This year, I had the opportunity to participate in the Good Sam Bike Jam. This is a charity ride promoted by the Exempla Good Samaritan Foundation to improve equipment and training at the Exempla Medical Center. JDRF had a team participating that was also raising money for Type 1 diabetes research.
The ride was very well supported and offered distances including 16, 32, 45, 62 and 100 miles. For the metric century riders looking for more of a challenge, a Super 62 was available that went up to Jamestown.
I started on the Easy 62 mile ride around 7:30 in the morning. I felt great during the first hour and enjoyed the cool start temperature and the great route. The second hour, it was slowly dawning on me, what I had committed to. Although I did not collect pledges, I still had every intention of riding the 62 mile route. The aid stations helped tremendously, but I had forgotten what it feels like to be on the bike that long.
Regardless of how many snacks I ate, I was still running on empty the last 20 miles of the ride. I was also pretty dehydrated, regardless of sucking down about 2 quarts of water. My ass hurt and in the future, I will definitely pack some extra chamois cream. Even my feet hurt and it felt great to pull up on the pedals.
My bike held up great, but as I am rarely on the bike for more than a couple of hours, I started noticing creaks more and the inconsistent shifting was really driving me crazy. For some reason, my derailleur doesn’t like the 26 tooth cassette ring. It is happy in the 28 or 24, but won’t go into the 26 whether I am going up or down the gears. During the ride, it was also running pretty angry in the 28 and 24. I even fiddled with the cable tension, thinking that may play a role. I think it is just due for a solid cleaning and careful lubrication. If that doesn’t work, I am taking the bike in for service. I might have them re-wrap the bars as that started to loosen up also.
All in all it was a great event that brought around 500 riders out to raise some money. A charity ride has been on my “to do” list for quite some time. This was a great low key event that fit into my schedule nicely.