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Wildflower 2008

Wildflower 2008 – Lake San Antonio, CA. May 1 to May 5, 2008.

I volunteered with the Communications Committee. Since I am a licensed HAM radio operator, they had me doing Rover for the first day. That was the busiest day. First we drove around the course the wrong direction looking for injured riders and the like. USAT changed the rules this year saying we could help anybody as long as we provided the same amount of support to everybody. The first stop was with CAL FIRE at the end of this crazy grade a ways after Nasty Grade on the long course. Some of the riders with carbon fibre frames were wobbling so bad at the bottom of the hill. They almost crashed and that is why CAL FIRE was stationed there. Next, we got called to a rider who didn’t turn and just slammed into the Steel Bridge. His head was cut pretty bad and he definitely needed stitches. Later, we got called to mile 36.2 on the long course to assist a rider. Her name was Jill and she was from Team in Training – Santa Cruz. She was an awesome woman! We ended up getting her a SAG Vehicle to help her continue. I can’t check her standings at the moment, but I do hope she finished. Next, we followed the last bicyclist from about mile 30 to halfway of Nasty Grade. Her name is Megan, and she was just so tired so she gave up and had us give her a ride back to the top of Lynch Hill. It was great to meet such people.

After the race was over, we went patrolling for anybody who needed medical attention. Most of our medical calls were in Beach City. Beach City is where all the Cal Poly volunteers stay. The first call was to a student who had stepped on something and cut his foot. He was bleeding but we got him patched up pretty good. The second call to Beach City was for a student who ate peanuts when he was allergic. He knew he was allergic, but he didn’t know there were peanut products in Chex Mix! This kid was in real bad shape. CAL FIRE was the first unit to respond, followed by us, Monterey Park Police, WestMed (ambulance), another park ranger, and a game warden. There were so many emergency units at the scene. The student had gone into anaphylactic shock and was in real bad condition. The ambulance Code 3’ed the person to the LZ (landing zone) and he was flown to the hospital for treatment. That was the only air-evac I witnessed, and I think that was the only air-evac for the whole race. I helped cook dinner with Phil, which consisted of about 1 tri-tip per person (literally), pork, ribs, beans, garlic bread, vegetables, corn on the cob, and lots of desserts. It was a really good dinner and after that, I watched The Princess Bride for the first time. I fell asleep really early.

The second day, I worked dispatch on the HAM radio side from 11 to 2. It was real entertaining talking with all the rover and chase vehicles on the course. Nothing big happened on the Olympic Course, which is much shorter than the Long Course, and everybody got through without much trouble. I had started packing earlier in the day and by the time 2pm rolled around, Sara and I put all the stuff in the car and we were on the road by 2:45pm. The roads for the Cal Poly kids at Beach City was just opened so we knew that there would be heavy traffic. This wasn’t the case probably because everybody had to get to their vehicles by shuttle and still then put everything in it. We stopped at In-n-Out on the way to the lake and on the way back. This was probably the best event that I’ve done like this and I hope I can do it next year!

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