The Great River Energy Bicycle Festival/Nature Valley Grand Prix bike races are coming up. This is a series of five races running Wednesday June 20th through Sunday June 24th. I volunteered as a crossing guard and for setup and teardown in the past, including last year's Minneapolis Criterium, cut short by thunderstorms with teardown in belting cold rain. My buddy Paul rode up last year and is doing so again this year. We're volunteering at the Wednesday Criterium (changed from the Time Trials they've done on Wednesdays in the past) in Saint Paul, Friday afternoon's Time Trial in Saint Paul (along Lilydale Road this time) and Friday evening's Criterium in Minneapolis (will it rain again? good chance!). Paul's heading back Sunday, but I'll be at the Sunday afternoon Criterium in Stillwater with its brutal hill climbs. I think they still need volunteers, so if you have an interest, go to the site's Volunteer Page and sign up. Setup and teardown are pretty easy and being a crossing guard is straightforward. I personally take along foam earplugs (stacking the metal fencing in teardown Friday evening can leave your ears ringing), leather gloves and a pair of diagonal cutters, useful for snipping the sponsor banners' Zip-ties off the fencing. Sunscreen is good, raingear has been essential.
On the off-days, we're just going to hang out. We'll probably go down to Cannon Falls to watch (and not work on) the road race. The race loop is such that you can catch several bits of the race by moving around a little.
Volunteering isn't too hard, you get a good view of the race and, if you see Paul and I around, you can join us for a beer afterwards.