This team is responsible for the daily set-up, food distribution, bike parking and traffic control at each rest stop location. These teams are the first to leave in the morning and often the last to return to each night. Pit Stops are strongly encouraged to work together to formulate a “Theme” for your Pit Stop that is entertaining and motivating to the Riders. Must be able to lift 40+ lbs and stand for long periods of time.
Crew Description: The Pit Stop CREW is the heart and soul of the Ride. This CREW provides and maintains rest stops located every 15-20 miles along the entire route. By passing out water, Gatorade, snacks or lunch, providing medical care and bicycle technical support and cheering them on. Pit Stop CREW members keep the Riders moving and the Ride on track. Composed of 4-8 separate members, these incredible teams work long arduous hours to create an area where Riders can relax and refuel. Each CREW has a manager, medical professional(s) and may include a bicycle technical expert. It is essential to work together to download and organize supplies, locate sites from the map, and to layout and setup the pit stop. All of this is usually accomplished within an hour. It is a challenge, but it is SO appreciated by the Riders that we personally doubt that there’s a more popular or well loved CREW!
- SUPPLIES — Go through your checklist and make sure that you have all the supplies that you will need to setup the Pit Stop. Should you be short of any of them, please tell your Pit Stop Manager ASAP so that arrangements can be made to re-supply you. Supplies will be checked before you leave the Ride Out or the hotel, this will insure that you are not without any of the crucial items you need to run your Pit Stop effectively and efficiently.
- PHONES/COMMUNICATIONS — Another critical check to make when you first arrive at the site is to locate the nearest phone(s). In urban area, in or near small towns, you may have one right in your Pit Stop. In more remote areas, there may not be a phone for miles. In the latter case, it will be most critical to check your alternate communications options. Your managers will all have a personal cell phone in order to stay in touch with Dispatch. In all the hurry of setup, help your manager with these vital communications links. Please remember to plug cell phones in and have them powered up for usage. It’s a little late if an emergency comes up and the cell phone is dead and the nearest pay phone doesn’t work.
- AREA CHECK — Just prior to setting up the Pit Stop, report your location and any situations to the Dispatch. Report this information to Dispatch via phone. Report any updates of road conditions, weather, traffic or medical concerns. Check in periodically with Dispatch throughout your shift. This will be especially important as Riders require transport to the hotel or holding area due to injuries or bike problems. Whenever you make a report to Dispatch, be as accurate and complete with information as possible. Give the following: Your Pit Stop number and exact location.Let them know that you are or are not open for business. Report any road problems that need to be addressed (signs to be placed, Safety CREW to be dispatched for traffic control, etc.).Give accurate number of Riders and bicycles currently in your Pit Stop. Monitor transport vehicles that have arrived or left your area since the last report.Later in the day, it will be especially critical to closely check Riders for fatigue, heat exhaustion, or possibly hypothermia. Pass this information along to the medical personnel at your Pit Stop.
- PIT STOP SETUP — When laying out a Pit Stop, keep in mind Emergency and other vehicle movements. You will be provided with a site plan. Do not strand an Ambulance or designated emergency vehicle in the back with 300 Bikes and Riders blocking the exit. Keep cars/vans accessible and create a separate area for bikes well away from the food and water tables. Also be aware of how car traffic AND bike traffic will be affected near and at your Pit Stop. Use orange traffic cones and/or yellow caution tape to make entry and exit into the Pit Stop safe for Riders and for other traffic. You may need to do a lot of traffic control. Every one sets up the canopy that is used by the Medical team at each Pit. Next set up your food and water tables with the appropriate supplies. Position and line the trash cans conveniently but away from the food and water tables. If the drinks come in powder form, allow enough time to mix and chill. Double check the communications, signage and other items as noted on your checklist. You are now ready to Rock & Roll!!
- RUNNING THE PIT STOP — Once everything is in place, Riders will probably start to arrive. CREW members will refill water bottles, hand out snacks (or lunches at the Lunch Pit Stop) and generally make sure every Rider has ample food and fluids. While we have plenty of supplies at each of the Pit Stops, please discourage “hoarding” of snacks. Assure Riders that food WILL be available every 15-20 miles and they do not need to stock-up at Pit Stop 1 or 2. Fueling the physical may be enough of a purpose for a Pit Stop, however, fueling the spirit may be what really keeps the Riders moving forward and be the most important reason you are here. Given that the route is long and difficult, day after day, it is essential to encourage, motivate, inspire, kick in the butt or whatever it takes to keep the Riders moving ever southward. Riders may want to spend more time socializing (especially at the lunch stop) but encourage them to mount up and head on out! Keep them moving, moving , moving and moving. Remember to give periodic updates to dispatch via cell phone regarding numbers of Riders requiring transport to the hotel or holding area. This information will become increasingly critical in the afternoon. Depending on the number of Sagged Riders, the Dispatch CREW must plan for the Rider Transport CREW in the waning daylight afternoon. We don’t want to sag Riders and Riders don’t want to be sagged, but as the day progresses it becomes a safety concern and therefore a necessity to sag Riders to the hotel. You may need one person assigned to keeping and communicating accurate Rider counts to Dispatch. On Day One Pits 1 and 2, get hit with the largest number of Riders at once. This is caused by Ride Out (instead of a 2 hour window for riders to leave hotel, they are all leaving at the same time); please be aware and prepared for this. To ease the job of closing the Pit Stop each day, police the area regularly for trash and “lost and found” items. If there is not a dumpster at your Pit Stop to use for trash, all trash must be bagged up and loaded on the Pit Stop truck and taken back to the hotel to be dumped. LEAVE THE SITE CLEANER THEN WE FOUND IT: That is our goal and will insure that we are invited back next year!
