Breast cancer survivors are the first to start the ride. Photos courtesy of Texas Mamma Jamma Ride
'Pedaling to beat breast cancer'
The Texas Mamma Jamma Ride isn’t a race, but there are still winners: breast cancer patients and Central Texas organizations who help them and their families.
The annual bicycling event, which raises money for numerous area breast cancer organizations, will take place in downtown Martindale on Saturday, starting at 8 a.m. Registration is still open on the ride’s website, and riders can even sign up in person the morning of the ride on site. Registration is $35, and cyclists are required to raise or donate $300 to ride.
“All you need is a bike and a helmet,” said Marion Martin, executive director of the Texas Mamma Jamma Ride. “We have courses of 15, 25, 40 and 65 miles — a distance for every level rider. We have an exceptional support team in place throughout the ride to help with everything from a flat tire to cheering you on, plus five rest stops. Everyone can do it.”
The event will include family-friendly activities along Main Street in Martindale, including live music from the School of Rock New Braunfels, food and drink vendors, and more.
Titti Babies is a team of riders who participate every year.
Martin, a breast cancer survivor herself, said she got involved with the Mamma Jamma Ride through one of the ride’s beneficiaries, Team Survivor. She rode for the first time in 2013 as a beginner, she said, because she hadn’t been on a bicycle since her childhood.
“I fell in love with riding and the Mamma Jamma community, joined the board, became ride director, then executive director in 2016,” she said.
The funds raised at this year’s Mamma Jamma Ride will be distributed to organizations that help fight breast cancer in Central Texas. Among the beneficiaries are the Breast Cancer Resource Center, Susan G. Komen of Greater Central and East Texas, and The Ascension Seton Breast Cancer Center. The Capital of Texas Team Survivor, another beneficiary, provides health education, fitness and support programs for women with cancer and who have survived cancer in the greater Austin area. Another organization the ride helps is Wonders and Worries, which provides free professional support for children and teenagers dealing with a parent’s serious illness. Community Action Inc. of Central Texas also benefits from the ride, as does the Sustainable Food Center.
Martin said this is the ride’s fifth year in Martindale, which she said offers an accessible course and beautiful setting. In return, the ride brings people to Martindale for the day; Martin said this year around 400 riders are expected.
“We love the town of Martindale and we are thrilled that the ride and the town have benefited by joining forces for this event,” she said.
Ditus Bolanos and Callie have participated every year.
Sissy Taylor of the Martindale Community Library agreed that the ride is a boon to the city. For several years, the library has held its raffle fundraiser in downtown Martindale on the same day as the ride. This year’s raffle will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“It brings in people,” she said. “That’s kind of one of the reasons we work with Mamma Jamma. … It’s a very copacetic relationship.”
Taylor said the riders and their families buy raffle tickets to support the library, and the library makes sure they have plenty of raffle prizes to appeal to anyone and everyone, including active families. Taylor said there’s always a kayak in the raffle, and this year’s prizes include a $250 HEB gift card, a Lowe’s gift card and a James Avery gift set.
“We’re glad the Mamma Jamma brings attention to Martindale and the local businesses downtown,” Taylor said.
Martin noted that local individuals and businesses in Martindale are always supportive of the Mamma Jamma Ride.
“The City of Martindale’s officials and staff are amazing and so supportive,” she said. “The Martindale Volunteer Fire Department, Carlton Carl, Martindale RIver Cafe and so many more wonderful community organizations and businesses come together to help make this ride so special.”
Taylor noted that Saturday will be a bustling day in Martindale. Besides the Mamma Jamma Ride and the library raffle, Martindale Motorcycle Works’ annual Rider Built Bike Show will be held at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Taylor also said the Highway 80 Feed Barn will be celebrating its first anniversary on Saturday. For more information on that event, visit the event page.
To register for the Mamma Jamma Ride, to donate or for more information about the ride, visit their website or call 512-297-7740.