I discovered a love for professional cycling after a chance encounter with a pro-cyclist who was visiting from out of town. Hearing him talk about his career made me want to know more. I did loads of research, I asked questions, and with each new piece of information I felt optimistic. Could this be the career path I’ve been looking for? To answer that question I knew I had to attend a race. Seeing a race would either cement or inspire this odd new interest of mine. The closest race I found was the St. Francis Tulsa Tough. I contacted the organizers of the event to sign-up as a volunteer and counted the days.
On June 13th I drove an hour and a half to the event. I nervously parked my car and walked around trying to find my post. As if it were in slow motion, I took in the crowd of people, uniformed cyclists of all levels all around me. Past the race track I saw the registration tent in the middle and wondered “How in the world do you get across?” I watched intently and sure enough, after the racers past, guards let pedestrians cross. It was thrilling to walk on the race track.
I was a registration volunteer working with cyclists of all calibers from amateur to pro. Luckily the tent was located directly beside the start/finish line. The excitement of the crowd never dwindled even when they weren’t cheering. After watching a woman win one of the day’s races, I thought “I need to be a part of this.”
I helped with the kid’s races which was unbelievably fun. Standing in the middle of the track, passing out water bottles, and hoping they wouldn’t run into us!
Before the last race of the day, the Men’s Pro 1 race, there was a threat of rain. With gusts of wind at our backs we packed up the registration tent and organized where our team would wait out the storm. It felt great to work as a team packing everything into trucks as fast as possible. All hands on deck.
My experience from that day confirmed my interest in this new and exciting world. I do not have a clear path as to what is ahead. What will my role be in this industry? How will my past experiences influence my unique skills and talents within the cycling world?
I looking forward to finding out!