FA Woodstock was a fun event to be at, specifically because we got to relax on the Flying H Ranch and bond with each other throughout the entire day (two full days for those who went the whole time).

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2018 rideATAXIA Chicago - Alex Fielding

rideataxia blog 3Most people have that one trip they look forward to every year. Some go to warm beaches in Mexico to escape the cold of winter. Some meet family and friends on a cruise ship for entertainment and exploration. Others head out in the wilderness for an adventure with Mother Nature. For me, I fly to Chicago to visit my cousins Brandon, Audrey, Indiana, and Lulu, and join dozens of FA patients, family, and friends at RideAtaxia!

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Cyclists ride around Channahon area to raise money to cure rare disease

rideATAXIA Chicago

On July 22, hundreds of cyclists congregated at Central Park in Channahon in order to fulfill the vision of one man who wants to fight back and find a cure for a rare disease.

At the age of 17, Kyle Bryant received news that his struggles with coordination and throwing during baseball were not fleeting moments, but symptoms of a rare genetic disease called Friedreich’s ataxia.

Read more HERE

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My 1st rideATAXIA Experience

Dillon 2On October 1st, 2013, I was diagnosed with FA; my family and I knew nothing about what it meant. This year will be the 5th year anniversary of my diagnosis, and I've been reflecting on how much I've learned.

I'm going to share specifically about my rideATAXIA experience. A year went by after being diagnosed, before my family and I went to see Dr. Lynch and his team at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). During our meeting with him, he told us about 2 major events in Philadelphia: The CHOP FA Symposium and rideATAXIA and their stories. He mentioned that we were too late for registration for that year and should try and plan to go next fall!

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rideATAXIA NorCal 2018 dedicated to Matt Rupel

“I have faith that I will always keep fighting. But if I fight this alone, I will fail. But if you will walk behind, I have faith that I’ll never surrender.” - Matt Rupel to a room of FA supporters at his fundraiser in 2011.

Matt RupelMatt Rupel was an expert at creating community.  He was soft-spoken at times but his wit, self-deprecation, and confidence are what drew people in; and then they were hooked, part of the FAITH Team, the Rupeloton, or Matt’s Ohana and thus supporters for the FA community.

For me, it was his determination that was so intriguing.  Matt loved to travel, and he loved journalism. One Summer while he was attending Santa Clara University, he did an internship for a company that was working on a news app.  They were located in New York City.

Matt probably never knew that this relocation to NYC might impact me but at that time I was struggling with my diagnosis and trying to figure out what to do with my future.  Hearing of Matt’s internship and his adventure helped me to realize that I didn’t need to lower my expectations for myself because of FA.

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