Daren W
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Angela's Day - A view from the crew - My London Bikeathon 100

Daren W
Posted by
01 Sep 2014

Angela Jackson talks about how volunteering at London Bikeathon was a very different experience, but no less memorable!

My London Bikeathon day started when the alarm went off around 4am, as a non cyclist I was volunteering for the day, and had to report for duty between 6.30 and 7am. So that meant Trevor being there early as well, so coffee and tea drank we set off with the stars still twinkling in the night sky.

As per normal for team Jackson we arrived at Ham House early at just after 6, first volunteer there, I found Matt, who gave me a new LLR grey polo shirt with crew printed on it, so now feeling and looking the part of their team I asked what can I do now, as even being early I know there is always something that has to be done. First job of the day,with some help from Trev, opening up the toilets, so with cable ties cut, and signage up my day had begun.

Then after a goodby kiss to Trev I took my place in the tent, on day registrations. Kit swap and general enquires were quickly under way, I've never seen so many people in Lycra!

2 hours of organised chaos then began, with a lot of laughter, and great banter we had all the fantastic cyclists sorted and ready to go. (mixed in quick hugs with LLR Team Essex guys as they turned up to get chipped)
Next breakfast.

Now time to clear the tables so they could be used for the water and feeding stations for the riders of the 52 miles, clear the tent so the massage tables could be set up, get all the banners up to promote why we were all there, and unpack the medals for our gallant cyclists' return.

Soon the Richmond branch of LLR began to arrive, they were manning the food and water station,then shortly after the first of the 52 mile riders arrived, so along with the rest of the guys and girls of LLR we cheered, clapped and high fived the riders coming through.

Friends and family of riders began to turn up, the music started, cyclist and friends picnicking, a real fun atmosphere was all around.

There were a few grazed knees, but nothing serious, but such an overwhelming feeling of  togetherness, people all working for one cause, but individual mountains being climbed. It was amazing to watch and humbling to be a part of.

I also had a chance to say hello to Andy Jackson, who I twitter to a lot! was great to meet him.

Then the cyclist started to thin out and we waited with anticipation for the first of the hundred milers to come in.

About 2pm the first arrived, by now my thoughts turned to Trevor as I knew he was aiming for 6 hours, my eyes fixed down the finishing straight waiting, 2.15 arrived and I was hoping all was ok, as I always worry about him, no sign, then from behind a voice went "hi" and made me jump. It was Trevor, but from the wrong direction! He'd got a little lost at the end and made his own route up, so with 107 miles cycled in just over 6 hours he rode in collapsed on the ground and very nicely demanded FOOD, so for a little while Trev would have my time. So food and drink got and eaten, and a trip to the massage tent Trevor began to revive, and we discussed his ride, he came in 8th, I was one proud wife.

By now more and more of the 100 milers were returning, so many faces we knew, and some new friends made.

So I left Trevor with Michael and LLR Team Essex wife's and girlfriends that had turned up to cheer the boys in and went back to my next duties for the day, giving out medals.

A selfie with Angus done, and ice cream consumed my thoughts turned to the rest of LLR Team Essex still out on the course. We then got texts from the guys, with news of lost wallets,and punctures so we worked out they should be back between 6 to 6.30.

Just after six riders coming in began to dwindle, many had gone home, the LLR team started to pack up, and I stood on the finish line alone to give the medals out, Trevor then came and joined me, so we would finish the day as we started and how we always do, working together.

6.30 arrived and went, all we had created with banners and tables had more or less gone, and still no sign of the guys, I hoped all was ok, as I knew for some this was the hardest cycling challenge they had faced.

But then Trevor called out I see yellow, and I watched the team ride in, with the rest of the gang cheering and clapping, my heart felt relief that they made it, with admiration  for what they had achieved and with much love I gave them all their medals.

So proud to call you my friends.

Stories swapped it was time to go home, I said my goodbyes to Matt and the rest of the crew I had helped during the day, whom thanked me for my time, but I would like to thank them for letting me be part of this great day, and making me feel so welcome.

It's very hard to explain how this day made me feel, it was fun and full of laughter, but also so humbling when talking with people and their personal stories. I came away tired, elated, proud, thoughtful and  with my own sense of achievement.
Next will be marshalling the Southend Bikeathon then Birmingham Bikeathon to volunteer again. The thought of this is bringing a smile to my face as I write.

But my last word goes to all the cyclists taking part: you are amazing and #UNSTOPPABLE.

Comments

03.09.2014

What a fab blog Angela! I helped with the set up of Ham House on Saturday so it is lovely to read that it became such a great venue.

The Bikeathon team are now busy organising a few last minute logistics for the Birmingham Bikeathon so hopefully it will be as good a day as London!

See you soon,

Rachel

04.09.2014

Such a lovely blog Angela - i have really enjoyed reading all of the blogs from LLR Team Essex. Thank you so much for your continued support to LLR. I was based at Coram's house but hopefully will get to meet you in the future! 

 

Lauren 

Anonymous
05.09.2014

Looking forward to Birmingham , Southend Bikeathon next Sunday 7/9 marshalling there x

Anonymous
05.09.2014

Thank you