Cyclocross racer Jeremy Powers is leading cyclists through Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley with one goal in mind: fundraising. Powers and long-time friends Alec Donahue and Mukunda Feldman are hosting the second annual GrandFUNdo on July 30th to raise money for their J.A.M. Fund.
This event covers 65 miles in one of the most scenic areas of New England. The ride includes more than 20 miles of challenging dirt roads and climbs over 3,000 feet. Participants have the chance to rub elbows with some of the area’s famous cycling experts, and test their fortitude on the difficult course. The GrandFUNdo welcomes riders of all ages and ability levels, but the course is not for the faint of heart. For those wishing for an extra challenge in 2011, the Grand HUNdo should satisfy. An extra 20 miles of pain will leave you feeling like you just rode 100 miles. The climbing and rough dirt roads make for a tough day of riding, but no one will be left behind, and no one will leave without a smile on their face.
Everything is taken care of during the FUNdo. An experienced crew of volunteers from the J.A.M./NCC racing team – the combination of the J.A.M. vision and the organization of Feldman’s Wheelhouse Sports cycling team – make sure everything is safe and secure. In case of flat tires or mechanical failures, SRAM has provided follow cars. At halfway riders climb to the GrandFUNdo’s most anticipated attraction – an ice cream truck rest stop. When the ride is over, participants can sit back, relax and enjoy the FUNdo’s famous post-ride activities. Among them are an open-pit pig roast, plenty of great food, beer from High and Mighty brewery, and an extremely generous raffle with prizes provided by Jelly Belly, FOCUS Bikes, SRAM and Kenda.
In 2010 Powers was joined by former national cyclocross champion Tim Johnson, cyclocross superstar Jamey Driscoll and former criterium national champion Brad Huff. Those same star attractions plan on returning for year two, with a few more hot on their heels.
Powers, who rides professionally on the road with Jelly Belly p/b Kenda and with Rapha-FOCUS for cyclocross, is in the second year of his ongoing mission to raise money for J.A.M. Fund. The ride is the marquee fundraising event for the cause, which is the brainchild of Jeremy Powers, Alec Donahue and Mukunda Feldman (the J, A and M in J.A.M., respectively). The fund gives young Pioneer Valley area cyclists the opportunity to pursue athletic and personal goals through rigorous training, solid support, mentoring and leadership opportunities.
Young riders in the Pioneer Valley are encouraged to apply for J.A.M. grants and become part of the J.A.M./NCC Cycling team. In its first year, two J.A.M. grant recipients were able to travel with Powers to the Jelly Belly p/b Kenda training camp in California. Anthony Clark and Jeremy Durrin were able to experience just what it means to be a professional cyclist, and reinforce their desire to improve both as cyclists and individuals.
You can come to the GrandFUNdo for many reasons: the ride and the challenge, the food and the laughs, or the passion and the cause. But we will all come for one, main reason: the FUN!