Feb 11

The 2-day San Antonio to San Marcos to Austin Tour de Cure bike ride, previously scheduled for the month of May, has been cancelled. The ride in Corpus Christi, previously scheduled for April, has also been cancelled.

I participated in a conference call with National American Diabetes Association officials earlier this week and this is what I have learned.

All ham operators and other volunteers who had planned to work the TdC event in May will now get a free weekend off.

The National American Diabetes Association has reorganized and restructured their offices across the country in an attempt to lower their financial administrative overhead. As part of that process, they laid off all of the ADA employees in the Austin and San Antonio offices, except for 1 or 2 persons.

They (Regional ADA office out of Denver) were discussing holding a possible one day event, combined for both Austin and the San Antonio markets, perhaps in the San Marcos area later this fall. No date or location has been announced as of today. The online info at the American Diabetes Association website for this event had not been updated as of the date of this post.

As I find out more information, I will be sure to pass it on to those interested and post it also here at www.SanAntoniohams.Org/blog

If you know of a rider who has already pre-registered for the ride, and has been fundraising for the ride, please tell them that they will need to contact the ADA office to find out the status of their registration and/or fundraising status.

The San Antonio ADA office number is 210-829-1765.

Lee Besing, N5NTG
FormerTdC co-chair for Ham & SAG Communications

Share
Aug 30

CTX_TDC_2016_2-Day_RouteEverybody is likely familiar with the American Diabetes Tour de Cure bicycle rides.  San Antonio held theirs last May and Austin will holding their 2-day event in September.   There are also rides held in Corpus Christi (April) and a new one being held in Laredo later this year that could use some ham help in the future.

If you have an Emergency Go-Kit, this is the perfect opportunity to dust it off and test it.  If you have a mast and portable beam antenna available, this would be a great time to use it.  Mobile radios will be required on high power.  A few locations might, maybe, be close enough to the repeaters to hit, or at least monitor using your HT, but don’t count on it.

The 2-day Austin Central Texas Tour de Cure ride this year, will start in Dripping Springs, loop out west around Blanco, TX, and then head south on Saturday over to Gruene, TX, just north of New Braunfels.  On Sunday, that 2-day ride will leave Gruene and wander north thru Wimberley, on it’s way back to Dripping Springs of course.

This ride is a bit different from those we have supported with ham radio communications in the past.   Their SAG vehicles are provided by the Austin based ABC Commercial Services company (formerly ABC Pest Control with that Ant Eater logo).   Rest stop supplies are coordinated by Austin Energy vehicles, with a few Penske trucks thrown in for good measure.   So that leaves mostly Rest Stops that need ham radio communications, plus a few trouble shooter hams that will be roaming the route in support of the MSET-TX motorcycle EMS group.

We’ve got some hams from the Hays / Caldwell ARC  on board, thanks to Mike Wilmore KF5ACHJeff Schmidt N5MNW is the overall ham coordinator, operating from the Austin / Dripping Springs main hub.  Lee Besing N5NTG is coordinating from the south end of the route.  Primary net control will be in Dripping Springs, with a backup net control in Gruene at the Saturday finish line.  Frequencies are being tested and will likely be using IRLP linked repeaters on 2 meters, but that may change depending upon the testing.

If you can help out either or both days, please contact Jeff Schmidt at n5mnw@arrl.net and Lee Besing at info@SanAntonioHams.org.  If you are a member of Hayes Caldwell ham club, please contact Mike Wilmore at mikewilmore@me.com.

 

Share
Apr 6

Our regular volunteers already know to get their radios and batteries ready for operations when the month of April hits.  Actually many of the Ham Volunteers with Hill Country REACT never stopped being ready for events.   They worked events in January and March already, out in the Bandera, Texas, area at the Hill Country State Natural Park.  One event was the Bandera 100k Cross Country running event (24 hours) in January, followed by the Big Bend 50k out west. On March 5-6th was a horse ride endurance event (2 day) back in the Hill Country State Natural Area (state park).  There may have been other events in between that I missed.  Look for event posts by the REACT Team president, Louis Upton N5STX, elsewhere in this blog.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.  We have lots of volunteer events happening between now and Field Day weekend.  This is just a short list of known events being held involving San Antonio and the surrounding area hams.  If someone wants to build up a list of contest, I’ll be happy to work with you on posting those dates as well.

