The Bloomin' Metric is the premier public service event in southern Fairfield County. It is a bicycle ride (not race) put on by the Sound Cyclists Bicycle Club every May with proceeds going to a number of local charities. There are typically about 2600 riders (including "ride marshals"). The ride offers a number of routes, all departing from Sherwood Island State Park, and some going as far north as the Redding/Newtown border.
Hams provide radio communications for a small fleet of support vehicles, as well as radio communications to the rest stops. We have a ham in every support vehicle maintaining radio contact back to Sherwood Island. We direct the operations of the support vehicles to keep the routes under patrol, and handle the communications with riders if they call in to the event's help line because they need assistance (typically mechanical breakdowns). We have been providing communications for this event for close to 30 years and have an excellent working relationship with the event organizers.
We need ham volunteers for the event. Figure it as a most-of-the-day event. We generally meet at Sherwood Island at about 7am. While most people are done by about 1pm, some people wind up staying until about 3pm to take care of the last of stragglers. We need 18-20 hams. If you can't do 7am-1pm, but can do part of the time, we can probably use you.
You do not need to be an experienced ham or experienced in this kind of work to participate. We will train you on whatever you need to know. It helps if you have a 25 or 50 watt mobile radio and a magnetic mount antenna, but if you don't have one we will provide one.
Please contact me at jon.perelstein AT gmail DOT com if you're interested.
I would like to add that this is an excellent way to practice your communications skills. There has been some chatter lately from people who think ARES needs to get its act together in Region 1, and that people want to participate in training and drills. Well, here you go. In region 1, ham radio's primary service to the public is supporting these events, and we do more of them than other regions. Public service is not sitting at home checking into the snow desk or weekly nets. Bike rides, running races, Boy Scout events, kayak races are high visibility public events for hams. And they are a ton of fun. (Not to mention, there is usually free food and a T-shirt.)
This is one reason why the FCC gives us frequencies, and towns give us space for our clubs.
So you have two months advance notice. Please participate in these signature events for Fairfield county ham clubs. No experience is necessary, the organizers will pair you up with someone if needed.
Paul Lourd WB2JVB
Region 1 DEC
From Paul Lourd, GNARC:
For the third consecutive year, we have been asked to provide support for this worthy cause. Multiple sclerosis is a devasting disease, and many of us know people who are affected. Today on the conference call, the race director said "We can't do this ride without hams".
As I have said before, this is one of the reasons we get to keep our frequencies, and our hobby continues. Using communications to help our community.
The ride starts at Dinosaur Barbecue in Stamford, and proceeds on four different routes. We will be providing comms from in the support vehicles. In addition, we are hoping to get a few hams, with vehicles that can carry bikes, to drive themselves, possibly with a bike mechanic on board. I know some people, like myself, prefer to drive their own vehicles to scout the course.
You would need to be on site at about 7:45 am, and it will be over by roughly noon. A free BBQ lunch is part of the deal!
If you can help, please reply to me at paul AT lourd DOT com and let me know as soon as possible.