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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.




I have made two attempts at riding in the last week and a half. Both attempts were cut short by a bummed knee.

Since I have not been riding, I have been trying to do some strength training and stretching to continue training without aggrivating the knee. I have an appointment with a physical therapist on monday and I hope that he might have a magic wand or something, we'll see.

Also since the last post I have been in the process of buying a house (pretty exciting). Also I was interviewed by the Sacramento Bee and my story will be in the paper within the next couple weeks, so keep an eye out.



To The City

This weekend we rode 85 miles From Sacramento to San Francisco (actually we rode to Vallejo and took a ferry into the City). Unfortunately we were not able to ride back...

We started at my place in Sacramento (Me, Dad and Andy) and rode downtown where we met John (a dude from my work). We left downtown at about 8am and took off through West Sac and over the causway to Davis. UCDavis was having their homecoming game that day so we heard the band-uh! warming up as we passed the football field (Go Ags!). After we passed through Davis, we took a short break to take care of "business" and have a light snack. Here we are after 20 miles, still fresh and in our spandex -- you know you like it:

From left to right: Andy, John, Me, Dad

We were feeling good at that point (except for some stiffness in my left knee) so we continued on to Winters where we took another bathroom break and loaded our bellies with Cliff Bars and GU. When leaving the town of Winters we took a wrong turn and we were going with the wind so we were hauling butt, we went about a mile before realizing we were going the wrong way, so we had to trek back against the wind (not fun) to get back on track. We were heading west at this point and the wind was blowing south. After another 5 miles or so our route turned south and we were going with the wind and slightly downhill so we kept a speed of 20-25 mph for 8 or 10 miles. At about mile 50, John stopped to check his front wheel because it was feeling like his bearings were going out. After assessing the situation, he decided that he did not want his wheel to fail and send him flying, so he opted to stop early, take the train home and give it a try anoother time. We were all pretty bummed that he had to go because we had reached a good rhythm and we were feeling pretty good.

Mile 50, Not stoked: John had to take off early

So we turned west once again and headed trought Fairfield. I was riding on the shoulder and I heard a hissing noise from my right wheel, flat! Not cool. So we had to take yet another break to replace my tube (the city of Fairfield should weed their storn gutters for puncture vines). It was a needed stop because we were out of water. We found a drinking fountain and filled up.

Andy Helping out, stop staring at his chicken legs!

After Fairfield, we hit a frontage road that paralleled highway 680, and once again we were going with the wind and making some pretty good time. There were a few hills but for the most part we were still feeling pretty good (the pain in my knee had been masked by all the other pains in my legs that come and go after 70 miles).
Finally, at mile 75 we took a turn to the northwest which meant we only had about 10 miles left. This was Lake Herman Road, and it was the toughest part of the ride. It was a bunch of rolling hills followed by one gnarly hill right before we got to Vallejo (my knee was really feeling it at this point and I had to just shift down and grind it out). This hill came just as we were passing mile 80 (why couldn't it have been at mile 20?). However, after the hill it was downhill all the way to the ferry terminal. After one wrong turn and a very short detour in Vallejo, we finally made it.

Victory in Vallejo

Dad had to take off at this point to make it to dinner with a friend so Andy and I got on the Ferry and continued our Journey to The City. When we arrived, we called our buddy Adam to get directions to his place where we would stay the night. We also called our friends Jesse and Shannon, who were having a bar-b-q at their place and invited us over.

A couple of Barneys arriving in San Francisco

After a satisfying shower, a few ibuprofen and a beer run, Andy, Adam and I headed over to Jesse and Shannons for some grub in good company:

Sausage Party...what?

After a good visit with some friends that we had not seen for a while, we had to retire early that night so we could wake up early in the morning and catch BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). Our friend Kele was out of town so we stayed in his room (thanks Kel).
When we woke up in the morning my knee was not in good shape, so I stretched to try to loosen things up:

Don't worry Kele, it's not what it looks like...

So we got back on our bikes and headed to the Embarcadero BART station. This was a good test to see if my knee would hold up on the ride home. Our plan was to take BART to Pittsburg, CA and ride about 65 miles back to Sacramento. However, my knee did not pass the test...I decided that it could only get worse if I kept riding so we called Tess at 8:15am and she offered to come pick us up, thanks Tess.

Not Stoked:Bart at 8:15am, we had to quit early

We took BART to Walnut Creek where we waited for Tess at a coffee shop. Tess arrived with Daniel and they saved us from further knee trouble.

Thanks Friends

Soooo, although we did not finish, it was a great ride. I plan to try it again in a couple of months. For now, I will rest up and maybe start some strength training so I can avoid another knee injury in the future...

In summary:

Total miles on the computer (including wrong turns) = 94
Top speed = 35 mph
Number of cliff bars, GU packs, and protein bars consumed by the group = about 30
Number of flat tires = 1
Most interesting roadkill = freshly deceased skunk
Number of times Andy forgot to clip out and bailed on a sidewalk covered in broken glass = 1
Number of BART elevators we used that smelled like urinals = 4




Foxy's Century


Today I rode a metric century (100km) (60 mi) with the guy (Matt) that I met on the bike trail a couple of weeks ago. This is two weeks in a row that included nice long rides on the weekend. I rode with some handcyclists who really impressed me. They ride with the power of their upper body and they keep a pretty good pace. The world champion handcyclist was there, Alejandro Abore, he kicked our butts but it was great to meet him. Here I am with Matt, Rick, Patty, Alejandro, and Steve:

I rode with Steve and we made a pretty good team drafting behind each other. We had an average speed of 14 mph compared to the near 20 mph of Alejandro.

I had a great time riding with these guys and will definitely do it again soon.

Next weekend: Sacramento to San Francisco=> 85 miles on Saturday and 85 on Sunday...this will be quite a test...





Harsh Ride

Andy and I rode 60 miles today. From downtown Sac to Folsom Lake and Back. It was a great day and a great ride. However I can barely walk right now. I noticed a small pain in my hip at about mile 30, I rode through it for 30 more miles. I sat down when I got home and then I could barely get up to walk across the room. I think it is just very sore, nothing a couple of IBU profens won't fix. Gonna drive to work tomorrow just to be safe.

Some totally sweet shots at the 30 mile mark (Folsom Lake):

Extreme close-up (in a van) down by the river:

My sandwich was falling apart:

So I fed some to the squirrell and he didn't have to eat that cigarette BUTT:









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