April 15-17th – BPMS150 National MS Bicycle Ride (2 days).  At present time, 5 teams of SAG vans will depart on Friday, April 15th from San Antonio, to arrive that night in Katy, TX, outside of Houston, to start off the biggest bicycle tour in Texas the next morning.  The San Antonio contingent will be joined by other SAG Teams from Austin and these two groups will be swallowed up by all of the others coming from the  Houston area.  At last count, I think there were around 45 SAG Vans, 12 SAG Box Truck / Bus combos (Rental Moving Van with a School bus tagging along).  More info will be posted after the event.  Volunteer list is closed for this event due to the logistics, but rooms are provided for both overnights, plus the fuel doesn’t require out of pocket expense either. Hams use both 2 meter and 440 frequencies, plus APRS, to communicate.  Non-hams use provided MURS radios. Mobile radios with dual band preferred for usage.

April 21st – Battle of the Bands Festival – Hams are used to coordinate the bands and VIP arrivals.  See posting here.

April 24th – Fiesta Wildflower 100 Bicycle Tour – Hams are used to coordinate the rest stops along the route. Motorcycle Safety Marshals, some are hams, will be  used to spot problems or rider issues along the route.  See posting here.

May 7th – Area 20 Special Olympics Spring Games – This really isn’t a big ham radio event, since we mostly coordinate the commercial hand held radios at the event, but occasionally we’ve had W2IK out here with a special events station as well.  This is a one day event, running from around 7am thru 4pm, held at a local San Antonio area sports stadium.   Contact Lee Besing N5NTG at info@Sanantoniohams.org or via phone 210-771-7075 (voice/text).

May 7th – Bulverde’s 17th annual Run For The Hills race – Hams from Hill Country REACT with the help of other area hams, provide coordination for this 10k event which is held north of San Antonio, off Hwy 281 and FM1863, in Bulverde Texas. In addition to spotter positions along the route, volunteers also help coordinate the parking lot area to avoid confusion in the wee hours before sunrise.  This event is a Saturday morning event, over by noon.  Contact Charlie Land KC5NKK at 512-796-7565 (voice/text) or kc5nkk@hillcountryreact.org.

May 14th – San Antonio American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure ride.  – Ham are used to coordinate the rest stops along the route. Motorcycle Safety Marshals, some are hams, will be  used to spot problems or rider issues along the route.  See posting here.

May 29th – American Hero 25k Relay Run – Hams are used to monitor the turn around points on the looped race course that never leaves the  property for the University. Hours are 7am-1pm with free t-shirts provided for the volunteers. Contact Lee Besing N5NTG at info@Sanantoniohams.org or via phone 210-771-7075 (voice/text).

June 11-13th – Texas Water Safari.  Hams are used to provide communications from the start line on Saturday until the finish line on Wednesday, but most positions near the front are done much quicker.  Last year over 100 canoe teams  competed for this 100 hour, 262 mile river race (yes, it’s a timed race) from San Marcos, down thru Victoria and on to Sea Drift, on the Texas Gulf Coast.  This event is run 24 hours a day until the last canoe team has been accounted for, but each check point along the river has different operation hours.   Both voice and digital communication modes are used to pass the in/out team information to the next check point down the river.  Ham operators play a critical port in the safety of this event.   Volunteers are coordinated on the front end check points  of the race course by Erik Olson WB5ZJQ, while other check points are coordinated by Harvey Babb WB5MCT.  Contact Erik at 210-213-4098 (voice/text during non-business hours please) or WB5ZJQ@SARepeater.net  Contact Harvey at 361-676-0356 or Harvey.babb@gmail.com.

 

Share
Apr 5

This year’s San Antonio American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure bicycle event on May 14, 2016, will once again start / end at the Texas A&M University, located on the south side of San Antonio, near Loop 410 and University Way /  Zarzamora Rd  (outside the loop).  The start/finish line will be on the interior road just north of the primary building cluster as usual.  There will be multiple distance routes, with the shorter length routes splitting off to return to the finish line sooner.  The 100+ plus mile route is the most challenging, heading out toward Elmendorf before dropping south to Pleasanton and then curving up thru Poteet and near Somerset before returning to the finish line.    Last year we had nearly 1,200 riders.

Members of the Atascosa County Amateur Radio Club were the first to volunteer to help us out once again. Thanks

Ham Radio operators are needed to staff 9-10 rest stops, plus provide net control back at the University.   We may use a personal vehicle or two as turtle vehicles (using APRS if possible), plus 10 primary SAG vans/trucks which need to be ham radio operator equipped or driven for this event.

