I am trying to do one of these for every ride I participate on now, so here goes.A Vollies View of the Ride
This year I was on the BYK-FM team, however helped out backstage with the band every night as well. I also was the bloke on the loudspeaker at the Gantry at the end of the ride congratulating you all. Pre Ride - 2 Sleeps
It all started at 6:00am on Thursday, 24th November, alarm goes off at 6am, go back to sleep accidentally and wake up 20 minutes before my Team Leader arrives. (Great start ey?) After driving for a couple of hours in peak hour traffic we end up at the BV Workshop in Sunshine. We pick up a vehicle for the ride, drive a few metres then POP, we suddenly have a flat tyre. 10 minutes later we have another vehicle and our on our way. We needed to pickup a bunch of radios from Coburg, Campbellfield and Geelong so did that along the way, then headed off on the long, long trip to Portland.
A couple of hours into the trip the weather decides to show its angry side, with the first of the rain belting down. This happened several times but the one thing I remember is when we were 20 minutes from Portland, the biggest rainstorm hit. It actually seemed to target the campsite though, I actually mistaked the rain for a tornado initially (no kidding), it was like a cylinder of rain had been released over Portland. When we got there at 5pm one of the Services team described it as being as heavy as being in the shower. The local cricket club provided a beautiful roast that night for us and we all went to bed pretty early. The heavy rain continued all night.Pre Ride - 1 Sleep
The next wet day, riders and vollies started to turn up in dribs and drabs throughout the morning. We explored the town for a bit during the morning, got some essentials that were forgotten or needed for the station and said hey to local newspaper.
We got a generator to power our Caravan Studio at around 1pm (for the radio station) and I had an brilliant time tinkering for a few hours. In the afternoon the coaches hit with a couple of thousand people hitting the campsite, which got everyone excited. The team all got together throughout the day, said their hellos and had a bit of a chat. It did rain throughout the day, mainly towards the evening, however don't think I saw one unhappy face regarding it. It again bucketed down that night.The rideThis will go way to long if I did a day by day summary, so going to try and keep it neat and tidy. My allocated Volunteer Job - BYK-FM
First a bit about my job on the radio crew. This was the first time I have ever hosted anything, so having two hours a day where I had to host a show was a bit nerve racking and was rather worried the first day, however once I started the nerves quickly went away. I must give a huge thanks to all the people who came up and gave suggestions and even compliments, they were greatly appreciated.
Everyday was memorable with most being great ones. Some memories were not so great however, especially day 7 when the brakes failed on the Caravan. :S It was on a slight hill with the crew all trying to stop it rolling down while help frantically rushed to help. We luckily did stop it, and no one was injured however was incredibly scary in those few moments of straining to hold it back.
I definitely had a great time on the team, however would not do the radio team next year. I found the radio station to be slightly repetitive, with majority of our effort just packing up and setting up. Due to transmitter troubles in the bad weather and seemingly not many riders having radios with them it seemed to be a lot of effort for very little gain, as you never knew if anyone could hear you.
Anyway, enough about the team.My not so allocated Volunteer Job - Packing up the stage equipment everynight
This was by far my favourite thing to do on the ride. Most people would go how boring when you talk about rolling cables up, taking down speakers, powering down amps and loading a jigsaw of Roadcases full of equipment into a truck. I for some reason however loved it, maybe it was the great guys on the team that added to it but I never had a dull time backstage. The other benefit was all the great bands hired this year, Especially the Tea Leaves (Day 3) and Carus and the True Believers (Day
. The music was amazing. It was also a nice surprise to see my classmate from Drama 'Sean' appear to perform his Elvis impersonations. We were able to catch up and was also amazed at how far his act has came along, the audience loved him.The people of the ride
It still amazes me at how friendly people are on this ride (of course there are a few out there that are not as friendly/considerate as others). A huge thanks to all the vollies and riders I met and the rest for making it such an enjoyable experience, it seems most people had an absolute ball. Everyone was always happy and ready to chat, people were considerate at night time with keeping noise levels down and there did not seem to be as many snorers either this year.The Final Day
At the beginning of the ride I was hoping it would never end, now I am glad it has. I am extremely tired so as soon as I have finished typing this up I am off to bed for the night. It is true that this becomes your life when you arrive, you at times dont even have time to think about other things outside of the Great Vic. It was great seeing all the happy faces on the riders as they passed through the gantry, and that strengthened the reason of why you volunteer. I see it as a working holiday, I do things I enjoy that I don't normally have time for, meals are provided (how good were the meatballs!) and through your actions you make heaps of people have a more enjoyable ride.
Now, I didnt hear any mention of the forums or people of the forums until this morning I hear outside my tent people discussing Scoota-Gal and hope she was helpful. If only I had been more awake, I would have tried to find who was talking and introduced myself.
Anyway, hopefully all of you had a ball, I certainly did. The weather may not have been the best but I met heaps of great people, everyone was friendly and most of the locations were brilliant (except Day 7, argh for 4 campsites). Thanks once again for a great time. (apologies if this is all over the place, too tired now to re-read)