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Page history last edited by Phil Stripling 12 years, 11 months ago
Silicon Valley Tour de Cure


Some of our operators are new this year, so our instructions will include tips for first timers as well as instructions for everyone.
The 2007 Silicon Valley Tour de Cure is on Sunday, June 10. The week before the event, please check the weather forecast and give all your gear a once over. Be sure batteries are charged, radios are working, and all your necessities are in place. This will be a long event for some, so please be sure you have water, clothes appropriate for the weather, snacks, glasses, medicine, spare batteries (even if you don't think you'll need them) and other items you will need to make a day of it.
Print out the Frequency Plan and set your radios to the frequencies and CTCSS tones; if you have memory channels available, this will make it easier to switch among the frequencies and CTCSS tones. Bring a list of frequencies and what memory channels each frequency is set to, and bring your cheat sheets for your radios.
Bring your Thomas Guide. It is possible that you will be relocated, and you may need the map to get there. It is also possible that a rider will need a SAG wagon, and you will have a map another rider can point to and tell you where the rider is so that you can call it in to Net Control.
Print out the Rest Stop Locations so that you can tell people where the next one is. Also print the .pdf files for the 25K route, 50K route, 75K route, and 120K route. These may be helpful if you have to relocate, and they may be helpful to entrants who are unsure where to turn.
Stop by Net Control on your way to your location and report in. If there are any changes or more information, we will give it to you then. (One example is that you may be reassigned to another location in some emergncy or other.) After checking in, go directly to your location and call in when you are set up and on the air to alert Net Control of your presence. You will be logged in. Be sure to arrive at Net Control early enough to check in, then arrive at your assigned location at the assigned time.
While at your station, if you need to leave the air for a few minutes, let Net Control know so that unanswered calls do not raise alarms; don't forget to call back in when you return. Rest Stops have portapotties (with the exception of the un-numbered Gatorade Stop.)

Controlled Net

This is a controlled net. Stations should communicate only with Net Control unless permission is given to talk directly to another station. Your tactical callsign will be used at all times (stations will be given the opportunity to identify by their FCC-issued callsigns in order to comply with FCC rules).
Kindly keep your communications brief and on-point. Rambling transmissions and gratuitous comments, no matter how humorous, will not be received well. Before calling Net Control, pay attention to see if Net Control is in traffic with another station. Wait a few seconds after Net Control finishes traffic with another station to let the repeater clear and the timeout timer to reset.
When you have traffic and the frequency is clear, call "Net Control, this is [your tactical callsign]." Please allow a minute before calling again. Often there is traffic you cannot hear, and often Net Control is busy. Be patient. When Net Control responds, give your traffic. If the rest stop captain has told you that more water is needed, please do not tell Net Control, "We need more water." Kindly ask the captain how much water is needed; use the captain's best estimate. Be as specific as possible when alerting Net Control of any needs. Any use of the word "more" as a quantity will not be acceptable. "We need another case of 1-liter bottles," is a good piece of information. "We need another case of 1-liter bottles before the 50K riders get here in a half hour," is better.
If you have gone awhile without hearing traffic, check your battery, check your volume, check your frequency (lock your radio if you are using only one frequency). If all looks well, ask for a radio check. If there is no reply, check again.
Emergency Traffic
NOTE: Getting help for an injured person is the first thing to do. Call an ambulance and the police before calling Net Control. If the area is out of cellphone range, Net Control is your next step. We are not the police, and we are not medical personnel. Our job is communications.
Emergency traffic is for an injury or potential injury to a human being. Emergency traffic takes priority over all other traffic. If you have an injury, please tell Net Control as follows: "Net Control, this is (tactical callsign). I have emergency traffic. Over." Give Net Control a few seconds to get pen and paper at hand and clear the people from around the table. Net will then ask you for particulars. Do not identify people by name or number; hearing of an injury over scanners or receivers is not the way friends and family want to learn of an accident. Report the location and briefly detail the nature of the injury. Let Net Control ask for any additional information. We may have EMTs at the Start/Finish, and they may have other questions. Emergency contact numbers will be listed here on the Friday and Saturday before the event.
Tired riders requesting SAG wagons are routine traffic.

Priority traffic

Priority traffic deals with damage or potential damage to property. The police will handle traffic accidents. We are not the police. If you see an accident, maintain your position, report it to the police (if the people in the accident are not taking care of that themselves), and alert Net Control of the accident.
If a fender bender occurs, call Net Control: "Net Control, this is (tactical callsign) with priority traffic. Over." Give Net Control a few seconds to prepare, then when requested, give the brief details of the accident. Reporting accidents to Net Control lets us alert the organizers of road blockages or the potential for emergency vehicles on the road. Whatever response the organizers wish to make is their decision -- we do communications.

Accident Response

If an accident or the response to it blocks the course, let Net Control know. This is priority traffic. The organizers will have to decide how the following riders will proceed on the course. If you are given information on changes in the course, tell your Rest Stop Captain. The Captain will either have the resources to handle the situation or will request additional resources. Our job is communication.
Because of privacy laws, no status report of any victims will be given. Net Control may report that the scene has been cleared and that course restrictions have been removed. Relay this information to your Rest Stop Captain.


