|The FIM International Six Day’s Enduro (ISDE) is special. One of the last great tests of rider and machine in competition, what makes it unique is that it is open to everybody.|
All riders of all abilities can compete. And on the side-lines, supporting those competitors fighting for podium positions or simply battling to reach the finish each day are a small, but dedicated, army of volunteers.
Many of the volunteers among the thirty plus nations that arrived in San Juan in Argentina are veteran campaigners of the 6DAYS®. Each year they give up their own time and travel to the race to help. It is like a pilgrimage for them.
Great Britain’s Dave May-Miller is one such person. Now on his twenty-ninth 6DAYS®, the retired sixty-six-year-old loves his time in the paddock.
“My first ISDE was back in 1991 when I supported the British Army team in Czechoslovakia,” recalls May-Miller. “I was hooked then, and I’ve been coming back almost ever since.”
The role of a volunteer is a busy one. Early starts and often late finishes are the norm as they assist Trophy and Club Team riders throughout the day.
From morning service to midday refuel checks and the final service in the paddock, they ensure riders are met with food, tools and fuel to race. With May-Miller’s experience, he is able to coordinate Great Britain’s support crew to ensure each day runs smoothly.
“I guess over the years I’ve pretty much seen every scenario that can happen in the ISDE for a rider. So, I have good experience in what needs to be done and how to do it. I help organise new team volunteers, so everything works together.
It is clear May-Miller enjoys his time in the paddock. Even at the end of a long, hot, and tiring day five, he is still smiling and making time for everyone. So, what is it about the 6DAYS® that has drawn him back in during these last thirty years?
“Easy, it’s the people! Every person from every country just wants to help. They want to get the riders to the finish of this race. It doesn’t matter if they are from a different country or not, they will do anything they can to help.
“For me, the spirit of enduro is very much alive in the ISDE. It’s not a money sport. It’s about finishing and taking home a trophy or medal and that’s what I like.”