I finally got a chance to view an event as big as Great Dublin Bike Ride from the ‘other’ side of the story, volunteering throughout the whole weekend of the ride.
I have so far been a participant in many different running events, varying from 50 participants to up to 40,000. I have always been way too excited about my run to be thinking of how much effort, energy, time and commitment it takes to create something that great. So there I was, at the Great Dublin Bike Ride, on the weekend of September 12th and 13th to help make it all happen.
— Sport Ireland (@sportireland) September 13, 2015
What is the Great Dublin Bike Ride?
Great Dublin Bike Ride was a flagship event for European Week of Sport, a non-competitive and a non-timed ride, giving cyclists a unique opportunity to cycle along with over 3,000 other cyclists and allowing them to choose a route of their wish and ability, either a 60 or a 100 kilometers.
Related: Dublin is Awesome #1
I did expect a lot of positivity all around, but I genuinely had no idea it will be that good. The registrations went smoothly, and it was an honest excitement just looking at all the cyclists with families, friends and cycling groups showing up on Saturday.
Everyone seemed to be very patient and chill about the whole thing and us volunteers had a really fun and good time meeting such easygoing people.
— GreatDublinBikeRide (@DublinBikeRide) September 12, 2015
Being on the front line of the event
And while Saturday was more on the relaxed side and it was incredibly sunny, early Sunday morning had that beautiful buzzy atmosphere and literally thousands of people everywhere around Smithfield. The weather wasn’t promising, but it seemed fine for the moment. I was assigned to the Smithfield area, so after making sure everything is in place, we were waiting for the ride to start.
I had so much fun being at the finish area, waiting for the finishers to arrive so we could hand them out some food and their medals. And this was the best part of it all. So many happy faces!
Because I was really curious about how everyone felt on the road, I asked some cyclist how was everything, and I was so happy to hear how great everything was, from course marshals, Gardai, food to the route itself. It also started to rain, but no one seemed to be bothered by that!
What amazed me the most was the feedback on social networks (most of it through #gdbr hashtag). I was absolutely blown away by so many positive comments towards organization and volunteers. Everyone knew this was the first time this event was happening and everyone should know what a big deal it is for organization and volunteer teams to hear such an amazing feedback!
— Marijana Kostelac (@MarijanaKay) September 13, 2015
Thank you isn’t enough!
I just want to use this opportunity to say a massive thank you to Event Volunteers, Volunteer Ireland, Titan Sports, all the Gardai and security teams, Bel Cibo for feeding the cyclists, Generator hostel for hosting all of us there, and to everyone who was even remotely involved in making this event happen, because I am pretty sure that next year’s cyclists capacity will be full, and I will probably be one of them!
I couldn’t be happier to have been the part of such a huge event that was created for everyone who loves cycling and that has shown the huge hospitality of Dublin and Ireland.
Also, make sure to check out The Dublin Reader’s view on the Great Dublin Bike Ride from a cyclist’s point. It might encourage you to join me next year in the ride!