Time flies quickly these days. In the fast paced and quickly changing scene that is NorCal cycling, it’s easy to forget those that help made/make it possible for us to race—especially those behind the scenes. So to those folks (like Casey Kerrigan, Robert Leibold, and countless other officials, promoters, etc) I say THANK YOU! ~ Alden Tanaka
Last week I helped Hernando run the Tuesday Night track race at Hellyer Velodrome. I flipped lap cards and tried to score races. The next day I woke up and could barely move. I know this it totally pathetic but I think my back went out due to the stress of learning the ropes since I will be running some races in the near future. I watched Hernando officiate, promote, and score the race all at the same time while taking complaints from the peanut gallery on a wide assortment of issues.
It reminded me with my involvement with a large local club organizing their sponsorship issues. I had brought some structure to a loose process, and though there was not much payoff I felt pretty good about actually making progress and being in the sidelines of the industry. Of course it gave me insight into the make up of the cycling world that benefit from volunteers efforts.
- 60% Thankful, but silent majority
- 20% Thankful, and verbal minority
- 15% Could do it better, have lots of advice, but are really busy so can’t help out right at this moment
- 5% The Bat-Shit Crazy- (almost always guys too) who will hound you do death over both major and minor issues and generally make your life miserable, since they are themselves miserable, and have an ungodly amount of time on their hands
I eventually quit both the position, and eventually the club, because dealing with the 5% Bat-Shit Crazy crowd was so emotionally draining the limited upside was no longer worth the rather large effort.
Since April 1 I have had several people, in organizing positions, tell me about how unhappy they were dealing, or observing, issues that started out as simple organizational items, that became crisis which were effecting their personal happiness. My advice to them is to quit, why suffer in a volunteer position, even for a moment.
So here is the thing. Think of all the folks out there trying to “do the right thing” in support of NorCal racing. Officials, race promoters, club officers, regional association apparatchiks, photographers, and the Cat 4 35+ racers whose entry fee’s pay our way, deserve not a moment of your gratitude, but a huge weekly donation of it. Do a gut check with your peers, and not just the ones you like, before you go after something you don’t agree with. Nobody wants to be in the 5% Bat-Shit Crazy crew.
If we loose up our work force we’ll end up a vapid and empty shell of bike snobs like New York City.
PS. This is a long winded way of preventing people from yelling at me if and when i screw up lap cards or race standings at next weeks Tuesday night race.
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