Saturday, September 21, 2013

Event Services - 2013 Aetna Silk City Cross Race

Saturday September 21 was the date of the 2013 Aetna Silk City Cross race. It's the team race for Expo Wheelmen, at least the race on this weekend. Expo Wheelmen already held a TT series as well as an ongoing 'cross training series. This weekend would be the main event for the team.

The venue is close by, about 30 minutes drive for me. Since I only handle registration I didn't need much equipment. This meant loading the Expedition with just "a lot of stuff", not "a crap ton of stuff". I could see out the windows and I didn't need the trailer that I don't have. Good thing, right?

I met up with the guys at a breakfast place before the race, getting there early enough that a police car pulled up next to me. I had just put our new insurance card in the glove compartment, I had my license, so I was okay.

The officer was simply waiting for the breakfast place to open, like me. No interest in the Expedition next to him.

Early enough that the moon was out.

When we rolled over to the race course I decided that I'd park the Expedition on the other side of the tent, out of the way. Best way to do that?

Drive through the tent.

Driving into (and through) the tent at the beginning of the day.

With that little fun thing done the real day started.

We unloaded the stuff - desks, chairs, printer, cords, start lists, stuff like that. After a bit of set up we were ready and started getting numbers to the riders.

With the help of Barbara H the registration desk ran pretty smoothly. The system works well enough that I just need to type well, remember how to set print area, and print using the full option command, not just hit the print icon (else the stuff prints on multiple pages).

Although we had that first initial rush where it was really busy, the registration area calmed down quite a bit afterward.

We posted results too. With the stuff all set up in the spreadsheet it became a game of "Can I get the spreadsheet results printed before the handwritten ones get taped up?" I never quite managed to actually beat the handwritten notes but the spreadsheet results were done within maybe 30 seconds of that time.

Not bad if I do say so myself.

The Missus showed up with Junior for a bit. Junior was flagging a bit, tired. He's really needed his naps recently so we figure he's busy growing teeth (a bunch are about to pop through), growing height, growing brain, all that stuff. He's progressing in leaps and bounds to our delight.

I took a short break during the last race, then did the end of day number crunching stuff - calculating insurance surcharges, adding up One Days and Annuals, stuff like that. At some point in there I uploaded the results to USA Cycling.

Our final Expedition loading got interrupted by a little guy that was trying to camouflage itself on the tan chair. It sort of worked but not really.

Praying mantis, with chair for size reference

Close up

Front view
After a few of us took pictures I got it to get onto a bin lid and took it to a safer spot. The Missus actually let it crawl around on her hand, Junior watching in fascination.

Maybe he'll grow up a bit more tolerant of bugs than his dad.

The Missus decided to take Junior home at this point - he was tired and needed some good, solid recovery time.

I stayed and partook in the hanging out after the race stuff. I didn't partake in any beverages or foods but that was okay, the company was what I wanted. After a bit of time I figured that, yeah, I should get going. I said my good-byes, got into the Expedition, and turned the key.


I guess the MiFi broadband modem does take a lot of juice. As does leaving some of the doors open for much of the day.

Before I could digest what had happened a bunch of the guys had gathered around the front of the Expedition. They pushed it back a bit so that someone else could pull up an appropriate jump vehicle.

I, of course, took a picture.

My view as the Expo crew finished pushing the drained Expedition.

"You run down the batteries and then take pictures of us?"

What struck me was that it was Kurt's wife that got up, without a word, got in their white SUV, and turned it around. When the guys pushing the truck told her that we'd end up over here and she should be over there she just replied, "Yeah, that's what I figured you were doing." I thought that was great, that she had the routine down. The guys hooked up the cables, no one got electrocuted, no suspicious smoke or anything, and they told me to go give it a try.

"Thanks for the jump!"

The Expedition roared to life and by the time I got out the jumper cables were gone. I headed out and home, without too much incident (just observing some dumb driving).

When I opened the door to the house Junior stood up from the Missus's lap, raised his arms, and ran over to me.

All was good.

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