Finally, at about 3 weeks before the ride, I had to make the call. We had had an usually warm and humid spring. Nimo still didn't have quite the climbing conditioning that I wanted him to have for an OD ride. I'd had a lot of fun volunteering at the OD No Frills ride back in April and I'd been told that if I volunteered for the Laurel Run away hold, I'd be done by 2:45, making it a fairly easy day. And so I decided to be a volunteer instead of riding. I made sure the volunteer coordinator knew my preference for the Laurel Run hold (this would come back to haunt me...), and I went on about my life.
(Note: There is going to be a negative overtone to this post because that was my experience. However, I don't want anyone to think that volunteering isn't valuable or that I regret volunteering in any way. There was just a set of circumstances that ended up making my experience less than optimal. And while I could have "spruced up" the description of my experience a little, I ended up deciding to tell it like I felt it. Just because I did have a less than perfect/happy time, it should not be construed to mean that there was anything wrong with the ride management, the volunteer coordinator, or the alignment of the universe. Sometimes things just don't work out as well as you hope...)
About a week before the ride, lots of e-mails started coming out for the volunteers with lots of attachments. And by lots, I mean like 10. At one point, I realized I would need to organize all of this information, so the Thursday before the ride, I started reading, printing, and organizing the volunteer handouts, which consisted of ride and hold schedules, volunteer names and contact info, procedures for the volunteers to follow, maps, directions, and generally more information than could fit into one person's head. So I put everything into a binder in hopes of making sense of it all.