Smiling in the Rain

Last Sunday was the Grizzly Peak Century, for which I volunteered. Because I think it is important to give back to the cycling community, and to the club. And because something amusing was sure to happen.

Wife Sherie was the honcho at Island, where I also volunteered. Having been out of town on biz the whole week before, on Saturday I just relaxed and did household errands. So when the alarm sounded at 5 AM on Sunday, it wasn’t that hard to get out of bed. And it was still dry outside.

Now, I looked again at the hourly weather forecast, and it sured looked like the rain was to come during that morning. So I was glad we had arranged stoves to heat fluids for the masses, and I put about 6 fleece blankets in the car along with the various provisions already stacked. Yes, the little beemer overflowed when we got to Amy’s house, but she didn’t mind. But more amusing was the sudden downpour that came when Amy walked down her front steps.

Now, many might not thing that getting wet is amusing, but it gave focus to the morning. And it really wasn’t very cold, and I had good raingear and underlayers that can handle it. And most people that day also had such clothes.

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Once the physical plant (racks, food stations, donated canopies (thanks!!!), etc) were set up, I mostly hung out near the bike parking area to talk to folks as they arrived. Early on, many needed to register at this “alternate start” for “no car” riders coming up from town. And later, most riders were pretty wet, a few cold, and many leary of walking down the mud to the food and drink. But I tried to convince them they could wash their cycling cleats on the faucet once they were replenished, and since there was a “steady stream” (hah, hah) of people doing this, it was not hard to explain. 

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If one smiles, and ask a fellow human suffering through some mutual thing, one often gets a smile in return. And that is what I tried to do, as I watched cyclists ring the water out their gloves or wiping their glasses. And the returned smiles made it worth it for me, as well as the regular “Thanks for being out in the rain for us” replies. Of course, I had been nervous that we would stand in the rain all morning, and no cyclists would come to our party. I guess the official word was about half the signed up rides checked in. And from the amount of food left over, and given to us volunteers, that must be about right. Our freezer and fridge have never been so full.

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Thanks for the other volunteers for being merry, and making the best of a wet day. Especially you Sherie for trying so hard.

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Thanks riders for laughing and smiling through the deluge…or at least the steady light rain…

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