We continue struggling with the site settings trying to eliminate the requirement for moderator approval. Nutty, I know, but you get what you pay for. LOL Volunteers are doing this stuff and we are working hard to make it all better. When I hit post, hopefully this posts. If not, once I get approval it will post. LOL
Tour de Paris
All in all I think things went really well. The weather was unseasonably cool and things ran pretty smoothly. I can only report what I saw and heard, but I think things generally ran smoothly.
I drove by the Love Civic Center (LCC) at 0700 and was surprised at the number of vehicles jamming the parking lot there and in every available place to park and camp out anywhere nearby. I blew it off and went on to my assigned location, Rest Stop 9 (RS9).
RS9 was sponsored and crewed by Guaranty Bank. They ran a professional setup. When I rolled up at 0730 I found Trish there and almost finished setting up. She is their statewide “Event Coordinator” and is clearly a professional. At 0800 the local bank president and several others showed up and started cutting bananas and oranges and setting out cookies, bread, water, Gatorade, pickle juice, ice, a container of ice water soaked hand towels, etc.
I set up across the road from them, stationed perpendicular to the road where I could see approaching and departing riders to my right and left while watching the rest stop crew out the front windshield. Kathy and I had packed a cooler of drinks and snacks and I was glad to have done that. There was zero opportunity to leave so I lived out of my truck and used the rest stop provided port-a-potty. The Guaranty Bank people had a runner that went and secured box lunches. They even provided for me so I am even more impressed with that group.
I took a lot of pictures and I will try and post them after this narrative. Some are of the Bike Mart guy doing field repairs to a couple of bikes. I offered them to him for use on his site or in marketing material. He is going to send me his contact info in the next few days. When I send him the pictures I am going to ask that he please credit the Red River Valley Amateur Radio Club if he uses them. I suggest you do the same if you send your pictures to a commercial enterprise.
At Rest Stop 9 we had over 450 riders pass through. On the Net I thankfully only heard one EMS call and don’t know if that was the result of heat stroke, heart attack, crash, being run over, etc. But Jerry Keisler (WA5KZA) reported ~1500 riders participated. With that many participants I guess you would call that a good day. I sent in my after-action report and also wrote up a list of suggestions for how we might could do better going forward. Some of those suggestions may be acted upon and others may not, but if you have observations of how the Club could do better next year and going forward, I encourage you to please send them to us. Post them here, send them to the Club officers, but please do not keep your thoughts to yourself.
I have suggested a “briefing paper” for participants going forward and my points are detailed below the line.
RRVARC-Tour de Paris
Amateur Radio Participants
Net Control: Senior/highly experienced ham operator RRVARC member participants located at the Paris PD Emergency Operations Center (EOC). This is a secure location that cannot be accessed without escort and/or vetting prior to the event.
SAG: Support and Gear (bicycling; support transportation accompanying riders). These persons are operating vehicles to provide a rider and their bicycle a ride to the starting/ending point of the rally if they are unable to continue to completion.
Medical Assistance: The correct phrase to use if one or more bicyclists is in need of emergency medical assistance. Bike crashes, hit by a car, heart attack; any of these things can occur so that is a priority call to Net Control.
Preparation: You will want to make provision for your needs throughout the day. If you are in your vehicle you would be well advised to bring your own water and lunch and any medications you require. While refreshments might be available at your location, being prepared means you do not have to depend on what resources may or may not be available. Port-A-Potty type offerings are located at each Rest Stop. Some method of taking notes (pad, pencil/pen, iPad, whatever suits you) and generally noting the approximate number of riders through your location is important.
Participation: Your participation will involve calling Net Control to coordinate logistical support for the TDP bike rally participants. This may involve calling for medical assistance, coordinating resupply of the location, calling for bicycle repair support and other types of local needs.
When you get to your assigned location be mindful of where east and west is and the direction riders will come from so that you can set up your position to most efficiently monitor events at your assigned area of operation (AOO). The east/west part is so that you can be aware of the sun location throughout the event. While you will want to see the riders approach, most will have their jersey number affixed to their back so you will want to be able to see their departure for at least the first and last rider to clear through your AOO.
Reporting: You will want to report the jersey number of the first rider through your location and the last rider through your location; the other riders in between the first and last are not reported to Net Control. Other reports/calls to Net Control will be dictated by the circumstances at your AOO. Periodically query Rest Stop personnel on the sufficiency of their supplies, reminding them that resupply takes time to respond. Items that can be provided by resupply is ice, water, paper towels and trash bags.
Notes: Please keep some statistical notes for your part of the operation. About how many bicyclists pass through. How many calls you make for resupply, medical assistance, etc. Net Control will keep their own statistics of the overall effort, but your specific details will be used to compile an after action report.
Photos: If you utilize a smartphone please take some pictures. Post event please post your pictures to the Club website event forum or provide them to a Club officer for inclusion on the site. These pictures can serve to stimulate member interest in the event and can even be provided to commercial entities with the express request that Red River Valley Amateur Radio Club be credited for the picture if they post it on their website or use it for other commercial purposes. This is an easy way to further promote the Club and what we do for the community.
Departing your AOO: Please maintain your assigned position until that location is completely broken down, loaded up and ready to go. Once that is the case please call Net Control and inform them of the status of the location (closed, broken down and sponsors departing) and either ask for an assignment or permission to depart the location.
ICS214: Once home please use your notes and complete an ICS214. At this point I think we should have one edited with the info that the Club can supply to all participants and show an example of the other detail we want from them so that they can uniformly provide the information we need for submission.