Joining the C & O Canal Bike Patrol

I was out riding on the canal about a week and a half ago, when I encountered someone riding a recumbent and wearing a C & O Canal Bike Patrol jersey. This got my attention, because I had been wondering how to go about finding/joining such an organization. I stopped and spoke with the gentleman for about 15 minutes and he proceeded to fill me in on where I could find the information to join.

bike

Pic from the below site as well.

I went online, and found this site –
http://www.chohvip.org/bike-patrol/ – which led me to an application and correspondence from the person in charge.

Here is a description of the program from the link below-
http://www.volunteer.gov/gov/results.cfm?ID=8359
Opportunity Description:

The C & O Canal National Historical Park is seeking volunteers to participate in its Volunteer Bike Patrol program. The program operates out of the Cumberland, Williamsport, Great Falls, and Georgetown Visitor Centers. As a member of the Bike Patrol, volunteers are provided with uniforms, CPR and first aid training, and park radios. Members patrol the canal on bicycle and offer information to visitors, report hazards, and serve as resource protection stewards. Bike Patrol Volunteers are highly visible and are the most readily approached park representatives.In addition to being equipped with uniforms and radios, bike patrollers receive annual safety and CPR training. Bicycles can be provided to those interested. Volunteering is on a seasonal basis, but many members are active year-round in the Williamsport and Great Falls area.

I will be going through an orientation on January 12 and going for a ride-along that day with another bike patrol person to evaluate my bike, biking skills, and other miscellaneous knowledge. I will have to complete another ride-along later and then be prepapred to give the group 40 hours per year. I’ll post more about this ride after I’m finished with this part of the process.

This sounds like a lot of fun – I’m on the canal many hours in a year, so the 40 hour requirement won’t be an issue. I have done something similar when I hiked a lot more with the HH – we are both members of Trail Patrol – however, my membership and activity has lapsed with the introduction of more biking into my life.  I look forward to getting through the process – I like talking to others and helping people to enjoy outdoors resources.  I also don’t mind sharing my bike skills and recommendations with others as well.  I like being able to “give back” with something that I enjoy so much.

If you think you might be interested, check out the links above, and follow up with an email.  The on-line forms are easy to deal with and NPS is pretty prompt about getting back to you.  The C & O Canal is a great place to ride and it’s fun to be able to share what you know with others!!

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