Bicycle Mobile Hams are GOBA riders who are licensed
amateur radio operators who carry their 2-meter radios with them to provide communications support on GOBA. They provide the same types 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
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:
down for roll-up plan)
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.
Saddle Clamp at Amazon
Minoura Saddle Mount 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:
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
Todd Johnson, KD8UND.
Original content by Jeff
Revised by Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ, Communications Director Emeritus.