Half Way Day


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.



Seek Shade and Stay There

What’s sweatin’ ya’ll. I was today, substantially. For the past two days the Go Jim Go team has been like s’mores on the campfire, like ants under a magnifying glass. Summer just won’t quit. Every moment of shade was relished as long as possible. Despite the long miles in the heat, it was totally worth it when you have the days of philanthropy like we have experienced so far this year.

Today we were in Tipton and Lauderdale County. The early hours of the morning were dreamy conditions for a cyclist. Absolutely heavenly riding temperatures prior to the post lunch scorching. It was just cool enough that you might consider arm warmers, but when that golden fall morning sun hits you, it’s impossible not to grin and give a wink of thanks for your blessings of the moment.

We rolled out of the Millington YMCA after a nice chat with Angela and Justin representing the YMCA administration. The Y has been a great sponsor of Go Jim Go for several years now. On a personal note, I’ll take this chance to say that my family became members at the Cordova YMCA earlier this spring and we have absolutely loved it. As a matter of fact my family is at the Y’s pool as I compose this after just finishing the kids and family fitness class they have available. It is a great facility and great options for all. Such a positive for my family.

It was a superbly pleasant ride through the resplendent, rural landscape of this area. Many homes already decorated with the fall themes, lots of pumpkins. The soybeans and corn yet to be harvested.

A good looking cycling peloton, everybody in formation, sporting the new kits. (Cycling Definition: Kits – Matching team jersey and shorts combo). Bikes all shined up, all the gears and equipment working and humming, carbon fiber wheels with new rubber making that smooth flow sound they make as they roll down the road suspending the rider on 100 psi. A never ending path before freshly shorn legs and perfect machines.

Our first destination was Drummonds, Tennessee. Then we traveled to Munford, then Halls, to Covington, Tipton, Austin Peay then all the way to Bolton and back to Millington.

I can’t tell you how much fun we had with all the kids of these all American communities. They were so excited to see us, many having to stand in the heat as we made our way to their schools. Not only did they greet us with warm and wild welcomes, these communities made some significant donations to the cause. The check from Munford High School put us over the $100k grand total for the week! Amazing. I think…I could be wrong, but this might be our second best one day school l collection in Go Jim Go history! Grand total for the day from these 11 schools was $25,000! On behalf of all the riders, we are so humbly grateful to everyone for a simply spectacular day and for your generous gifts to one of the greatest institutions in this part of the country.

Our ride started at about 8am and we rolled back into the Millington YMCA at around 3:45pm. My Garmin said the average temperature was 95 on the pavement. We traveled a total of 56.4 miles.

Also, an absolutely perfect day from an operations and logistics perspective thanks to our incredible road team. It’s a huge team effort and we are toast without you. Appreciate all your work to support us and keep us hydrated, fed and protected. Zero mishaps, zero close calls. Special props to Jennifer Turner, one of our guest riders today who calls this area home and also a Le Bonheur Outpatient Clinic Physician Practice Administrator. She toughed it out in the hills and heat and we enjoyed having her ride with us. Great job Jennifer! I’ll see you around the shop and for next years ride!

Desoto tomorrow!


No Gym? No.

All of the training Jim has done in preparation for this year’s ride obviously has not included any bench press, preacher curls or lat pull downs. Because at this morning’s Go Jim Go kick off at WREG, no question the best, most exciting send off in GJG history, Jim was unable to break paper.

In all fairness to the big guy, the banner was taped together pretty good and I think the cheer leaders let go of the paper.

Overall super day touring the streets of Memphis. Generous schools, terrific teachers and great enthusiasm and fun. The most touching moment was our stop at the Shrine School. These very special kids, many Le Bonheur patients were so happy to see us and we were so humbled by the administrators and teachers and what they do for these children.

Brutally long day with seventy total miles logged in tough heat and piercing direct sun. Forgive me, this post is short because I am absolutely baked.

nite, nite.

OK, Go Jim Go!

Greetings time traveler. Disoriented? Confused? A bit stunned?  Yes, you have been locked in a time vortex and just sped through one entire year since last we corresponded via this blog. Remarkable, eh?

