The Underwire – Mamma Jamma News

Martindale Fire Dept BBQ Champs Grilling for Mamma Jamma

The Martindale Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD) has competed in BBQ Championships for years, and this year, Pit Master, Captain Michael Grams will be firing up old Betsy to serve all the Mamma Jamma Riders and Volunteers their award winning BBQ chicken and other good eats. MVFD is a nonprofit corporation funded largely by donations from their yearly BBQ and Auction fundraiser which will be held the evening of the Mamma Jamma Ride. So check out their silent auction while you’re at the ride and stick around to enjoy more live music and the fantastic brisket you’ll smell slow smoking all day long.

About the Martindale Fire Department

In 1974, the Martindale Volunteer Fire Department was formed to protect the people of rural Caldwell County. The Department covers approximately 35 Square miles in Martindale and the surrounding areas.  Six dedicated volunteers respond to all kinds of emergencies including structure fires, alarms, vehicle accidents, grass fires, water rescue, and search and rescue. MVFD is a licenses First Responder Organization for the State of Texas and also assists with medical calls withing the area they serve.

The department is always looking for new members and holds monthly training meetings the first Tuesday at 6 pm and the third Saturday at 9 am and encourages anyone interested to come to a meeting to learn more.

Mamma Jamma Ride Announces New Executive Director

The Texas Mamma Jamma Ride Board of Directors announced today the appointment of Marion Martin, a long-time nonprofit veteran and former Director of Major Gifts for Goodwill Central Texas, as the ride’s new executive director. She succeeds Hope Smith, who has moved to Seattle to pursue new opportunities.

“We could not be happier to have Marion come aboard and give our ride the benefit of her wide leadership experience,” said Jenny Douglas, president of the ride’s board of directors. “She brings vast experience, particularly in the area of fundraising. We expect that she will build on an event that has had great success – raising more than $2.6 million since 2009 for organizations that help save and improve the lives of those facing breast cancer.”

“I’m privileged to be named to this position and to serve an organization that has meant so much to the cancer community here in Austin and Central Texas,” Martin, a two-time breast cancer survivor, said of her appointment. “As a survivor, a big part of my story is Mamma Jamma. I learned to ride my bike through the Mamma Jamma training ride program and have done three rides. So, I very much look forward to working with the board to build on one of the area’s most fun and rewarding events.”

At Goodwill, Martin worked as director of development, collaborating with that group’s board and chief executive to raise more than $1.5 million annually. She later managed and executed a Major Gifts program that focused on current, prospective and new donors, creating and directing the organization’s “Good Works Society,” growing the membership of an elite donors group by 45 percent in a single year.

An assignment at the City of Austin’s Housing Authority, where she was interim grants manager, followed nearly four years as the Director of Financial Development with the YMCA of Austin. There, Martin doubled the campaign volunteer base in two years to 400, generating a 50-percent increase in direct fundraising. Martin’s leadership helped the Y surpass its annual campaign goal by more than 2 percent during her last two years there, despite the ongoing economic downturn.

Martin came to Austin from New Orleans, where from 2002 to 2006, she served as the executive director of the Touro Infirmary Foundation, a charitable organization benefiting the only not-for-profit, faith-based, full-service community hospital in the city. There, she planned and directed a comprehensive fundraising program to support the hospital, and managed disaster relief post-Hurricane Katrina, including patient evacuation of more than 350 beds during the hospital’s closing. Martin established a post-Katrina fundraising operation offsite, generating more than $1.2 million within 90 days after the storm. She raised $1.5 million in 2006, achieving pre-Katrina goals despite a drastically reduced donor base.

For 11 years, Martin was with Tulane University in New Orleans, first as the Assistant Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, where she was a member of a five-year, $100-million capital campaign team that exceeded its goal, drawing more 25 percent of its donations from its corporation and foundation relations unit. She later served as Development Director for the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, being the first there to lead a dedicated fundraising effort that exceeded the school’s goal of raising more than $2 million annually.

Martin joined the Texas Mamma Jamma board last year. Among many other local activities, she is a member of Leadership Austin Essential Class 2009 and served as board member, as well as former president and board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Austin.

And the winners of the bikes are….

Thanks so much to all of you for your support of this year’s Mamma Jamma Ride to fight breast cancer! We have just reached the $300,000 goal we set to raise to help those with breast cancer in our community and we couldn’t have done it without you! YAY ALL OF YOU!!

We had two bikes donated this year to help us reach our goal. Special thanks to REI and to Doc’s Motorworks on 38th Street for the donations!

Everyone who raised $500 or more received entries to win the Novara Mia bike from REI and the winner is Jenny Akins! Jenny raised $805 to help fight breast cancer and received 4 entries in the drawing! Congratulations Jenny!

As you know, we could not do the Mamma Jamma Ride without our amazing volunteers, so Doc’s donated an awesome Ozone fixie to be raffled off to our volunteers! A huge congratulations to Janis Connell who volunteers so much of her time to make the ride a success. She is the winner of the Ozone bike from Doc’s Motorworks!

Thank you all for everything you have done to help this ride be successful. We truly appreciate all your hard work and your being part of this amazing community.

