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The primary purpose of Ride Marshals is to act as Ambassadors for the National MS Society while out on the road. Ride Marshals act as both Safety and Good Will Ambassadors not only at the Bike MS Louisiana event but also at any Recommended Ride held during the year.
Ride Marshals are official representatives of the National MS Society and as such are encouraged to talk to fellow cyclists and the general public about Bike MS Louisiana along the route and on any Recommended Rides. Ride Marshals should be prepared to answer general questions concerning the ride. In addition, Ride Marshals are responsible for encouraging safe cycling behaviors and should report any unsafe cyclists to ride officials. Ride Marshals should secure SAG assistance for riders who are in need of help.
Ride Marshals should have basic knowledge of mass starts, safe riding techniques, possible accident-prone situations, and crowd mentality on bicycles. Ride Marshals should be a veteran of large organized rides and preferably the Bike MS Louisiana.
A Ride Marshal must demonstrate maturity and have the ability to effectively communicate with cyclists on the route especially in dangerous or complex situations. Communication should be concise and always positive in nature when reminding cyclists of safe riding techniques. For these reasons, Ride Marshals need to be able to see, hear and speak in order to perform Ride Marshal duties.
Ride Marshals are part of the cycling community on the Bike MS Louisiana and are required to register for and uphold all financial obligations as a participant in the event. This means that all registration and housing fees must be paid in addition to fulfilling the fundraising minimum.
While it is not required that a Ride Marshal work all Recommended Rides it is strongly suggested that they work at least three. We believe that participating in Recommended Rides will give the Ride Marshal experience as well as provide other cyclists with exposure to Ride Marshals. Each Recommended Ride is different and Ride Marshals should learn about the route, ride conditions and any special safety needs before they support a ride.
Ride Marshals are expected to perform ALL Ride Marshal responsibilities while wearing the Ride Marshal jersey. It is important to remember that the red Ride Marshal jersey is highly visible so Ride Marshals must set a good example on the road by always riding responsibly and following the rules of the road.
The Ride Marshal Code of Conduct and National MS Society Volunteer Agreement must be signed every year by each Ride Marshal prior to receiving any Ride Marshal apparel or assignments. Each Ride Marshal will be issued one official Ride Marshal jersey and are expected to perform all Ride Marshal duties while wearing the Ride Marshal jersey. The Ride Marshal jersey is to be worn at all times during the Bike MS Louisiana and on any Recommended Ride a Ride Marshal has agreed to work. The Ride Marshal jersey may NOT be worn at events that are not associated with the National MS Society. In the event that a Ride Marshal decides to resign from the Ride Marshal Program, the official Ride Marshal jersey must be returned to the Louisiana Office.