A couple times during the rally I suddenly took notice of how strange my surroundings had become. Everything was different – quiet old Water Street was full to busting with people I’d never seen before – exotic freaky leather-clad people. Every imaginable shape and colour and size of motorbike. Wild paint jobs. Nutty hairdos.
Music thumping on every corner, new food smells tempting me at every turn.
Standing in the middle of all this energy, all that roaring and cheering, all that laid-back how’s-it-going happiness, a couple of times I had to ask myself, “How in the world did this happen? How did Digby get all these people to come for the weekend and party with us?”
One answer is Peter Robertson and Alex Ionides and the crew they gathered round them in the early days – a crew whose motto was “No is not an answer.” A crew that jumped off the cliff because they were pretty sure they could fly.
What they created is an entertaining vibrant gigantic event. It’s huge and it’s fun. And it’s exhausting for those too few volunteers who keep this thing running.
It’s pretty easy with all the bikes and bands and characters on the streets to miss the people in the green shirts, to look right past the guys and gals who are making this event happen.
There’s a zillion things to be done not only during bike week, but all year round.
Think back about the rally, think about your favourite event or moment. Think about what kind of work had to be done to make that possible.
It’s important to ask ourselves how this event happened.
And it’s even more important to ask the next logical question. Which of those zillion little jobs can I do? How much more could be done if everyone from in town and from out gave an hour or two during the rally?
The volunteers don’t have to ask how the rally happened. They only need look in the mirror.
Ask the volunteers and they’ll tell you, they’re not interested in thanks yous. They’re interested in someone coming to relieve them so they can go enjoy the rally too.
You want to thank a volunteer? Pitch in and help them out.