Minimize the loss. Focus on moving forward.

A few weeks ago while at a fundraiser in New York City to benefit The Million Dollar Bike Ride for Rare Disease research, a supporter asked me how far I would be riding that day.  I told him 34 miles and he was really impressed. 5 min later he came back and told me if I ride 34 miles he would make a generous donation.  Sweet!  That was a few weeks ago.

On Friday May 2, with my focus on riding my 34 miles the next day and already checking it off the list I came home to find that my Catrike was not in the spot where I keep it in the parking garage of my building.  It was gone!  Anyone who knows me, knows that my Catrike is part of what defines me; my accomplishments on my Catrike are no small part of my general confidence, not to mention my health and well being.  So with a pit in my stomach and my heart racing I saw the cable and bike lock just hanging there, still locked, untouched.  How did someone unlock my Catrike, take it, and then lock it back up.  My mind raced.  I racked my memory and then remembered the last time I put it away.  I was searching the bags on the back to make sure I had spare tubes for my next ride, which would be The Million Dollar Bike Ride.  I discovered that there was only one tube in there and it had a hole in it so I took it upstairs to patch it.  That distracted me from securing the lock.  I have owned a trike for almost 10 years, and that is the only time I neglected to lock it up.

My Catrike is gone!  It was like someone cut off one of my limbs, or removed a vital organ.  My Catrike is my freedom.  When I ride, I feel powerful, like I can accomplish anything. When I am on my Catrike I am not disabled, the sky is the limit.   And all of that was gone.  And then I thought about the ride the next day and my commitment to ride 34 miles.  I may not be able to hold up my end of the bargain!  I sat for 10 minutes, with all of this swirling in my head, I could not move.

Whenever I don’t know what to do, I call my Dad.

Dad knows what my Catrike means to me, he was right there during all of my epic journeys, so I was not going to be surprised if he was a little freaked out too.  However with a level head and a calm voice he explained what I needed to do.  It was almost like he was saying (without actually saying it) “The world is not ending, you’re gonna be alright”.  He asked me if I have renter’s insurance, I do.  That should cover it, he said.  And then he told me I needed to file a police report for a stolen item.  Ok, there’s some hope here, that was a start at moving forward out of despair.  But what about the donation and the commitment? I needed to be ready to ride in the morning.  Then we thought of my original trike.  Now I use it on my indoor stationary trainer for spinning during the winter.  More hope!  However it had not seen the light of day in a few years.  I had no idea if it was road-worthy, but it would have to do.  It lives in my office which is upstairs about half an hour away.  So I called a Teammate, Evelyn, and she met me at the office to bring the trike down and load it in the van.  We put air in the tires and they did not leak!

I rode 34 miles the next day and held up my end of the bargain.  During the ride and after we finished I was not so fixated and freaked out about what was going to happen with my trike.  I had my moment of panic and grief and then figured out solid steps to start moving forward.  The fact that I had this challenge, this purpose, in front of me minimalized the situation of my loss.  My need to ride the 34 miles became more important than my loss.

I think this situation is in some ways similar to being diagnosed with a rare disease.  The initial shock knocks the wind out of your chest.  There is a justified period of motionless despair.  However, when you find out that there are others going through the same thing and there is real hope in research and you can contribute to the forward movement of the community, the diagnosis takes a back seat to the purposeful forward movement.

About KyleABryant

I was diagnosed with a debilitating, life-shortening disease called Friedreich's ataxia at the age of 17 and now I have dedicated my life to helping find a cure. Follow me on Twitter:
This entry was posted in Cycling, FA Progression, Sports. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Minimize the loss. Focus on moving forward.

  1. Becky Prater says:

    Major Bummer- But leave it to Mike to react with calmness and logic! What’s that new saying Keep Calm and KEEP MOVING FORWARD? Or something like that, still hope you find the trike and whoever stole it knows their karma is coming~

