Today was the annual Ride For Clean Water sponsored by the Buzzards Bay Coalition. Participants had options of 100, 75 or 35 miles. In the past I was one of two SAGs. My job was to drive my car near the back of the pack and offer maintenance or if needed, transport a rider. This year however, Velofix, a mobile bike shop, and Yesteryear, a local bike shop, took over that task. Me?…. I was asked to be a turn guide.
For four hours, I found myself standing on a sidewalk, fifty miles from the end of the ride, (but a mere 4 miles from my home), tasked to point as riders approached and yell, “TURN RIGHT”. I set up at around 9 AM and waited…….at 9:30 a rider approached. She was doing the 50 mile ride but left the start point 90 minutes before the designated time. “Had things to do” she said. A few minuets later, three more early start rides approaches. Then I waited….. Around 10:30 AM the fun began.
A steady flow. Some in large bunches, some in smaller groups came at me. “Turn right”. “Follow them”. and my favorite. “Your two hours behind the leaders. I doubt if you will catch them”.
Normally, I’m on my electric assist bike, riding in the pack filming. I’ll sprint ahead and get shots of riders approaching. Sprint to catch them, and often ride side by side interviewing as we ride. Today however….”Turn Right”.
Across the road from my spot, the town firemen were landscaping the Welcome to Fairhaven sign. They had to do double duty when one of the riders told me there was a serious crash a few dozen yards back. I yelled across to the firemen and two of them ran back to aid the victims. A few scrapes and cuts and one broken finger.
Near the end of the ride, a woman stopped and told me a rider had been hit by a car. I sprinted the 1/4 mile to the bridge and found the police on site. An ambulance arrived shortly and transported the rider to the hospital for a check up. I could almost see the dollar signs floating around his head as he was “about to be taken away, ha ha”. (If your old enough to remember that song on AM radio).
The video below is the best I could do between “Turn Rights”, being bound to one spot. For four hours. (Did I already say that?)