E.F.R.U. Cycling Tour 2014, Sicily

February 24, 2014 in General

The calendar has almost gone full circle since last year’s EFRU Cycling Tour, so the members of the Unit who are entrusted with its organization are once again sinking beneath piles of paperwork. This Tour demands painstaking preparations as the volunteering organizers strive to make this adventure a successful one, year after year.

The EFRU Cycling Tour has become something of a tradition, not only for its members, but also for the several participating cyclists who join us, year after year for this exciting two-day challenge. ”Indeed, for the veteran participants, this year’s feat brings about no unexpected news – they know well what’s on the menu: a challenging route, beautiful scenery, lots of well-deserved scrumptious Sicilian food, and above all, a safe and worry-free adventure thanks to the EFRU First Aid back-up team. Yet, for new prospects and veterans alike, the 2014 Cycling Tour shall have some interesting surprises!

Without spilling all the beans, let’s point out that the tour shall start and end at Pozzallo, with a good 315 kilometers’ worth of cycling spread over two days (13-14 June 2014). The aim is to cycle towards the northwest all the way to Agrigento through some challenging, yet interesting terrain. Coming back the following day, a slightly shorter route back will be taken, ensuring different views and not to overwork our cyclists.

With all the excitement and the fun that this adventure brings with it, also comes a great deal of responsibility that the organizing party needs to carry. Despite the preparations in advance, one can never be too confident that nothing will go wrong. The logistics team and the first-aid back-up team, entirely composed of EFRU volunteers, work in sync to ensure that participating cyclists are kept safe. A vehicle with one back-up team gets a head start to confirm prepared route and mark the turnings for the cyclists that follow, while another team, equipped with a separate vehicle,makes sure to stay behind the last cyclist. This ensures that no one gets lost, or worse, stranded all alone. Additionally, a third back-up team of First-Aiders stays in the “roamer” vehicle, whose job is to drive along with the cyclists to offer them on-the-road support, intervene in case of an emergency and supply them with fresh drinking water, fruit or sweets for sugar intake as required. Needless to say, all of this can only go smoothly through lots of radio communication and lots of caution by all teams involved. And for those whose turn as members of the back-up team happens to be this year, high-five mates! This would never be possible without your help.

Like relatively everything else that the EFRU does, there’s a greater purpose behind this adventure. Apart from the challenge and the fun that this cycling feat is guaranteed to offer, the EFRU is taking this as another fundraising opportunity for one of the many needs of a voluntary NGO like ours. The EFRU needs to invest in a new ambulance with which the Unit will be able to assist in First-Aid duties and offer support to charitable organizations like Puttinu Cares. The EFRU Cycling Tour 2014 will help the Unit make one more step towards that cause.

It’s fun, it’s safe, and it’s a challenge towards a good cause. If you ask me, I wouldn’t miss it for the world …

Iona Muscat

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