Much love,


Beneficiary Spotlight: Komen Austin

Did You Know?

  • Susan G. Komen® Austin is a locally-based nonprofit.
  • Komen Austin is the only local breast cancer organization attacking the disease on all fronts – education, screening, treatment, follow-up care, survivorship support, advocacy and research.
  • Since 1999 Komen Austin has invested nearly $11 million into breast health services and educational efforts in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties.
  • In the last six years alone, Komen Austin has funded over 63,000 breast health services and educational efforts.
  • Close to $5 million has been raised by Komen Austin to fund global research studies to find the cures for breast cancer.

Through fundraising efforts like The Texas Mamma Jamma Ride, Komen Austin is able to save lives locally.  We believe that no woman should die of breast cancer because she cannot access care.

Join us in the fight and sign up for this year’s Mamma Jamma Ride – we look forward to seeing all of you there!

About Mamma Jamma Ride

The Texas Mamma Jamma Ride is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2009 and dedicated to raising funds to help families in our local community facing breast cancer. Our amazing community of cyclists, volunteers, sponsors, and beneficiary organizations come together each fall to participate in one of the best supported and most fun bike rides in Texas. Easily accessible to San Antonio, Austin, San Marcos & New Braunfels, this year’s event will be held in Martindale on the San Marcos River and will feature an all day celebration with live music from Clyde, The Tiarra Girls, NoStone, & Acoustalyn, face painting & balloons, awesome food, adult & other refreshments. Together, we have raised more than 2.3 million dollars to help save and improve the lives of those facing breast cancer. Register to ride or Volunteer today!

Women’s Self Defense Fundraiser @Culin Karate Center 9/19

Culin Karate Center will host a Mom & Daughter self defense seminar on September 19th. Master Culin’s informative and instructional self defense seminar will be open to women & girls aged 10 and over (younger is OK, but Master Culin might talk about the “guy following you” or something along those lines). A 5$ to $10 donation to the Texas Mamma Jamma Ride to help those with breast cancer in our community is requested. Dress comfortably (workout type clothes), no shoes are allowed on the mats. For registration and additional information contact Julie Culin @ or 512.589.0891
  • Date: Saturday Sept. 19th
  • Time: 10:30am
  • Place: Culin Karate Center
  • Address: 200 Buttercup Creek Blvd (SE corner of 183 & Buttercup Creek) Cedar Park, TX 78613


About Master Culin

Mr. Culin is a 40-year martial arts veteran with black belts in several styles and currently holds a 6th degree black belt in the Korean Art of Tae Kwon Do. He has studied under many well-known masters (Jhoon Rhee, Bill Clark, Won Bai, Michael Swain, Bill Wallace, Jose Santamaria) and is a certified Instructor by both the American Black Belt Association and the American Council of Martial Arts. Mr. Culin is also a best selling author with the book “The Winning Way”, which he co-wrote with the great Brian Tracy. Mr. Culin tested for, and received his Black Belt from Grand Master Jhoon Rhee himself. Jhoon Rhee is a world-renown 10th degree black belt and was Bruce Lee’s friend and instructor. Other well know Jhoon Rhee Black Belts include Muhammad Ali, and Tony Robbins. Mr. Culin competed for many years in State and National events, and was named to the Team America demonstration team, who competed for the Gold Medal at the World Cup event in 2002 in Hawaii. In addition, Mr. Culin was inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2007 as the Outstanding Instructor of the Year in all 50 States. He resides in the Austin area with his wife Julie and 2 wonderful children. His wife Julie will be participating in the Texas Mamma Jamma Ride on September 26th. Proceeds from the self defense class will help provide services to those facing breast cancer in Central Texas.


How To Ride Faster

A Beginner’s Guide to Riding Longer Distances

By Janis Connell, League of American Bicyclists, LCI #3713

Are you relatively new to cycling? Do you want to conquer 30+ miles on a training ride or even on Mamma Jamma ride day (Sep 26th)? If fitness allows, you can do it, but you need to master a few things first.

Tips for Not Getting Lost:

You shouldn’t need to worry about getting lost on ride day, our routes are well marked and all you do have to do is pay attention to the arrows on the road and be sure to follow your route color. However, you DO need to worry about it on training rides. Getting lost wastes valuable time and can be dangerous in the summer heat. Nobody wants to do it. Do you consider yourself directionally challenged? Well, maybe I can help.

