MCBC's AMAZING VOLUNTEERS MCBC Dirt Fondo Volunteers Create Great Event
What a way to conclude MCBC’s off-road riding season for 2017! Last Sunday, August 27 was the MCBC Dirt Fondo, an epic mountain biking event with the Marin Headlands and Mt. Tam as the backdrop. With three scenic routes, a challenging amount of climbing and a tasty ride-ending BBQ, MCBC relied on its network of volunteers to successfully pull it off.
Our volunteers are the fuel that keeps MCBC running – showing up to support our work at town meetings, writing letters and emails to city and town officials sharing our voice and always helping to advocate for cyclists in our county. A lot of those efforts take place behind the scenes – it’s when we have public events that everyone gets to see how much energy and enthusiasm our amazing MCBC volunteers bring to bear.
Want to be an MCBC Volunteer at upcoming events?
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The process started well before the sold-out Dirt Fondo. With 300 riders registered, MCBC needed to provide everyone with number plates, maps, cue sheets and swag. Nessa Brady, Stephanie Reed, Dallas Hickle, Paloma Ojeda, Patrick Zuroske, David Bell, Lou Goodwin and Sean Carney stepped up early and checked in over 100 riders during our two pre-event check-ins. Thanks to Studio Velo in Mill Valley, and the Marin Museum of Bicycling in Fairfax for hosting.
If you missed the pre-event packet pick up, Melissa Groos, Lyndi Beale and Dennis Latta greeted you with big smiles on Sunday morning even before the sun could make its debut. These three made sure you had everything you needed before you went out on course. Well, almost everything. Mike Willard delivered coffee from Equator Coffees & Teas in Mill Valley – we couldn’t let you ride without first enjoying an awesome cup of coffee.
All these checked-in riders needed a clear route. We relied on Bart Jan Koning, Karen Rheder and Joe Molinari to mark the course by placing blue and green flags at turns, crucial intersections and unclear points along the way to ensure riders would find their way to the finish line.
If the flags didn’t keep them on track, our Course Marshals sure did.
With Ray Schreck at the Bottom of Bobcat, Brian Wong at Coyote Fire Road, Ken Casey at Miwok Fire Road and John Vipiana (MCBC Board Member) at the Top of Dias Ridge, riders were well on their way to the 20 mile route turn around at Muir Beach. For those committed to the 32 and 45 mile routes, they had the help of Jeff McCullough at Deer Park Fire Road, Mark Comin (MCBC Board President) at Old Stage and Pantoll Road keeping them safe, Michael Lipson and Mark Strauss at West Point Inn, Carrie Gorgarian at Indian Fire Road at Eldridge, Sean Carney at Hoo Koo E Koo Fire Road at Indian Junction, and Patrick Roche at Old Railroad Grade at Hoo Koo E Koo.
Throughout the day we, we had a network of ride leaders, first aid riders, Marin Amateur Radio Society (MARS) and ride sweeps acting as our eyes and ears along each mile of the course, willing to help a rider along, report any mishaps and keep everyone informed of the whereabouts of riders at all times.
Perhaps you were in a group of riders lead by Otis Guy, Bjorn Grienbenburg, Yuri Hauswald, Austin McInerny, Warren Johnson, or Kim Baenisch. Each of these riders took a group out onto the course to experience the Dirt Fondo in style.
Encouraging more female riders, we provided women-led rides supported by Liv Chix of Marin – Jamie Shreeve, Jenny Walsh, Jen Sanders, Karen Rehder, and Bridget Zapata.
To make sure everyone finished happy and healthy, First Aid Certified riders Greg and Connner Murphy, Rob Reed, Stella Greenwood, Jesse and Kyler Wermick, Lily Willis, and Philip and Logan Swett rode along with our riders to ensure the safety of all participants.
SAG drivers Don Magdanz (MCBC Board Member) and David Pearson as well as our course sweep riders Andy Scott and Nina Brandt ensured no one got left out on the course.
Keeping everyone in touch across the diverse (and mobile-phone-unfriendly) course range, Marin Amateur Radio Society again provided key communications throughout the day. Led by Michael Fischer, Randy Jenkins and Rob Rowlands MARS had their crew ready for any incident, large or small. Thanks to all who were a part of the MARS team: Rich Cochran, Larry Bradley, Peter Otis, Jay Hubert, Skip Fedanzo, Brian Cooley, Jerry Kay, Peter McElmury, Brett Stewart, Jan Leja, Stanton Gleason, and Doug Slusher.
As riders hit the first rest stop at Tennessee Valley they met Michael Town from Beeline Bikes. He offered mobile repair service while Cara Guyot, Kaj Swift and Wayne Herman passed out food and hydration. Nate Ripperton from OSMO Nutriton and Luke Napper from REI Bicycle Repair hosted the Muir Beach rest stop. Nate and Luke had help from Wilma Kay and Robert McPherson to give words of encouragement, hydration, food and any repairs needed. These two rest stops saw riders on the way out and on they back to the finish line. That’s a lot of sandwiches.
Those you braving the longer routes probably said hello to Liam Todd from Studio Velo and Luke Garrison from The Jensie Gran Fondo, along with Liz Judge and Patrick Middleton – all standing ready at the top of Cardiac Hill ready to assist with amazing shots of Pickle Juice. Yup, Pickle Juice. They also had the standard PB&J, hydration and friendly conversation, but that pickle juice was something else.
If you went for it and rode the entire 45 Miles of the Dirt Fondo, Stefy Bau of Fantic Bikes stood at the top of Mt. Tam ready to give words of encouragement, congratulations and a friendly smile before you began heading back to the BBQ.
Speaking of BBQ…that feast turned out to be as epic as the ride with the help of Lauren Willard, Melissa Groos, Lyndi Beale, and Dennis Latta. These three stayed well after their first volunteer shift to help set up the BBQ area and goodie bag assembly line. Lyndi, Melissa and Lauren assembled over 200 bags filled with tire irons from Bay Area Bicycle Law, athletic body wipes from ShowerPill, Dirt Fondo water bottles, Co-Op Cycles stickers from REI, Pickle Juice Shots from Picklepower, and a Peanut Butter Banana with Dark Chocolate Clif Bar – their newest flavor.
Finishing riders rolled home to grooving music, free eats and tasty beverages – Sufferfest beer, burgers served up by our grill master Oscar Lozano, the potato salad and Cesar salad actively replenished by Isa Elias, Angela Osborne, Hilary Hyde, Aoife Mellett and Barbara O’Toole.
It’s a huge effort, made possible by the efforts of everyone who pitched in to help. If you know any of these folks, join us in sending them a deep and heartfelt “Thank you!” for their efforts. Apologies if we missed any of our terrific volunteers – as you can see, it’s a long list! You are invaluable to MCBC’s successes.