But……. I totally volunteered 4 this…… Manufactures of Outdoor Gear ( MOG ) is 1 of the coolest events & is run by the most dynamic person I know. 11 years ago, Jen Taylor started this event on Main St. The whole idea was bringing all these companies together 2 sell of last years gear. About 5 years ago, the Bike Swap took off. This year, we are talking Telluride Film Fest, MOG on Main Street, & the Colorado Mesa University Maverick Classic. All of these events were happening downtown GJ & were a huge success!!!
The downtown Criterium was a blast. The 1st race was Community Challenge at 1pm, which was a timed 20min. The Men's Pro race started at 7:15pm and ran 45min of racing on flat tight streets of GJ & the course was .95mi with loads of fans.
Then, over at Lincoln Park, Arbor Fest was taking place. They had a massive beer garden, music all day, vendors, & we showed up at 4pm 4 the Hot Pepper Eating Contest. MY HIGHLIGHT 4 SURE!!! I love watching these folks completely ruin their whole week. A huge turn out of drunks, families, fans, & contestants of all shapes & sizes. They started off w/1 hot pepper & 2 people called it good & walked off. 3 peppers later, everyone was still game. Then, the 1st serrano pepper was consumed & back 2 the green peppers 4 another 3 rounds. Then most everyone bowed out after the 1st habaneros. From there on out was pure out of body experience. 2 guys remained, however, I was becoming disappointed because everyone that quit really didn't seem all the jacked up. In the past, folks would puke!!! Thats why I was there!! Suffering!! Thats what I wanted 2 see. So, the last 2 guys were chomping down & the crowd started cheering big time. The 1 guy Will would have quit but had a gang of friends going ape sh&t which means the rest of the crowd adopted the "other" guy. They would have gone all night. The contest was deemed as a draw & these guys were splitting the $200 smackers. Then, our friend Will lost his marbles. It was awesome. We stayed another 20min just watching him blow up. Puking, blood red eyes, & his buddy dumped a 5gal of ice on him. Will was in really bad shape. 4 me, TOTALLY worth it.
We rode bikes back 2 the house, made up some ravioli, watched the rest of the A's game, & headed back downtown 4 the last few crit races. Back 2 racing, live music, & let the clean up begin. The whole day was awesome!!! Chris, Jen's husband, & I rolled cable, disassemble the bike rack, break down easy ups, & all kinds of closing duties. Most everyone was tired from the long day so I just kept on reminding everyone how much fun, kept the positive vibe going, & recapped the crit racing. Then, Rock Star Jen shared the fact that the vendors ALL had a record sales 4 the day!!! What an event!!! As we all gave out hugs & said our good byes, Jen & Chris asked me 2 stick round 4 a second. No Worries. I would do anything 4 Jen & Chris.
These 2 wanted 2 thank me 4 all my work. Sure, I hung posters, spread the word, but they were so stoked about my intro from Fridays vendor, volunteer, gathering at the brewery. Everyone introduced themselves & explained how they are involved w/MOG or 4 how many years. As a thank you, Jen & Chris bought me dinner at the brewery at about 10:30pm. They paid 4 the I.P.A., the appetizers, & our main dishes. AWESOME!!! Again, I simply enjoy helping out & I explained that I only see these folks or vendors once every year at this event. Its Gr8.
Volunteering is rewarding on many levels. Giving back feels good. Helping other 4 no reason at all helps in more ways then we know.