  2. Patty Martin says:

    Sort of like when my ski prosthesis broke on a Fri at 11:30 am. I went thru this whole range of ups & downs. Good thing it broke while I was in CO & close to where the unit is made. Why did it have to break on a Fri at 11:30 am when the prosthesis place in Boulder closes at noon on Fri & doesn’t open again until Mon? Good thing I learned to ski with only one pole. Nope, I can’t ski anything but beginner & easy intermediate with one pole. Then it was time for a pity party for about half hour or so. Then Mon came around, I called the prosthetic place in Boulder, they invited me down for the next day. It was the best thing ever! Last time I had my ski prosthesis fixed by my prosthetist in Sacramento it took them 2 weeks to get it back to me. It was the exact same part that broke this time. These guys taught me how to fix it myself. It takes about 10 mins to fix it. They sold me an extra part so next time it happens I can fix it myself & I won’t have to wait days to get it fixed. These guys also showed me several other prosthetic devices that are available for doing other sports. I never wanted to get one for riding my bike because my prosthetist said I would have to wear a prosthesis that covered my entire firearm. These guys have developed something that would cover much less of my arm, wouldn’t be so hot & sweaty, & would still be just as effective. Good can always come out of what you think is a really bad day. Why someone would steal your bike tho, a bike that is fit just for you, is way beyond me. I sure hope you have the means to get it replaced soon.

  3. Spinner says:

    …. Call Dad …. Even though I’ve not had my trike stole, it, nice to know that I’m not the only one to call Dad for some “calming” advice

  4. Jane Knight says:

    Very well written Kyle, and your message should be taken to heart by EVERYONE. Stuff happens that we just have to Deal With. A person that is successful is the person that knows that one loss, no matter how small or how large, just changes our game plan – it does NOT end the game. Good for you. Hope it is a speedy wade through the rather large swamp of insurance claims, and you have a new trike under you soon! Glad you had Old Faithful to come to your rescue! Ride On!!! :)

  5. David says:

    How did the Ice behave out in the open?

  6. My heart breaks, I just *hate* it when bad things happen to good people. And you, Kyle Bryant, are one of the “goodest” people I know!

    I haven’t been able to ride for months because symptoms of my MS have been flaring up, and the loss of riding my trike is exactly as you describe – a loss of independence, freedom, and identity. I’ve actually been growing soul-sick from all these weeks-on-top-of-weeks of not riding. I would imagine that’s the kind of feelings that flashed before your eyes when you saw that your 700 was gone, and I’m so sorry that someone caused you to experience that.

    Please keep us updated. And Kyle, you are welcome to borrow my shiny new ICE VTX in the meantime if you have a way of getting it from me to you; nothing would make me happier than knowing you were riding it!

    Warm regards,

    Denise Lanier

  7. Kyle,

    “Minimize the Loss” – Move Forward…says it all. Keep daring, sharing and FARAING!

    Well written. Well told. Keep up the good work, Bro.


  8. Daniel Parker-King says:


    Glad to hear there still ain’t nobody that can hold KB down.

  9. Paul Konanz says:

    Excellent article, Kyle!

    Only 3 years ago I was believing gene and stem cell therapies would only be starting in at least 10 years; after all ours is a rare orphan disorder. And here we are with not one, or two, but THREE companies revving their drug process engines to speed this research along! And we’ve already got stem cell derived FA nerve cells to use/test against in our research labs! Whew! Takes my breath away! And FARA has been, is and will be SO instrumental in all this FA research maintaining the maximum momentum!

    Thank you for the trike life lessons. May I expand/generalize on your turning to your dad? No FAer (and no disabled person nor TAB) needs to be isolated and powerless at these moments of crises; there are “dads” all around them if they just reach out. Take 10 minutes to let the feelings of anger and despair wash around you but then reach out. FARA, INTERNAF, the several FA Facebook groups; suddenly there will be 10 or 30 or 50 “dads” adding their voice and mind to your problem to add calm and movement to the problem.

    Looking forward to seeing you in a week!

  10. Joe Gatto says:

    This story saddens me. I am sure the person who could commit such a cruel act, if they only knew your incredible determination and the history would of polished your Catrike instead of stealing it.
    Kyle, you never cease to amaze all of us with your beautiful attitude on life. Never once have you ever appeared to be anybody but the person shooting for the stars. So proud of you Buddy, so proud. A true inspiration!!!


  11. Nygel Lenz says:


    This story reminds me of the Pee Wee Herman movie when his bike was stolen. ;) That’s the funny part.

    It is certainly a shame that someone stole your Catrike, devastating! However, I am happy to see how you persevered like you always do. Some bumps in the road are huge. It is how we react that is important. Great job, as always.

    I really hope that you find/replace your trike.


  12. Edie says:

    Love your attitude, Kyle! Thanks for sharing your positive spin. I’m ready to click on “Buy Kyle a new Catrike” link – if you post it, donations would come: You rock!

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