If You’re Bored and You Know It, Grab Your Radio!

Don’t be bored, volunteer for some upcoming public service events!

We’ve got a series of public service events happening in the next few months, surely one of them will tickle your fancy?  Hams are needed for all of these events.

  • September 8 – Tour for Children bicycle ride
  • October 13-14 – BikeMS Valero Ride to the River
  • November 3-4 – Tour de Gruene race / ride
  • November 3rd – Universal City Veterans Day Parade
  • November 11th – San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon Race
  • December 8th – Canyon Lake Christmas Parade

Here are the details about each event….  Scroll down!

September 8 – Tour for Children (www.tourforchildren.org) – A bicycle ride from Helotes, Texas up thru Grey Forest to Boerne, Texas, and points in between or around.   Expected to have 600+ riders this year.   Last year hams provided miminal support at the spur of the moment, with a ham from KARS at the northern break point, and three roving hams in their POV on the route, plus net control operating from a ham’s house in Grey Forest.

In 2012, we’ve been asked to staff 6-8 SAG Trucks from Toyota of Boerne, plus running net control of course.  We might even get some M&M’s to come play with us.   We’ve been promised they’ll have some 2X and 3X t-shirts this year as well, for the “not so skinny” folks.

Hams who are willing to help as SAG drivers, need to have a relatively clear drivers license background (but we aren’t running checks) and insurance coverage for their own vehicle.  The event’s insurance is covering the drivers & trucks, but it’s routine to only accept drivers who can prove they are insurable.   SAG drivers will need to pick up their truck at Toyota of Boerne on Friday, after presenting their DL & insurance card for proof, and the dealership is offering space to leave your personal vehicle there over night in a locked secured area.

The event will run from 7am-3pm or so, based upon last year’s timing, but we’ve learned to be flexible.  If you are interested in volunteering for this event, contact Lee Besing N5NTG at 210-771-7075 or info@sanantoniohams.org for SAG driver support, or Mike Perez WA5ZAP for Motorcycle Safety Marshal support.  Most M&M’s know how to reach Mike, but if you don’t, then contact Lee and he’ll get you in touch.


October 13-14th – BikeMS – Valero Ride to the River bicycle event (2 days) – The event will start at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, and the route runs out thru LaVernia to Seguin & over to New Braunfels for a finish line at the Comal County Fairground.  Sunday’s route starts at the fairground and runs back thru Seguin & LaVernia via a similar route to the AT&T Center finish line.

Hams are needed for a variety of assignments. 

  • SAG Driver / Navigator (background check & DMV check for driver is required)
  • Break Point Hams (7-8 Break Points each day)
  • Shadow Hams for race officials (Tour directors, medical, police car, etc.)
  • Motorcycle Safety Marshal’s – Coordinated by John Perry & group
  • Turtle Vehicle(s)

Fuel is provided for all drivers of an MS supplied vehicle, and certain other  authorized positions requiring driving.  Charlie Land KC5NKK is coordinating all ham radio related assignments.  Contact  Charlie by email at charlesdland@gmail.com or call him on his cell # 512-796-7565 to volunteer (email preferred).


November 3-4th – Tour de Gruene (New Braunfels) – A two day event with separate races / rides on each day.  See www.tourdegruene.com for the full schedule, but there is a huge family ride (usually a couple thousand riders) on Saturday morning, with individual time trial racing on Saturday afternoon, and Team time trial racing on Sunday morning.  

The routes run up River Road from Gruene and back, with the family rides going up north of Canyon Lake & back, and the Team Trials going around FM306 and back down Commons to Gruene in a loop.  See website for exact routes.

Hams are stationed at key points, such as River Road Crossings, to watch for safety related problems & summon help as needed.  We also coordinate the need for SAG pickup or bike repairs.

GVARC Ham Club is coordinating this event. Contact Mike Pfeuffer WQ5C at pfeufferm@gmail.com or call 830-660-8871 to volunteer.  About 15 hams are needed each day.  Sunday’s events are usually over by noon (that’s why they call it a race).


November 3rd – The 42nd Veterans Day Parade in Universal City –  Hams work very closely with the Universal City Police Department to coordinate the shutting down & securing of parade route along Pat Booker Road.   This is a fairly large parade, and the UCPD has used our help for more than 30 years.   

Free donuts, coffee & juice supplied for the 9am meeting at the UCPD offices (ironic, isn’t it?) where assignments will be given out.   Hams basically coordinate getting the route shut down, while UCPD officers and our M&M’s rove the course between Universal City Blvd & Randolph AFB, diverting all traffic away from the parade as it starts.   Public Works will supply barriers, cones & “do not cross” tape for assigned entrances / exits / cross streets.    UCPD does all the traffic direction, Hams simply move the barricades into place when directed over the radio, and help explain to motorists why they can’t go that way until the parade is finished.  It’s not our job to stand in front of an angry motorist, but we can warn them about the traffic ticket they are about to get if they drive past the barricade. 🙂

 Hill Country REACT is the coordinating organization.   Contact Lee Besing N5NTG at 210-710-7075 or by email at info@sanantoniohams.org to volunteer for this event.  About 20 hams are needed. 


November 11th – San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon –  Hams are needed to assist with the start of the race, by coordinating the time clocks at designated mile markers along the route.  We pickup the clocks on Friday night before the event at the Alamo Dome (usually Lot C off Cherry Street, behind the dome).   The race is on Sunday morning, and roads start being closed as early as 4am for the front portion of the route, or as late as 6am for the far end of the route.  Hams are given “all access passes” for their vehicles, but even then, early is better than later, in arriving for your assigned location.

There will be a Bike Tour starting at 6:45am on the same route as the runners will take.  Wheelchair participants will start at 7:25am and the Marathon, Half Marathon and 2 Person Half Marathon Relay will start at 7:30am.  It actually takes nearly an hour for all the runners to get out of the chute at the starting line, 1,000 runners per chute, 30+ chutes. 

  • Start Line: Downtown San Antonio (S. Alamo Street & E. Market Street)
  • Finish Line: Alamodome (Cherry Street, behind the Alamo Dome)

Alamo Area Radio Organization (AARO) will be the coordinating ham club for this event.   Contact Lee Besing N5NTG at 210-771-7075 or via email at info@santoniohams.org to volunteer.  About 3 dozen hams are needed to cover this event properly.


December 11th – Canyon Lake Christmas Parade  (Sattler, Texas).  

Hill C ountry REACT & other hams coordinate the staging area for this fairly large parade.  Entries from all over the Comal County area fill the back roads of the staging area.  Parade starts around 11am, and the route runs thru Sattler for about 2.5 miles.   We have breakfast around 6:30-7am in Startzville (south side of Canyon Lake) and get our assignments on the scene behind the funeral home.

Hams from Hayes Caldwell County Hams, Travis Country REACT, GVARC join the hams from Hill Country REACT in coordinating over a hundred entries, plus the Shriners from San Antonio. Contact Wade Bolling W5ERX at w5erx@arrl.org  or by phone at 210-316-4911 to volunteer.  About 2 dozen hams needed to handle this event.  Clean your vehicle & join in the parade when the staging area clears out!


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