Jeremy Powers and the J.A.M. Grand Fundo


PHOTOS: “Chris Milliman”:http://chrismilliman.com/  

On July 14th, 2012 the JAM Grand Fundo will kick off in Southampton, Massachusetts. Rapha-FOCUS (Cyclocross) and Jelly Belly Pro Cycling Team (Road) racer — Jeremy Powers — pulled together the J.A.M. Fund (and he is coincidentally the “J” as well) with friends Alec Donahue and Mukunda Feldman. Their ride will tour the hills and dales of Massachusetts raiding all the stocked ice cream trucks along the way. We caught up with Mr. Powers to find out a little more about the “Fundo,” the “Hundo”, and what we can expect to see out on the route in a few weeks. If you are contemplating joining the Fundo, all signs point to it being a great event. Sign up at BikeReg here. Then read the below question and answer with Jeremy Powers.

JD: I know that we have spoken about the JAM Foundation before, but for those who are just catching up. What is it? 

JP: Dreams start as one thing and morph themselves into another thing pretty quickly along the way. The JAM Fund was created with my best friends Alec Donahue and Mukunda Feldman. It was an idea we had as a way for the three of us to have something fun to do together as we got older and more busy!  For a long time Mukunda had been running the amateur program “Wheelhouse Racing” and independently we had all been helping out up-and-coming riders / racers in our area. By starting JAM, (which are each of our first initials) it really put a name to some of the things we already doing.

Our main goal when we started out was to give out grants to up-and-comers in the New England area that show drive and enthusiasm. We really wanted to help that young cyclist who is out there training and having fun and wants to try racing but can’t afford to register for events. Or that kid in Maine riding in the winter months without the proper clothing freezing his ass off. We wanted to help those kinds of guys because we all were those guys at one time or another! We know how hard it can be to make it in this sport. JAM is very much a feel good venture, the three of us have all personally given exorbitant amounts of energy and time to creating opportunities for up-and-comers and trying our very best to make a difference in that way.

Now in its third official year, we’ve submitted our paperwork to become a ‘not-for-profit’ organization and the money we’re raising through The Grand FUNdo is enough to sustainably, with out a title-sponsor fund our grants and our amateur program. The program has been a lot of work, but we have a great group sponsors who understand and share our vision. We are all doing our best to make this a program thats here forever, not just a couple of seasons.

This year the JAM Grand FUNdo (with an emphasis on FUN) will be kicking off on July 14th. What’s is the Grand Fundo? And how much fun will it really be?
 
The FUNdo is awesome. There’s the Fundo and the Hundo. One is 64 miles, so about 100 K, and the other is 88 miles. The HUNdo is pretty hard. It is not the hardest ride you’ll ever do but if you start out quickly, you will be fried at the end. It has over 8,000 feet of climbing. The FUNdo is my favorite day on the bike. It is like our rendition of what our perfect day on a bike would be like. There will be police escorts out of town, mellow, beautiful roads that no one drives, maintained dirt roads so there is a cyclocross aspect, an ice cream rest stop, the peanut butter and Fluff rest stop. There is even a secret route out in the middle if you get tired. Then you come back to beer and a barbecue that’s cooked by Alec and Mukunda themselves. People have told me the food at the event is some of the best BBQ they’ve EVER had, anywhere. This ride, from the planning of it, to the route selection, volunteers, food, drinks everything is a direct reflection of our personalities and the JAM program as a whole.

I saw some mention of some celebrity riders that were taking part in this years ride. Who’s going to be there? 

Well, My good pal Brad Huff who actually suggested the HUNDO be called the Huff-Hundo. Plus, we’ve got my friend and 2009 National Crit champ, Shawn Milne and a few others. I don’t want to leak them now, because I don’t want registration to fill up too fast, but there will be some amazing professional riders joining us on July 14th.

What can people who come out to ride the Grand Fundo expect to see in terms of a route? 

They should expect King’s Highway a very challenging climb about ten miles in. They should expect to eat a good new england Fluffernutter sandwich. They should expect to see dirt roads and a fully stocked ice cream truck. They should expect a extremely safe and well marked course with great signage and course markers. We, on the other hand are expecting to see a lot of smiling faces. People can also expect to win, should they participate in the raffle, one of my 2011 Rapha-Focus bikes. A fully decked out Rapha-FOCUS Mares w/ SRAM Black Red, Easton wheels, the whole shebang!

We know that you’re a bit of a music buff. What three songs are currently in your track list to get you pumped for the Fundo?
 
I’m listening to all of the Electric Daisy Carnival AKA “EDC” Las Vegas live sets right now. So, Chuckie, Aoki, Afrojack and all the rest.

What bike will you be riding for the Fundo? Cyclocross? Road? So many choices. 

I’ll ride my Focus Ilzalco road bike with 25c Kenda Endurance tires. Everyone that comes should have a set of 25c tires. You can bring a ‘cross bike, but it is a long ride to do on a ‘cross bike w/ cx tires. So a road bike with 25c. tires is my weapon of choice.

“FAQ’s” are addressed on the JAM Fundo website

How has your summer been going? We know that you’re racing with Jelly Belly on the road. Anything interesting to report?

We’ve been having some great races together as a team, the Tour of Korea was my first race in April. I had some amazing Korean cuisine, the team had an authentic Korean dinner with the distributor of Focus in Korea, which was such an awesome experience. After that we went to the Tour de Grove where I DJ-ed for my first time ever at a cycling event! (Ed Note: Aside from the one song he Dj’ed at the Rapha part in Vegas a couple years ago) I was able to DJ after our race on Saturday night, and I ripped it for about two hours. A bunch of people came out, we had a great time, packed 100 people into the Atomic Cafe and rocked the WHHATTT out. I suffered a little the next day in the race because I was a little tired from jumping up and down on tables but it was fun and I’d do it again if I could. You can definitely say I’ve been having fun racing on the road, and my next big build is going to be through August, getting ready for ‘cross season.

We saw that there was a little dustup on the Twitters with your teammate Zach regarding long training rides. Did you guys get it all sorted out?

What are you talking about?! What stir up? Zach MceeeD and I are like brothers from another mother. NO problemo’s there. Brotherly love all around.

Speaking of which, how has your training been going? You closed out last season as the top dog in US Racing. Are you feeling any pressure going back into that?

Nahhhhh. No pressure. I live for that pressure, I love it.

I’m doing a couple of things differently leading into my big focus of the season, January. Last year, my focus was Nationals, but there’s an even bigger prize after Nationals, WORLDS!  All my energy will be pointing for a perfect day in Louisville.

Are you going to do another training camp in Boulder with FasCat this year? 

I am doing another camp in Boulder with the FasCat crew which I love!  It was great last year, if you’re in the CO area and looking for something to do to spruce up your ‘cross skills, check it out! I’m also doing clinics in Maryland with JBV Coaching and in Ohio as well. That’s all on my website: “JPows.com”:http://www.jpows.com/