Well, good day Go Jim Go tight short fans! You’re back? I’m touched! Really! Thanks for reading. Just logged a tremendous day on the road with Jim and the immediate description that comes to mind is that it was a non stop flow of cycling awesomeness! Not to rub it in, but if you are a rider at all, you missed a good one today. You saw the weather and to be out in it, on your bike with all the rider amenities and support that are part of a class event that GJG is, not to mention the screaming adoration of thousands of kids who treat you like a Beiber…it’s just awesome awesomeness.
Ain’t nothing like it, a shiny machine.
Got a feel for the wheel, keep the moving parts clean.
I’m pretty sure DLR is not thinking of a bicycle when he sings that lyirc, but for Go Jim Go week, it’s all about the bike. For those who know and ride with me understand that my bike needs to be like Dr. Boop’s OR when we roll out for another leg of Jim’s big week. Wayne even has bike detailing stops scheduled into every ride. Just kidding, but as Steve Kuhar says this a TV show that happens to involve a bikes. So I got up a tad early this morning to give my Giant TCR Advanced carbon fiber frame (from BikesPlus) with full Campagnolo Record and a set of Zipp 404 Firecreast wheels an early morning spa treatment. For the non-cyclists reading who made it through that last sentence, weighing in at 15.9 lbs. that’s a pretty respectable speed package. Never know when Scott will need you for a close up so my rig was looking sharp and ready. To me, it’s the best way to start a ride when all the equipment is shined up, all the high speed, high tech equipment is perfectly adjusted and dialed in insuring every single watt of energy produced by the body goes straight to the pavement and forward motion. So if you find a great mechanic, like Mike Hamm at BikesPlus, keep him happy! As for my personal challenges related to camera close ups, well, that can all be mostly remedied with colorful spandex, cycling caps, helmets and sunglasses!
Today’s plan was to meet at the Millington YMCA, (another one of our great sponsors) at 7am for a scheduled 7:40 roll out. Wayne picked me up in the Dirty Dova at a little after six, we bubble wrapped my bike and we headed out.
A Rembrandt inspired sky with a sleepy cloak of low fog in the fields as we traveled north.
Quick, get my oils and canvas!
Shortly following that spiritual moment, we arrived and put pre-ride preparation wheels in motion. Team all checked in, check the route, check the broadcast schedule, bottles topped, caffeinated, hydrated, tires pumped, riders pumped.
As of yesterday, Jim has been honored by his team with a new code name, as all great commanders are. Given the colorful new team leader kit Jim is wearing this year, he will affectionately and respectfully be referenced henceforth as “Skittles”.
Arm warmers required this morning sans “Skittles” as his natural fur coat provides ample insulation from any fall morning chill.
Rollout right on time and day two is underway! All the same drivers and riders this morning with the exception of a few fresh team rotations. In the pace car, from Le Bonheur, Marci and “DJ Maucky Mauck” from our Institutional Advancement department. Joining Antoinette from WREG is Katrina Dover for her day on the road with us. Also, we had a guest rider today returning from last year, a Pinarello Dogma and FedEx pilot, Brian Flax. Great to have your legs and your draft back Brian!
Like a Pro Tour peleton, the team lined up behind the pace car in a perfect two person paceline, followed by Karen Malgorski in the BikePlus support vehicle and providing the ultimate rear protection, Keith in our massive RV. As a cyclist, is is such a treat to have that insulated zone of protection giving us a chance to ride main roads and highways that would otherwise be ridiculously dangerous for a cyclist. Gives us maximum visibility and awareness for the cause and makes for giddy fun as a rider.
First stop today at Homer Skelton Ford in Millington, Then on to Millington Central High School where we were greeted by their live band and some pretty vocal students considering the early hour. They must have expresso machines in high schools now. Sadly, I committed a serious Millington Central High School faux pas. While trying to arrange a photo with the school mascot who was also there to greet us, I referred to him as a Spartan. Cue record scratch sound effect. At Millington Central High School it is THE TROJANS! Sorry Achilles!
A row of 3’s with Achilles. Thanks Millington CHS!
Back on the road for some superb Tipton County back country riding. Just a stellar morning to be traveling the sun streaked, treelined roads in the perky September air.
Onto the next school which was a absolutely pinnacle of the Gog Jim Go experience, the Brighton High School Cardinals rocked our morning with a fat check and a max decibel welcome:
Fortunately, I was able to distinguish the correct mascot name this time! Hard one to goof up.
Brighton High School Cardinal rocking the red!
From there on to Brighton Middle School, then back out on the road for more cycling nirvana. Headed to Covington, TN, next stop, lunch!
“Skittles” and sky!
We had an unexpected treat as we approached Covington, the city police department met us on the outskirts of town and gave us a VIP escort for an uninterrupted trip through every red light and intersection straight to their unbelievably charming town square and our awaiting BBQ.
Covington, TN Town Square Courthouse
The entire square was decked out for their Fall Festival this weekend and we had a chance to relax in the shade and enjoy some Little Porky’s pulled pork sandwiches, beans and slaw. If you happen to be in the Covington area this weekend or if you are looking for a nostalgic slice of Americana, I would highly recommend a visit.
Team shot with some of Covington’s finest. Thanks for the escort!
As much as we hated to leave, we had to finally end what was a perfectly delightful lunch stop and gear back up for the return leg. Our exit from town was once again given the uninterrupted presidential motorcade treatment. Apparently, they think very highly of Mr. Jagger’s up there.
On our way to our last school stop, Jim achieved a considerable milestone in his nine years of of this event. On Osborn Road we hit the sixty mile mark for the day which gave a Jim a grand total of 3000 miles ridden in nine years for the children for Le Bonheur. Congratulations and gratitude most sincere to be sure. Simply awesome “Skittles”.
60 today means 3000 in all! You can see my heartrate is a little elevated due to the moment :)
Last stop Bolton High School and a big check of $2,214. Thanks BHS! Then a nice, tight 20mph team rider paceline back to the YMCA.
I know, I know, I have said it before, but I can’t say it enough, it was simply a phenomenal day. Terrific weather, amazing riding on gorgeous back country roads, most hospitable treatment from a wonderful community as we were the recipients of humbling generosity. Thank you Tipton County for a memorable day. I hope I have done it justice recapping the memories here.
70 miles of smiles.
No mishaps, no mechanicals and very few sections of gravel and dust on the road, resulting a very low negative impact on the cosmetic brilliance of my hot looking bike. 70.5 miles logged in 4 hours and 26 minutes of actual ride time. That’s about a 14 and change mph average. Total raised today was $ 6,690 for a $95 per mile average. Grand total for all the rides so far, $69,570. All for the 177 kids being cared for today at Le Bonheur today.
The crew heads to Southhaven for day three tomorrow, but I regret that I cannot be there as my responsibilities to some big projects back at the office will have me sitting on something non-carbon fiber tomorrow and driving a mouse and keyboard instead of my Giant TCR. Good luck tomorrow team. I will see you again on Monday!
Still some great riding ahead and if I have swaded any of you other riders out there it’s not too late to join us. Drop me a line if interested and I will get you the details, email@example.com
To Jim, all the Go Jim Go crew and riders, the nurses, Docs and leaders at Le Bonheur… thank you!
And to the Le Bonheur kids…may you get well soon so you can eventually go on your own bike ride on a magnificent day like today.
The non-stop flow of cycling awesomeness!