Sunday, March 29, 2009


We left Seattle about a week ago and after surviving a terrible fever I have had time to reflect on our Journey. I spoke with a few teammates and the general feeling is that the time spent on the bike was wet, cold and extremely difficult. However everyone came away with a positive experience. Each person challenged him/herself every day and in the end we came together as a team to encourage each other to the finish each day.
I think everyone agrees that this is not something that any of us would have done if we did not have a reason to ride out on a limb for a deserving cause. In fact, at times the travel was quite treacherous:
But despite the horrendous riding conditions we managed to have fun:
And we kept moving toward our goal with purpose. Our purpose was to improve ourselves personally in hopes that we would benefit others at the same time. I am confident that we accomplished these goals as I hear positive feedback from teammates and as I see the research dollars continuing to trickle in. We have already doubled our fundraising goal and the total keeps rising as we passed $220,000.

There were a number of defining moments during this ride, but a particularly significant one came 2 miles before the end on a 21% grade incline. Without a feasible alternate route, cyclists were left with no other choice but to climb this wall of a hill. In a striking parallel to facing the challenges of life with FA, the nearly 70 cyclists dug in and approached the uphill battle with determination and perseverance. Many of the recumbent trikes were unable to gain traction on such a steep incline; so their teammates abandoned their bikes and helped push them up. Other teammates picked up the abandoned bikes and cyclists reported that very few words were exchanged- just recognition of need followed by action.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Morning Show


The NAF conference was fantastic as usual and we are headed home now. I will have some thoughts and reflections soon but in the mean time, I will be on a morning show in Portland in the morning. Not sure if you can watch live on the web but check it out: AM North West

Thursday, March 19, 2009


We rolled in to the hotel this afternoon as a huge group. We were welcomed by a crowd of smiling faces. Ron Bartek, President of FARA said a few words and then Mike Parent, Executive Director of NAF said a few words and then we honored each rider with a medal to remember the ride. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures at this point but I hope to post some tomorrow.

I am extremely proud of our team and the personal accomplishments of each person. Additionally we have passed $220,000 in fundraising!

Stay tuned, more to come...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Today started slowly and painfully for many of us. Personally, during the first half mile of the day, I was unsure that I was going to be able to last all day because of the pain in my knees. However, we pushed through the pain and loosened up. The weather was relatively nice today and we had a slight tailwind to help us along.

We rode for about 20 miles through a town and down some country roads. Then we hit a bike trail and we were cruising. The tail wind and the smooth surface helped us reach high speeds with little effort. We rode this trail all the way to lunch at mile 28.


MOM AND DAD, the two that make it all work.

We stopped for a quick bite and were off again. Shortly after lunch the trail ended and we missed a turn...we got lost for about a half hour. When we finally found our way back, we were cruising again at high speeds.

The day dragged on toward the end and the knees began to stiffen and the pain returned but we struggled through to the end.

I am so proud to have finished the ride today because I really did not think it was possible when I began.

We had one last team dinner at an Outback Steakhouse restaurant. The food was fabulous and we shared a few stories from the road, people talked about their favorite parts of the ride and we had a lot of fun remembering what happened over the past few days.

Tomorrow is the final day of Ride Ataxia 3. We only have about 30 miles and we are due to arrive at the National Ataxia Foundation Conference at 2pm. It will be a day of triumph!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


We left this morning from our hotel at about 9am in a downpour.

Today was a short day (40 miles) but the weather made it seem like much more. We can all deal with the wetness at this point but today was particularly cold... Most of us went for several hours without feeling in our toes. The only way to warm up was to ride as hard as we could to get the heart pumping and the circulation going to the extremities.

After our lunch stop quite a few groups of us rode past a loose dog who was not friendly. Several people were chased at high speeds. One story was that the dog could run at 19 miles an hour while barking, growling and snarling. Luckily nobody got hurt and the dog had fun today with lots of people to chase.

Here we are at the world's largest egg:

When we finally reached our destination, we thawed our fingers and toes and headed to dinner at the historic train depot in, Centralia Washington. We were honored to have the mayor of Centralia along with the operator of the train depot, Pollo Enriquez with us at dinner. The city generously provided the space to us free of charge.

Our dinner was once again catered by Outback Steakhouse and their volunteer crew. The food was fantastic (ribs that fell off the bone smothered in BBQ sauce...garlic mashed potatoes, wild rice and cinnamon apples for dessert). Outback has been a HUGE supporter of the ride this year. They are an organization dedicated to service and community. Thank you Outback.

This day was brought to you in part by the OB Beer Club. Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Big day tomorrow. 62 miles, bring on the rain!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weather and Bridges

Craziest day ever! But let me start from the beginning.

This morning we had a nice send off ceremony at OHSU. Three Doctors/Researchers told us a little about what they do for Ataxia. We heard from Dr. Maylie and Dr. Nutt both from OHSU and we heard from Dr. Scutt who is the Medical director for the National Ataxia Foundation. All three gentlemen gave very nice talks about what they do and all three stressed how important it is to have funds from groups like ours to help get research off the ground.

Gathered outside the building, here is the whole team:

We then took off through downtown Portland and once again it became apparent how many people we had on this trip. It was pretty fun to travel through downtown turning heads as a huge, strong team.

When we got out of town, we hit the highway and it immediately started pouring rain. It started getting a bit miserable but as soon as my clothes soaked through, my body heat warmed the water that was next to my skin and I started warming up. We had heavy rain, light rain, sunshine and rolling hills until lunch. Lunch was pretty sunny and we had some fun:

After lunch we ran into more ridiculous weather...much more rain...and hail for about 5 minutes. We crossed some railroad tracks and 3 of our teammates fell pretty hard at the tracks, one requiring minor medical attention but our SAG team took care of business and everything is fine.

