My name is Bill Chiarchiaro, and I'm the Director of Operations of the
Fitchburg Longsjo Classic bicycle race (http://www.longsjo.com). The
Longsjo is the second-oldest bicycle race in the US and one of the
largest. This year, we're improving the race's safety by
incorporating Motorcycle Marshals. What are Motorcycle Marshals?
I'll explain that in a moment, after offering a brief background about
The Fitchburg Longsjo Classic is a memorial to Art Longsjo (pronounced
"Long-Show"), a young man from Fitchburg, MA who excelled in
speedskating and cycling. In 1956, Art became the first American to
compete in both with summer and winter Olympics in the same year. In
1958 at the age of 26, while returning from winning another cycling
race in Canada, Art was fatally injured in a car wreck.
The Fitchburg Longsjo Classic was founded in 1960 as a one-day race
for men. Over the years, it has expanded to a four-day stage race,
for both men and women, from lower-level amateurs through
international-level Pros (Lance Armstrong was the Pro men's winner in
1992). The race attracts 800 riders from around the US and the world.
The 2010 Longsjo will run from Friday, July 2 through Monday, July 5.
The race's courses are in the towns of Fitchburg, Princeton,
Westminster, and Hubbardston, Massachusetts.
The Moto Marshals will be needed during the Wachusett Mountain Road
Race stage, taking place this year on Saturday, July 3. This stage
runs on an 11-mile loop through Princeton and Westminster (Rt 140, Rt
31, Mountain Rd, and Mile Hill Rd), with multiple fields of
racers on the road at one time. Depending on the field, the racers do
up to 9 laps of this course.
The Moto Marshals will assist the Pro Men and Pro Women fields in the
afternoon. Each field has its own caravan of vehicles: police cars,
referees' cars, referees' motorcycles, mechanics' support cars, and
team managers' cars. There are also marshals and police officers on
foot at key intersections. The primary goal of all these personnel is
the safe operation of the race --- safe for both the public and the
For 2010, we are allowing the Pro racers the use of the full width of
the road: both lanes. The Moto Marshals (under the direction of a
team leader) will work in conjunction with the police and the Moto
Referees to direct oncoming traffic to pull over and wait for the race
to pass by. The Moto Marshals will also keep their eyes out for cars
starting up from driveways and parking lots, letting the drivers know
that the race is coming.
So, who are we looking for as Moto Marshals? Experienced
Have reliable motorcycles in good condition
Can present a respectable, competent image (no party lids or
Have good maneuvering skills: operation in traffic, U-turns, etc.
Are able to handle 60+ mph descents ahead of the racers, as well as
5 mph crawls up steep climbs
Are equipped and willing to work rain or shine
Enjoy interacting with the public
What will the Moto Marshals receive in return? Well, a small stipend
towards your fuel and other expenses, along with a free sandwich
lunch. Mainly, you'll have the opportunity to use your skills in a
new and challenging way, helping a legacy of athletic competition and
the future champions of a wonderful sport. And --- with a little luck
--- at the end of the day you might get a personal "thanks" from a
racer for keeping him or her safe.
If you would like to sign up, or if you have questions, please send me
an email or give me a call. I look forward to hearing from you!
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