I had the pleasure of volunteering at the BC Randonneurs Hills Are Alive 300K brevet yesterday. When the alarm went off at 0430hrs I panicked for a second realizing my bike wasn’t ready for the ride…until I remembered I just had to help out at the event….not ride it! The 0630hrs start was well staffed so I mostly took photos and did my best imitation of a Rando Cheerleader.
Once all the riders were off I grabbed the stuff I would need to staff a control at ~222kms along the route from our fearless ride leader Mark. I debated getting a nap in, but decided to be productive so I fixed our BBQ after breakfast. Then it was time to head to the control for a 1300hrs opening time. I stopped at the grocery store to stock up on a few items I always like to see when I pull up to a Rando Buffet [chocolate milk, chocolate bars, peperoni sticks, chips, coke, etc...]. Sadly while at the grocery store I forgot to buy any real food for myself…an error that came back to haunt me as the clock ticked past 2100hrs in the evening.
Another volunteer, Patrick, showed up right at 1pm to lend a hand. As it turned out our first customer wasn’t until nearly 1600hrs so it was good to have some company to kill time.
Steve M shot the video above while he was volunteering on the ride.
My second mistake after not bringing any food was to forget my laptop. The Ottawa Senators were playing hockey at 5pm and we were getting a strong WiFi signal from a nearby house. I’m such an amateur sometimes! Luckily we could follow the score on my phone and we won. Go Canada!
The main pack came through between 1730-1900hrs and we did good business at our control. Boost and chocolate milk were very popular as were chips and brownies. Not much interest in cookies, fruit or muffins.
After our control was the last 80kms which has some very tough climbs that have to be pumped out with very tired legs. Our stop was mostly a morale and resupply stop to keep the riders stoked for the last effort.
The weather stayed sunny all day and the temps rose to at least a warmish 12 deg C. Ideal conditions for a tough ride like this. Once the main group was through we had one last rider out on the course at night. Not ideal – especially when they are near the edge of the cut off time. He rolled in after 2100hrs just before the control closed and made the smart decision to stop riding. We packed up the control and returned the control supplies to Mark at the finish while Patrick gave our last customer a ride home.
All in all it was a great day to be outside supporting the ride. As the saying goes – “This shit doesn’t run itself!” and if I want to have rides to participate in I have to support the club when I can. I rolled home around 2230hrs to crack open a cold beer and then pass out.
Hills Are Alive 300K links: