Sunday, August 3, 2014

Whiskey Bravo Six Oscar Echo November ~ in a sea of bicycles on a gorgeous landscape

Yesterday was the annual Marin Century event sponsored by Marin Cyclists. This is the eighth year I've been involved as a volunteer on the motorcycle to ride around the course and offer support.  There are six bicycle rides offered ranging from 30 miles to 200 miles and around 3,000 bicycles are involved. The routes go through the various parts of beautiful Marin County. This year was personally notable though ~ after years of being told by others "just get your amateur radio license as you'll be able to help more", I finally did. Back in the eighties and nineties, I occasionally experienced my stepfather Ken sitting for hours in his ham radio room and talking with people on the "other side of the world", I'd hear him sign off with "WB6OEN" as his call sign and then he'd repeat it sometimes in the military or NATO phonetic alphabet "whiskey bravo six oscar echo november". I was always interested and asked many questions at the time. When I passed the exam two months ago, I immediately applied for his call sign and the FCC moved with lightening speed to transfer it to me. Having the portable ham radio on the ride yesterday made all the difference and I was able to hear who needed help in which area and what was going on. I wore an earpiece in my helmet during the whole 200 mile shift and the many volunteers with various amateur radio clubs in the Bay Area really work efficienty to "run" the operations of the ride.

Below is a video I pieced together while on the ride, camera mounted to my handlebars, and here is a link to the few photos I took.

Marin Century 2014 from Anna MacKinnon on Vimeo.

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