Sunday 2014-07-27 – Miller School Road Race

SUNDAY, July 27th, 2014 starting at the Miller School of Albemarle

Volunteers needed!

Same as usual. No rest stops, SAG vehicles involved, hams needed at corners where we have been before, lunch is provided, safety meeting before race.

Organizer: Ruth Stornetta +1-434-987-5406 (UVA page)
Contact email given on usacycling, though, happens to be for Dean of Faculty, Peter Hufnagel, ( +1-434-823-4805, Extension: 205) instead of her given for previous races.

Start: Miller School,
Finish: Pounding Branch Rd and Miller School Rd
Type: “Race” not a “ride”. Multiple laps on the same loop.
Roads: Dick Woods Rd, Taylors Gap Rd, Edge Valley Rd, Plank Rd, and Miller School Rd.
Starts: 7 starts in 3 time intervals.
3 groups of racers leave Miller School driveway onto Miller School Rd at 8:30 am,
8:40 am, 8:50 am to finish by ~12:30-
3 groups of racers leave Miller School driveway at 1:00, 1:10, 1:20 to finish by ~4:00 pm
1 group will leave at 1:25 for 1 lap
Safety meeting (support staff) time: ????
pre-race meeting (riders): 7:45AM, Miller School police
Route: appears to be same as last year.
Website: none
Registration Page:

Staffing positions

Hams will likely be at one of these types of locations:

  • Race headquarters
    Consider: pop up tent, j-pole antenna w/bungee cords attached to tent, mobile/base rig with power supply, club banner, long extension cord, large battery pack to run rig if power is not available, HT for running around, AARC banner, folding table, ham brochures for public outreach
  • Finish line: Same as race headquarters. AC Power will probably be lacking.
  • Corners: There are about 6 corners or major intersections on the loop.
  • Follow vehicles: there will be a couple follow vehicles. Usually we put a club event radio (motrola maxtrac) with a cigarrette lighter power cord, a mag mount antenna, mini-uhf to BNC or UHF adapter and a mag-mount ant.
  • Medic station or vehicle: Last year the medic was stationed at the Batesville corner, so one ham could dispatch medic and provide communications on corner. Medic was ham but needed to monitor EMS channel.
  • floaters. Go where needed.
PositionTactical CallMorningAfternoon
Miller School CanteenHeadquarters
Follow Race 1Follow 1
Follow Race 2Follow 2
Follow Race 3Follow 3
Corner 1Corner1
Flagman Corner 1flag1
Corner 2Corner2
Corner 3Corner3
Corner 4Corner4
Corner 5Corner5
Corner 6Corner6
WARS AmbulanceAmbulance
Corner 6 spotterspotter6

If we don’t have enough people for all corners. Corner 6 is the most dangerous intersection and is where the medic was stationed last year.. Corner 4 would be next as it is also a hairpin turn and does not have a police officer (with police radio) assigned. Corner 3 also doesn’t have a police officer/police radio; it is 0.98miles from corner4 so relaying through corner 4 via a race radio may be feasable; however, the elevation profile shows there is a hill in the way. 27ft up on one side and 107ft on the other . If that is too much for simplex radios, one could put a ham on the hill, instead to relay traffic from both 3 and 4. Corners 1, 2, and 5 should have a police radio available.
Ruth says priorities are:

If you don’t have enough people, the priorities are:
1. 3 hams in follow cars plus one extra for roving medical
2. finish line
3. Miller School (HQ area)
4. Batesville corner
5. Miller School/Dick Woods Rd

Flagperson/CM placement at corner 1 would require two hams for it to be placed where it is on map. Without communications support, flagperson will be moved to visual line of sight from corner.

UPDATE: Andrew has sent out the position assignments.


PDF map attached.


38.008016,-78.701490,MSRR Ralley Point
38.011395,-78.701672,MSRR Start Line
38.012115,-78.701078,MSRR #1 Miller School Rd & Dick Woods Rd
38.026269,-78.632982,MSRR #2 Taylors Gap Rd
37.990193,-78.631988,MSRR #3 intersection w/ Red Hill Rd
37.977269,-78.639143,MSRR #4 Taylors Gap Rd & Edge Valley Rd
37.977742,-78.681136,MSRR #5 Edge Valley Rd & Plank Rd
37.995023,-78.721573,MSRR#6 Plank Rd & Miller School Rd
37.997336,-78.714020,MSRR Finish Line
38.007089,-78.701081,MSRR Endurance Team Shop
38.008539,-78.701571,MSRR Rider Parking
38.007853,-78.701127,MSRR Follow Vehicles
38.006670,-78.701139,MSRR Other Support Vehicle Parking
38.007022,-78.701099,MSRR Ham HQ station
38.006902,-78.701049,MSRR Canteen.