Hello Go Jim Go blog buddies! Not only are we back, the rides have already been underway. In the bag are 82 miles with the Tour of Bartlett last Friday (9/9) and the Tour of Collierville this past Thursday (9/15). Both rides were HOT, bout 120 degrees on the pavement, but text book days with all of the Go Jim Go VIPs from the WREG and Le Bonheur logistics and planning teams, the riders and of course, the events namesake returning to take up their  roles as if this time jump never happened. We even have the same RV including the smells.

The two tour days included all the same magic that makes this ride and event so much fun. Awesome kids and incredible effort by the school administrators. Really terrific receptions and experiences both days from all the schools. However, so far Collierville High School and Crosswind Elementary takes the awards for most creative fundraising and most school spirit. Crosswind built their Go Jim Go bikes again and pulled off another monster check of over $5,000. Collierville High School did this whole “Don’t Worry Be Hippie” theme that had the students dressed like some of our team riders used to dress for the campus protests back in their day. I never cease to be amazed by the energy and generosity that all the schools we visit show our team and the mission we are on. Thank you Bartlet and Collierville.

The big kick off of the official six days begins this Wednesday morning at Channel 3. The Live at 9 crew has a big tailgate party planned in the WREG back yard for the launch. Join us!

This year I will be doing more posting over on my new Tumblr page set up for the 2016 affair. Hopefully, more pics, fun and inside scoop with a faster turnaround than this blog. Check it out, follow and like: www.gojimgo2016/tumblr.com.

The time treadmill keeps churning, Go Jim Go year eleven…year eleven! It is upon us. Here it goes again…

Day 6 and the Trolley Track Attack

With a spin, a whoop and a whirl, a cheer and a tear and unfortunately a crash, so goes the final day of the Jim Jaggers tour of the Mid-South. But wait, didn’t we just start? We are done already? Never has six days gone by so fast except for of course, last year’s ride.

The final day of the tenth year had us re-configuring our early morning ride logistics and coordination. Usually we meet up and drive to our departing location and end up where we start. Today’s ride required us to start on the east side of town and end up at Le Bonheur for the big finishing telethon.

Steve, Ray and I met Wayne at his house in Germantown and with everything that we thought we would need for a day on the bike that had the potential for yet more rain and a change of clothes for the post telethon celebrations all stuffed into backbacks. My fellow rider’s packs were surprisingly light and small compared to mine which looked as if I had also brought my pillow and comforter. It would be more justifiable fodder in reference to my acknowledged prima donna status. I almost needed an extra bike for my bag, but hey, there is no bad weather only the wrong gear.

Comments like, “You sure Grandma can breathe in there?” and “You really need one of those orange triangles for a Wide Load.” continued as we saddled up at 6:45 and headed out to our rendezvous with the rest of the team and breakfast at Landers Ford at Houston Levee and Poplar. Despite the prediction of my compadres I did not ride a wheelie the whole way.

In what has become a GJG day 6 tradition, the wonderful folks at Landers Ford had their usual hot breakfast spread waiting for us. Chicken and sausage biscuits, fresh fruit, hot coffee and a warm and toasty friendly reception.

Though the breakfast and the anticipation of the last ride had us in good spirits, all the riders eyes were nervously eyeing the far Western sky which was almost as black as the coffee.



Speaking of black, we also had another issue with the RV that needed to be urgently addressed. Let’s see, how do I put this without being too gross. A well hydrated and well-nourished riding team results in a RV holding tank that has to “go” as bad as the riders do. The RV would be dispatched post haste to the nearest RV “restroom” so we would be without until at least lunch. Oh well, guess we will need to plan for a backup RV for next year! Not a big deal really despite my P.D. classification. We would be in town close to lots of facilities opportunities if needed. Somehow…I would survive.

The team rolled out of the Landers parking lot around eight for a slow Collierville tour. We had two very special guest riders with us today, two very special Le Bonheur physicians, Dr. John Weyless and Dr. Andy Papanicolau, pronounced, Papa-nika-Laow. Both world renowned neurologists and solid cyclists to boot.

