This past Sunday, members of the AARC and CVRA (Central Virginia Repeater Association) assisted with the Miller School Bike Races. The race course of approximately 16 miles is sufficient length to accommodate 4 race groups simultaneously. The morning race groups started at 10 minute intervals, resulting in sufficient spacing to avoid one field overtaking the one ahead of it. Morning races were as long as 80 miles (5 laps) and as short as 32 miles (2 laps).
Following a lunch break, another 4 race groups lined up for the afternoon event, and since the weather began to deteriorate, the first 3 races were shortened from 3 laps (48 miles) to 2 laps (32 miles) while the 4th race group of Juniors age 9-14 were only scheduled for 1 lap and that remained unchanged.
What a great crew of volunteers from the Albemarle ARC and the Central Virginia Repeater Association. Despite having in hand a fairly detailed plan of operations, as you might expect, within the first 3 minutes in the morning, hams were solving problems and getting the job done where the plan fell short of anticipating every eventuality.
Many thanks to the following: Bill AD6JV, Marty W4MBW, Ed N3US, Mike KQ9P, Elmer KF4UCI, Jeff K4OLW, Jon KJ4RPW, Dale KD4EAP and Nickolas, Donna KG4FOL, Shannon KJ4VJR, Dayton AA4DH, Linda KM4JIO, and Greg N4PGS.
My report to ARRL which calculates the value added to an event by Amateur Radio, included approximately 112 people hours, at ARRL’s value of $19/hr gives a manpower cost of $2,128. Equipment costs of the repeaters and personal radio equipment are $13,200 for a total value of over $15,000. That is no insignificant contribution to a public service activity. When you combine that with the intangible and incalculable, but very significant exposure of several hundred bike racers to hams and Amateur Radio assisting with their event, you have an extremely valuable event in the area of public exposure. It would be great if Field Day could come close to the public exposure of even part of one public service event.
The next public service opportunity is approaching fast, so be sure and come out and give a hand. If you haven’t worked an event for a while, you will find you can quickly get back into the routine. If you have never participated before, you can pair up with a more experienced participant for some “on the job” training.