January 1, 2005 – Hi everyone. Steve Fenning and Lucas Fennell did a great job playing dual-race directors for our November race event, taking on the challenge of running their first track weekend. They couldn’t have done it without the help of Alex Pope (manning the laptop), Luis Bernhardt, and all sorts of other volunteers (Neil Campbell, Barb Pope, others I’ll miss) helping them.
And Bruce Denis and his ever-present and always donated
sound system (he brings it in, sets it up, and it’s always free — bet
no-one knows that, but it’s the truth and we’re thankful for his work).
The January race event if fast approaching and there’s already some
criticism (perhaps serious, perhaps not) about the “boring format” of
the event (it’s the same as November, for those of you who hadn’t
noticed) on various cycling forums. I’m writing this update to
the list in hopes that someone reads it and decides the velodrome should be so lucky as to receive some of their free time and attention in the next week or two.
So a few key points I’d like to address:
1. The schedule is tentative – we can change things. We have done so in
the past and may very well do so in the future. Think the format is
boring, send me a suggestion for a different one.
2. There is no official Race Director at this point. I called for
volunteers to take the mantle at the November event, no-one has stepped
forward. I am the interim RD for the time being, but would appreciate
the gesture of someone else taking the job.
3. I would like that person/people to be not on the list of following
people who have chaired the last 3 years of race events:
-Me (Gordon Ross)
4. The Burnaby Velodrome Club is a volunteer organization. The whole
thing is run by volunteers. If we don’t get people volunteering, the
race does not happen. It’s not meant to be a threat, it’s not meant to
be blackmailing anyone, it’s simply the reality of the facility.
So I leave you with the following questions:
Have you been Race Director recently?
Have you volunteered at a track event?
Perceived lack of skill? Don’t know what to do? We can help, I never
knew either until I stepped up and did it. Steve and Luke did a great
job, got a fair bit of support, and the event was fantastic. It was
their first event too.
“Someone else will do it for me…”
“Too much hassle… I want to race, why should I be a volunteer?”
All pretty weak excuses. Really. And a sad state of affairs if that’s
what’s going through your head right now.
I can’t force a gun to people’s head and say “Volunteer dammit!”
although I wish I could. I can only present you with the following scenario:
You get a few people who put a lot of time and effort into putting these
events on. They get a ton of help, but from a small group of
individuals. Those individuals, over a period of a year or less, become
tired and burnt out. They ask “Where is everybody else? Why am I the
only one working around here?” and decide that it’s not worth it. They
get tired, frustrated, pissed off, and leave the club for doing
something more enjoyable or entertaining. Like riding their bike. The
club suffers and we’re all worse off for it.
It’s happened before and will continue to happen again unless we do
something about it.
Many hands make like work and all that b.s., right? Right.
So get off your ass, you anonymous forum posters you, and volunteer.
* Race Director
* laptop/results guy (or girl)
* rider whip
* concession stand worker
* lap board flippers
* assistant commissaires
* setup/take down crew
* registration desk/sign-on crew
Jump right in, there’s lots to do.
Okay, enough preachy updates from me. See you at the track.