Each year, with registrations increasing, the volunteer requirements are reviewed and assessed. This took some planning initially but once the structure was established only small adjustments are required each year, subject to changes in actual tasks and offerings.
Offering a better service to the riders is now requiring an increase in volunteer numbers, which can prove a challenge as the club is made up of keen riders who ideally would want to ride the routes. Having said that, this year has already generated a good level of volunteer offers with only a small number of gaps to be filled. Also, as in previous years, we are planning to ride the routes as club rides prior to the event to give the volunteers (and others) the chance to ride them as a club.
Route Signing Process and Volunteers
As part of this year’s assessment signing the route has been revisited.
This year the club exec has paired up and driven each of the routes reviewing sign requirements, making route guidance notes and taking video footage, aiming to:
- better understand the less obvious junctions and any route complications
- ensure route signage locations are improved, being displayed at the most appropriate places
- provide the signing volunteers with accurate and precise instructions when signing the route
- ensure absolute accuracy in the turn instructions (lefts and rights etc.) for the signers, riders and for reference
- create a video of the routes as a visual reference for marketing and information purposes (we now need to edit several hours of footage!)
- increase reference information of the BCC Sportive for future years.
The volunteers for signing the routes will benefit from better information and ensure riders on the day have the best possible notice of junctions, feed stops and other information. The number of signing volunteers required has been increased this year as it was felt that three per car could improve the results.
Volunteers on the Day at Event HQ and Feed stops
As covered in previous blogs the event preparations and planning the site, equipment, food and volunteers etc. is generally completed by the exec team with the majority of volunteers being required for the event day, apart from the signing.
Offering a better service to the riders is now requiring an increase in volunteer numbers, which can prove a challenge as the club is made up of keen riders who ideally would want to ride the routes.
As in previous years the Event HQ layout, tents and facilities (and the feed stops) help to generate a list of volunteer requirements which can be grouped as follows:
- Setting up the site
With a number of sections to be set up a group of eight volunteers is thought to be appropriate with a 6.30am start. This will include setting up tents, registration desks, bike stands, banners, parking area, food (tent and equipment) and the HS Sports chip timing equipment.
- Feed stops
With Sarah having boxed each feed stop’s requirements the previous day, Feed stop volunteers collect them from the event HQ (early morning) along with Gazebos and any other required equipment and head off for their locations.
Generally each feed stop requires two volunteers; however with the Crich Feed stop providing facilities
for all three routes this year will require two shifts of two people - due to the length of operation.
- Registration Tent
This has previously been setup to deal mainly with welcoming and booking in online registrations and for handing out the chip timings etc. whilst taking payment and registration for those few turning up on the day. The number of on the day entrants has each year exceeded expectations putting the registration desk under pressure. The plan this year is therefore to have separate desks for online and on the day registrations, with much prepared in advance (e.g. registration lists and timing chips) to keep the queues down.
Volunteer numbers for this is likely to require six people, split across three desks.
- Parking Area
Due to the increased registrations, we have taken steps to increase the parking area.We recognise a strong local presence will probably cycle to the event but are also seeing riders travelling significant distances to ride the sportive and are keen to minimise the impact on local residents through maximising the use of the site space.
The two volunteers for this area will be required mainly for the arrival of riders, with requirements
reducing once riders have set off on the routes.
- Food station at Event HQ
This is very capably managed by Sarah and is a busy area, either preparing food for riders arriving or serving riders on their return, whilst maintain sufficient food and drink as required.
This generally requires two additional volunteers to assist Sarah and to help meet the varying numbers of hungry riders arriving back.
- General Site support
In addition to these specific tasks there are always things to be getting on with. These are actioned either by volunteers (identified above) who have available time or by other BCC members and friends who have come along to support and help out.
Volunteers at each post tend to move around supporting each other as needed dependent upon each station’s busy and quiet points in the day.
- Packing away
Once all riders are accounted for, the exercise of packing away kicks in. This requires the similar number of volunteers as when setting up. From previous years’ experience the site is cleared and back to its original state by early evening – and, as in 2013, is certainly helped by perfect weather on the day!
So here’s to the volunteers… who continue to contribute to the growing success of the Beeston CC sportive each year! They’ve been praised by previous riders of the Beeston CC sportive (and by the club) for their welcoming and helpful approach and their commitment to the day, noting that without them the event would simply not be possible!
Have you ever volunteered at an event before? Tell us about your experience below.