This new feature takes a closer look at the people who make it all work – our volunteers. It’s a way to shine a spotlight on the people who work the long hours, herd the cats, answer the questions, set the signs, drive the vans, sort the recycling and do whatever else it takes to make sure you have an incredible experience. And they do it all with smiles on their faces, year after year.
The first volunteer we’d like to honor is Mr. Mike Hand.
NAME: Mike Hand
NICKNAME: Chocolate Milk Man (aka Mr. Chocolate Milk)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
MILES RIDDEN LAST YEAR: 4,000+
YEARS VOLUNTEERING WITH CYCLE OREGON: 15!
SECRET WEAPON: British accent
CAN BE FOUND AT: Rider Services, Finish line
PAST LIFE: Worked for Shell for 32 years
If you’ve done any Cycle Oregon rides in the past, you might recognize Mike as the guy cheering your across the finish line with an icy cold carton of chocolate milk in hand. (Fun fact: Mike is tolerant of lactose, but prefers wine). He is also a mainstay at Rider Services, providing answers to rider’s every query. He enjoys helping people “mellow out” upon arrival and he doesn’t mind standing in the hot sun for hours at a time, so Rider Services and Finish Line seem to be a natural fit. Mike became involved with Cycle Oregon almost two decades ago strictly for the love of cycling – he loves cycling and he loves being around it. Here’s proof – Mike bought his first bike with paper route money, he has worked for both Cycle Oregon and the Community Cycling Center, he met his wife on a bike tour of Ireland, and when traveling he takes bike tours every chance he gets as a way to really immerse himself in a new place.
Mike looks forward to his one week a year of minor celebrity status and volunteering is a great way to reunite with his CO friends that he has made over the year.
We appreciate everything you do Mike and we couldn’t do it without you!