Today’s post is one I have been saving for a rainy day. It’s pictures and stories that go with all my bicycle jerseys. And it’s raining in Austin finally, so feast your eyes on the colorful designs and logos, and hear about what is behind them all.
Hill Country Ride for AIDS (2015, 2016)
My first charity ride was the Hill Country Ride for AIDS. The white and red jersey was from an older ride, but I got it for $15 instead of the $80 they wanted for the new one. That ride was pivotal, in April 2015 (pre-Strava). I rode 50 miles without padded shorts or clip-in shoes on a 32-pound steel Gary Turner bike. I had never ridden more than 20 miles before that week. It was a monumental effort, and I also raised over $1,000. I rode a mile per year of life, too, which was extra motivation, as well as working for one of the beneficiaries.
The next year, 2016, I rode 104 miles, my first century. I more than doubled my fundraising too, to over $2,400. That was an epic adventure on my refurbished Fuji. The so-called century route was only 91 miles. So with 7 minutes to spare, I finished that. But then went back out to the first rest stop then to the start. I got yelled at for not taking off my number but no one got hurt or sued, so I didn’t care. I rode 100+ miles, people! Some people are lacking in perspective. Whatevs! I kicked some major ass on the second ride, and was the best on my team.
Mamma Jamma Ride to Beat Breast Cancer (2015, 2017)
The Mamma Jamma helps women and their familes with actual breast cancer services — not research. Theoretically, I should only have two jerseys. I bought the yellow older version since it was on sale. But also the first year I rode, the jersey didn’t ever come in, so I was given one for the next year. That didn’t fit well. Luckily the next time I rode it did fit. And since they both said “Top Fundraiser” for raising over $1,500, I could be proud of both of those efforts, on and off the bike.
The rides were 57 and 65 miles, and the funds raised were I think about $1,300 and $1,800. True story: the yellow jersey bears the marks of where I had my first of two crashes. At night, downhill, avoiding a drainage ditch, I hit a two-inch difference in the curb on a highway service road at a bridge. Ouch! The jersey was mostly OK, but has some scratches. (The bike was OK and I was able to bike home and nothing was broken.) But I had alot of skin off from the road rash, and a sore hip for a month. It was not a pleasant experience. Now I’m getting someone from the City of Austin Street Department to finally fix that sidewalk.
Sun & Ski Sports / MS 150 (2015, 2017)
During the first Mamma Jamma, I got connected with Sun & Ski Sports, because they were offering a great discount to participants. Fortunately, I knew the mechanic Mike from The Peddler. So he totally refurbished the Fuji Silhouette, which greatly improved my riding. The shop gave me the blue jersey to wear to promote the store after becoming a Brand Ambassador.
The black jersey is the one I’m most proud of, because I worked the hardest to get it. Plus it’s just a beautiful jersey. It is from the Bike MS 150 from Houston to Austin. This was my longest ride to date, which you can read all about here: 202 Miles in 2 Days: How I Bicycled from Houston to Austin & Raised $2,000 for MS.
I was actually on the S&S team, but it was centered in Houston, where their headquarters are. So I made some friends on the ride, but sadly none from Austin. I was cramping hard the second day, and the medical tent was running low on pickle juice. But I just kept going from rest stop to rest stop and drinking, eating, stretching and resting. When I finished, I had bar-b-que, and then added another 30 miles to make it a double century. The $2,167 I raised for the cause was of course the more important part of it. I’m proud of both accomplishments.
T.ime I.n T.he S.addle / A Dude Abikes
I saved the best for last, the A Dude Abikes custome special! I met a guy in the complexx at a previous residence who had his own t-shirt business on the side. Taking my art and idea to use the “Keep on Truckin'” font by R. Crumb, nice guy Joe hooked me up with this basic but effective jersey. I sold one to fellow rider Bill, and we rode the 2017 Mamma Jamma together.
That’s why the front says what is says: T.ime I.n T.he S.addle (which was one of my early blog posts — it’s politically correct or at least acceptable because it came from a doctor.) Bill had actually helped me through the first one when I was bonking hard in the heat with vultures circling overhead — and no roadkill… except me (almost). It is very hard to keep clean. I have an extra, but my hope is to make and sell more via this site at some point.
I’m all about that Time In The Saddle. And it got alot of laughs. Actually, I think it got honorable mention as second best team name! Other teams were called Titties and Beer, Save Second Base, and so on, and as this was a women-led event, it was to have a little fun while dealing with a serious issue. It’s one that they say touches 1 in 8 women in the US, and it has affected relatives and friends. So we were all very serious about raising the minimum of $300 and I was fortunate to be able to find people to add significantly to that.
Overall, I’m happy with my collection and look forward to adding to it at some point. Clothes don’t make the man, but they do help a dude stay cool and stylish while prowling the streets of Austin, Texas. Thanks for reading if you did, and I hope you’ll come back Friday for the next posting of A Dude Abikes!
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