Fall 2002, p.2

Volunteer Profile: Claire Leisink

Let's Get This Party Started!
Volunteering at the NYC Century Bike Tour 2002 Start

T.A. depends on over 100 volunteers to help stage the NYC Century Bike Tour. The Central Park Start crew is a particularly crucial volunteer position. This year, we were lucky enough to have one volunteer all the way from France.

Claire hard at work at the NYC Century 2002 Central Park Finish.Age: 21
Home: NYC - Hell's Kitchen.
France - Grenoble, in the Alps.
Occupation: Student in political sciences in France
T.A member? In spirit. I'm a member of a bicycling advocacy organization in France.
Why did you volunteer for the NYC Century Bike Tour?
Because I liked being a part of T.A. While I was in town, working in New York City for the summer, I went to a Mailing Party hoping to meet interesting people, learn how and where to ride around New York City and improve my spoken English. As I discovered, the people were awesome. Meeting such great people made me really want to help. Plus, I share your conception of what a city or town should look like: fewer cars and more bikes or other alternative transportation. Minimizing car use is a growing movement where I come from in France and it's exciting and inspiring to see New Yorkers (including T.A.) taking on the issue on an even larger scale. Kit Hodge, the Events and Membership Director, suggested that I help out at the Century and there I was at Central Park at 5 am.

The rambunctious Welcome Committee.What was your role at the Century?
I was part of the illustrious Central Park Start and Finish crew. At the Start, I had lots of fun explaining the different flavors of Clif Bars to bleary-eyed and ravenous riders streaming through at 5 am. After the Start, I was part of the muscle crew who converted the area to the Finish set-up. I went home for a quick nap and returned in time to staff one of the T.A. tables at the Finish, effectively serving as a sun absorption unit.
Did you enjoy the event?
It was great! I didn't expect it to be so big, so it was sort of a shock. I especially enjoyed the fact that there were many happy people at the beginning of the ride and even more at the end. That's something that's different between the United States and France. People here thank you a lot and act interested in what you're doing. It was also a real treat to be a part of a great group of volunteers at the Start/Finish. Oh, and the weather was great.
Anything else you want to say?
Thanks T.A. for a great time! Keep up the good work. I'm off to France and my bicycle.

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