I love volunteering! Volunteering at various events is a great way to a) get into cool events, b) get some free food and c) save a ton of money. Lucky for me, MassBike needed a ton of volunteers for Bike Night, and my husband wasn’t busy and he could be my volunteer-date.
I rode downtown after work. When I got to the hotel, no one was outside at the “MassBike” tent so, I locked the Buena Vista in the temporary bike corral, and I asked the concierge where I should be going for the MassBike event. He then proceeded to give me driving directions to the Mass Pike. It took another 2 minutes to explain that Bike is not Pike , and then he told me that I was too early, and I should leave. So, I called up Husband Dan to find out where I was really supposed to be (in a meeting room 200 feet away from where I was).
The event was billed as super-fancy, so I magically turned work clothes into nighttime clothes by switching my flats for high-heeled sandals, sweater for fancy shawl, and letting my hair down. We can all pretend that it looked just like when the nerd girl takes off her glasses and ponytail holder in the movies and suddenly no one recognizes her. In real life, I marginally just made the baseline threshold for “dressed appropriately.”
The best part of the night was when I got to “catch” bikes from the fashion show models and put them back in the storage room. I may or may not have been riding a pink Brompton around the Ballroom Lobby in the fancy hotel. I don’t think there is any film proof that this transgression actually occurred, so hopefully I won’t be banned from future events. The Brompton was way more fun than I ever thought it would be. If I hadn’t already consumed what may have been the strongest Vodka Martini known to mankind, I would have been more inclined to figure out exactly how tight of a turning radius it has.
This was pretty exciting, because it’s not like I normally have the opportunity to check out out Bromptons, or the tiny Quiros fixed-gear, or any of the other bikes that were there (the rest were way too big for me, so I had zero interest in them) up close.
I took a bunch of pictures with my phone, but they all turned out blurry; most likely the blame falls equally between the aforementioned martini and my dislike of patiently using the autofocus button.
Dan bid on a bunch of items in the silent auction, thinking that he might get one, but then he won a new backpack, and a ton of DeFeet socks and appendage warmers for a small fraction of the real-life cost of each. I may or may not have left with a purse filled with Lara Bar samples (for a more balanced description of the event, see this).
Friday hurt. I am way too old to be riding bicycles through lobbies and drinking Martinis carefully parking bicycles and staying out late on work nights. However, I was really even more lucky: I had already scheduled my work day to be in two parts 6 am – 10:00 am, and then 5 – whenever stuff was minimally done, because Dan and I had a date to go see geckos at the MOS with our super cheap library passes.
The gecko exhibit is now over, but other highlights included baby chicks and this guy:
Bonus: there’s a glass display case with personal collections from people who are some how associated with the MOS, and I just thought this was too cute not to share:
I know that the internet works in mysterious ways, and I wanted to make sure that my account of the evening at the Mass Bike event didn’t sully anyone’s outlook for future Bike NIght events. So here are my observations:
1. The ticket price is totally reasonable. I just like volunteering for things that are beyond my budget.
2. participants got not one but 2 drink tickets. I am way too much of a light weight to take full advantage of that. The bartender was mixing some pretty generous drinks with quality ingredients.
3. attendees who were paying attention left with a goody bag that had some other treats in it (like larabars and granola and some things that aren’t edible, so I’m less interested in them).
4. the auction items were really good, and many went for a very good price (like 15-45% off retail).
5. There was dinner! There were choices! All of them looked good!
6. The raffle was also very good. 3 bicycles up for grabs.
7. Great cross section of the people who like bicycles in Boston. Transportation Cyclists. Roadies. Brevet Enthusiasts. Mountain Bikers. Shop Proprietors. Bicycle Builders. Bike and Builders. Lawyers. Advocates. Etc. Etc. Etc. Just at the volunteer table I met some folks I probably wouldn’t have otherwise, and now have contact info for a couple folks to ride with. How many charity events are that good to you?