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CMWC as I saw it
12.10.10 by Mike Bessenger

As told to Mike by Martin of CPH

The CMWC as I saw it.

The events that stirred my heart was so plentiful and so beautiful it brings tears to my eyes just thinking of it. It might not have been all coordinated on mass or all just beautiful, but it was done by us and we tried to reach out and I am certain we changed a few minds. And I think we should all be proud of ourselves for trying it. I hope we proved a point to ourselves that the CMWC has a lot of potential we have yet to explore.

When I had been in Pana for 2 days and realized I was not Kansas anymore I just loved it. The mindset was so beneficial to my mind: I’m thinking of the ‘Manana’ attitude, the idea of that it might not be now, but if we decide to do so we will – in time.

The first thing I think of when I want to describe the way the local society opened their house to us I think of the night Nadir Olivet was given the keys to the city. The whole scenario was just so loaded with juxtaposition that it is hard to come to terms with that it happened.

The whole area was being pelted by rain and houses and roads was destroyed by the downpour – We were there to offer a little entertainment at a telethon done by the local tv benefitting the displaced families. So we did and I figured that would be it and I was getting ready to split when a banner welcoming the messengers of the world was unfolded at the stage. Then Nadir was asked to come to the stage and he was presented with the keys to the city.

Now this is a city which has hosted messengers several times before – I mean they know us and they wanted to welcome us like this. It was a thing of beauty.

La Ocho did exist! It was ready for race-day, but was washed away by the floods. We decided to move it to a flat sportsfield just to prove a point: it might be raining, but life goes on. I’m proud we did.

Personally, the day we rode around the volcano meant a lot to me. The entrance fee was used to buy food and it was distributed by our local allies The friends of the mountain, an old mountainbike club, with the help of the local police. I made friends with some of people I had wanted to meet in the crew, and my wife arrived in the afternoon. A really good day that brought our little community to a lot of new people.

CMWC 2010 male winner Craig Etheridge pic Superkid

The races were conducted with agility and panache, the glory must go to all the skilled organizers on hand. All helped with what they could and it would not have come off so glitch-free if we had not had so many good people to help and fill the gaps. All the races was masterfully organized by Andy Zalan.

It must be said that it is a lot easier to organize a group of 200 than it is to organize 600 people. This was one of the strengths of the event that most knew most of the other people in the races. It was a family affair.

Both my criteria for an successful event was met: Nobody died and we had worthy winners. Nobody that came will forget the outpour of love of cycling and care for your fellow racer that had to be in place for it all to work.

The open forum was a very positive experience as well. People listened and cared for the future of our race. Tokyo had brought a token of gratitude to the cities that helped them erase the debt they had accumulated hosting last year’s race. The good news is that it seems the debt has been erased by the good work of a lot of people coordinated by Luk Keller, who also carried a huge workload at this year’s races. When it came time to vote on the future of the race the vote favoured Chicago in 2012. Congrats to you all.

The council was voted upon as well. We are as far as I remember Biker Bill, Stefan Froelich, Austin Horse and myself.

Here’s to CMWC. Thank you all. See you in Warsaw.

PS. The note I never found a place for was “random acts of kindness”. But maybe this whole thing is just about that.

Nadir Olivet awarded the Markus Cook Memorial Award
"You've crashed our web-site" - message from Panajachel
Art Show
Pollo Finals
La Ocho Finals
Lake Atitlan Ride
La Ocho Lives!
We made it in one piece!
Update from Guatemala
Appeal for children's shoes for Panajachel, CMWC

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