Why rideATAXIA Is So Important to the FA Community

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Every year, thousands of people from all over America set out on their bikes in support of Friedreich’s ataxia. The event, aptly called rideATAXIA, has been going on since 2007. What started as a self-described “crazy idea” initiated by Kyle Bryant, an FA patient who was diagnosed at 17, has now raised more than $3 million for FA research.

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Bryant began rideATAXIA after he discovered that he could travel long distances on a recumbent tricycle using just his own strength. In the first year, he traveled 2,500 miles on his bike with his family by his side. The following year, more riders joined his route (from Sacramento to Las Vegas and Portland to Seattle) and the ride’s continued growing ever since.

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In 2009, the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) got involved and the ride became one of the association’s official events. Now there are rides from coast to coast that each welcome participants on all types of bikes and of all abilities, who all come together to raise awareness of FA, along with much-needed funds for research and grants.

Just last year, more than 2,000 riders participated in rideATAXIA, raising more than $1 million for FA research.

If you’re interested in joining a ride, you can find out more information here. Each official ride features multiple routes (from two to 50 miles), fully stocked rest stops, mechanical support along the way and a post-race meal provided by Outback Steakhouse.

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