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[RC] Follow-up to EN's July "Ride Managers Forum" - Crash Course at theML50 / VT100! - Sharon Levasseur

I returned last night from the Moonlight in VT 50 & VT 100, where I spent Friday
and Saturday taking a crash course in ride management, in preparation for my own
new ride (the Hot Toddy Hustle on August 12).  I've never managed a ride before,
or even volunteered at one, so I needed an up-close-and-personal introduction to
what the actual ride day is all about, from a management perspective.  Sue
Greenall, Ellen Tully, Jo Steele and their staff made for great lessons!

I couldn't believe how many people, when they found out who I was and why I was
there, came up to me and told me how pleased and surprised they were that I had
given up an entire ride-prep weekend and driven 6 hours to do this.  But as a
new ride manager, AND someone who has only ridden two endurance rides, AND has
never volunteered at any sort of distance riding event, it never occurred to me
NOT to do this.  It was a top priority!

At Hold Two for the 100s I served as a Pulse timer, and at Hold Four I served as
In/Out timer for the 50s.  I learned valuable lessons in both roles, which I
will put to good use at my own ride.  During the rest of the day I floated
around, observing what worked well and what ideas I might want to borrow (lots
of things) and what didn't work well (only a couple things).

I was dissapointed about one thing though.  I like to play "what if" in advance
so that I can be prepared when problems arise that I have to make split second
decisions about.  So I kept checking in with Ellen to see what emergencies
she'd had to deal with, and how she'd handled them... but there weren't any! 
(WOW!  Impressive!)  But at least I observed the entire ride day so I do have a
better sense of where the potential is for things to happen, even without them
actually having happened.

One of the things I learned was that you cannot have too many volunteers.  As a
new ride, I don't have a pool of past volunteers to draw from.  SOOOOOO.... if
you're planning to come to the Hustle and you can convince anyone to come along
to volunteer, please do!  It will make YOUR experience more enjoyable!  (If
possible, please let me know in advance so I can plan accordingly.)

Also, if you are coming and you have any extra canopies or sun shades that you
are willing to lend for the day, please let me know.  I could also use water
troughs and folding tables!

Well... that was a little longwinded... my main point was that I learned a lot
and will put it to good use at my own ride.  I truly believe that it will be
run 10x more smoothly thanks to the lessons I learned this weekend!  One of the
gentlemen I'd spent a long time talking to over the weekend told me... and I'm
paraphrasing here... "if anything goes wrong at the Hustle it will not be from
lack of planning, it will be because shit happens".

I'm going to do everything possible to make sure he's right about that.

Sharon Levasseur, Ride Manager
Hot Toddy Hustle 30/50


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