Sunday, April 6, 2008

Birkenfeld Brevet 2008

My Birkenfeld Brevet pictures were actually from the "pre-ride", taken before the actual event, which is both a responsibility and privilege of being a volunteer. The actual volunteering occurred yesterday.

We had about forty enthusiastic riders ready to ride in chilly but above freezing conditions. There was a light sprinkling as people checked in, but not enough for anyone except us volunteers with the paperwork to notice.

We gave the pre-ride announcements a little bit too early, so the riders had another couple of minutes to wait before the official starting time of 7 AM.

After we packed up the starting booth, we all rode up to Vernonia to set up the rest area. We chose to follow the riders' route in order to get some pictures. Most of my pictures hanging out the passenger window of Lynne's car didn't turn out, but there were a couple of decent ones.

In Vernonia, we set up in the shelter and started heating water. The first crew (pictured here) dropped by very shortly therafter. They were really fast! 10 mph doesn't seem very fast when you're in a car, but when you're climbing up to Vernonia, that's pretty impressive.

One asked when the control was opened (you aren't allowed to come too early). When he heard it had opened seven minutes earlier, he exclaimed, "We're late! Let's get going!"

But seriously, it was great getting to see and talk to all of the riders and volunteers.

After the last rider came through, we packed up and went back to Grand Lodge. Lynne and I warmed up in the soaking pool (it's cold out there if you aren't riding a bike), and then spent the remainder of the afternoon in the Round Room greeting riders as they came in.

Beth came by and we had a terrific time discussing bikes, the weather, and training plans.

It appears there was one abandon (he never called, but his riding partners reported it). Everyone else finished without incident. The weather got progressively wetter as the day went on. A number of the riders who came in were a mute testament to the virtues of fenders and mudguards in the Pacific Northwet.

The pictures I felt worth uploading are here. I haven't tried my hand at organizing one of these events, but volunteering is almost as fun as riding 124.2 miles. Don't hesitate to help out when you get a chance!

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