With his Grand Fundo, Jeremy Powers, professional rider for the Jelly Belly Cycling Team p/b Kenda and the Rapha-Focus professional cyclocross team, wanted to create a perfect day on the bike.
“It’s got everything Al, Mukunda and I want in a ride, from the route to the organization, the riders and even the food. When I want a route where my friends and I can catch up and not be interrupted by cars or stop lights, this is the one we ride. It’s very much a reflection of our personalities.” Powers stated days before the event.
And that’s exactly what happened this past Saturday when new and old friends came together for the Wheelhouse Sports Grand Fundo in Southampton MA. The smiling faces at the end of the day were the proof.
It wasn’t an easy ride by any means with the rolling terrain and dirt roads but that was part of the fun. The 64-mile Grand Fundo showcased some of the best and most difficult roads that the Pioneer Valley has to offer and the even more difficult Grand Hundo with an extra 20 miles tacked on.
Powers and his Jelly Belly teammate Brad Huff seemed to be everywhere on the ride, giving a helping hand be it fixing a flat, providing a little push on the climb is needed or just smiling and chatting.
And it’s all for a good cause. All of the proceeds of the Grand Fundo (and Grand Hundo) go directly to the JAM Fund, an organization formed by Powers and his longtime friends Alec Donahue and Mukunda Feldman to help young, aspiring cyclists achieve their personal and professional goals.
Grossing over $30K, Powers was happy to report that the event met its fund-raising goal. In 2012, the JAM Fund will focus on cyclocross having set its goal of supporting a team of young cross racers, allowing them to contest some of the nation’s biggest races.
The JAM Fund will also be announcing shortly three grant recipients. The goal is to work closely with these recipients, send them to a cross camp and provide the gear needed before the start of the season. Also, some of the money raised will be used to pay off expenses incurred by becoming a 501C3, a not-for-profit entity which the team felt was a big step in reaching their goals with the program and their vision for JAM.
One thing that differentiates this Grand Fundo from other charity rides is a sense of intimacy, you see it’s a family affair. Wives, girlfriends, mothers, nieces, uncles and close friends of the Powers, Feldman and Donahue trio all worked together to create the successful event. From marking the course, to rest stops which included fluffer nutter sandwiches, ice cream truck and of course, the now traditional Grand Fundo pig roast at the end with music and beer.
The day ended with the Grand Fundo raffle where Paul Nixon was the lucky winner of the grand prize: one of Jeremy Powers’ limited edition Team Rapha-Focus Focus Mares cyclocross bikes, valued at over $5,000. The raffle also included prize packs from Giro, Rapha, Mad Alchemy and others each valued at over $500.
Every year, the event gets better and better, can’t wait to see what happens in 2013.
Stay tuned for photo gallery.