Lost and Found was not only my first time attending a gravel race but my first 24 hours as the newest WTB employee. I showed up at headquarters, met the crew, and within an hour, Heather (my new boss in Marketing) and I were off to the races in WTB's sweet van. Lost and Found wasn't only my first gravel race but my first time running an aid station. I have come from years of racing and have enjoyed the benefits of the tasty snacks and hearty cheers provided by the volunteers helping out. I was excited about having the WTB crew show me how it's done. I was told we were going to put on the best aid station these racers have ever seen, and we did not disappoint.
The first stop of putting on the best aid station ever is to sufficiently stock up on supplies, such as beer, beer, and more beer. Working at WTB was the first time in my job experience that the first day I got to go into the store and buy as much beer as we could carry out. After the greatest aid station ever essentials were bought we headed to the quaint town of Portola, where all of the weekend festivities would take place.
Early the next morning, we headed out on the course to prepare our station. Putting on the best aid station ever takes a lot of prep and fruit cutting. However, the WTB crew had every detail planned out, making the morning work go smoothly. We had anything a racer could ever want. Some of the items we prepared were fruit, soda, juice, candies, electrolytes, popcorn, bacon, bacon-wrapped pickles, pretzels, beer, tequila, and the list goes on. Besides food, we also had a Shimano mechanic, a nurse, and multiple people lubing chains as racers went by.
Not only did we prepare a huge spread, like any good party, but we also had a theme, colorful fiesta. Fun hats, colorful flags, beer and tequila were available to anyone who needed an extra boost of fun during the race.
The first racers came hauling in around 10:30, followed by a non-stop flow until about 2 o'clock.
The bacon-wrapped pickles were probably the biggest hit of the day. Mark Weir the grill master was non stop cooking for hours. We went through almost 50 pounds of bacon. Yes....50 pounds!
Snow cones were readily available to help cool racers down on the hot day.
Even Moose showed up to help boost racer moral.
Some racers stopped by for only a few minutes while others hung out for hours while listening to music, cheering others on, and enjoying the snacks.
I have worked a lot of fun jobs, but never one where my first 24 hours consisted of putting on a fiesta. In those few early hours of my new job, I learned how to throw a killer party, support racers, and put on the best aid station anyone has ever seen. The most important part of the weekend for me though was seeing what WTB is all about, which is showing up for this community we love and making biking as fun as possible. Huge thank you to the SBTS for another amazing event! Already looking forward to 2020!