Getting there

Use google maps, google earth, or gps.
Google maps (Miller School):,-78.70113,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xcec7aad3daa40658
Google maps (race route):
Miller School Road is also known as crozet ave. Possible routes ifrom charlottesvile nclude:
250 west left on miller school road, left on samuel miller loop
64 west to 250 east, right on miller school road, left on samuel miller loop
29 south, at crossroads store (northgarden) turn right onto plank road, right on miller school road, right on samuel miller loop.

GIS Data

Read the following into google earth or other program which can read kml files:
A preview in gooogle maps:

Here is race route from two years ago, which may or may not be the same, on a site that lets you download and at least resembles the pdf map:
Includes elevation profile along route. Click on export for KML and GPX file format links. This looks very similar to the map, however, the 6 numbered waypoints, police, course marshal, start/finish markers, and road closure do not appear. Also/the start finish locations are at different locations along the loop. But it at least has the basic route info. For those who would like to see it in google maps, use this url:


Most car GPSes will not follow a route. On a garmin nuvi. If you reset track log, turn on track logging, and turn on track log display, you can drive around the route once and it will show that route (as well as any detours you might have made). You can download waypoints. You can navigate to one waypoint VIA another. On many nuvi units, you can’t upload a route or a track to the gps unit. You can download your track log from the gps to the pc.

On an android phone, you can display the kml file download from this site in google earth. You can’t turn layers on and off. The program will not function properly without a cell or wifi signal.

OSMAND app: will work offline, will navigate along tracks. Doesn’t understand laps.
On an android phone, install OSMAND app and download the virginia map for offline use. You can put GPX files in a certain directory. For cycling events generally, it is recommend you have routes in forward and reverse coordinate order in case driving backwards along route.
It takes a little getting used to using this app. There are a number of steps to start naviagtion along a route. practice.
You should have power for your phone. And a windshield/dash mount. iottie mounts have an aggressive suction cup.


Food (this is based on memory of last year):
Breakfast: probably not
Lunch: probably pizza for volunteers who can get to miller school at lunchtime. Probably from Dr Ho’s Humble Pie at Northgarden.
Dinner: no
Snacks: no rest stops. Riders might be provided with water/gateraid and energy bars or something similar at a specified point on the course with litter discarded in designated zones. Not readily accessible to hams.
Drinks: bring beverages.
Pre-party: no
Mid-party: n/a
After-party: no

besoin naturel: Rest rooms available at miller school. A porta potty at finish line. No other restrooms on course. Riders may whip it out and relieve themselves on course without stopping (away from the general public but not other riders or support staff) or make a dash into trees.. Corners 3, 4, and 5 are 2-3 miles from crossroads store at northgarden. Batesville Store is 100 yards from corner 6.

Race Radios

The following radio types will be used by support staff:

  • Ham radios – 2m, FM, networked repeaters
  • Race Radios – FM simplex businessband/murs
  • FRS radios. Will be used to communicate between people at a corner as spotters and or flag persons may need to be considerable distance from corner.
  • Police Radios – County dispatch P25 digital repeater system, police channel
  • Police Radios – County dispatch P25 digital repeater system, rescue channel

Race radios are capable of short range communications between support vehicles travelling with the same pack of riders and may reach ahead to stationary posts on route (corners, finish line, etc) as they approach or as they depart. Range should be similar to ham handheld transceivers in simplex mode. They can’t be expected to reach race headquarters or stationary posts on route that are not in range. The Miller school is on high ground but the race route is within the umbrella.

Race Radios:
MABRA/VACA 3 151.625 Tone Mode: Tone Tone: 91.5 ToneSql: 91.5 Modulation: NFM? LMRS “red dot” itenerant
MABRA/VACA 4 154.600 Tone Mode: Tone Tone: 91.5 ToneSql: 91.5 Modulation: FM? formerly LMRS “green dot” itenerant, now MURS 2W max 20Khz BW.

Note that only ham radios which are certified for Part 90 operation may be used on 151.625 but not 154.600. Some of the chinese radios have an advantage in this respect over the japanese as they sell the same radios into different markets:
Part 90 Certified:
Baofeng UV-3R, UV-5R, UV-B5 UV-82
Wouxon KG-699E, KGUVD1P/2010 and KG-UVD1P/2011 (not older models), KG-816, KG-UV6D, KG-UV8D, KG-833, KG-UV920, KG-UV950, KG-UV980
Not certified: Yaesu VX-3R/7R/8*.
Very few ham radios are legal for the 154.600 frequency.

