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Volunteers provide strong support for Amgen

More help still needed, director says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Local volunteers are gearing up for the Amgen Tour of California to come racing through Auburn May 17. Doug Cahill, Bike Auburn’s community volunteer director, said there are about 200 volunteers already signed up, but the committee is hoping for more. “We are shooting for about 300,” Cahill said. “If we get 250 we will be happy.” Volunteers will perform a number of duties leading up to and the day of the race. The countdown to the big day began with a fundraising dinner and raffle at the Gold Country Fairgrounds Saturday. Upcoming events include an Auburn Downtown Criterium, Bike Fest and Kids Safety Fair, Gold Country Century Ride and Family Festival and the Vino Velo Gala. At these events volunteers will work with auctions, bus tables, answer questions and take care of tickets, Cahill said. There are different types of volunteers including VIP volunteers and course volunteers. The VIP volunteers will be tasked with hosting tents and answering questions for special guests, including members of the media and cycling community. “My responsibility has been to establish a team of volunteers with knowledge of the Auburn area,” said Lynda Wulfekuhler, Amgen VIP/hospitality comfort lead volunteer. “I have been working on obtaining in-kind needs for bleachers for the event, and I am responsible for placement of those bleachers the day of the event and placing responsible VIP volunteers at those sites. I am also responsible for the VIP volunteers at the Gala and making sure my team is there for the support needed.” Course volunteers will be divided up into 22 sectors of the city. Each area will be managed by a sector lead volunteer, Cahill said. Cahill said these volunteers would assist with traffic and pedestrian control, manning intersections and barricades and assist with parking. “They will also assist with post-race activities … and assist as needed with the Lifestyle event taking place after the (race),” Cahill said. At 11 a.m. April 23 at the Auburn Elk’s Lodge, Amgen representatives are scheduled to give an orientation to volunteers about why they are holding the Stage 3 start in Auburn and how to man such a huge event, Cahill said. Cahill said there are a few things citizens should know if they are interested in volunteering. “I think they should know it’s going to be a long day,” he said. “They will likely be standing. Understanding the city (is important).” VIP volunteers should know the who’s who of Auburn, and all volunteers should bring a hat and water for the day, Cahill said. Volunteer Larry Matz is the director for course volunteers and is in charge of making sure sector leads and their teams are trained and organized. “We will be doing a little training for them,” Matz said. “We will have to decide who gets assigned where and when they have to be stationed at those locations and so on.” Matz said volunteers are greatly needed when it comes to events like this. “When (the cyclists) come through town there are lots of different opportunities for potential problems, and volunteers are there to make sure those problems don’t occur,” Matz said. “Last year when we were a pass-through city it went flawlessly because of the volunteers, and we want to make sure that happens again.” Wulfekuhler said she loved volunteering during last year’s event. “Last year I helped to keep pedestrians off the streets before the race began and during,” she said. “During the event, and before the cyclists reached my location, one of the Amgen vehicles stopped at the intersection that I was at and asked that I step out into the intersection and hold up a sign directing the cyclists which way to turn. I was so excited. The sight was unbelievable when the cyclists were coming down this hill toward me. I will never forget it.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com ------------------------------------------------------- Volunteering for Amgen Information: Visit bikeauburn.com To volunteer: E-mail APDVolunteer@auburn.ca.gov ------------------------------------------------------- Safe Cycling Class The Placer County Transportation Planning Agency is hosting bicycle safety classes. The next class is scheduled for 5:30-6:30 p.m. April 27 at the PCTPA building at 299 Nevada St. in Auburn. The class is free and residents can get information on the benefits of cycling, necessary cycling accessories, safe and effective techniques, route planning and the region’s “May is Bike Month” program. For more information call PCTPA at (530) 823-4030.