  • Learn to read a cue sheet. Even though we have Ride Guides on the Mamma Jamma Ride, you shouldn’t depend on that person for directions. Most of us ride guides are perfect, but sometimes we have an off day. So, take control of the situation and learn to navigate. It’s very rewarding. I am a fan of the cue sheet and all the maps for the Mamma Jamma Ride have cue sheets in addition to an overview map. Cue sheets show each individual turn in a line by line format. Here’s an example from a map:RidewithgpsColumn 2 shows you the total mileage where the turn takes place, Col 3 shows the direction of the turn, Col 4 shows the name of the road or other notation, and Col 5 shows the distance to the next turn. So, to interpret line 5 above, at mile 5.7 (total mileage) turn left onto Co Rd 281. After you finish a turn, take note of the name of the next turn, the direction of the turn, and the distance. For example, to continue the example of line 5 above, the next turn will be a right in 2.7 miles onto Co Rd 282. Once you feel comfortable reading a cue sheet, you can find route maps all over the web at sites like, MapMyRide, etc. This opens up a whole new world of riding! I use it when I head out of town with my bike for weekend vacations.
  • Review the Route Beforehand. The Mamma Jamma Training Rides are run completely by volunteers. Because of this, we do not have the manpower to post the training ride maps on the web ahead of time. So, what can you do? Come early to the ride start, get a map, and familiarize yourself with the route.
  • Get a map holder. This is a really simple thing that will save lots of time. If you have your hardcopy map in your back pocket or otherwise inaccessible, you have to stop to take a look at the map or the cue sheet. Having a map holder enables you to reference the route directions while riding the bike. Just make sure you are in a safe place when you reference the map/cue sheet if you tend to wobble a bit when distracted. You can find map holders at your local bike shop or any cycling gear supplier website.
  • Even Better, get a bike computer or use a cycling app like MapMyRide or RidewithGPS on your phone. Having a bike computer or a mounted phone with a cycling program running enables you to monitor total distance, which in turn, enables you to follow the cue sheet better. Just remember using the GPS sucks up your battery.

Other Easy Things to Save Time:

  • Minimize the time spent at rest stops. If you are averaging 12 MPH and you spend 10 minutes at a rest stop each hour, you drop your average MPH to 10. If you want to tackle 100 miles that day, that’s 10 hours on a bike. Ouch. That’s a long time to be out any time of the year, especially in the summer. And don’t undress at rest stops. Seriously, don’t take off your helmet and gloves. Don’t take off your shoes. Remain as ready to ride as possible. Refill your water, grab a quick bite, use the facilities, and then be on your way. Do your socializing on the bike. That’s how I got to know my now husband. And I’ve made many a good friend while pedaling along a country road.
  • Make sure your bike is mechanically sound. A mechanical failure is a big time waster. Always do an “ABC Quick Check” before you take off for a ride:

    Better yet, do this a day or two before the ride so you can catch any problems before the training ride. Remember Sun & Ski at Anderson & Burnet is offering registered MJ riders 35% off bike service. If you want to learn more about bike maintenance, ask an MJ Ride Guide. We often have bike mechanics at our training rides who can help.

  • Ensure that you bike fits you properly. Bike fit is critical to having an enjoyable ride. If your bike fit is causing knee pain, back pain, etc., you’re going to ride slower. Again, a bike shop like Sun & Ski will counsel you on bike fit.
  • Hydrate on the bike. Stopping to drink takes a lot of time. If you can’t drink out of a water bottle while riding, learn how to do it. Here are some tips on how to practice on a quiet flat road:
    • Move your left hand closer to the middle of the handlebars. Not right in the middle, but on the top of the bar, close to the middle o Coast with your right leg straight o Reach down with your right hand and remove your bottle from the holder
    • Don’t look down if this makes you swerve. Feel for the bottle.
    • Resume pedaling and drink
    • Coast with your right leg straight
    • Reach down with your right hand and replace your bottle
    • Move your hands back onto the hood
    • If you are still can’t drink on the bike after practicing, get a hydration backpack like a Camelback.
  • Learn how to use your gears. Using your gears properly will make riding easier and you will ride faster. It’s something that takes practice, but here are some basic things to know:
    • The right side of your bike runs the rear of your bike. The gear and brake controls on the right hood run the back brake & rear gear cassette of your bike. The rear gears are for small changes in gearing. You will use these gears the most.
    • The left side of your bike runs the front of your bike. The front gears are for large changes in gearing.
    • When looking at the gears, the gear closest to the bike is the easiest. This is true for both front & rear chain rings. Understanding how this works enables you to look at your gears to determine what gear you are in. Then you can decide what gearing changes you need to make to ride more efficiently.
  • Learn to ride comfortably in traffic. You must follow all traffic laws and learn how to “take the lane”. Being confident in traffic will keep you riding longer and more efficiently. If you have questions on this, find me at the next training ride and I can coach you. Or, attend one of the monthly beginner clinics we offer at our training rides. Commute Orlando is an excellent resource for learning to ride in traffic. The animations are extremely helpful in understanding some of the concepts.

Longer Term Ways to Improve Speed: 

Once you’ve mastered all the points above, you can start to work on things like:

  • Increasing your overall fitness by increasing strength and endurance, and (ugh) losing weight
  • Efficient Pedaling
  • Hill climbing and descending
  • Fueling your body for longer distances

This list can go on and on and there are resources galore on the web about increasing you cycling speed. (Bicycling Magazine) is a very useful source. There are lots of little things you can do to increase your overall speed. Try these out and see if they work for you. If you need more help, ask a Ride Guide or find me at the next training ride. Until then, get on your bike and ride!

Janis Connell
Training Ride Leader

1 2 3 15
Texas Mamma Jamma Ride Menu