This post might be helpful for those of you thinking about doing the Tevis or any big ride. I rarely get to ride with a crew so I surprised how well it turned out. No one got in any one's way, everything got done, and everyone had fun. This is how I organized my crew (and yes - this is a big crew, you could get away with less).
The crew book:
This had everything -
- All the maps from the rider packet,
- An introduction/thank you letter
- Contact list with every one's name, e-mail address, and phone number (cell/home)
- Overall schedule complete with when I would be coming in to checks and what time they should start waiting for me
- A schedule of items to be done at each vet check
- A list of duties for each crew person
- A map of the auburn/Folsom area
- The Tevis Forum magazine
- The Foster Farms magazine (my sponsor)
- The parking passes
I made a master crew book with everything in sheet protectors and then a couple of stapled packets that contained the same information
The Gerbil (was originally the "Gopher" but she didn't like the name, wanted something more fitting, so I chose another small rodent. She stopped complaining, probably worried about what my next choice was....) - Drove with me to Robie, drove my rig to the fairgrounds, picked up my sister from the train station and did any other odd errands into town. Since she had no specific duties at the vet checks, she was able to meet me at Chicken Hawk without worrying she would miss me at Foresthill. Picked up my trailer from the fairgrounds when I pulled at Foresthill.
The finish line coordinator - the job for my not-horsey sister who still wanted to be involved, is a people person, AND a night-owl. Her job was to make sure everyone was up with I finished, plan the festivities etc.
The film/documenter - filmed the whole thing for a project. Hitched rides wherever he could get the best footage. Also a non-horsey person.
The t-shirt, transportation, and food coordinator - was the carpool vehicle, planned the menu, did the grocery shopping, fed the crew and kept them happy, silk screened the back of the t-shirts and distributed, force-fed the rider during the vet checks, and made sure there was a shower tent at Foresthill. Did any odd non-horsey jobs that came up that I couldn't handle because of the overwhelming stress, like coordinating the people needed to get the t-shirts to her in time for silk screening. Thank you Mom!!!!
4 horse people - these 4 people took care of my horse. They were all experienced horse people, with one being an actual endurance rider. Each person had a list of specific duties that they needed to do like: carry tack from pulse in, accompany Melinda in vet line, bring horse food to pulse, hold horse, sponge, apply fly spray, apply desitin, clean girth, clean blanket, refill saddle bags, refill electrolyte syringes, refill bottles, etc. I didn't have to do anything at all during the check!
The Gerbil rode with me to Robie and helped me vet in. The documenter/filmer decided to go to film the start. After I started they drove the rig to the fairgrounds, hung out at base camp (an RV belonging to the parents at the fairgrounds), picked up the finishline coordinator and then went to Foresthill to catch up with the rest of the crew. The Gerbil and Finish person then went to Chicken Hawk.
The rest of the crew met at the fairgrounds on Saturday morning and drove up to Robinson together. They met me there and then drove down to Foresthill, set up and met me there.
If I had gone on, I suspect that the Gerbil, and at least 2 of the horsey people would have come to see me at no-hands bridge.
I really liked seeing the 2 crew members at Chicken Hawk - they were able to call my other crew at Foresthill and let them know when I would be there and what was going on, as well as my general mood. :) Only people who can be spared at Foresthill should meet a rider here though. Same for no-hands bridge - I don't know if I would count on those people seeing the rider at the finish, depending on speed.
If anyone wants copies of the detailed instruction sheets that I put in my crew book, just ask in the comments section and I'll e-mail them to you.
I did have 2 "auxillary" crew members - a cousin who at the last minute joined us (her mom was crewing for someone else), and Kathy - who made it possible for me to pre-ride a large portion of the trail prior to the race and deserves to be included with the crew and the benefits that entailed (t-shirt and bottomless icechest of food/drink). Eleanor kept everyone company during the long waits and was my entertainment the night before the start. Kathy - in addition to everything she did prior to race day - also kept me posted on my friend's progress and coordinated leave times between me and my friend (we had different crews and never saw each other during holds).