Monday, July 13, 2009


Saturday was the NYAPT Big Three Roadeo in Albany and I want to give a Big Thank You!! to all of the judges that came down to the conference early so that we could compete. I'm not certain but I think it takes almost as many judges as there are contestants to put on this event. Not only were there volunteers out on the course, the seven team leaders, there were the folks that administered the tests, others that played the part of student, several were runners, others were stuck in a little room all day tallying score sheets, and undoubtedly many more that I haven't mentioned. Everyone was pleasant and worked hard to make sure that the contestants had a great day.

I drove down on Friday afternoon and had dinner with some of the other people there from the CNYAPT chapter. After dinner I spent the evening battling the butterflies in my stomach by studying.

The Roadeo is an all day event with registration starting at 7:00 am. There we were given our t-shirts and contestant number. My registration had gone in late so I was expecting a very high number and was thrilled when they handed me #39! The first event of the day was a written, general knowledge exam and it was tough. I'm always worried that some of the questions are "trick" questions and I over think things. This cost me on at least a couple of questions :( There was also a written pre-trip test that we took later in the day.

We were then divided into "teams" and I was pleasantly surprised that there was someone I knew on my team and I quickly got to know others. Our team leader, Dave aka "Tangerine Man" was great!
Crowd near the announcer's table

I was quite worried about the surprise event, certain that I would have to do some type of backing skill so I was happy when it turned out to be a railroad question. We had to simply sit in the drivers seat and decide whether or not we had room to to cross the tracks and have a 15' cushion behind us before we got to the stop line represented by the cone. I decided that I wouldn't try it and I wish that they had told us what the correct answer was later in the day, when everyone was done.
Surprise Event

One of the activities between events was a smoke bus demonstration. Some of the pictures they used of a burning bus were ones I had taken at the Mass Casualty Incident Drill. How cool was that!
Smoke Bus

Straight Line


Offset Alley

Offset Alley

Parallel Parking

Traffic Jam

Diminishing Clearance

End of the road!

So how did I do? My #39 that I was so happy about turned out to be the 2nd to last number on the course because my class went last. I don't think that really affected me too much but let's just say that I have never had a worse trip around a roadeo course. I was waived off of both of the backing events and I struggled with the events that I normally sail through. Thank you Helen, for being friendly and helping me relax before I drove. I'm sorry your last ride of the day was such an awful one. Thank you to everyone from CNY that hung around to the end to give me moral support! If you guys hadn't been there for me I'm certain I would have dissolved into tears.

I didn't have a good score this year but it was the most fun I have ever had at a Roadeo!


  1. Anonymous7:12 PM

    Nice post!


  2. Thanks. I really enjoyed having you as a teammate!

  3. I hate it when you struggle through an event that you normally do well in. I too "choked" at state this year. Oh well, there is always next year. Glad you had a good time.

  4. Awesome pictures! the regular person doesn't realize the training, time, and exact-ness that goes into the pride of 'bus driving'...and the maintaining of 100% incident free...yet some complain when you are 2 min. late or think they can demand where their child should sit! With your permission I would like to link this post in my blog soon!

  5. Hi Paula,
    Thanks! Feel free to link. I'm glad that in the real world I don't run into all of these driving situations every 30 seconds but we do need some skill to get them safely there and back.

  6. Hey #38 - Congratulations! The scores are in and you did very well :-)