A couple weeks ago I helped provide emergency communication support for a bicycle race up at Buffalo NY that was put on by http://www.campuswheelworks.com. This particular race was pretty easy to provide support for and it only required three of us to cover the course (Me, Paul – KC2TOO and Jeff KC2NVM).
It is common to get ham radio operators involved in bike or running races as you can get a bunch of the guys stationed throughout the course and they can all talk to each other. The main purpose is to report and relay information about injuries back to the coordinator which can be passed on to either on-site medics, or used to make a call to 911.
Hopefully, during the course of the race, no injuries will happen that require the ham radio operators, however there is plenty more the operators can do. For example, during this race, I kept pretty busy repairing the tape lines that were setup to define the course, there were several corners that got muddy and the racers kept going through and breaking the lines. Also I was able to keep track of the different obstacles and report back when one of them came loose so that it could be repaired mid-race.
In the end, it was an enjoyable day, I got to have a front seat to the race and got to play with one of my ham radio’s for the day. I normally don’t have time to get involved with the emergency operations like this, but I had a good time and I may try to get involved in some of the bigger races in the area.
After the race was done, we stuck around to help clean up, I ended up wrapping quite the ball out of the tape they used for the course lines, I brought it back and presented it to the race coordinator and they took it back to hang at the bicycle shop 🙂