Except for the thank-you letters, my part in the 2007 Marin Century is over.
It started about 4 o'clock on Friday evening, Charlene and I went over to Vallecitos School. There wasn't anyone to deliver the signs out to the northern half of the course, so Charlene and I took Colin's incredibly detailed notes, and drove out to the course to set up signs.
Colin had left three things: A map of the course (at fairly rough scale, it's the one we hand to the cyclists), a list of all of the signs, numbered, and where each was supposed to go, and even photographs of where they were to be placed, with arrows drawn on to show exact placement.
Three things made us be out until way late without setting up the Petaluma part of the course:
- I'd ridden some of the course, but not all of it, and Charlene didn't know any of the roads, so working off a map that was meant to be interpreted with a cue sheet at 15-20MPH, with the help of the road markings, was difficult at automobile speeds.
- The giggle: In at least one of the placement sheets, there were no photos... but the arrows were still there.
So then we went back to Vallecitos School and helped organize and arrange things, and grabbed the van we were taking to the BoFax stop.
Got set up at BoFax at 8 or so, the main problem for the first two hours was making sure that the double riders didn't think it was a checkpoint, so they didn't blow their stride. Route 1 at Bolinas-Fairfax Road is nice and flat, and if they've got a good paceline going they're running 25MPH. Stopping is bad.
The rest stop went all freakin' day, we finally broke down and got out of there around 3, went up to Nicasio to drop off some supplies there, then went back to Vallecitos to hopefully meet up with a friend (who'd bailed on us), before traveling back out to Nicasio to spell some folks there to go do guard duty at the top of Big Rock.
On the first way across Big Rock we ran across a tandem team that had gone down on that decreasing radius left. Ouch.
Met up with Zack back at Nicasio, and worked there 'til we heard the last three riders were coming down the course. Cheered like hell when two of them pulled in, got them fed, watered, and back on their way, and then broke down the rest stop, left a half a gallon of water and a few gel packets on the back of the truck, and left Carsten to greet them and send them back.
And headed for home.
In my humble opinion, the ride has a huge crisis. I got email from one of my rest stop captains today saying they won't be doing it again. I'm burned out on volunteer coordinating, and I've got no real desire to run a rest stop again.
And I'm also questioning the nature of these rides. the randonneurring folks do rides on the same 200 mile scale by simply saying "buy something small at each of these stores, present us with the receipts", and providing some minimal sag support. The hundred mile riders are having a grand day out, and some of them are pushing their physical limits hard, but I'm wondering why we put in all of this energy and effort when I'm still trying to meet the people in my area who ride.
I think I'd far rather put that energy into making the club stronger, building a community there, than push this huge event.