October 25th saw the first Ride Ataxia event in Philadelphia. With 350 riders over $100,000 was raised for research. Founded by the inspirational Kyle Bryant (who suffers from Friedreich’s Ataxia), the Ride Ataxia team has been raising awareness and much needed money for research since 2007.
This event raised approximately $55,000 online and the Northeast Philadelphia area Outback restaurants raised $41,000. The $100,000 mark was surpassed with the generous support of sponsors such as Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Hank’s Beverages, Allied Beverage, G&R Mechanical, F&F Mechanical, Faraco Knife and Slicer Co., Santhera Pharmaceuticals, Miller Coors, Heineken, and Dr. Holly Hedrick.
The day started at 7.30a.m with registration where everybody was able to gather and meet before the ride started. The 50 mile riders started at about 8.45a.m and encountered a tough course. The first riders came in at about 11a.m. While the riders were out on the course there were plenty of activities back at the park. The kids enjoyed a bike loop around the park, crafts, face painting, and hay rides by horse drawn buggy.
It’s clear that the ride had a little something for everyone. The course was challenging even for the experienced riders but there were shorter options which helped get everyone involved.
In the end this ride had huge participation from many people who had never heard of FA before and a huge amount of money was raised. Awareness and fundraising are the key ingredients to finding a cure for this rare disease. Well done to all who took part. We wish we could have been part of the event.