Chinese radios Part 90 certified:
Five dot frequencies reassigned to MURS in 2002.


As of Wed Morning, long range weather forecast predicts possible rain in the late afternoon. This is similar to last year.

Propagation Forecast

This plot shows the signal strength from 4 different repeaters, vs mileage along race course.
In addition, the position of the start line, finish line, and 6 corners has been marked on the bottom plot.
895 has the best signal in some areas but also has bad dropouts. 760 has a more mediocre signal but the dropouts are less severe. 760 will probably produce the best results for moving vehicles while 895 will produce the best results at most, but not all, of the corners.

Note that these were originally done by virtual odometer readings, rather than the actual coordinates and might be off. However, I then looked at propagation map.

  • start: 895
  • #1: 895
  • #2: 895
  • #3: 895
  • #4: Signal strength likely to be sensitive to position. Use 895. If you walk more than 40 yards upstream on taylors gap (which you will be tempted to do to be able to see approaching riders around the curve), you will loose signal but you may be able to go a little further switching to 925 (if the link is working) or 760. On 895 you will probably be better going up edge valley a bit or even off course on the unused portion of taylors gap. Consider a non-ham spotter.
  • #5: 895 provides best signal but very sensitive to position. Try standing in the middle of the little island. Signal may improve.
  • #6: 760. Seriously in a hole on 895. On 760, it was very sensitive to your position around the intersection. On the grass inside the turn and slightly upstream is a convenient place for a pop up tent; riders cut the corner close so give them some room.
  • Finish: 895
  • Vehicles. One mile after you turn at corner 2, you will go through a little mountain pass, 895 will be shaded by Taylor mountain and the others in the range and 925 is shaded by castle rock. Signal will be sporadic and very position sensitive from there to finish line on 895 and 925. 760 will probably provide the most consistent coverage since, even though you are in the shadow of dudley mountain you are far enough away that the diffraction angle isn’t so bad. The other channels are like light shining through a comb. Great in some areas and bad in others. If you stop and 760 isn’t working so well, it is quite possible that one of the other two channels will have a better signal – or worse.


    Here is some equipment you might consider bringing. Please do not be dissuaded from participating if you are under equipped – just let us know. Not all equipment is used in all roles and you can limp along with less equipment. We can even use new operators who don’t have equipment yet.
    – HT
    – spare HT batteries
    – means to charge HT batteries.
    – Emergency AA battery pack for HT and AA batteries.
    – Good antenna for HT.
    – Mobile Radio (club has some that can be provided)
    – Mag mount antenna
    – Portable 2m “base” antenna: J-pole antennas, such as a DBJ-1 or copper-pipe j-pole with coax and bungee cords.
    – booster battery for your cell phone. In a weak signal area, it will drain faster than normal.
    – rain gear
    – 12V Battery with powerpole or cigarette lighter plug or jump starter battery to power mobile rigs at tents.
    – GPS or android phone with GPX files preloaded.
    – cell phone with spare battery or usb booster battery and cord
    – BNC to SMA (male and female) adapters for HTs.
    – radio programming cable & laptop/netbook.
    – Pop up tent
    – coaxial RF adapters such as sma to BNC, mini-uhf to BNC, mini-uhf to uhf, etc. Club radios have mini-uhf connectors.
    – spare car key. It is easy to lock yourself out of your car if you are in the habit of locking it and your routine is broken by radio/event activities.
    – folding chair
    – clip board
    – Printout of this webpage, and the attached or linked documents.
    – sheet protectors in case of rain
    – pen and paper
    – digital camera
    – emergency food
    – rain protection for electronics.
    – frs radios
    – scanner to monitor race/frs channels.

    There are dead zones on the route. From personal experience, I can say there is a dead zone between batesville corner (plank rd and miller school road) and finish line. Also, use of an HT at Batesville Rd is tricky.


    Cycling Jargon:


    All hams should report for the briefing at around 7AM in the canteen before going to your assigned positions.

    There are some powerpoint slides attached with instructions for each position. School Bike Race Plan.ppt

    Other Resources

    Our web page on last years event:

    MACO officials list:

    Miller School Trail map. Not needed for race.
    Miller School Campus Map:
    Miller School of Albemarle wikipedia page
    Another bike event held at the Miller School is Conquer the Hill. Map:


    This page evolves. Check back for updates just before the race.

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