Our first stop this morning was the YMCA at Schilling Farms. A great sponsor and one of the reasons Jim is riding the best he has ever ridden.

After the Y and with time to spare before our first scheduled school stop, our team of nine riders tooled around some of the best riding roads in the area and yes there are some good riding roads in Collierville. Not always the longest stretch of road, but pretty good for such a busy municipality.

The fall leaves are coming and the early arrivals were blowing and dancing in our path and under our wheels. The disgruntled clouds refused to relinquish any sunshine and though they looked like they really wanted to, could not summon enough moisture to make it rain. So with the dark roads enveloped in grey we appeared to be riding though what would have been the perfect setting for an eerie Hollywood thriller, but thankfully rain was not written into this script.

In one of the highlights of the day, we made a right turn and were able to see a school bus that had been in the line of cars behind our caravan. Bellowing from inside the bus was the sound of 40 or more kids chanting “Go Jim Go!” It was so sweet and touching as it was also a realization moment that this 10 year adventure has become a real recognizable brand and a true sense of excitement for the younger children.

Thanks little buddies! It's all for you!

Thanks little buddies! It’s all for you!

Our first schools stop of the day was Collierville Elementary Stadium and the little Dragons who delivered us a check for $890. Then onto Farmington Elementary where we were delighted to be welcomed by everything from Ninja Turtles to Stormtroopers, to princesses, to vampires. In a Go Jim Go first, all the children (and teachers) were decked out in an early test run of their Halloween costumes! I didn’t see anyone dressed up as a Fundraiser (Bruno Maglis, Barbour blazer and a tumbler of 12 year old scotch), but they should have been because they gave us our biggest school donation of the day coming in at $3,038! Next was Riverdale Elementary and another super job for the cause and a donation of $2,700. Followed by a superfast downhill, with a tailwind run to Sonic at Winchester and G’town Pkwy for our usual city ride lunch stop.

Once again our generous lunch provider and big supporter, Bobby Solberg was there to greet us and offer us carte blanch on the Sonic menu. While we were enjoying lunch we were surprised by team rider Donna Brown’s boss who showed up to present Jim a check from the Memphis Credit Union for and unannounced check for $5000! Getting closer to that goal!

Boss of Downtown Donna Brown don't mess around!

Boss of Downtown Donna Brown don’t mess around!

Since this was the last day, I went ahead and let what little hair I have left down a little and ordered a large soft serve vanilla ice cream on a cone. A delicious treat that unbeknownst to me I would get to experience a second time only not so enjoyable on take two. After we departed the Sonic I saw an opportunity to do a little stunt maneuver on my bike. It was a car transport trailer with the wheel ramps down so I rode up the ramp and bunny hopped off the edge. Moments later my front wheel tire succumbed to the impact and I flatted. The team stopped for a moment and Karen Malagorski was out of the support vehicle in a flash to assist. However, the team was on a tight time frame to get to the next stop and could not wait. Off they went as Karen and I changed the flat and Ray stayed back like a true bro.

Flat was changed, but the team was outta sight. With a headwind and a belly full of breakfast burrito and ice cream Ray and I had to drop the hammer. Post lunch interval training is awful and ice cream tastes way better the first time around, smooth cold and sweet not hot, regurgitated and burning. Soon the giant booty of the RV was in sight and with about 6 or 8 minutes ridding at 25 plus mph we were able to rejoin. Nice job Ray!

Next, our second YMCA stop of the day and then off to the Campus School on the University of Memphis Campus and another fat check of $1,100! Awesome Tigers! Motor we did to Idlewild Elementary and collect we did of yet another $2,100. Closer, closer! And last school stop of 2015 at Bruce Elementary.

What has also become a Go Jim Go tradition is our final run in prior to the telethon at Le Bonheur to the WREG offices down by the river. We rolled straight down Union Avenue with Johnny Cash blasting as we passed Sun Studios. More music that made Memphis as we played some Bar-Kays rolling past the Peabody and Red Bird stadium. Lots of perplexed looks, smiles and waves from the pedestrians. Left on Front street and deeper into the heart of the city. With the team in a giddy mode as we neared the end of our phenomenal 2015 experience, laughing, singing, waving, jolly and joyous…careful, watch the tracks!

