Second year event raises money for cycling development in Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley; Signup Closes Thursday
In its second edition, the Grand FUNdo has set one goal: do better than the inaugural 2010 Grand FUNdo. One might say that is a mammoth task, as 2010 featured an ice cream truck rest stop, multiple professional riders – including Jelly Belly presented by Kenda’s Brad Huff, Cannondale prepared by Cyclocrossworld.com’s Tim Johnson and Jamis/Sutter Home’s Jamey Driscoll – and a post-ride pig roast. But with the ride’s July 30th date quickly approaching, plans are coming together for 2011 to be bigger and better than ever.
For the second year running, Jeremy Powers of Jelly Belly presented by Kenda and Rapha-Focus, and his longtime friends Alec Donahue and Mukunda Feldman are hosting the Grand FUNdo to support the J.A.M. Foundation. Over 130 riders took part in the 2010 running of the FUNdo, and that number has already been surpassed in 2011.
The Grand FUNdo covers 65 miles in one of the most scenic areas of New England. The ride includes more than 20 miles of challenging, but maintained, dirt roads and climbs over 3,000 feet. Participants have the chance to rub elbows with some of the best professional cyclist in the country and test their fortitude on the difficult course. The GrandFUNdo welcomes riders of all ages, 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 25 miles of pain will leave you feeling like you just rode 100 miles. The climbing doubles over the course of the HUNdo and the 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.
“The Grand FUNdo puts together so many things that I’m passionate about in packs them into 1 day,” said co-organizer Jeremy Powers. “Western Massachusetts and its great cycling… and dirt roads! Delicious foods, a lot of laughing and every penny raised supports the J.A.M fund!”
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.
Far more professionals are expected at the 2011 edition of the Grand FUNdo. While Powers, Huff, Johnson and Driscoll are all committed to this year’s challenge, more of their colleagues have been persuaded to participate. Jelly Belly will have a third representative on the start list, as youngster Emerson Oronte will be making the trip to Southampton, Mass.
Joining the ride is Ryan Trebon, one of the biggest names in the cyclocross world, who will be representing his new LTS Felt team. Phil Gaimon will be joining in the colors of his Kenda/5-Hour Energy presented by Geargrinder team, while Justin Lindine, riding for BikeReg / Cannondale rounds out the current professional roster. More and more riders are signing up by the day, so don’t miss out on a great chance to ride with some of the brightest lights in American cycling.
Powers, Donahue and Feldman are in the second year of their 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, Alec and Mukunda (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.
“With the FUNdo and J.A.M we created an event that raises money to support our cause. It’s the perfect match of two great things,” Powers continues. “The riders have a great time at our event and just like them, we have a great time putting it on. The money we raise helps us and helps our riders reach their goals. It’s an event where everyone wins!”
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!