July 2016 Top Talk

President Chip Kyle

As most of you know, the Wheelmen put on two major annual events that that require lots and lots of volunteers: the Pioneer Century and the finish line of Seattle-to-Portland. Earlier this month we hosted the first of these and I am gratified to report that our club members showed up en masse to volunteer for the myriad number of tasks that comprise a successful ride. At the risk of overlooking some (many?) of the activities, here is a very short list of volunteer activities that happen immediately before or during the event: mark each of the courses with turn directions; deliver equipment, water and food to each of the rest stops; staff the pre¬registration desk; staff the day ¬of registration desk; direct traffic and parking at the fairground; drive SAG vehicles throughout the day; staff the merchandise sale table; manage the supply of food and cold drinks at the fairgrounds; collect trash and recycling; answer and respond to a thousand questions; staff rest stops and manage water and food; and at the end of the day, take down all the canopies, equipment, dismantle the rest stops, reorganize leftover food, and . . . (are you tired yet?) Thank all of you for volunteering!

pioneerbrianNone of this would have happened without a herculean amount of pre-planning and coordination. For the last 10 years, Benn Schonman has been the Pioneer coordinator for our club. He has committed many, many hours working with sponsors, bureaucrats, volunteer organizations, police, suppliers, vendors and other bike clubs to make the Pioneer Century the success it has been over the years. At times the effort has been frustrating and challenging, yet Benn has managed it all with panache, a positive outlook, and most importantly, kept his smile and his good humor! The next time you encounter Benn on a ride, I encourage each of you to say: “Thanks, Benn, for your dedication and efforts over the years. Well done!” Benn is passing the baton to Brian Hammer for the 2017 Pioneer and we wish Brian equal success.

The second of two major annual events is just around the corner ¬ the STP finish line. If you are not riding, there are volunteer opportunities still open and we need your help. Contact Corey Eng, who is the volunteer coordinator for this event. As of this writing, one area that I know we are short of volunteers is the luggage area (no lifting required, your task is to help riders find their luggage) and there are other areas with open slots.

Finally, as a thank you to all your volunteer efforts, the club picnic is scheduled for the first Sunday in August, the 7th. There is no cost to you, the food is catered and we are offering three rides for your enjoyment. You will need to sign up for the picnic so we have an accurate head count for the caterer. Look for information elsewhere in this QR. Final thought: No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.

Ride Safely!