At around 6:30 AM members of the VARC met at the Burger King at exit 22. The APRS team is responsible for installing APRS trackers in the sag-wagons that follow the last rider for each route. After a quick breakfast the team went the Hahira skate park to install the equipment before the ride start at 8:00 AM. The work was completed on time and the command center was setup and hams where dispatched to the various rest stops along the routes.
For the most part the day went very smooth but the great news is that no riders were hurt during any of the four rides. The weather worked out very well too. There were not any of the tornadoes like those present in the area during the century bike ride this last spring.
The turn out from the ham community was very lite for the Honey Bee this year with only 6 hams present to work the ride and 1 visitor coming to their show support. A big thanks to KC4VLJ, KD4VLG, KI4ROO, and KF4GTA for their work and support again. A big thanks to KK4JJH for coming by to lend moral support.
Due to fewer and fewer hams making themselves available for events like the Honey Bee or Century Bike ride in the spring it has become very important to rely on technology such as APRS robots to complete tasks once done by human operators. It must be said that if the current trend continues within the ham radio ranks it may become necessary for the VARC to consider ending support of these type of events. So hams reading this post please make the effort and point to come out and show your support. Please also encourage other hams in our community to do likewise because your efforts really provide a big benefit to both ham radio and the our community.
Despite the the low turn out the Parks and Recreation leadership still recognized those who did by presenting each person with a nice Honey Bee bike ride shirt. The event leadership once again strongly noted that the support the hams give is very much needed and that it is greatly appreciated by their organization. It is their greatest wish that the area hams will have the desire to continue to do what they do best which is provide communications support that cell phones will never be able to do.
Thumbs up for Ham Radio!