They keep the lights on for you

Published 2:53 pm Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Two electricians, Jimmy McCook and Clowers Godwin, ably assisted by Robert Alday and Buddy Wimberly, are volunteering their time and talents to keep the current flowing at Bikefest.

McCook said he has attended Bikefest ever since it began, but only began working as a volunteer about four or five years ago. He became involved through his friend, Godwin, who recently retired from Georgia Power.

McCook, an independent contractor, is retired from Gossett Electric. Now he and Godwin have more time to devote to their new hobby and avocation—keeping Bikefest wired.

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McCook said there was always electrical work to be done when Bikefest was held at Commodore Industrial Park, but it was “minor stuff” there. Getting the new grounds on Pond Town Road fully serviced has been a major project.

The site, formerly scrub and wooded acreage, was not originally served by electricity. Power had to be brought in from the road. Georgia Power brought it to the site, and then Godwin went to work.

He found a farmer with a bucket truck and he and Wimberly have been responsible for doing the overhead wiring, while Clowers and Alday do the ground and inside work.

Various businesses and individuals have donated used scrap wire and supplies.

Last year, the first at the new grounds, meant getting power to the rear of the property to service the stage and vending areas, as well as providing light poles. Only a few camp sites had electrical outlets, and camping was mostly primitive.

This year the men have been spending most of their weekends installing electrical hookups at the campsites. By the time Bikefest opens, there will be approximately 200 campsites with electrical service to accommodate the motor homes and campers.

As a result of his volunteering at Bikefest, McCook said he has returned to riding a bike, something he used to do years ago, but had quit. Now, thanks to Bikefest and his friend Godwin, he is back to riding his Harley-Davidson.

He finds volunteering for Bikefest rewarding because he believes it helps Bainbridge and Decatur County.

Godwin enjoys being a volunteer for Bikefest. He takes his camper out to the grounds and stays during the event. Mostly, he is proud of the way the grounds are being developed.

“It is just a pretty place,” he said.

Although Godwin has been associated with Bikefest since it began, he just recently joined the Deep South Riders, and is enjoying his association there.

“It is just a group that does good things for people who are less fortunate,” he explains.