Jim! Beware the tracks!

Jim! Beware the tracks!

Less than a half mile from the station and the end of the ride, after 5 days of flawless riding, Jim went down. It happened behind me and I heard the indescribable, but awful sound of a bike and body impacting on the hard deck of the road. As I turned to look behind me I saw our man in a heap on the ground with a grimace on his face. I had not yet come to a full stop when my front wheel also went into one of the treacherous ruts causing me to almost fall as well. When I got back to Jim he was back on his feet. Dr. Andy was already assessing him. It was later determined that Dr. Andy’s pedal has impacted the back of Jim’s helmet causing a large chunk of the helmet to break off. Other riders had thought for a moment seeing a piece of something bouncing down the road that it was some part of Jim’s head!

We waited a moment inspecting for any serious damage as Jim insisted that he was fine. In what could have been a disastrous moment and very easily a broken collar bone, wrist or hip, it appeared that we had been blessed another miracle because aside from a scrapped knee and a bloody elbow, Jim was OK. Back on the bike he was on his way. I’d like to compliment you Mr. Jaggers on your ability to bounce. And if it is any consolation, railroad tracks continue and will always be one of the most treacherous nemesi to the skinny road bike tire. They have claimed the bike, body and bone of all levels of cyclists. Cycling Tip (for the masses): Always cross a railroad track with the most perpendicular angle possible and it they are wet, get off and walk.

We rolled into the always warm and genuine reception from Mr. Walter, General Manager and the entire Channel 3 staff waiting for us in the parking lot with pizza and ice cream. Somebody had started a cruel rumor earlier in the day that there would be a margarita machine this time, but it was only wishful thinking as we were all still on the clock. Another Kuhar idea shot down in flames.

WREG parking lot reception

WREG parking lot reception

The team was placed on a temporary holding pattern at the station as we waited for the final segment of the ride to the hospital and the live telethon. We hung out in the RV and in addition to fondly reminiscing about the most heartfelt moments of our week together also seized every possible opportunity to give each other the most good natured grief and ridicule about every flaw, mistake and personal silliness encountered on the ride. Hilarity ensued.

Last roll out. We saddled up at around 5:30 and did the last leg over to the hospital and the big show awaiting us. We got to the hospital and all the activity of the staff volunteers and audience prior to the showtime at 6:30. In typical showbiz fashion, it was hurry up and wait while we stage our bikes in the hallway waiting for the cue to ride down the long corridor straight into a live TV show. The most poignant advice of the entire event; don’t crash on live TV.

Blake Robetson School of Riding Tip: Never, ever crash on like TV.

Blake Robertson School of Riding Tip: Never, ever crash on live TV.

Nobody did and it was a terrific show. It was highlighted by so many amazing stories, sponsors, contributions and excitement. Steve Roberts even showed up with another $17,000! Hats off the John Gwin the WREG Director of the live broadcast who from my perspective pulled off an amazing show and provided a showcase for the for the final grand total of $343,129! WE DID IT! Got the goal and then some! Wow! So happy for the team, Le Bonheur and Jim!

Well, that’s it. End of the 2015 reports. I want to thank everyone who took the time to read the blog and for those who offered their comments and compliments. I enjoy bringing you a little insight from the road and a look behind the scenes of Go Jim Go. It’s a very special event to be a part of and I am truly grateful.

That gratitude also goes out to so many who make it all possible; Meri Armour, Ron Walter, Rick Kanschat, my wife Regina, the Support Services team at Le Bonheur, Eric Sefton, Scott Sutherland and the staff at WREG, David (Hotty Toddy) Henson, Antoinette Katoe, Karen Malagorski, Sarah Patterson, the amazing Steve Roberts, my Go Jim Go Teammates; Donna, Wayne, Steve, Ray and Bill, Keith the RV diver, the staff of the Le Bonheur Marketing, Communications and Foundation teams, the generous sponsors, Sonic, YMCA, Bikes Plus, Southhaven RV, the amazing teachers, school administrators who coordinate and orchestrate and the school children who take the time to make the signs, make the donations, make us feel so welcome and help us achieve our goal every year all while learning the value of giving. Thanks to all who gave, be it a little or a lot, it matters.

