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KI6MJC joins MendoRadio

Marcella, KI6MJC, has joined the MendoRadio team to provide local ham radio announcements and info updates. Welcome aboard Marcella! It’s good to have another local content contributor on the site, and I know you’ll have quite a few postings to add! We look forward to it.

To anyone else: If you have relevant content to contribute, please let us know. Post a reply to any of our articles, and we can add you as an author or contributor.

  1. 2013/06/13 at 5:59 AM

    Thank you, Carl, and thank you for creating this wonderful page!!!

    When all was said and done the Rotary Club’s Mendo Monster went off without a hitch though I was a tad late in getting the comm ops out. That was in part, to not having enough volunteers to create a plan and in part as I was having constant computer or ISP issues. All got solved and we had enough people to run comms and SAG for the event very professionally if you will .

    For those unfamiliar with the term “SAG,” it’s a support vehicle usually for a cycling event. SAG = Support And Gear or Safety And Gear. It’s best if SAGs are radio equipped as we can simultaneously hear instructions and critical issues and Net Control can then direct the nearest vehicle to needed locations in an expedient fashion using resources wisely. It helps to also run APRS, which I do, and in one event they project same onto an entire wall to always know where we are, including after taking a wrong turn (guilty a time or two).

    Many of the events I work are in Sonoma County; there as in here, much of the routes are back-roads, out of the way, not near emergency services nor have cell phone coverage. This weekend I’m working the Terrible Two (a double century) for which one year about half way to the coast on Skaggs Springs Rd. west bound from Lake Sonoma, I was indeed first on scene for an injured rider in a location with no cell service, emergency services, and very few structures of any kind; remote.

    Details of how it happened unimportant, on the side of the road a rider laid with a concussion, multiple cuts and abrasions, and one leg going the wrong way. I was only a few minutes behind him and easily called this in via radio. As there was too much tree canopy for air transport, ground ambulance was needed. Luck had it coming east bound up that grade was an off duty EMT and together we triaged the rider (me under strict EMT instruction) until on his way to the hospital.

    I didn’t need the incident to enforce the need for HAM radio in these types of athletic, community events as radio operation in these events somewhat mimics emergency operation. These are directed nets that follow all FCC protocol and are a fantastic opportunity to use radio in sometimes stressful conditions as might occur with a disaster. Not all events have injuries, but many do.

    This coming weekend’s event will be lower key in that fewer riders sign up for 200 mile rides and those that do are very fit, thus less prone to injury, accident or fatigue. These riders might need more water along the route or assistance with a flat and such, but I’ve actually worked a few TTs without providing a single rider or broken bike a ride. And I’ve worked events when I’ve gone off course, bee-lined back to start/finish perhaps a tad faster than the suggested maximum speed limit, to go back out and whittle away at a line of riders 30 deep as no one expected nor were prepared for rain.

    McARCS has agreed to only work events that benefit the community or a non-profit in some capacity. I agree with that for McARCS, though I work some for profit events (not compensated of course). Later this month McARCS agreed to support the Boonville Bite Hard, a true race in its second year. This is different from the ‘leisurely’ century or fun ride in that these riders do not stop at all. Because of same, the time commitment is much less and there are only 2 static radio locations: net control and the feed zone (riders grab and keep going).

    What’s needed here are SAGs who follow waves of riders as support and communication and about every other vehicle carries medical personnel. All times are officially tracked but the professionals take the first wave(s). Last year only one rider needed assistance as I recall. Without radio presence, should an emergency occur, could prove more dangerous.

    The Boys & Girls Club of Ukiah is also putting together a bike event this fall, which we’ve supported in the past. Riders and organizers both are VERY appreciative of radio and SAG participation.

    If someone would like to ride shotgun with me this coming Saturday to get acquainted with bike events and SAG duties, you are welcome. I generally work from Lake Sonoma to finish, which is somewhere around 10PM in Sebastopol. Of course, I am also looking for volunteers for the Bite Hard (bitehardboonvilleroadrace.com/about) on 6/29.


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