Volunteers get a free t-shirt.  SAG Vans are provided and fuel is provided, so no money for fuel or rent will be out of pocket for the drivers. Rest stop volunteers do not get their fuel reimbursed, sorry.  But you get to test out your Ham Radio Go-Kit setup, or just use your mobile radio and test the life of your car’s battery.  🙂

This event is on a Saturday, May 14th, and will run from around 7am to 4pm for the longer routes.  Obviously the rest stops closer to the front, or on the shorter routes only, will get released much sooner.  This is a one day event, covering parts of Bexar, Wilson and Atascosa counties.

Assignments will be on a first asked, first assigned basis.   I am making the opportunity available to help run the net control station and to get some net control experience, for those who are tired of doing the same ole stuff each year.  Also on a first asked, first assigned basis.

For more information, or to volunteer, please contact Lee Besing N5NTG via email at info@sanantoniohams.org or by voice/text to 210-771-7075.  Note that my current working shift is at night, so do not expect me to answer the phone before noon most days.

Share
Aug 26

It’s time to dust off those radios, go-kits, antennas and get signed up to volunteer for the public service events that will be starting up in September and October 2915.  I’ll make another post later to cover the events happening in November (Veterans Day Parade, Tour de Gruene) and December (Skywarn

September 12-13thCentral Texas American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure (Austin) – This will be a two-day event starting at the Oak Hill Freescale campus on Saturday, overnight at Jellystone near Fredericksburg, then back to Freescale on Sunday. Also on Sunday, there are other lower-mileage rides on Sunday, basically orbiting Freescale. Contact is Jeff Schmidt N5MNW and Lee Besing N5NTG. Repeater and APRS coverage is still be coordinated. More information about the ride can be found online at this site.

September 12thLa Vernia Wildwest Hammerfest – The San Antonio Ham Support Team will NOT be working this ride this  year due to a disagreement with event organizers over something that occurred during the 2014 ride.  Other hams from Wilson County may be involved, but the usual crew from San Antonio will not be coordinating.

September 13thHEB 110th Anniversary Bike Fest in Boerne – This is a brand new ride celebrating HEB’s 110th anniversary, benefiting the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation.  Lead Ham Club on this event will naturally be Kendall Amateur Radio Society (KARS) since it is their backyard.  Looks so far like we’ll need to cover 9 break points and 6 SAG vehicles with ham operators, so KARS needs our support to keep this event safer.   Contact David Moore N7RF  (KARS) or Mary Anne Horn N5MYN (SARO) to volunteer ASAP.

2015bike_logoOctober 3-4thValero BikeMS Ride To The River – This is our annual 2-day event that was changed from the 2nd weekend to the 1st weekend of October this  year.  On Saturday, the ride goes from the east side of San Antonio (near Houston St and IH-10), out thru Seguin (lunch stop) and back west to New Braunfels, ending at the Comal County Fairgrounds.   Route includes an option to tour River Road if the rider gets past the cut-off point prior to 3:30pm.   Both of Sunday’s routes will start and ends at the Fairgrounds, with courses remaining in the Canyon Lake area.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share
Apr 15

Spring is here and so is our public service event season.  We’ve got lots of events coming up, with something for everybody. No experience needed, just lots of enthusiasm.

April 18-19th – BPMS150 ride with 13,000 bicycle riders.  Too late to sign up for this, but 7 of the 40 SAG vans will be coming from San Antonio over to Katy, TX for the start this Saturday morning.  We’ll be picking up our vans in San Antonio at the CAPPS Van Rental location near the SA International Airport on Friday, then driving over to Katy later that day to stay overnight in our FREE hotel room.  Saturday night will also have us staying in a FREE hotel room.  Very little cash out of our pocket. All fuel paid for, hotel paid for, 2 free t-shirts per person, free foot and lots of friendship and fun.

These next  two events are the ones that we really need your help for, the Fiesta Wildflower 100 and the Tour de Cure ride.

April 26th (Sunday) – Fiesta Wildflower 100 Bicycle Tour.  Still needing few more hams to help staff the 9 rest stops along the route, but no SAG drivers are needed.  Last year 1,500 riders were registered.  Start and finish will be at Morgan’s Wonderland, near Wurzbach Parkway and Thousand Oaks, on the northeast side.  Event benefits Morgan’s Wonderland and it is an officially  recognized Fiesta event.  Last year the organizer gave us a $25 Valero fuel card (1 per rest stop) to help compensate for the cost of helping out.

