Question : What did volunteers receive for helping at the EM1240k?
I started riding PA Randonnuering events in the fall of 2006 and since then I've noticed that there are always helpful people assisting around the edges of my consciousness. I can relate to Kate Marshall's blog from the EM1240k in which she thanks the people who took her brevet card from her and filled it out when her fingers were too cold and she was too exhausted to even know what to do with it.
For a sport which celebrates self reliance we sure help out each other a great deal. We promote a spirit of camaraderie between riders on bikes but it exists also between cyclists who could be riding but have chosen to volunteer their time staffing controles, shuttling riders, and solving logistical issues. While I was driving around taking photos of the participants during the EM1240k I celebrated their successes and commiserated with them in their suffering but as I drove home from this event I felt the same euphoria that washes over you after completing a brevet. I definitely didn't burn as many calories, but I sure felt great.
So what did I get for volunteering for in the EM1240k? The answer is truly way more than a nice Lands End, 100% cotton, polo shirt with the official event logo on it. I had the chance to reconnect with friends I hadn't seen for a while, made new friends, snagged a few donuts from the controles when nobody was looking, toured the Roebling Aqueduct museum and shared a small slice of a big event with those of you reading the blog.
Next year if your riding motivation isn't quite where it should be give, Tom Rosenbauer a call, or your local RBA and sign up as a volunteer for an event to enjoy the brevet experience from a different perspective.