Saturday, December 22, 2007

Meet The Team: Spinner

NAME: David Henry Jr.
AGE: 43
DAY JOB: Part-time front desk at Solana Health Club in West Lake, Texas (near the DWF airport)
CYCLING EXPERIENCE: It's my main transportation since I sold my truck last August, I rode with Kyle 400 miles of Ride Ataxia I
TRAINING PLANS: Like Tess, as much time in the seat as possible! In my cross-training I'll stick with just yoga (2-3 times per week) and Pilate's (with a personal trainer), a little weight-lifting (no free weights for me, machines please!), I love to swim ( OK - I walk more than I swim, at least I'm in there). Jogging, skiing & Basket-ball are not my thing, but a few hours per week on the stair-climber, elliptical, octane trainer and upper-body bike works for me.
LONGEST RIDE IN A DAY: I don't know - 75 miles?
TYPE OF ATAXIA: Undiagnosed

FLASHING RED LIGHTS behind me - it was a Friday night, but I never touch the stuff. However; spending a night behind bars on a suspicion of DWI was the just eye opener I needed to convince me to go see a Dr. and see why I couldn't walk a straight line. The first was my Dads interest, he wasn't sure but came up with the diagnoses of cerebellar ataxia. He encouraged me to see a neurologist and confirm his diagnoses. Just so happens a good friend of our family is a neurologist and in a couple months I got on with. He knew moments after he saw me that I had a form of ataxia, some test were done to see if I had a curable type, no simple solutions were found, but I wasn't going to die from this either!

My 35 year old body was getting ... soft, so I had started a work-out routine. The harder I worked out, the easier it was for me to 'deal' with 'all' my symptoms (a couple of days/hours later depending on what I did). So I Bumped my workouts up a notch or two - if it was hard for me to do, I did MORE of that! I added Pilate's mat classes, they were a big challenge, but they seem to do me the most good.

A N.A.F member 'gave' me his older model trike - a Delta style Comfort Cycle. After a couple of years and many miles I have passed it on to anther in the North Texas Ataxia support group and have another recumbent trike. Green Speed GT5, in the two+ years I've had it, it's had three sets of tries, countless batteries (for the lights) and many different safety flags so you know it's get plenty of miles put on it. I've not let up on my work outs, I may have actually bumped them up again, I just get more of my cardio riding the 3,000-4,000 miles per year on the trike. During last years Ride Ataxia with Kyle, Mike and Steve my schedule allowed 400 miles, this year I plan to go the full 600+ miles with the team - it's going to be fun, but the best part by far is all the Awareness Ride Ataxia II is bringing to ataxia.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Meet the Team: Tess

Name: tess lili Kretschmann
Age: 26
Ride Ataxia Role: cyclist/board of directors
Day Job: civil engineer
Cycling Experience: errands around town (gym, grocery store, haircuts, etc), to work (25 mile round trip) as often as possible, and random scenic weekend and vacation rides (20 - 60 miles) around northern california and long island, ny
Training Plan: as much time on the bike as possible, cross-training with bikram hot yoga, weight-lifting, and swimming. will be jogging, skiing and playing basketball and tennis too - though those always seem hurt, more than help.
Longest ride in one day: 100 miles
Type of Ataxia: N/A

Tess' Story:
Because of a very inspirational young man Kyle Bryant, I am part of the Ride Ataxia team. Kyle is my training buddy, my colleague, a former roommate, my sometime-nemesis, and always friend. He reminds me that too many chocolate-covered raisins will make me sick, that a person never can have too much gum, and really really that life can feel as good as i decide - and why would i want it to be anything but awesome?! I believe in him, and as an athlete with lots of experience in therapeutic recreation (Special Olympics), I believe in adaptive cycling. The research currently being conducted on Ataxia is progressing, and with increased awareness and additional resources, I'm sure greater strides can be made in more effectively and efficiently diagnosing and treating Ataxia. I want to support these efforts - for Kyle, for the other Ataxians I've since met and befriended, and for all the friends and family who believe in them.

Thanks for joining the Ride Ataxia team. You already have just by visiting this site and becoming informed. I appreciate your support.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Meet The Team: Kyle

Name: Kyle Bryant
Age: 26
Ride Ataxia Role: Cyclist/Founder
Day Job: Civil Engineer
Cycling Experience: 2,400 miles during Ride Ataxia I, To work and back (25 mile round trip) two to three times a week weather permitting
Longest ride in one day: 100 miles
Type of Ataxia: Friedreich’s

Kyle's Story:
Kyle was diagnosed with FA when he was about 17 years old. It was loss of coordination in sports, specifically baseball that led him and his family to seek a diagnosis. From the first doctor’s visit, it took almost a year to find an answer.

Kyle started cycling when it became a pain in the butt to balance on an upright bike. So he searched the world over to find a vehicle that would get him from here to there without the headache. The answer was not far away. Chico, CA is where Kyle found his trike at a place called Peregrine Bike Works. The owner, Hugh Kern hooked Kyle up with a pimp ride.

Kyle began to cycle on the weekends 5 to 10 miles at a time. He was amazed when he reached 25 miles in a day and started cycling to and from work. Then he participated in the Tour De Cure a fundraising event for the American Diabetes Association. 100 miles was his goal. The ride took 9.5 hours from start to finish and he was the last one on the course but HE FINISHED!

With a century on his cycling resume and determination in his heart, Ride Ataxia was born!

With the strong support of friends and family, a year of planning was played out in 60 days when he and his Dad rode 2400 miles from San Diego to Memphis ending at the National Ataxia Foundation annual membership meeting. However, the success did not stop there. Kyle worked with the National Ataxia Foundation and the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance to establish the $100,000 Kyle Bryant Translational Research Award which was awarded to a research team led by Dr. Nuri Gueven at Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Australia. The research team is making progress and the outlook is promising.

The story is not over…please stay tuned as Kyle and his teammates cross more milestones on their way to VEGAS during Ride Ataxia II. The trail to a cure continues…

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Participant Information

Finally, we've got the information you have all been waiting for! Check out these two pdf's:

Cyclist Information

Cyclist Application

The application and deposit is due January 15, so check it out and send it in. We can't wait to hear from you!