May 9th (Saturday) – American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure Bicycle Tour.  We need hams for 9 break points, 10 SAG vans, plus a few other assignments.  We will have brand new routes and a new starting location this year due to the City of Selma passing an anti-bicycle ordinance.   The event has been relocated to the south side of San Antonio, at the Texas A&M University campus on South Loop 410, near Zarzamora.  Routes go east toward Floresville and the longer routes loop down to Pleasanton, TX, over to Poteet and back up to the University finish line.  Atascosa County Hams will be helping with the southern part of the longer route and we welcome their support!

If you want to volunteer, or need more info, please  contact Lee Besing N5NTG at info@SanAntonioHams.org or call/text him at 210-771-7075 (I work late hours, so no early morning calls please). Please leave a message with your name, number, callsign and events you want to help with.

Share
Apr 10

Spring_Is_In_The_AirSpring is in the air, and that means our public service events have started up again, just like Spring flowers.

Help is needed for all of these events.  Contact person will be listed for each event below. Don’t wait to be asked, volunteer now!

  • April 19th – Bexar County ARES – HT Rodeo. See link to story already posted.  Pre-register by sending your name and call sign to HTrodeoRSVP@gmail.com.  Only those pre-registered by April 12th will be able to participate in the weeklong Roundup event leading up to the rodeo. Details on how to participate will be return emailed. Bring your HT to the event -preferably charged up and ready to rodeo!
  • April 27th – Fiesta Wildflower 100 Bicycle Tour.  This is a one day, Sunday event, starting / ending at Morgan’s Wonderland, near Wurzbach Parkway & Thousand Oaks, on the NE side of San Antonio.   Routes go up toward Canyon Lake and over past New Braunfels toward Seguin.   Hams are needed to staff around 9-10 rest stops, plus net control. We’ll have motorcycle marshal support on the course, but no active SAG support (unless the organizer changes their normal operations).  Rumor has it that the event organizer will be reimbursing fuel expenses by the hams and motorcycle marshals who support the event.  I’m still trying to confirm that rumor (that I got from one of the organizers).Please contact Lee Besing N5NTG direct via email at info@sanantoniohams.org with “Fiesta Wildflower 100” in the subject line. Cell contact is 210-771-7075 (voice / text okay).
  • May 3rd – Bulverde 5k/10k Senior Citizens Run.  This is a half day (morning) event held in Bulverde, Texas, starting / ending at the Bulverde Senior Citizens Center next to the Fire Station on Cougar Bend & FM1863. Around 8 hams are needed for this event.  Hill Country REACT is coordinating the event. This is a mobile /  HT event using a local repeater.Please Contact Charlie Land KC5NKK via email using kc5nkk@hillcountryreact.org with “Bulverde Run” in the subject line.
  • May 10th – American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure.  This is a one day Saturday event, with the start/finish at Retama Park (loop 1604 & IH-35). We expect 4 different routes this year, instead of 5, but the coverage area is still spread out.  We anticipate having around 9 break points, plus 10 SAG vans that need Ham teams to drive / navigate. We’ll also have the Safellite Auto Glass cars helping out on the shorter routes as usual.     We need hams for break points (rest stops), SAG drivers and net control help.  We normally have APRS coverage for this event, but that hasn’t been locked down yet due to personal health issues affecting our usual APRS team from Austin. No background check or DMV check required, but drivers will need to provide copies of their current valid drivers licenses.Please contact Lee Besing N5NTG direct via email at info@sanantoniohams.org with “Tour de Cure” in the subject line. Cell contact is 210-771-7075 (voice / text okay).
  • May 25th – 4th annual American Hero 25k Relay Run.  This annual event has a new location on the south side of town. This is a one day Sunday event. The start / finish will be at the Texas A&M University – San Antonio Campus, near south Loop 410 and Zarzamora (Address is on University Way).  Unknown route at this time, but it will be a 5k looped route, that the participants will run 5 times. Since it’s a relay run, some of the runners will be relay runners while others run the full length.   Last year it lasted until around 2pm.   This will likely be a simplex mobile to mobile or HT operation since repeater coverage in that area is very skimpy.  See http://americanhero25krelay.org/ for event details.  I expect to need about 8-10 hams to cover the route.Please contact Lee Besing N5NTG direct via email at info@sanantoniohams.org with “American Hero 25k Relay” in the subject line. Cell contact is 210-771-7075 (voice / text okay).
Share
May 14

 

2013-05-11 06.50.06-1Even though I always somehow seem to end up “in charge” of these types of events, I could NOT do this without all the help I get from other Ham Radio operators who “appear out of the woodwork” when I most need them.

