Sunday, 7 June 2015

The Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour - 2015 Edition

The VE3CLQ Mobile on Sunday
We had perfect weather for this years edition of the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour, warm with just a touch of wind.

As in years past my job took me to Perth Road Village were we have two stations operating at the General Store.  One station is the Net Control for the Frontenac Section of the tour, and the other station is the liaison station with the Lanark Section Net.  This system seems to work very well for us and allows the passing of important traffic back and forth between the nets without overloading either net with unwanted information.

There are times though when Perth Road has so many portable masts and antennas in the air it looks like a NATO Divisional HQ......only the camouflage is missing!

This year was a bit different in the way the Tour was operated.  For the first time we had to provide communications to two separate routes, which of course means the operators were spread over a far greater distance.  Our "normal" route follows Perth Road and eventually becomes Division Street in Kingston.  The new route followed a convoluted route from Perth through numerous windy backroads ending up on the Battersea Road and into Kingston.  Both routes end at Queen's University where the riders send the night in the dorms.

So instead of our usual five radio support locations, this year we had eight stations on our net, and surprisingly, contrary to what we thought would happen, things went very smoothly.  Thanks to Scott, VA3PTO, from Ottawa who helped out on our net from one of the new Battersea Road locations.

VE3EOG's go-box in action
The weekend is actually a lot of good fun, and we get to see old friends who man the nine mobile units that run up and down the course providing repairs and rides to exhausted riders.

It wouldn't be the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour without some excitement and this year we had plenty.  Several ambulances had to be called for various injuries, nothing too serious though.  And, surprisingly we had two bikes that actually failed with broken frames and broke in two!

Long days and lots of fun.  If you haven't taken part in the event yet we can always fit you in.

Riders taking a break at Battersea Village

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