Perimeter Profile: Lee Ann & Randy Hamilton
Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
A Dedicated Team of Bike Patrollers a.k.a. “Flats & Splats”
The dynamic duo of Lee Ann & Randy Hamilton embody the heart and soul of Bike Patrol. Playfully referring to themselves as “Flats & Splats” Lee Ann and Randy they can handle just about anything they encounter on the road.
Randy – the “Flats” half of the team – is a structural engineer – he packs a wide range of tools to tackle about any mechanical problem. Lee Ann, a health educator and assistant director of Health Promotion and Prevention at the University of Arizona Campus Health, tends to the “splats” – the medical and emotional needs of struggling riders.
Together they have served as Bike Patrol for 22 Perimeter events – including 16 El Tours. Long-time cyclists, Lee Ann and Randy rode El Tour for six years on solo bikes before they joined Bike Patrol. As native Tucsonans, they enjoy sharing their love of bicycling and meeting people from all over the world. “Many riders coming from other areas are not used to seeing so many Bike Patrol on the route,” Lee Ann said. “It is a pleasant surprise for them.”
From year to year, the work varies but the basics remain the same: help others finish and try to keep the ride safe for all. One year Randy fixed 7 flats and Lee Ann attended to an accident – another year they rode the whole thing without needing to stop. The bottom line, as as Bike Patrol, you never just ride by. “We ask do you need anything?” Lee Ann said. “One time a lady had an asthma attack and I was able to give her the care she needed. In the event of an accident, it is important to keep other riders safe and moving along.”
Another time Randy spent 20-30 minutes truing a wheel for someone who would not have finished otherwise. He’s fixed seat posts, handlebars, and brake and derailleur cables. Lee Ann hands him tools like a surgical nurse. Randy even packs a spanner wrench and was able to tighten the bottom bracket for a tandem. Sweet.
“Bike Patrol is fun, especially on a tandem together,” Randy said. “It’s fun to use the skills we have between us to help folks finish,” Lee Ann added. “El Tour is a great event for bicycling, for Tucson and for the charitable organizations – it’s a Win – Win – Win!”
Among their many highlights over the years was riding 6-7 miles along Tangerine Road, last year, with upbeat basketball star and bicyclist, Bill Walton. This year you’ll find them, in the pre-dawn hours, shepherding VIPs and platinum riders on the front line… and then later, all day, out on the road, sporting their Bike Patrol kit and good cheer.