Tuesday, July 6, 2010

OWL Ride - Volunteers Needed!

The OwL Ride (Omaha with Lights night bike ride) organizers have asked for experienced cyclists to assist in two areas. The OwL Ride ( http://owlride.org/ ), billed as "Omaha's nighttime urban cycling adventure" and with ambitions to become the largest annual night bike ride between Chicago and Denver, will start the inaugural ride at 11pm on Saturday, July 17, 2010, at Lewis and Clark Landing on the Omaha riverfront. The ride will start following the Playing with Fire concert that night. It will travel a 16-mile loop route from the L&C Landing to Midtown Crossing, Dundee, Elmwood Park, through Morton Meadows, Field Club, the Old Market and back to the riverfront. There will be a shortcut at Midtown Crossing to create a seven-mile ride.

The needs:
(1) Bike corral staffing at Lewis and Clark Landing during the Playing with Fire concert preceding the 11pm start of the OwL Ride (one or two volunteers present from 4pm to 8pm to set up the corral with materials provided and check in bikes; three or more volunteers from 9pm to 11pm to check in bikes, and then check out bikes at 10:30-11:00pm). OwL Ride will provide detail procedures and wrist band materials to identify bikes to owners for check-in and check-out. In addition, an off-duty sheriff deputy will provide security specifically for the bike corral during the concert.

(2) "Ride Right Rangers"--These volunteers would agree to wear a safety vest provided by the OwL Ride and ride the route using common cycling courtesy, following normal safe riding practices (right side of road, ride predictably, signal and verbalize slowing and stopping, etc.). The request is that these volunteers attempt to stay with groups of casual riders and simply serve as examples of courteous, safe riding. 12 to 24 Ride Right Rangers would be welcome. The OwL Ride will waive the $25 registration fee for volunteers for this duty who have not previously registered, although the standard rider liability waiver will be required (OwL Ride can't do refunds of existing registrations--which support a worthy cause, the Meyer Foundation for Disabilities, and which are very much appreciated--but would still welcome any registrants who want to join the Ride Right Ranger corps).

A few details for volunteers to know in advance: Omaha police will support the ride during the start of the ride and through the first few, busiest blocks of downtown Omaha. Riders will be required to follow traffic laws, including stopping at red lights and stop signs. Efforts will be made to mark particular hazards such as drainage grates and any extreme potholes. Course marshals will be placed at key intersections. The route is designed to minimize stops and steep hills, given the available topography.

We believe this event has the potential to expand cycling in Omaha, and welcome your contribution to its success! http://owlride.org/

Please get in touch with Mark Siepker if interested: tram_man (at)cox(dot)net

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