Having made the decision not to participate in Audax UK's flagship event, London-Edinburgh-London 2013, we decided to help out at the starting control, on our continued mission to give back to the audax community.
Sue and Keith were in charge of the Loughton (London) control, and having ridden their National 400 last year we were keen to help out. Early Saturday morning, we cycled along the canal and out to Loughton, in Greater London. We arrived jsut before 9am, pitched our tent and got to work. Both of us were in the admin team, so we were registering riders, which was great as it meant we were able to interact with lots of them.
|Registration in full swing|
|Sue and Keith speaking to the volunteers|
|Double human chain to load the bag drop bags into the van|
|Just a couple baguettes|
|In the luggage store area|
|Chief mechanic hard at work|
|Keith sends off the second starting wave at 6am|
|The last rider to leave (from France) after a crowd of volunteers helped him with his rack|
All that was left after the last riders left was a bit of tidying up, and we packed down our tent and were on our way back to London in the early afternoon. It was unexpected, but we were both feeling a little bit envious as we headed back to our warm bed, thinking of the riders out on the road tonight and possibly for the next four nights.
|Cleaning to hall for the arrivee|
But being able to help out and do our bit for the event was definitely the next best thing to being out there. The number of volunteers who contribute to an event like LEL would be unfathomable in lots of other sports, from the people who plan for years to make the event a success, to those like us who turn up on the day to help out, audaxing is all about mutualism and a spirit of cooperation, and that's one of the best things about it. Anything we can do to keep that spirit going is time well spent.
|And they're off!|