Sunday, 9 June 2013

The Bike Tour......

What a great weekend we had for the 2013 Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour.  Saturday was cool and cloudy with a little bit of rain late in the day, and Sunday was a glorious sunny day.

Don, VE3MNE, and myself operated two VHF stations from the parking lot of the Perth Road Village General Store.  We arrived on site at 1000 Local, and setup our equipment.  One station acted as Net Control for the Frontenac Section of the tour, and the other is a liaison station with Net Control for the Perth Section located in Westport.

We had issues both days getting into the Christie Lake repeater, VA3TEL.  Normally we can hit it from anywhere in Perth Road Village with a 5/8 mag-mount, but not this weekend.  In the end a 22' mast with a 2m antenna lashed to the top did the job, and even then conditions deteriorated over the course of the day to the point we had to shut down the liaison radio.

On Saturday the first rider came through Perth Road Village at 1123 local, and after that it was a steady stream of riders and support vehicles until we closed things down at 1700 local.  This is an hour and a half earlier than any of the past 7 years we have provided communications support to the tour.

Thanks to Tim, VA3TIC, for paying us a visit and delivering Timmies coffee to us.

We dealt with two accidents on Saturday, both minor. Thanks to the drivers of the support vans things were looked after very quickly.

Sunday started real early at my house.....0400 Local !!  After loading a freshly charged battery into the back of my truck, it was off to pick up Roy, VE3VJF, and then a slow drive back up to the village.  It was a slow drive due to heavy ground fog and lots of deer on the road.
Roy VE3VJF in control

After setting up the antennas and radios it was just a matter of sitting around and waiting for the riders to come by heading home to Perth and Ottawa. 

The first rider left Queen's University at 0500 Local, and came screaming by us, without stopping, at 0626 Local.  Many of the riders did not stop at the General Store on the way home this year, those that did enjoyed some cold water, clean toilets, and lots of grass to lay about on in the warm sun.

It was 1100 Local when the last rider left the village and we closed down the net.  We passed Net Control off to Westport and the boys of the Lanark-North Leeds ARES Group.

As usual this was a great weekend and lots of fun to do.  It's really great practice for ARES and Emcomm groups, it allows us to deploy to locations we don't normally operate from, and it gets us to pass real message traffic that actually means something, not just the usual fake exercise traffic. 

After it was all over it was off back down Hwy 10 to the Star Diner in Kingston for a very late breakfast, and around the table the planning for next years operation was begun.

A huge THANK-YOU goes out to the owners, and extended family, of the Perth Road Village General Store for their great support of the Bike Tour.  We look forward every year to see their smiling faces, and the communications team appreciates very much what they do for us over the weekend...........and they have the best coffee !!!!!!

The working space

It's all over for this year!!


No comments:

Post a Comment