And a good day to you dear reader, thanks for stopping by for another installment of my recaps as we hit the weekend break of our eleventh year. On our way to a total of over 4,500 miles and 2 million dollars. Wow, Go Jim Go just keeps on Going. (BTW, that’s about $450 bucks per mile)
Today we returned our never fail gold mine of Desoto County. Pay dirt it was indeed!
This morning was a bit of a sleep in day as Wayne and I met at 6:30 in Germantown opposed to the pre-dawn departures required for the last three days. Yes indeed there exists a 4:45am as I have seen it with mine own blood shot eyes.
We met the rest of the GJG road party crew at the Olive Branch YMCA for a scheduled 7:50 roll out. There was second sunrise and the angels sang as I unloaded my gleaming, polished road machine out of Wayne’s Yukon beast.
If you count the gimp with a limp, riding like a pimp, we had a baker’s dozen of a team today. Wayne Brain, Captain Kuhar, Downtown Donna Brown, Fredrick of Hollywood, Bikey Mikey (first timer Mike Rawlings), Lizard (first timer Liz Callicott) and myself along with several of our North Mississippi road riding buddies from the Hernando Bicycle Club joining us as they do every year; Michael Klappholz, Ron McCarter and the one and only Bo Mcaninch. Also, riding with us, returning alums Mark Underwood and keeping an eye on all the concerning issues from a corporate Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare HR perspective, Karen Lamport.
Being the bike snob that I am, I could not have picked a better group to represent the cause today. It was a perfect number of riders to make an effective presence on the road and with the kids, but not too many to manage riding on a complicated, heavily trafficked route. Everybody had great fitness and was able to hold tight double pace lines throughout the day (Cycling Definition: Double Pace Line – A group of riders riding in two distinct lines side by side. Provides safety, organization and maximizes most effective use of drafting). Plus, all the riders are passionate about the cause, great people and fun to be around.
The morning conditions were magnificent. We cherished every moment of the sub 90 temps because we knew what was in store for later.
Well, you might as well start things off with a BOOM! That is exactly what Lewisberg Primary/Elementary School did, first check of the day was $16,000. BOOM! Very close to the biggest check ever from a school. Lee Academy in Forest City still holds that record by a few hundred, but still best check ever from our Desoto County tours and the biggest check so far this year. A real stunner and we were all completely blown away by the generosity of the families and kids of these schools. As well as, the hard work of the teachers and administrators for making it happen. Awesome, awesome, awesome job! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Not to take anything away from any of the other schools. We had an incredible day as we traveled on to collect big fat checks from Hornlake Elementary, Shadow Oaks Elementary, Whitehaven Elementary, Whitehaven High school, Southhaven Elementary, Greenbrook Elementary and $4k from the little ones at Faith Preschool. Don’t tell my girls, but I am obviously way outta whack from the weekly allowance norm.
Also, making big additions to the total were our first time sponsor The Memphis Riverkings and Southhaven RV. Special thanks to the River Thing for joining us at some of our school stops.
Everything proceeded like clockwork today with only one minor moment of drama. Well, two really, if you count Bill’s bee sting. Okay, make it three because the AC in the RV went out. Just as we were about to stop for lunch, I broke a spoke in my front wheel. No, I was not sprinting for the Southhaven City Limit sign! I was just in a hurry to get to the food. That’s when the drama really began to unfold. A broken spoke is usually no big deal when you have our sponsor BikesPlus following every mile in their support vehicle. However, I was a running a deeper dish wheelset (Cycling Definition: Deep Dish – a wider carbon fiber bicycle tire rim ranging anywhere from 30-80 millimeters. The wider rim provides improved aerodynamics) and Karen did not have the extender tool needed to extend down into the wider rim to remove the hardware. At that point, my ride for the day was over. Since we did not have the RV with us at that time due to repairs that were underway (see a fore mentioned drama moment #3), there was going to be a real issue of where the heck to put me and all of my road smells. The pace car was full along with the BikesPlus vehicle. It was possible that I may end up discarded and waiting for pick up like an empty sack of Sonic.
Well, never has the phrase “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” been more true than at 12:10pm with a disabled bike. Behold the savior from Southhaven. To be specific, Josh Jacobs, the manager of The Peddler Bike Shop in Southhaven, MS. Josh and I go way back. He and I have been homies for over a decade. Josh and I were teammates on the old Backyard Burger and Memphis Velo squads, we used to race together and he even helped me install the tile in my kitchen. In a Hail Mary, I called Josh at work and he answered. Once aware of the predicament, without hesitation he was on his way with the front wheel from his own bike. It took him about 25 minutes to get there, but get there he did and with literally 5 minutes to spare before the required departure to be on time to meet the next group of adoring kids, Josh had me rolling again. Unbelievable! Huge thank you to Josh and the The Peddler Bike Shop.
With Josh, the kids and all the contributions we saw the very best in people today, but unfortunately we also got a little taste or I should say nose full of the worst. Some people, man. I do have to call out the guy in Southhaven in the hopped up white diesel pick up truck. Check this out. As we were traveling down Goodman Road returning to the Y, dude pulled alongside the peloton of riders, then guns the accelerator engulfing the riders with a giant cloud of black exhaust and continues down the entire length of the group. That was mean, bro and I know you meant to do it. I’ll pray for your deviant soul, but I will also wish you a catastrophic plumbing failure involving your septic tank.
Other than that, just a magnificent day. Great group, good ride, inspirational energy from the children, huge, humbling donations, HOT! No mishaps and just one broken spoke. The absolute best of the Go Jim Go experience. We traveled 55miles in average 96 degree heat to finish off the best week of Go Jim Go ever. With the Friday total of over $34,000, we now have an official grand total of $155,553!
Thank you Desoto County and South Memphis. So blessed. So grateful.
Rinse and repeat Monday in Forest City with the unpredictable fireworks of our amazing friend and Le Bonheur Go Jim Go Super Fan, Steve Roberts.
Patiently waiting for that cold front.
P.S. Jim and Bill are fine, but the RV AC is still questionable.