At mile 51 we crossed the Louis and Clark Bridge form Oregon to the state of Washington...Everyone had been talking about this bridge and how scary it would be...the bridge lived up to the hype. The Bridge was about 2 miles long and it had a small bike lane on the shoulder. It was pretty darn steep on either side so it was a slow climb followed by a screaming down hill. We crossed the bridge in a group of four: Me, Mike Bryant, Uncle Steve and Sean Roberson. When we reached the halfway point of the bridge (the highest spot) the rain began to turn very heavy and was between rain and snow, the wind was blowing very hard and the bridge began to sway a bit. The trucks to our left were causing the guard rail to rattle as if it were going to fall off. Then we began our descent. We landed on solid ground as soon as possible and as soon as we got off the bridge, the sun came out...Mother Nature was playing tricks on us.

We are all safe and sound in our hotel in Kelso. I believe we got the GPS working so you can track our progress daily from the link directly above this post. WE're on our way. One down three to go!

Check out the local news coverage from News 10!

This one goes out to our friends in Martinez, CA. Angela and Ricky are kicking butt. Thanks for the support! See you soon!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

'Twas The Night Before

We are taking off in the morning! 70 participants! We are a mighty force in the fight to cure FA!

FUNDRAISING UPDATE: $175,000! We're not done yet!

Today we had a team meal at Outback Steakhouse. We met all the new teammates and had a great meal. Thank you to Outback for providing the meal and the outstanding service!

Tonight we held "pre-registration" in my hotel room and it became aparent how many people we have riding with us:

This morning one of our teammates, Tess, called a friend to pick her up to drive to the airport so she could fly here to Portland. The friend, Angela showed up at Tess's house at 6am. They loaded all Tess' stuff in the car, started the car to warm it up and walked back to the house to grab something...As they were walking back to the house, literally 20 feet away from the car, someone jumped in the car and got on the freeway never to be seen again! CAR...GONE. ALL TESS' GEAR...GONE. Yes, this really happened this morning. So what did Tess do in the face of losing all her stuff (her bike was not in the car)? First of all, she let Angela borrow her vehicle to make it through the weekend. Then she went to the bike shop and bought all new gear. She changed her flight to a later time and now she is here with us as part of the team!

Tess has set the tone of dedication for the team this week. We will keep this in mind as we take off in the morning in the cold and rain...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

On The Road

I am posting this from the passenger seat of the truck using our trusty Verizon Wireless internet card. We just passed Mt Shasta, a volcano in Northern California.

Left home last night. Headed for Portland, Oregon. It feels like old times, just Me, Mom and Dad in the truck pulling the trailer. We left from the Sacramento area at about 3pm yesterday and drove for three hours to Redding, CA where we stayed for the night. It was just the three of us in a hotel room, it felt like the first ride...restless sleep thinking about what is ahead.

I am finally getting excited for the ride. I have been super anxious until this point. Months of preparation, endless strings of emails and countless details are taken care of and now its go time...bring it on!

We will stay in Portland tonight and tomorrow we will have lunch with the entire team at Outback Steakhouse. There are many team members who I have not met and only know by their registration form and the large amount of money each of them have raised for this cause. The lunch will be a great chance to get acquainted before we hit the road the next day.

The weather looks like it could be a factor but it will only make it more of an accomplishment when we finish!

Stay tuned, I plan to post once a day for the next week, this is going to be a great ride!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Track Us LIVE!

Check this out! A friend hooked me up with Mats Janssen from Mats set up a map where anyone can log on to check out where we are during the upcoming ride. Check out the Ride Ataxia Adventure Zone. The map will go live during the ride March 16 - March 19, 2009. Less than a week away!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Educate and Enable

The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of action for Ride Ataxia.

First of all, we had our second annual fundraiser in Truckee at Uncle Neal's Cabin. That weekend I went skiing for the second time this year and I had a blast again! This time I tried a bi-ski. My decision to try the bi-ski was a simple one to make for a couple of reasons:

1. Because of the balance issues associated with FA, I felt I would quickly approach a plateau in my skiing ability if I continued to ski standing up.

2. On my way to that plateau I was more prone to injury if I continued to stand. This is a risk I am not willing to take since Ride Ataxia 3 is quickly approaching.

So I tried the bi-ski. I had a lot of fun, those things carve like butter and they hold an edge like an Olympian. However, it was a lot more difficult than I expected. I saw people SHREDDING in the bi-ski and thought that it looked easy and I would be a pro in no time...not so. I took some spills but I had a few good turns too. In the end, I had a great time and I discovered another ability. I will be back!

That night we had our second annual Truckee Fundraiser. Libby and Neal Lacativo held a fundraiser in their cabin. There were more than 60 people in attendance and there was a lot of great stuff including lift tickets, ski lessons, fishing trips, a weekend in Mexico, an Ipod and the list goes on and on...

The set up was intense and took all day. Angela preparing a gift basketRicky on the 'QAllison preparing the soup

It all came together with friends, family and fundraising. Thanks to my dedicated family/team members we raised $5,385 that night. These funds will go straight to the hands of researchers who are on their way to finding a cure for FA.

The best part of the night came when we were collecting donations at the end. One of the guests, Gary, offered to donate an additional $500 if Uncle Neal would go skydiving with me. In the name of research, Uncle Neal agreed and we are going to do it this summer, maybe we'll make it into a skydive-a-thon! Let me know if you're interested...

Thanks to the Lacativo Greene team who are in the lead for total dollars raised on the Ride Ataxia Team Fundraising Page

The Lacativo-Greene team includes:

Neal Lacativo
Libby Lacativo
Kacey Lacativo
Ricky Greene
Angela Greene
Allison Muller

Special thanks to Libby for countless hours spent to make this event truly great. You are making a difference!