I just participated in my first bike race. I mean, as a ham operator!
I went into this with no real concept of what goes on. Whoa. What an operation. There’s a zillion things to go wrong, so anything less than a zillion things going wrong is pretty amazing.
I was out at Rest Stop 5 which is just west of Atlanta. Ok, not really. It’s 45 miles or so east of Railroad Park. Which brings me to the most shocking piece of the experience. Our rest stop only saw the dozen-or-so 100 milers. That race started at 0730 from Railroad Park. I kind of figured we would see our first riders, being 45 miles from the start, no earlier than 11. Imagine our surprise when our first 3 riders arrived at 0930! In fact, we had JUST finished getting set up when they rolled in. Speaking as an out-of-shape fat guy, I can tell you that these guys looked positively refreshed and appeared to barely have broken a sweat. I’m not jealous.
What I really want to say as a newbie is how impressed I was by the process on the ham radio side of things. Net Control (mostly helmed by the mighty Carl, WW4CC) was terrific. Logistics was great. The team of ADA volunteers at our station were fabulous. Just a great experience, at least for those of us sitting at a fairly easy-to-do, low traffic station!