What does it take to put on the Ride for Karen each year? There is a lot of organization that’s required to make sure that the day of the ride goes smoothly (and we get a bit of sleep the night before). First off, volunteers, and lots of them.  There are a multitude of tasks, before, during and after the event such as: -Home baked goods – there’s an army of people that bake cookies etc (and try not to eat too much of the inventory) -Lunch preparation –a veritable assembly line put on by Paula Tobias and crew -Set up, tear down.  The stalwarts start at 5.30am and finish at about 7pm on the day of the ride.  We moved to a Saturday night setup last year to try to ease the crunch of tasks on Sunday morning. During tear down, the favourite task of my 10 yr old son is tossing the garbage in the Miller bin.  He enjoys the ride, but LOVES the bin! -Picking up and shuttling 6 rental vans, tents, BBQ’s etc. -Feed stations helpers, sag wagon drivers, food delivery (same crew for many years, no one gets lost) -Lunch stop workers -Clothing sales -First aid workers (St. John’s Ambulance etc.) -Registration – how to get 500 riders signed in between 7.30-9am…we keep working on making this smoother every year.  We have a great crew here with some people being with us since year 1. -Coordination of delivery trucks and buses – getting the 100km riders to the start point on time (and their bikes too!) -BBQ team, our title Sponsor Scotiabank brings out a great crew of volunteers plus the folks from Maple Meats supply the great food and prep expertise. -Setting up and working in the kids area (more on this in a future blog) Each year it seems to run smoother as we continually work to iron out the kinks of pulling off the morning registration crunch. What else? -5 police forces volunteering their time to keep the roads safe. -15+ permits so that the Ride can traverse regional, county, town and city roads. -Ride Ambassadors to keep our riders safe and in the pack where possible -Pro photographers volunteering their skills to capture the efforts of all of the Ride for Karen people. That’s it for now, but next time I will talk about how we built the route, otherwise known as “that was a long ride Dave”. Cheers Kris