We need your help to produce Chicago's only after midnight bicycle ride! Have fun, meet new people, support Friends of the Parks, and enjoy great benefits:
Volunteer Opportunities that are available:
Volunteer Course Marshals Needed
We need lots of riding Course Marshals to direct riders and enforce the Rules of the Road.
Volunteer Course Marshals pay only $10 to participate in The L.A.T.E. Ride — a substantial savings from the regular rate of $40-$45.
Course Marshals play an important role in making The L.A.T.E. Ride a safe, fun and enjoyable event. You don't need to be an expert bicyclist, but your bike should be in good operating condition. We need enthusiastic people who are punctual, assertive and have good problem-solving skills.
Course Marshals will help with the "staggered start" along Columbus Drive. Course Marshal teams will help direct riders to the starting point and, with support from Chicago Police, will coordinate five start groups over a 45-minute timeframe.
Course Marshals will ride in pairs –ride with a friend or we'll find a partner for you. You'll ensure that participants riders follow the Rules of the Road –make sure riders around you obey traffic laws, signs and signals; stay to the right; stop at red lights, listen to police officers and ride safely.
If a rider needs bicycle repair help, you'll direct him or her to one of the ten repair stations located along the 25-mile route. Or you can use your cell phone to call the dispatcher for a bike repair van to the scene.
Each Course Marshal will staff a particular intersection along the 25-mile route. The planning committee has prioritized intersections along the route that need special Course Marshal attention. You and your partner will tell riders to "turn left" or "turn right" or "proceed with caution" (whatever the location calls for). We'll help you choose a location along the 25-mile route, as well as a shift during which you'll be stationed there.
We'll loan you an orange safety vest to wear during the ride. You and your partner will share other equipment, which may include a walkie talkie too.
Course Marshals (and all other volunteers) must sign up by June 30th. To sign up as a Course Marshal please print, fill out, and mail in a 2012 Volunteer Registration Form.
Volunteer Medics Needed
Our medical provider will staff first-aid stations for The L.A.T.E. Ride 2012 at Buckingham Fountain and the rest stop.
On-bike medics and medical volunteers should have some experience with delivery of first response care. Ideally volunteers would be nurses, EMTs, paramedics, or police officers. We also welcome volunteers with training as First Responders or in basic first-aid.
On-bike medics and medical volunteers will receive a basic first-aid kit, and they will be responsible for identifying riders in need of first-aid and either delivering basic first-aid at the scene or getting the rider to the main medical tent or rest stop first-aid area for care.
On-bike medics pay only $10 to ride.
If you've helped before at a Packet Pick-Up, we'd love your help again.
Volunteers help participants register and hand out Rider Goody Bags; for pre-paid riders, volunteers look up participants' names in an alphabetized list and then give out Rider Goody Bags. We divide each Packet Pick-Up into two two-hour shifts.
See the Packet Pick-Ups listing for the times, dates, and locations.
If you've helped before and are available to help at Packet Pick-Up(s) again, please indicate the shift(s) during which you can help and then mail your form to Friends of the Parks. Or you can sign up online for the Packet Pick-Up(s) of your choice.
Rest Stop Volunteers
At the Rest Stop (roughly half-way along the route), volunteers set up the refreshment area and serve snacks and water to hungry, thirsty riders.
We ask rest stop volunteers to arrive at the rest stop at 11:15pm, at which time they will help set up the refreshment area. (The ride itself begins in six waves starting at 1:00am. The fastest riders typically arrive at the rest stop within an hour. Slower riders or those who begin in a later wave may arrive two hours after the start.)
Rest stop volunteers also help pack up any water or snacks that remain at the end. It's a non-riding position that is a lot of fun!
Please arrive at Horner Park promptly at 11:15pm on Saturday night/Sunday morning June 30/July 1. Unless we hear from you, we will presume you will get to Horner Park on your own by public transportation, bicycle or car.
Volunteers Needed at Warehouse Work Nights
We need lots of volunteers to help us assemble 8,500 Rider Goody Bags. We have Warehouse Work Nights planned before the ride. An average work night attracts more than 50 people! Join the crowd. We'll serve complimentary pizza and refreshments each night.
Work Nights for 2012:
Our Warehouse Work Nights take place at A. Finkl & Sons Co. at 2000 N. Southport Avenue in Chicago. Finkl is a steel manufacturing plant that donates its warehouse space to us each year. The work Nights take place between 5-9pm on the following dates:
Monday, June 18, 2012
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Join us! And bring friends. "Many hands make light work" as the saying goes!! And we’ll serve pizza each evening about seven o’clock.
A. Finkl & Sons Co
2000 N. Southport, Chicago, IL
Map via MapQuest
Map via Google –Satellite photo of entry door.
From the Kennedy Expressway
From Lake Shore Drive
Ravenswood Brown Line: Get off at Armitage Avenue (2000N). Walk west along Armitage to Racine Avenue (1200W). Turn left (south) at Racine -- walk about one block south along the west side of Racine. At the Racine/Clybourn/Cortland intersection, make a "soft" right turn by going across Clybourn to Cortland. Proceed west along Cortland approximately three blocks to A. Finkl & Sons Co. Turn right (north) into Finkl's property. The 2000 N. Southport building is about one block ahead on the west side of the street. Enter the building on the west (river) side.
Thanks to A. Finkl & Sons Co.
"People ask me all the time how we connected with a specialty steel manufacturing company for The L.A.T.E. Ride Warehouse Work Nights," says Nancy Minster Swabb, The L.A.T.E. Ride Director. "It does seem like an unusual pairing, doesn't it?"
"In the early 1990s, we hosted our work nights in the back of a paint store on the far northwest side of Chicago. When the owner sold the business, we needed a new location. I had co-chaired a fundraising event at Finkl and found everyone at the company to be really accommodating and generous. When I asked them to get involved with the ride, they welcomed us with open arms. For more than ten years, we hosted our monthly committee meetings in Finkl's training room. They accept all of our deliveries, too, from thousands of sponsor fliers to thousands of granola bars and bottles of water. They also let us host five warehouse work nights there. Finkl is an amazing company with which to work."
A. Finkl & Sons Co. stands on the North Branch of the Chicago River at Clybourn and Cortland Avenues. The company has deep roots in the city –literally. The foundations of its giant presses, capable of flipping and squeezing a 100-ton ingot of white-hot steel, go so far into the ground that the Deep Tunnel had to be routed around them.
Finkl's "urban manufacturing campus" features stately arches at entry points, beautiful flower beds, wonderful trees and park benches that welcome visitors. Friends of the Parks, in fact, honored Finkl for its commitment to Chicago's urban environment. A. Finkl & Sons Co. has planted some 2 millions trees around the Midwest through its "Forging a Fresher America" campaign.
They're good citizens and good neighbors. Sometimes Finkl leaves open the doors of its melt shop so neighbors can watch scrap steel become a "heat" of molten steel, one of the great visual dramas of industry.
A. Finkl & Sons Co. is the world's leading supplier of forging die steels, plastic mold steels, die casting tool steels, and custom open-die forgings. Finkl steel is turned into molds for auto doors, bumpers and dashboards, as well as airplane landing gear, among other things. The company has growing markets abroad, where it now sells about 25 percent of its steel. It holds key patents on refining processes. Its steel is of such high quality that its average price is $1 a pound; the industry average is about 25 cents a pound. Friends of the Parks is proud to partner with A. Finkl & Sons Co.