And lastly, to Jim, my thanks and appreciation for your passion, energy and commitment that has been unfaltering over an incredible ten years. Congratulations sir…A job well, well done.

Thank you all for a fantastic 2015 Go Jim Go! Until next year…



Rinse and Repeat – Day 5

“Ever bike? Now that’s something that makes life worth living!…Oh, to just grip your handlebars and lay down to it, and go ripping and tearing through streets and road, over railroad tracks and bridges, threading crowds, avoiding collisions, at twenty miles or more an hour, and wondering all the time when you’re going to smash up. Well, now, that’s something! And then go home again after three hours of it…and then to think that tomorrow I can do it all over again!”
– Jack London

To do it all over again indeed. Our Somerville, Oakland, Rossville, Moscow, Somerville Fayette County Tennessee tour dealt us another day of soaking rain early that gave way to magnificently clearing skies and song inspiring sunshine.

Many school visits beginning with Fayette-Ware High, East Jr. High, Oakland Elementary, West Junior High, Southwest Elementary, Rossville Academy, Lagrange-Moscow Elementary and finally Buckley Carpenter Elementary.

All the kids gave us great receptions and generous contributions with the stand outs being Oakland Elementary with $2000, Rossville Academy for $1000 and Buckely Carpenter for $2001!

66.5 miles traveled today in 4 hours of actual ride time with no mishaps or issues. Even with the short period of uncomfortable muck this morning, I never got to stage 2 (see yesterday’s post) of getting soaked on the bike. Wayne showed us some beautiful roads this afternoon and I still agree wholeheartedly with Mr. London’s assessment. As of this evening we are sitting just under 300 miles for our total mileage for the 5 days so far. The 333 mile goal will be easy pickings tomorrow.

In what has been a blur, tomorrow brings the final day of riding for Go Jim Go 2015 that will be capped off by the telethon from the lobby of Le Bonheur at 6:30pm presented live on WREG Channel 3.

Total for the day is $7,712! Thank you Fayette County Schools! Thank you all so very much. Which brings us to a current grand total of $213,712. We have $120,000 to go to meet our goal, I hope you will consider a donation. Any amount will help. www.gojimgo3.org.

Rounding the home stretch. See you on the streets of Memphis tomorrow.

Sarah, Scott and Jim working way before sunup!

Sarah, Scott and Jim working way before sun up!

Sarah Patterson stunt photographer.

Sarah Patterson, stunt photographer.

Rossville Academy artistic brilliance!

Rossville Academy artistic brilliance!

Le Bonheur patient and Rossville Academy student, Blaine O'Donnell. Get well soon Blaine!

Le Bonheur patient and Rossville Academy student, Blaine O’Donnell. Get well soon Blaine!

You tell me?

You tell me?

Captain Steve Kuhar! A cup of hot joe with my bald bro!

Captain Steve Kuhar! A cup of hot joe with my bald bro!

Yes, please!

Yes, please!


Karen Malagorski from Bikes Plus gets her ride in today and took a city limit sprint!

Karen Malagorski from Bikes Plus gets her ride in today and took a city limit sprint!


Day 4 – Wynne it’s time to get wet

Well the streak is over. After an incredible 8 year run of nothing but sunny Go Jim Go days, today we finally got wet.

During the hour long haul over to Forrest City we had intermittent showers the entire way and as the sun was coming up, the clouds over Arkansas were low and sulky. It was not yet raining as we were staging, but all knew it was just a matter of time. At the first pedal stroke out of the parking lot the rain began to fall. So much for my freshly detailed bike.

Not pouring, just steady. Water began to find it’s way into every piece of fabric and every bend, crook and crack of your body. When riding a bike in the rain there are two demoralizing moments when the water really starts to drench. No.1, the feet and shoes. It’s a miserable feeling when the first flow of water soaks through your socks and chills the bottom of your feet eventually filling up the entire shoe and adding what seems like five extra pounds to your pedals. No. 2 your butt crack. Sorry TMI, but that first drop of cold water that enters the unmentionable valley between the cheeks is awful enough to make you want to turn around. In most cases however, today included, that is not an option. So soldiered on we did. Jim’s the one with the light.