Some of you volunteered, changed your personal plans, and showed up to help, even though you were hurting, such as Earlene Harris K5DEH who had just broken a rib a couple days before the event.  Some of you practically “demanded” that I allow you to participate!  🙂

GVAR’s 147.000 repeater cooperated with us all day, with no major glitches noticed.  GVARC had a couple of hams standing by monitoring the repeater, and the event, to be sure it stayed up and running.  We never needed to switch over to either backup repeater frequency.

The weather cooperated with us and we didn’t have many areas of the route with water on them. I know of at least one road that was reported as “wet, but just puddle, not running across the road.”  I promised Paul Yura & his crew that I’d try to get some even t-shirts if they “made the bad weather go away,” so I guess I need to keep that promise. J

I’m currently accepting “after action debriefing reports” from any hams who worked the event.  Please email those reports to me at tdc@sanantoniohams.org when you get the time.  There should be a volunteer party in a few months. If that happens, I’ll put the word out and collect your RSVP’s at that time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share
Jan 30

We are fortunate that the Ham Radio community has members willing to help with multiple other non-profit or public service type events through out the year. 

Here is a (not so) short list of the major 2013 events that hams from the San Antonio metro area can usually be found helping with. Contact links for future events are included, but contacts for past events aren’t included since it’s too late for this year.  If you know of an event that ought to be on this list, please contact the webmaster by email.

  • January 12-13 – Bandera 100k Endurance Run – coordinated by REACT
  • January 12 – San Antonio Radio Fiesta  Hamfest (Schertz)  – coordinated by SARC
  • January 19-21 – Big Bend 50 Run (Big Bend National Park)
  • March 2 – MS Walk  – coordinated by SARO – Contact N5MYN
  • March 2-3 – Heart of the Hills 36 hour Ride (HCSNA – Bandera) coordinated by REACT – Contact K5STX
  • April 19-20 – CASI Ladies State Championship Chili Cook-off (Seguin) coordinated by REACT – Contact K5STX
  • April 20-21 – Houston’s BP150 BikeMS (Houston – Austin) (2 days) – Contact N5NTG
  • April 25 – Fiesta Battle of the Bands –  coordinated by SARO – Contact N5MYN
  • April 28 – Wildflower 100 Bicycle Ride (1 day, San Antonio) – coordinated by REACT- Contact N5NTG
  • May 4 – Special Olympics Spring Games Region 21 coordinated by REACT  – Contact N5NTG
  • May 4 – Run for the Hills 5k Run (Bulverde) – coordinated by REACT– Contact K5STX
  • May 11 – ADA Tour de Cure Bicycle Ride (1 day, San Antonio) –  coordinated by REACT – Contact N5NTG
  • May 26 – 3rd Annual American  Hero 25k Run / Relay / Concert  – coordinated by REACT – Contact N5NTG
  • June 8 – Texas Water Safari (Canoe race from San Marcos – Gulf Coast) (5 days) – Top of route assignments coordinated by SARO– Contact WB5ZJQ
  • July 4 – Canyon Lake Fourth of July Parade (Startzville) coordinated by REACT – Contact K5STX
  • September 7 – Children’s Transplant Bicycle Ride (Helotes – Boerne) coordinated by REACT- Contact N5NTG
  • October 12-13 – BikeMS – Valero Alamo Ride to the River Bicycle Ride (2 days) – coordinated by SARO- Contact N5NTG
  • October 31 – Canyon Lake Halloween Event (Sattler) – coordinated by REACT – Contact N5NTG
  • November 2-3 – Tour de Gruene (New Braunfels / Canyon Lake) – – coordinated by GVARC – Contact K5GST
  • November 9 – Universal City Veterans Day Parade (date may change to Nov 2) coordinated by REACT – Contact N5NTG
  • November 17 – San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon (date change updated 01/26/2013) – coordinated by AARO – Contact N5NTG
  • December 6-7 – National Skywarn Recognition Day (24 hrs, New Braunfels NWS Office)  – coordinated by NWS – Contact K5STX
  • December 14 – Canyon Lake Christmas Parade (Sattler, TX) – coordinated by REACT- Contact K5STX

For more info about the above list of public service events, or to volunteer for an event, please click on the CONTACT link for the specific event, or contact info@sanantoniohams.org.

We’ll work on getting all of these events, plus any others as they get listed, into the calendar on this website.  In the meantime, if you want to voluteer, don’t be bashful! It’s lots of fun, and a different way to make new ham radio friends!  If you know of an event that wasn’t listed here, but should be, please contact us to get it added into the calendar.

Share
Jul 13

The staff at the Austin Tour de Cure office have been busy, with the help of donated video services during this past event. Here is their story….

Share

« Previous Entries