We took the week away from work to get over that jet-lag thing and to begin processing “this is life without Aunt Bobby” as my SIL was known to her nieces, nephews, and grands. We took the time to read, cook, walk dogs, ride bikes, add amendments to our vegetable beds, plant more Veronica among the flags on the front walk pathway, and re-set the solar path lights.
In the next couple of weeks we’ll sow seeds and plant starts for our winter vegetable and flower gardens. I’m excited to change the local cat toilet into something that will be both aesthetically pleasing and will also provide food.
So we slept in this morning (again!!!), missed our shot for a quick bike ride, walked the dogs, and went downtown to fulfill our commitment to volunteer as course marshalls for the Vacaville Gran Prix.
After a hiatus it was restarted in 2006, and as members of the Monticello Cycling Club, we volunteered. We’ve volunteered every year until 2014, when we were in TX burying C’s dad (and subsequently celebrating his amazing life). Every year is different — different corners, different volunteer coordinators, different timing (when there’s a crash and a rider needs to be taken to hospital by ambulance, that backs up the subsequent races). One year we didn’t get our free lunch — by the time we got to Pure Grain they’d run out of sandwiches, and 2 years we didn’t get T-shirts. As a volunteer I count on free food and clothing as inducements to wave a flag and yell at stupid people who don’t understand bike racing.
This year we packed snacks, extra water, and sunscreen, which I forgot to put on my feet, resulting in a tacky tan. Oh, well…at least my feet are tan (thanks to many hours spent on our front yard make-over; otherwise they’d be white) and that’s the way it goes.
I forgot my cowbell so I yelled and cheered a lot. As the afternoon wore on the races were faster, so I yelled, “Riders up!” about every 2’45” as the men’s Pro/1/2 race came by. We were at a very active car & pedestrian crossing so there were few dull moments. I’ll guess that 99% of the non-bike people with whom we dealt were very cool about it all. All the cycling people were — I loved how some of the P/1/2’s rode back to thank us for volunteering. That felt good.
The volunteer coordinators and race people, who’ve we’ve known for nearly a decade, were especially appreciative, and we were happy to contribute to a local event that benefits cycling, racing, Vacaville (who raced and ate here before they drove home), and gives us the opportunity to pay back the sport that provides us so much.
Now I start my training for Esparto TT — after 2 years off, I’m ready for a 30KM pain cave.