BLADENBORO — Weary and spent, Jonathan Pait rolled into Bladenboro on Saturday, the stopping point for his nearly 240-mile bike ride.
“It was harder than I thought it was going to be,” Pait said of the two-day trip.
Setting out from his home in Greenville, S.C., at 6:19 a.m. Friday, Pait was hoping to bicycle the 238.7 miles in one day and arrive at his childhood home in Bladenboro by Friday evening. A few surprises along the way, however, turned the one-day trip into two.
First, his follow car — driven by his wife — got a flat tire shortly after departing. Unavailability of the custom-made tires required for the Fiat meant she had to return home for another vehicle, which, ironically, had just picked up a screw in one of its tires the night before and required repairs itself. Her absence as a navigator and as an encourager took its toll, according to Pait. In addition, he had only two bottles of water, so his only fuel sources were crackers and peanut butter.
“I was missing her, and as the day got longer I wanted her company,” he blogged.
The second surprise was the terrain.
“People think when you’re riding a bicycle, hills are good because you can coast,” explained Pait, “but the constant having to start and stop doesn’t allow you to get into a rhythm. It would almost be better to climb a straight hill the entire time. The continued change in rhythm is what wore me down.”
After 143 miles, the cyclist stopped for much-needed overnight reprieve in Ruby, S.C., before tackling the remaining 95 miles Saturday.
“When I was on flat roads or descending, I felt great. I could even get some power down. However, as soon as I hit any sort of grade my power dropped,” he blogged. “It wasn’t that I felt sore or anything. It was just that my legs wouldn’t produce it.”
After a total of 12 hours and 40 minutes on the bike, an average speed of 18.8 miles per hour, a gain in elevation of 7,192 feet, and a total of 12,035 calories burned, Pait arrived at his parents’ house.
The trek was never just about seeing his parents or his childhood home, however.
In 2007, Pait began doing charity rides in memory of a friend who had passed away from a brain tumor. Although he knew the money raised was doing good in the areas of cancer research and awareness, he desired to see individual lives being impacted. For that reason, he established the I Do It For Foundation, an organization founded in memory of his friend, Mike, and for the purpose of raising money for individuals.
Using the I Do It For Foundation, individuals who want to put on an event to help a family or person with medical expenses can register on the web site. Donors can give charitably, and 100 percent of the money raised goes directly to the needy person or group. Marathon runners, for instance, might decide they may as well run to benefit a neighbor since they’re already running anyway. The I Do It For Foundation would set up a dedicated website and handle fundraising.
“Part of the motivation for starting the Foundation was the realization that, as I get older, I won’t be able to keep cycling,” Pait explained, “but if we have a foundation, even when I’m not able to do it myself, people around the country could be doing it in Mike’s memory and helping someone else.”
Since 100 percent of money raised through the foundation goes directly to individuals, the bike ride last weekend was done to raise money for overhead for the Foundation itself. It was done to honor Pait’s father, who suffered a stroke earlier this year. Pait said he hopes to raise enough money for the foundation to be able to provide promotional tools for interested benefactors.
To learn more about Pait’s weekend benefit ride, visit his blog at lowcadence.com. To register a fundraising event or to learn more about the I Do It For Foundation, visit www.idoitfor.org. Anyone interested in donating to the weekend’s ride may do so at https://www.idoitfor.org/Windell.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.