A few weeks ago, my friend Andrea Fox asked me if I would like to ride with her in the Mamma Jamma Ride to beat back breast cancer. Andrea's mom passed away several years ago, and she undertook a beast of a task... raise money and awareness, then use those funds to pay the entry into the 2011 Mamma Jamma. She was monumentally successful, raising over $6000 for breast cancer research. In doing so, she also had spots available for her cycling friends to ride with her in memory of her mother and all breast cancer survivors, along with those who couldn't beat the illness.
Along the way, Andrea held several events, including a book sale, an online silent auction, and the Bikes, Brews, and BBQ for Breast Cancer Research. The latter started from her house, and included a hill challenge, a mountain bike hill challenge, some cold beer donated by the great folks at Shiner Beers, and a BBQ lunch from Dickie's BBQ.
For Saturday's ride, she asked her friends Melissa Miller, Hawk Harris and myself to ride with her on the 100 mile "Century Ride." I was honored to be asked to participate... You see, Andrea and Hawk can kick my ass all over a road ride (except on the descends as I still have gravity working on my side...) So, Saturday rolls around. Oct 1, and FINALLY, a day which resembles fall in Austin, TX. I left my house at 6AM to drive to the ride start at Reunion Ranch. It was 64 degrees when I left my house. By the time I got to Reunion Ranch (about 20 miles from my home,) it was 48 degrees. I knew I should have brought arm warmers!
We rolled out at 7:30AM to a brisk opening segment of the ride. The initial plan was to ride all the way to Burnet, skipping the first two pit stops. Unfortunately, Mr. Murphy stepping in and I had a bit of a mechanical issue as a spoke came loose. So, being good teammates, they stopped at the 20 mile pit for repairs. Only one problem... no mechanic at the pit! Seriously? Turns out the are all driving around in the SAG truck. So I have to fix my own issue. Fortunately a volunteer had a Leatherman on him. Repair made, back on the road.
By this time, it had warmed up a bit, a very light breeze blowing. (Quite different from my last Century ride in Shiner!) A wonderful day for a ride. We made our way through most of Burnet County, even having to slow down because cattle are crossing the road as we passed on a County Road that goes right through the middle of several ranches (one family owned since 1852!)
We roll back into Reunion Ranch at a time of 6:02, for a 16.1MPH rolling average speed. We all fell really good about this, and now its time for BBQ and a beer. Thanks again to Andrea for asking me to be a part of this special tribute. I rode for my aunt, Joyce Smith, a nearly 20 year survivor, my friend Carla Cooper who was going through her own cancer scare, and in memory of my granddad, JR Waddell, who passed away in 1986.
Saturday night, after the ride, Jina and I had tickets to see Miranda Lambert along with Randy Rogers Band and Justin Moore at the Cedar Park Center. About 6:30PM, as we were heading over, my friend Heather White of the KASE 101 morning crew called me and asked where I was? About 15 minutes from the Cedar Park Center...why?
She had two "meet and greet" passes to meet the members the Randy Rogers Band, but the meet and greet is at 6:45. Can I make it? I said yes, and dropped the hammer on the ole Dodge, until I saw the Travis County Sheriff's deputy behind me. Thought I was gonna get pulled over, but alas, sometimes its better the be lucky than good! We made it in time, and Jina got to drool over Randy and his fiddle player, Brady Black (don't tell his wife though!) Everyone put on a great show, lots of fun... but Miranda is one pissed off chick... someone did a number on her back in the day. She reminds me of the country version of Alanis Morrissete.
Sunday morning, Jina and I drove down to the Capitol to support our friend Mike LaRocca of Rally for Real Food and the Beanitos . I firmly believe it is important to control the amount of crap you put in your body (a revelation since my WLS.) So we joined the Austin community to speak out against genetically modified foods! Keep you veggies clean and know where your meat comes from!
It was a good crowd, lots of samples and education. Several speakers and then some wrap up from Mike LaRocca, Executive Director of the Rally and proud member of the Beanitos family. After that, we mulled around for an hour talking about life and the great weather (mid 80's and sunny!)
All in all, a good day. Jina and I drove over to AJ's Cyclery to pick up the bike, which had gotten a tune up, and grabbed a little lunch.
I encourage each and every one of you to examine what you are doing from an advocacy standpoint. Reach out today to help someone in need, or support a cause you find worthy! But do something!