More than 30 members of the Columbia Amateur Radio Club supported two major events in downtown Columbia on Saturday, May 21: The Tour de Cure and the Mini Maker Faire at EdVenture.
The larger of the events, the Tour de Cure, saw 25 amateur radio operators stretched out across the midlands supporting riders on bike loops up to 100 miles long. Operators were stationed at rest/water stops, the command post in downtown Columbia, and drove sweep/support and gear vehicles to help riders in distress.
CARC Event Committee Chair Tammy Livingston, N4TAL, said the ride was “very successful” and only a few riders suffered injuries or dehydration.
“We did have one medical SAG but that young lady is doing well. We will likely review event protocol for this as there are some learning opportunities here,” Livingston said. “We also handled re-assignments well and I really appreciate everyone being so flexible. Flexibility is critical for these large multi-crew events.”
Over at EdVenture, a small-but-devoted group of CARC operators shared the hobby of amateur radio with children and adults at the Mini Maker Faire. This is the fourth consecutive year CARC has supported the faire, and we stuck to the familiar formula of teaching youth the “secret code” of Morse Code and showing off kits and homebrew gear. We also added some “live radios” this year to show off software-defined radio, DMR, and we monitored the repeater for the Tour de Cure.
“The Faire always provides an opportunity to share amateur radio with people who haven’t heard of the hobby, or perhaps they think it’s an outdated past-time with no relevance in today’s smartphone era,” said CARC President Andy Haworth, KK4DSD. “It’s always fun to point out that the cell phone in everyone’s pocket is basically a radio. Showing off software-defined radio and some of the more experimental technology gets children and adults excited.”
CARC’s next major event will be ARRL Field Day on June 25.