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Tour de Cure Roundup – Sun, Fun, Success.

Our own Lynsye M. recaps the Tour de Cure, and the great time had by all while volunteering at our aid station. Turns out this year’s event was a Tour de Cute.

“I love volunteering with Columbia for Portland’s Tour de Cure! When I was very young, my grandfather passed away from a Diabetic related illness. Volunteering for this event is my way of honoring him. This year was my 4th year participating, along with my husband. Last year, I was 2 months pregnant, and this year, we brought along our 6 month old, Oliver. He had a great time! We set up a tent for him to nap in the shade, but mostly, he flirted with all of the female riders and volunteers. Several riders asked why he wasn’t riding yet…they are expecting to see him back next year, riding a tricycle! Every year, this event seems to come together so well. The companies that donate food and time are fantastic! This year, Columbia had a total of 13 volunteers at Rest Stop #2, which was about 25 miles into the ride. I believe that’s the most we’ve had since I started volunteering.

So, here’s how this event works from our side. We arrive at our designated rest stop at 6:45 am. Shortly after our arrival, a UPS truck shows up to deliver all of the food, tables, chairs, tents, and other supplies. We unload everything and start setting up! This year, we decorated a little – we had some balloons, streamers, and luau themed decorations on our tent, along with a radio pumping out a variety of dance music. Once we have the tables, tents, and chairs set up, we start bringing out the food. There is always a variety of fruit that needs to be cut into bite sized pieces and set on ice, as well as individual snacks, like chips, cookies, and protein bars to set out. As always, we prepare a mass quantity of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on Dave’s Killer Bread! We also have a drink station to set up. We have jugs of water that we use to fill cups and bottles as well as coolers to fill with some type of powdered electrolyte drink mix. Once we are done with that, usually around 7:30am, our first riders start showing up! From then on it’s busy, busy, busy! We spend the rest of our time keeping all of our food stocked and readily available. The riders come in waves from 1 to 60 at a time and they are tired, thirsty, and hungry by the time they get there. I think our guys on the water station work the hardest – they fill up each riders’ water bottles and camelbacks so that they don’t have to do any extra work. The riders are very happy that we are out there and they make sure to let us know how much they appreciate us. I am always sure to thank them for riding, they are doing the hard part, we are just there to make it easier for them. There are always new faces, but I recognize a lot of people that ride every year. They remember us from past years too, and will usually hang out a little longer and carry on a nice conversation. Everyone is so happy to be out in the country, volunteering or riding on a Saturday. I can think of several other ways to spend my day off, but if I had to pick an event to be volunteering for, it would be this one – you just can’t beat the people and the atmosphere!

Once that last rider has made their way through, usually between 12 and 1pm, we get the go ahead to close down the site. We break everything down and reload it on the UPS truck. Any food that has not been opened gets donated to the Oregon Food Bank. We pick up all of our trash and make sure our site is as clean, or cleaner, than we left it.  This day flies by so fast, but I always look forward to doing it again the next year. See you at Rest Stop #2 in 2012! : )”

- Lynsye M.

Thanks to Lynsye and all of our other volunteers! Look out for this and other ways to join Columbia Sportswear in giving back. Together, lets make the great outdoors greater for everyone.

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