Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Training Program

So I am starting a new training program on Monday and tonight I went in to visit my trainer, Dirk, for a baseline Anaerobic Threshold test. This test tells us what kind of shape I am in so we can design a training program to fit my needs. Specifically this test tells us my heart rate and pedaling efficiency at different stages of exertion. Now we can design my training program to target certain heart rate zones to work in.

So we set my new trike up on a stationary trainer. This trainer was hooked up to a computer and told us my power output in watts. We also hooked up a little magnet on my crank that told us how fast I am turning the crank. The combination of these two mechanisms told us my pedaling efficiency and the distribution of power between my two legs. The last component was the heart rate monitor that was hooked up to my chest. This allowed us to set the five heart rate zones for an optimized training plan.

So all of this stuff is hooked up to me and my bike and all the data is being displayed on the screen in front of me. Also on this screen are two cyclists. One represents me and one represents the guy I am trying to keep up with. During the test, this other guy kept getting faster and faster and the resistance against my pedaling kept increasing. All the while Dirk is asking me to tell him how hard I am working on a scale of 1-20...In the end the other guy took off and I was left in the dust at a 19 effort level...I have lots of work to do.

During the first stage of the training I will work on building a strong BASE (leg and core muscles) which will allow me to train more aggressively without threat of injury. So we went over some strength building exercises to be done with the aid of an exercise ball.

The threshold test felt like a Gatorade commercial which was pretty cool and I am stoked to have some direction in my training and to be able to measure the results. Now I just gotta make it happen!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

New Trike!

I got a new trike in April and it is going to allow me to go farther and faster than ever before! The purchase of this trike was made possible by the Challenged Athletes Foundation. For those fellow disabled athletes out there please check out the CAF website for information about how you could receive funding for sporting equipment, entrance fees and travel for competition, and training.

Also, my friend Dynah was funded by CAF this year too, check her new trike out here.

Monday, June 01, 2009


2009 Kyle Bryant Translational Research Award sponsored by Ride Ataxia, the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance and the National Ataxia Foundation

June 1, 2009 — The Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) and the National Ataxia Foundation (NAF) invite proposals, under a competitive Request for Applications (RFA) process, to award grants focusing on pre-clinical and clinical investigations that will advance treatments for Friedreich's Ataxia.

FARA and NAF are grateful to the Ride Ataxia cyclists and supporters as well as sponsor Outback Steakhouse who collectively raised $260,000. FARA and NAF will provide matching funds to bring the grant award total to $360,000. As a result a total of three awards will be funded under this program, each limited to $120,000 (direct costs only). Two awards will be funded by FARA and NAF, and the third award will be funded by FARA made possible by the sponsorship from Outback Steakhouse.

Proposals should be for pre-clinical / translational or clinical research focused on Friedreich's ataxia with aims such as identification of biomarkers for FA, development of animal or cellular models to evaluate candidate therapies, development of tools or technologies for therapy development, pre-clinical development and testing of potential targets, or clinical studies of patient outcome measures.

A full list of proposal guidelines and the application can be accessed at Applicants must complete the Kyle Bryant Translational Research Award application form.

Applications will be accepted from for-profit organizations, non-profit organizations, public or private institutions, and foreign institutions. By July 15, 2009, a letter of intent should be submitted with the title and a few sentences describing the focus of the proposal. The application / proposal is due on July 31, 2009.

Letters of intent and applications are to be submitted electronically to and

About FARA
The Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to accelerating research leading to treatments and a cure for Friedreich's ataxia.

About NAF
NAF is a membership supported, nonprofit organization established in 1957 to help persons with ataxia and their families. The Foundation's primary purpose is to support promising ataxia research and to provide vital programs and services for ataxia families.

Jennifer Farmer
Executive Director, Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance
(484) 875-3015

Michael Parent
Executive Director, National Ataxia Foundation
(763) 553-0020

Kyle Bryant
Founder, Ride Ataxia
(916) 203-3238

This announcement can also be found on the FARA website here.