On February 24, 300 bikers lined up on Bolsa Chica State Beach to take on one of the most beautiful routes ever. With perfect weather and the sun shining, the ride itself was extremely enjoyable. Whichever route you ended up choosing, walking or biking, it was serene. The warmth of the sun and smell of the salt water was and incredible companion while completing the ride. Needless to say, it was a typical Southern California day.
There were so many people there besides the participants. The group was filled with friends, family, FA patients and I even met some folks there who just wanted to support. We had FA families fly in from all over including: Florida, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington and Philadelphia just to name a few. Outback Steakhouse and Lazy Dog Restaurant were there to give us all fuel at the end of the beautiful ride so it was pretty awesome… and delicious.
Since the route was extremely flat and pretty easy, during the ride was almost another social event. We were coasting along, passing by one another, having conversations, taking pictures, laughing and cheering one another on. I had a blast biking next to some of the best people and it really was one of the most enjoyable events I have ever been to.
$73,000 dollars were raised for rideATAXIA SoCal 2018! That’s right, $73,000! Not only was this the second rideAtaxia ever held in Southern California, but it was the first time having the ride at this specific location and it was a success. After the ride was complete, there was a few minutes where Kyle Bryant had the mic and thanked everyone for showing up, the pharmaceutical companies that helped sponsor the event and of course, recognized the top teams and individuals who raised the most money.
Those moments, personally, make me extremely emotional. Spotlighting all the individuals and teams who worked hard to raise as much money as they could. To see how different organizations, companies and people who genuinely care to help. To be able to celebrate how everyone came together to help in finding an answer for Friedreich's Ataxia and funding research, it really is a wonderful thing.
Overall, rideATAXIA SoCal was awesome! Great food, good music, amazing people and we were all surrounded by the thought of hope. For one day, we can come together at events like this and feel not embarrassed or shy about having FA. It gives us a chance to relax and be comfortable knowing that we are not alone and can look at all the other people who are in this fight with us! Together, we will cure FA.