With pnly a few days to go until Ride the Drive, organizers continue to solicit volunteers for the inaugural event. Scheduled for 8 a.m.-2 p.m. this Sunday, August 30, the celebration will close about six miles of downtown streets (including parts of John Nolen Drive, East Washington Avenue and Blair, Pinckney, State, Lake, Dayton, Bedford, Wilson and Broom streets) to motor vehicles -- opening the route to bicyclists, pedestrians, in-line skaters and other non-motorized participants.
Presented by the city of Madison and Trek bicycles, the family-friendly event will also feature food, music and other diversions, performances and activities for all ages.
But such ambitious events don't just happen. In addition to planning, they require volunteers to succeed. Brian Conger, statewide outreach coordinator for the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, notes that while more than 100 people have already volunteered for the event, an abundance of volunteer opportunities remain available before and during Ride the Drive. Among those leading up to the event:
- Ride the Drive route sign-making, Thursday, Aug. 27, at the Goodman Pool maintenance shed. Contact: Sarah Edgerton, sedgerton(at)cityofmadison.com.
- Staffing Ride the Drive's information table to promote the event, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. daily through Friday, Aug. 28, on State Street's Library Mall; and 8-10 a.m. and 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Aug. 29, at the Dane County Farmers' Market on the Capitol Square. Contact: Kelli Lamberty, klamberty(at)cityofmadison.com.
- Ride the Drive postering and flyer distribution through Friday, during business hours at the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin's Madison office, 106 E. Doty, Suite 400.
Conger estimates another 30-50 volunteers will be needed during Ride the Drive itself, on Sunday Aug. 30, in four-hour shifts from 7-11 a.m. and 11 a.m.-3 p.m.. Among the volunteer opportunities available:
- Art activity and event helpers at sites along the route.
- Comfort Station volunteers: set-up stations, answer questions and hand out brochures, followed by take-down of tables, chairs and canopies, removal of signs and banners, and clean-up of the event area.
- Bike Ambassadors to patrol one-mile route segments, answer participant questions, communicate with volunteer captains and intersection marshals, maintain signs and ensure safe riding conditions.