BICYCLE MOBILE AMATEUR RADIO OPERATIONS ON GOBA


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Bicycle Mobile Hams are GOBA riders who are licensed amateur radio operators who carry their 2 meter radios with them to help provide communications support on GOBA. They provide the same type of reports as amateurs stationed along the route, advising GOBA Officials of medical emergencies, mechanical breakdowns, riders who need to be sagged, dangerous road conditions, and rider density along the route.

Each year there are between 20-30 bicycle mobile hams on GOBA. Several GOBA staff members will be bicycle mobile radio operators.

Click here to view an article on operating bike mobile on GOBA. It is in PDF format and appeared in the Bicycle Mobile Hams of America newsletter in 1997. It features our own Assistant Communications Director Bill Sharp, W8HI who was Communications Director at the time.

Bicycle mobile hams ordinarily use nothing more than a 5 watt Handheld Radio with a 1/2 wave antenna. Sometimes they are limited to 1 watt and a "rubber duck" antenna. GOBA has a few collapsible Larsen 1/2 wave antennas to loan to bicycle mobile hams to provide them with greater range. Links for homebrew roll-up/bike flag J-poles:

http://www.bikexprt.com/bicycle/antennae.htm

http://www.vcars.org/tech/J_Pole2M.html(Scroll down for roll-up plan)

http://www.qsl.net/wb8erj/bike-ant.htm

Here is an article on "How to Wire a Bike for Ham Radio" by Bill Sharp, W8HI. It originally appeared in the May, 1998 issue of CQ VHF magazine.

Behind-the-saddle water bottle mounts suitable for adapting to an antenna mount have not been available for some time. The links below is for an inexpensive bottle mount that is currently available that may be suitable for adapting. GOBA nor GOBAhams imply any endorsement of this product.

Tacx Saddle Clamp at Amazon
Minoura SBH-300 Saddle Double Bottle Cage Holder at Amazon

This link posted to the BMHA group:  13.2v, 5aH NiMH battery pack that comes in water bottle container that fits in a standard bike bottle holder.  Runs $59.95 or $69.95 with smart charger.  Find it at:

BatterySpace.com

In the past, bicycle mobile operators have provided the first report of about 50% of the medical emergencies on GOBA.  Working together with amateur radio operators from GOBA's host counties, they are an important part of the emergency, health, and welfare communications system GOBA relies on.

When Bicycle Mobile hams cannot "hit" the repeater, they are likely to transmit any emergency traffic on the output frequency of the repeater and ask any ham who copies their transmission to attempt to relay the message to Net Control. Hams along the route, in Sag Vehicles and in Ambulances should listen for bike mobile hams "transmitting on the output" so they can relay any emergency traffic to net control.   A bicycle mobile, or other ham, who is transmitting on the output should indicate this in his or her transmission.

If GOBA experiences a major emergency, such as a campground evacuation due to severe weather, flooding, or some other disaster bicycle mobile hams may be asked to pitch in to provide communications support for the evacuation.  Each host town has an emergency evacuation plan to assist GOBA in the event of such a situation.

General information about operating bike mobile or to join discussions with other bike mobile, check out the Bike Mobile Hams of America.

More information about bicycle mobile operations on GOBA can be obtained by contacting the GOBA Communications Director Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ.

Original content by Jeff Ferriell, K8ZDA.
Revised by Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ.