TEW and I have volunteered at rest stops for this event for several years; for the past few it seems we've been assigned to Don S's team (Laura OLPH wrote in her post that "This is the stop where all the cool people volunteer", which is gratifying), and we always have a comfortable crew there. TEW met a couple I didn't know, Jeff and Mindy. TEW and Jeff had a good time singing show tunes; TEW said that Jeff may be the only straight male she knows who knows more songs from musicals than I do.
A few things I noticed about volunteering at rest stops:
- You can't predict everything you're going to need. We should plan on sending someone out during the day to get more of whatever. I went out about noon and brought back 100 lbs. of ice (on top of the 60 or so that Don had), and we used all of it.
- With the best of intentions, I'm sure, the organizers promise lunch to the volunteers will be delivered by the SAG* trucks, but it almost never is until the end of the day (if at all). The SAG drivers are just too busy with the riders. Volunteers should also plan on getting their own lunches, ether from the Event caterers or otherwise. (*I've heard that "SAG" stands for "support and gear", but I think that's a backronym; I'm pretty sure it came from the idea of vehicles to support the riders who were simply sagging in their saddles and couldn't complete.)
- In the past, I've seen a number of charming old bikes (those old lugged steel frames I love so much) and pure oddity bikes (melanges of parts and types). I don't remember seeing that this time. What I remember seeing are off-the-shelf bike-store bikes, a few toy-store bikes, and way too many plastic bikes.
- There were a lot of little kids out with families early It was heartwarming. One kid had the most excellent BB8 helmet!
- We kept the station open about 45 minutes past the scheduled close (as we had the previous year), and we needed to. The folks who are coming in that late NEED a rest stop. There's a reason they're taking that long.
- Gatorade mix works better if you stick to the recipe.
- Esy Breezy 17;
- Rejoined 25;
- Stone Tavern 35;
- Hedding Home 50 (so there's a town in NJ called Hedding? Who knew?);
- Almost Hilly 65 (about 2500' of climb in 65 miles. Hrmph.);
- Mellow Metric (about 1600' of climb in 65 miles. Is the "Almost Hilly" that much worse?)
- Pepper Mill Century.