- As your Pit closing time approaches, the Pit Closure Team will arrive to assist you. The purpose of this team is to monitor the Pit Stops for Riders and to dispatch the Ride Transport and Bike Transport CREW to those areas. In addition, they direct the sweep CREW to locations between the Pits to rescue Riders. They have full knowledge of the number of Riders still on the route because of the work of the “Caboose”. This is the last official vehicle on the route monitoring the progress of Riders. The “Caboose” follows the last rider at all times. Once the “Caboose” stops at your pit stop and the Pit Stop truck has arrived you can begin to pack up, unless otherwise instructed.
- Once the Pit Closure Manager has told the Pit Manager that all the Rider have passed your Pit, your team can pack-up and travel to the evening hotel or the holding area. Remember to do a final sweep in and around your location. Dispose of trash in Pit Site dumpsters (where available and only those contracted by The Smart Ride) or upload and bring to the evening hotel for disposal. Leave your Pit Stop looking impeccable. It’s a bold statement for such a large number of Riders to pass through an area and leave the place sparkling.
- At the evening hotel, you will get rid of trash and unusable supplies. Some items for the next day can be uploaded. After dinner you can load up for the next day or in the morning. Make sure all duties are completed before you are dismissed. Communicate any problems to your CREW Manager. Check with her/him regarding the next day’s meeting time and schedule. You will load the remaining items in the morning.
- In some instances, variations on this scenario will occur. Be Flexible. For instance, your CREW and supplies may be needed to remain at your Pit Stop post to assist the Pit Closure CREW. In the event of foul weather for example, trash bags must be available for distribution to Riders who did not bring foul weather gear. If the number of Riders and bikes to be transported to the hotel is large, it may be necessary to assist with uploading of bikes, Rider counts, guarding bikes, distributing food and water, etc. These situations will be fairly obvious, but check with your manager and Pit Closure CREW if there’s a question.
- Don’t forget to put out your “ ½ Mile to Pit Stop” sign out. The Riders will be looking for that sign so they know they are coming up on a Pit Stop.
- The other exceptions deal mostly with the Lunch Pit Stop CREW. This CREW is much larger and usually deals with many more medical and bike tech challenges. The space and layout of this site is especially critical. The ambulance and medical staff must be positioned to allow for Rider access and for quick emergency departure. The ice truck must also have easy access to the Pit Stop. In addition, ambulances may come and go from here ALL day (delivering or picking up medical emergencies). Also, at any one time, there may be 100 people and bicycles on or near this site. Riders stop here and stay to rest, relax, socialize, have a bite to eat, recuperate, deal with bike problems, receive medical attention, just get attention (insert hugs here), play, etc… It’s the beauty and the challenge of this CREW! Riders need to revitalize and they need to return to the saddle. Keep that in mind! It’s a fine line between encouragement and compassion and coddling. Sometimes “tough love” is the answer…!!! Keep them moving!
- Riders may be tired and a little out of it—keep them safe at all times!
- The later Pits may be asked to do some pretty long hours. If Riders are slower on a particularly difficult day, these CREW’s may not get to the hotel until after dark. Please be sure to bring some warm clothes, rain gear, sunscreen, hats, etc… Be ready for anything because “anything” can happen.
- At each Pit there will be a number of Riders and bikes that may need to be sagged. The Pit Manager will contact command and let them know how many Riders and bikes will be sagged to the Lunch Pit, and to the hotel. The Riders will be transported in minivans and the bikes will be transported in trucks. It is very important that all CREW members pay attention to Riders that are being sagged. Riders do not like to be sagged and may try to convince you that they are fine. Really look at each Rider and if you feel they need to be sagged please contact your Pit Manager to let them know you are concerned about a Rider. Pit Stop Managers, do not hesitate to have someone from the Medical CREW take a look at the Rider. Be positive and let them know that by going into hotel early will make the Riders chances of completing the next day much better.
- Make sure that the area you set up for Sagged Bikes is far away from bike parking. Most Riders do not use the bike racks at pit stops and just lay their bikes down. If they are close to the Sagged Bike area they could accidentally be loaded on to the truck and taken away.
- It is important to make sure you have at least one igloo of gatorade that does not contain ice. Put a sign on that igloo that says “ICE FREE”.
- We really want the Pit Stops to be festive. Work with your Pit Stop manager to come up with various themes, events, music, etc. To make this a fun relaxing place to be. If you have Frisbees, kites etc. Bring them or work to get some donated!
- Thank you for all your long hours and hard work. You give the Ride humor and heat. You make us laugh and lighten our spirits. Your presence makes the last few miles not quite so difficult.