One Helluva Ride

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As many of you know, the quaintly named Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society annually presents a HUGE bicycle ride throughout the wilds of Michigan called “One Helluva Ride” (OHR for short).  This happens this year on Saturday, July 12. The scenario is two dozen hams baby-sitting 1800 riders over a more than 400 sq.mi. area for about eleven hours. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  Well, IT IS. (Additional info can be found at www.aabts.org/ohr )

Requirements are simple and somewhat flexible.

(1) Amateur Radio license, ANY class.  We use the Chelsea 145.45
repeater (and are eternally grateful for its availability).

(2) A good mobile radio and antenna. 50w or more and 5/8 wave are
preferred, 25w with 5/8 or 50w with 1/4 wave will work in most
areas, but not all (there are lots of hills and valleys). Anything
less is suspect. NO HT’s.

(3) A reliable vehicle with the capacity to carry two bicycles and
their riders.

#1 is the only absolute requirement.  There are alternatives for #2 and #3. There are drivers from the AABTS we can pair you up with as a “shotgun” rider. We have a (very) few “transportable” radios available (or maybe you do?) that can be moved from vehicle to vehicle ..  We may be able to borrow one or two bike racks.  So lack of equipment should not trump enthusiasm and desire to help.

SAG drivers are suggested to have at least a minimum mechanical ability (i.e., know which end of a wrench to hold) and some small tools and a GOOD tire pump with Presti valve. These items are a plus, but can be worked around if absolutely necessary.

The event runs from 7am to 6pm and is headquartered at the Chelsea Fairgrounds. It runs through such exotic locations as Dexter, Gregory, Grass Lake, the Pinckney and Waterloo Recreation Areas and, of course, Hell.

You can work the whole day, or just partial. If you have any interest, please contact me directly at [ w8sgz@tsshome.com ].  Please include your name, call, email address, hours available and a brief list of radio and bicycle equipment you can bring. If any of you have ham friends who are not on the maillist who might be interested, have them get in touch.

The complete wishlist (in order of importance):
Two operators from 8am to 2pm, probably to drive on your own, but one might possibly as a “shotgun”
One op from 9am to 3pm, driving on your own
One op from 7am to Noon, to just sit at a rest stop – none of the bicycle equipment is needed for this
One from noon-6pm
One from 9am-noon
One from 11am to 2pm
If this were a perfect world, I’d also love one or two more who could work all day. But beggars can’t be choosers.

You may bring a friend or relative as a co-pilot/navigator/extra pair of eyes.

Thank you.
73 Jeff W8SGZ
w8sgz@tsshome.com

(For you ARPSC folks, I have long maintained that an event like this is some of the best training you can get. We cover over 400 sq. mi. of varying terrain (lots of hills and valleys) which effect coverage. Equipment breaks. We need to keep our eyes on 1800 bicycle riders (approx. 100 of whom are arrogant jerks – the good 1700 are extremely grateful we’re there). We need to maintain proper radio discipline (i.e. shut up). We need to deal with poor planning by the served agency, etc. etc, etc.)