Racing – A different perspective
Joan, one of our incredibly dedicated team leaders (you’ll see why if you don’t know Joan), can do it all and DOES it all. She races with her heart and amazing strength on the road and in the dirt. She’s an inspiration to her son and our teammates. She’s a leader and a hard worker. And when it comes time to contribute, she gives it all and inspires others to do the same. Here’s an example, and we’re sure there are many, of racers doing more than racing to make the cycling community an excellent one to be a part of.
This past Sunday (August 5th) was the Bannock Criterium. My team was lucky to partner with the Front Rangers Cycling Club to help organize and put on this race. Unlike last year there were only a couple of meetings with the FRCC prior to the race. We had limited involvement with a lot of the pre-race work other than passing out flyers the week prior to the race to all the businesses and condos, etc in the Golden Triangle area, which is actually a lot of fun. The big job for our team this year was to be there in numbers on race day and be prepared to work all day doing whatever needed to be done.
At 6:00 am on Sunday morning, I got up and headed done to Bannock. I arrived at 6:30am coffee in hand to see that the course was ready to go, fencing setup, haystacks laid out in dangerous corners/areas, streets swept, finish/start area ready to go, potholes and pavement cracks were marked, timing truck set up with all officials present, registration tables/chairs with boxes of supplies, folders, markers, signs, etc., volunteer tent with water, food, whatever else you could imagine needing but that you would have most likely forgotten – they had it there, everything. Jim Levy and his gang along with members of the Tribella Racing team were already busy and had been there since 4am!
I spent most of my day working on registering riders both pre-registered and walk-ups. I was amazed, when I sorted through the folders of the pre-registered riders. Cherie (one of Jim’s colleagues) had printed out each individual racers waiver form, then attached it to the number they would be assigned in the appropriate racing group folder, then alphabetized all the racers in that group and then the folders were sorted based on the starting letter of their last name. This had all been entered into the timing system and had only taken her until 2am that morning!!!Jim’s crew had spent Saturday evening working on the course and then most of the night getting all of the final details worked out so the race would run smoothly.
It was actually a lot of fun to meet and talk to all the riders and get them registered. Some of them in a hurry as they were late for their start, others willing to hang out and tell us how much they love the Bannock crit. Shortly before the start of the citizen’s race, a group of 14 people walked up to register. It was the Mike Nields family, all ages, who come and ride in the event every year. How cool is that!!
Besides working registration, I had the opportunity to distribute race primes and prize money, walk the course to feed all the other volunteers who had showed up to help, assist with obtaining the results and posting them and running errands to help out with anything else that needed to be done. I also was able to watch all my teammates race during the different races throughout the day in the Cat 4, SW45+ and Cat 1/2/3 races. By the end of the day, I truly had a greater appreciation of what it takes to put on a outstanding event and feel that the FRCC club does it well. The day started out with 350 pre-registered riders and ended up with 598 racers starting!!! How great is that for a race at the beginning of August.
Our only hiccup was the early racing results and primes lists being posted-but it was beyond the control of us or our race promoter so not really ‘our ‘hiccup but we did have to deal with it. This really hit home with me when I had to tell racers that I could not give them prize money or primes until the results were posted when they had been patiently waiting a while. Next time, I will certainly be more understanding and think that there is really a reason why all race teams should be involved with putting on at least one event per year.
I left at 6:30pm exhausted, but excited that everything had gone so well. Thanks to working with a wonderful group Front Rangers Cycling Club, all the great ladies on my team who came out and worked hard, all the other volunteers who volunteer just to make it happen and especially to all the racers who came out and supported our event.