Michigander Bike Tour

From: T Behler < tbehler@charter.net>
Date: Mar 25, 2007 9:56 PM
Subject: help needed with michigander bike tour communications:  PLEASE READ!

March 25, 2007


My name is Tom Behler, and my amateur call is KB8TYJ.  I am the Emergency
Co-ordinator and RACES Officer for Mecosta County, MI.

I recently have accepted the position as main Net Control Station for the
Michigander Bike Tour.  As you may recall, the position previously had been
held by Craig Martin (N8VIP).

I am now working with the main organizers of the tour to develop effective
amateur radio communications along the bike tour route, which will run this
year from Midland to Macinac City.  The tour itself will take place from
Saturday: July 14 through Friday: July 20.

This year's route will run through the following ten counties:  Midland,
Isabella, Clare, Roscommon, Missaukee, Crawford, Kalkaska, Otsego,
Cheboygan, and Macinac.

More specifically, the bike tour route is as follows:

Saturday July 14: 2 & 7 Day riders START at Clare High School. 2 & 7 Day
riders end

Saturday at Northwood University in Midland.

Sunday July 15: START at Midland, END is split: 2 Day riders return to
Clair, 7 Day

riders arrive at Harrison High School.

Monday July 16: START at Harrison, END at Grayling AuSable High School.

Tuesday July 17: START at Grayling, END at Gaylord Fair Grounds.

Wednesday July 18: START at Gaylord, END at Indian River Inland Lakes High

Thursday July 19: START at Indian River END at Mackinaw City High School.

Friday July 20: START at Mackinaw, END at Mackinaw, 46 mile loop.

The route pretty much follows 10 northwest/southeast between Midland and
Clare and 27 North out of Clare to Harrison. Continue North on 27 out of
Harrison to 75 North and on to Grayling. Follow 75 North all the way,
through Gaylord to Indian River. Leave out of Indian River on 27 North going
through Cheboygan then on 23 North into Mackinaw City. The loop runs down
the Northwest side through Cross Village and Good Hart then turns east to
the Petoskey to Mackinaw State Trail.

We need to know what  wide-coverage 2-meter repeaters we might best be able
to use along this route.  Even though, as the main net control station, I'll
have 45 watts and a good mobile dual-band antenna to work with, many of the
riders along the route who are hams will only have hand-helds, with a
maximum output power of 5 watts.  We also need to know about potential "dead
spots" in repeater coverage.  Our goal is to provide continuous repeater
coverage for the entire distance of the route, so that constant
communications can be maintained between the main net control station, and
others traversing the tour route.

I'm attaching a possible list of 2-meter repeaters that might be used along
the Midland to Macinac route.  I need to know whether the info is accurate,
including needed PL tones if any.

Are these the best repeater choices for us to use?  If not, please specify
other repeaters that we might consider.  In addition, any info on possible
"back-up" repeaters we might use would be helpful.

I also would like to request your assistance with finding and contacting the
trustees of the repeaters listed, so that we can get their permission to use
those repeaters for Michigander communications.  If you can make the
relevant contacts, and get the trustees' permission yourself, that'd be
great;  just forward his/her acknowledgement onto me, and I'll catalog all
responses.  If you'd rather that I contact the trustees personally, simply
e-mail their contact info to me, and I'll take it from there.

In the weeks ahead, I'll be e-mailing you again, asking that you work within
your district or county to help recruit ARES/RACES members to provide
additional assistance with bike tour communications.  We always need people
to provide us with information on weather conditions, and helpful facilities
and service organizations in the areas the bike tour goes through.  Help
also might be needed with transporting broken down bikes, rescuing riders
who are unable to continue on the tour, and providing emergency
transportation.  Our philosophy is "the more available hams, the better.".

The organizers of the Michigander and I thank you sincerely for any
information and support you can provide.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, using any
of the means listed below.

Best 73 from Tom Behler: KB8TYJ, Mecosta County EC/RO and Michigander NCS

E-mail:   kb8tyj@arrl.net

Home telephone (evenings and week-ends):  (231)  592-9854

Work phone:  (231)  591-3611