The upside is that the weather was not too cold this morning. Although the temperature, wind and water made it just a little chilly it was not unbearable. To be honest it was a nice variation in what we have been accustomed to for so long.
IMG_0492Our traditional rest stop at the Country Store on 284. Where Mrs. Phyllis Lindley owner of the Country Store gave us a donation of $400 dollars she has been collecting at her cash register for Jim and Le Bonheur. So very kind. Last year we shared the story told by Mr. Lindley of how their daughter now 40 years old had been helped by Le Bonheur when she was a child. Thank you Lindley family!
FullSizeRender(3)We scuba-ed our way down Hwy 284 to 64 to 163 to 364 to 1 into Wynne. A smooth uneventful ride. Low grey clouds over Crowley’s Ridge and fertile Arkansas farmland with the nonstop smattering of precipitation the entire way. A few little uphill bumps and slick curves to navigate as well.
IMG_0499In Wynne it was time for our scheduled rendezvous with our Angel of Arkansas, our Sodbusting Saint, our Miraclemaker in mudboots, our benevolent, bearded, buccaneer of the backroads,  Mr. Steve Roberts. If you are not familiar with Steve and his Go Jim Go legacy watch this:

Well, Mr. Roberts has been going full bore with his special style of fundraising and at a lunch table in Wynne, Arkansas, over fried chicken and cooked carrots, Mr. Roberts handed Mr. Go a bank envelop containing $63,000! Most of us choked on our sweet tea some of us just wept. Simply wow. Thank you Steve Roberts, but I have a feeling your fireworks are not over yet.

Our lunch at Kelly’s was once again compliments of Mr. Tony Bull of Bull Motors. Thank you Mr. Bull!

As we came out of Kelly’s around 12:30 the clouds were still looking like we were feeling, plump and heavy, but the rain had completely stopped.

After lunch we were joined by local farmer and guest rider. Mr. Brent Howton on his big mountain bike. He had planned to ride with us a bit on a bike some of us wished we would have had earlier in the muck.

Guest rider, Brent Howton

Guest rider, Brent Howton

Our first of only two school stops was next at Wynne Intermediate School.

IMG_0506Great to see all of the excited kids lined up to great us and crank up the smiles on our faces. On top of a rousing reception, the Yellow jackets went ahead and became the school contributing the highest amount for far this year to the tune of $14, 561! BA-BA-BA BOOM! Wow! Unbelievable! Amazing job Yellow Jackets! Thank you so much.

Principal pie fight!

Principal pie fight!

As we got over the shock and awe of our last donation,  we headed out of town on our way back to Forrest City. Mr. Howton rolled with us a bit and then headed back to Wynne.

Actually a very nice ride back. Though it looked as if we would get wet again. The rain held off and we enjoyed a nice tailwind out of the northwest as we meandered through the unique beauty of a countryside surrounded by broodish weather.
IMG_0516On to our last stop and the great staff and students of Lee Academy in Marianna, AR. How cool is this? The students had actually been dismissed at 3pm, but we did not get close until around 4pm, but a gang of the students actually stayed late or came back to just greet us! Then they added to our collections by $4,211! Yes Cougars! Thank you!

So if you are keeping track that’s a $82,235 take for the day. Having covered 67 miles, that’s1,227 bucks per mile. Best day yet! They just keep getting better! Heck, Jim even got a cotton seed named after his goal today.
IMG_0498Thank you to all in Arkansas who made it such a great day for Go Jim Go. We cracked $200k grand total today, but are still a ways away from our $333k goal. Please donate anything you can over at http://www.gojimgo3.org.

Respect to my fellow riders this morning for gearing up, knuckling down and forging ahead. Grit and resilience in the face of personal discomfort for the team and the cause. Admirable attributes to be sure.

To Fayette County tomorrow! See you there!

A thought if your road gets dark and stormy,