rideATAXIA’s First International Adventure
"The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." --Phil Jackson
ON JULY 1-8, 2017, 21 riders from the United States and 30 riders from France will come together for a 350 mile ride from Strasbourg France to Lentilly, France (a suburb of Lyon, France) in rideATAXIA’s first venture overseas – rideATAXIA Europe, Le Peloton de l’Espoir (The Peloton of Hope). The event will also include a single day ride with multiple route lengths in Lentilly.
rideATAXIA started with long-distance multi-day rides in ’07, ’08, and ’09. However, for the past 7 years, the rideATAXIA program has consisted of single day rides in locations across the US with multiple route lengths. The goal has been to involve as many people as possible; uniting people with FA and able bodied cyclists in a healthy and active way to advance research through fundraising. “I’m excited to do another multi-day ride. The bond built between teammates that forms during events is pretty incredible.” says Kyle Bryant, founder and Director of rideATAXIA for FARA.
rideATAXIA Europe- Le Peloton de L’Espoir aims to unite the patient community in an empowering physical activity, draw attention to opportunities to be involved in clinical research through registration in the Global FA Patient Registry and raise funds for an Association Francaise Ataxia de Fredreich (AFAF) and FARA collaborative research grant. Le Peloton de l’Espoir will also strive to spread FA awareness in France and beyond.
The idea for Le Peloton de l’Espoir started several years ago as a conversation between Kyle and French FA researcher Dr. Helene Puccio. They saw the opportunity to unite two strong FA communities in an effort to raise awareness and funds for research. This idea started to come to life when Dr. Puccio recruited her husband, Benjamin, colleague Francois Piguet and an FA parent, Anabella Saraiva to the team. Benjamin has spent countless hours organizing all the logistics for the ride between Strasbourg and Lentilly- the route, the lodging, the rental bikes. Francois has organized many of the activities for the starting event at IGBMC as well as promotion of the event and creative ways to teach youth and the public about Le Peloton and FA. Anabella, a tireless advocate for the FA community, is the ride director for all aspects of the community ride in Lentilly.
Not unlike our everyday team, in pursuit of treatments and a cure for FA, Le Peloton de l’Espoir is comprised of people with FA, their family, our friends and even some FA researchers. We’d like to introduce you to some of the American riders (posted below). In these posts, they share a little about themselves and their motivation for riding. We look forward to meeting our French teammates upon our arrival in France, and we plan to introduce you to some of them via the rideATAXIA Facebook page. Please be sure to follow our journey there. Everyone brings a unique strength and skill set to the team- qualities that we will rely on when the days are hot, or the climb is steep, or the path before us isn't quite clear. With several unknowns before us- the language, the weather, the terrain, this journey will be an adventure- one made richer by the people at our sides.