An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Frederickson Fun Ride

After putting myself into the "event coordinator" role for a few mixed-surface rides, when my place of (daytime) employment was looking for people to help organize a cycling event, my friend threw me under the bus and suggested I would be a good resource.

It turned out to be a good thing. Not that it wasn't without some time commitment, but having myself and another racing cyclist helping out made the entire event come off smoothly. The folks who were initially putting on the event had big ambitions -- I told them that it would be a miracle if they got 25 riders on this first-time event.

My main duties (along with Russell Clark, who put on the CL100CXTTWC last December) were to scout out a route (that's poetry, by the way), suggest signage, and note where it would be good to have volunteers. Also, we secured a shop to come out for assistance on bike support.

Russ and I are both very familiar with the service road network on the company property, and we arranged a 7.5 mile route within the confines of the outer fences, minimizing the amount of two-way traffic. Sure, there are a couple challenging spots where some folks may have to get off and walk, but this isn't a race, and there are no ego points on the line. It is for the most part beginner-friendly as long as one is not trying to break any speed records.

Just a few weeks before event day we had a storm blow through, which dropped several trees across our chosen path. Where these trees fell across the fences, the maintenance crews were very quick to clear them. But there were a couple that fell on less-well-used dirt roads. I volunteered to come out on my own time and cut them out, but I think that violated several company policies and a few union rules, and my request for permission quickly elevated to high levels of management. Our contracted grounds crews must have been on it post-haste, because my recon ride two days before the event revealed a completely clear path.

One wrinkle came up the day before the ride, when the "leadership team" announced a barbeque for several work groups RIGHT on top of the time slot for the ride. This is the same "leadership team" that was supposedly pressed by the upper management to support this ride. Of course, since that very same upper management couldn't make it to the ride, it should come as no surprise that none of the other leadership would be there. As of 2 days prior, we were at a total of 15 for the daytime slot.

The morning of the ride came, and was spent marking the course and placing signs. Rain had fallen overnight, but not enough to make the wetter areas of the backwoods muddy yet. It looked like things would actually come together.There were a few challenges with some painted arrows being driven over, and thus disappearing, but some extra color kept things well marked.

We had a dozen riders show up, and I followed the last riders through the loop. Yes, it was slow going, and several times I tested my track standing. But no one got lost, no one got hurt, and the reports I've received so far say that everyone had fun.

That makes it all worth while.

Who knows, I might just do it again.

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