Someone may intentionally interfere with our net. Generally, acknowledging jammers encourages them to continue. Do not acknowledge anyone not a member of the net. If someone innocently makes a call on the repeater, let Net Control handle the situation. If someone is intentionally causing interference, do no respond directly and do not mention it on the air. Often, a lack of response leads to boredom, and they go away. If it continues, Net Control will direct all stations to another frequency. (Since you have programmed your radio with the alternative frequencies, moving to back up frequencies will be a simple step for you.)
If someone uses the repeaters we have permission to use, stay silent and let Net Control handle the situation.
In all events, be prepared to move to your back up frequencies as listed in the Frequency Plan.
Your station
When you arrive at your station and have completed your set up, call Net Control and announce that you are ready to assume your duties as [your tactical callsign]. If you are relieved by another ham, that ham will call in and tell Net Control that he or she has assumed the duties as [tactical callsign]. Once Net Control has acknowledged the new ham as [tactical callsign], you are free to return to Net Control or to proceed to another station, as the case may be.
If you are at a rest stop, introduce yourself to the staff and the rest stop captain. You should let them know that they can contact officials at the start/finish through you if they have no other means (they may have cell phones or unlicensed radios). Keep in touch with the rest stop captain so that officials can communicate through us with the organizers. (For example, there may be a need to replenish supplies, and you should let Net Control know when the first riders arrive.)
If you have a backup radio, monitor a SAG or motorcycle frequency. Mobile units may not be able to reach Net Control, and you may be able to provide needed assistance. Some motorcycles may be monitoring Channel 1 on CB radios; if you have a CB, please monitor Channel 1.
Rest stops will close when all riders have cleared the station. A motorcycle may come by as the sweep and let you know there are no other riders on the course. If not, and no one passes for a lengthy time, call Net Control and inquire about course status.
If you are told by a motorcycle sweep that there are no other riders on that circuit, first ask the rest stop captain what she or he needs to close up (it may be a truck for tables and such, or a van for staffers), then alert Net Control that your stop has no more riders coming through and that the captain requests certain assistance to close the site. Net Control will advise the event organizers and get permission to close the stop.
If you have been running off your car battery, be sure your car starts before everyone else has left.

Your station may be changed

While we expect everyone will be at their assigned stations, this is subject to change. We appreciate your help very much, and we hate to aggravate you, but too many things can go wrong the morning of the event to guarantee your placement.
If you are driving a SAG wagon, please be assured that you will be driving all over the place, with frequent changes before you get anywhere. It's the nature of SAGging. Net control may not have time to explain all the details and apologize for inconveniencing you, but we are supporting the cyclists, and one of them may have pulled a muscle, gotten sick, or otherwise need faster service than we anticipated, so things will be changed.
In the movies, a famed surgeon (played by Tom Cruise) who happened to be in the tour happened upon another contestant whose heart had failed and who happened to urgently needed a transplant. A quick call to Net Control reveals that a heart is available at the Start/Finish, and we get one of our motorcycles (no, wait, he's played by Tom Cruise) to courier it to the surgeon (now played by JLo -- we've gotta have some romance, right?), who scrubbed up somewhere, prepped the patient, and is now waiting anxiously for the competent motorcyclist to traverse the course safely a record speeds without endangering any of the bicyclists. (And then it turns out that Tom Cruise is a famous surgeon, too, who specializes in liposuction -- but that's another story with another happy ending: Coming soon to a theatre near you -- Tour de Coeur, part deux.)
In the real world, we had an emergency request for garbage bags, which we recalled a motorcycle for. Keeping the rest stops clean is a high priority for the Tour de Cure, and we respect that. It's not as exciting as Tom Cruise and JLo saving someone's life, but in the real world we don't want people needing to have their lives saved -- we just want a good event for everyone.
Thanks for volunteering, and thanks for your patience while we send you all over creation.

Your self-sufficiency

Please, please, please make sure you have everything you need to get through the day without any further supplies. Food and water should be available at all rest stops, but ravenous riders may eat and drink it all before you get any. It's very difficult to estimate the number of riders for each course and what they'll eat. If you want food, bring it. If you want something to drink, bring it. While you may be fed at the rest stop, please do not rely on it. We suggest that you bring nonperishable food; if you do get fed at your station, the lunch you bring won't be wasted.
Lunch has been promised. Be aware, though, that the lunch is donated by a restaurant which does not normally open early Sunday morning. It will be prepared by the normal restaurant crew which is not normally at the restaurant early Sunday morning. It will be picked up by volunteers and brought to the Start/Finish. It will then be picked up by other volunteers for delivery. We have no contol over what time the lunches are ready at the restaurant, what time volunteers get there to pick it up, what time it gets to Start/Finish, and so on down the chain. In 2005, we had lunches delivered to rest stops that had closed down already. Our radio operator returned to Net Control expecting his lunch, but it was out in a SAG wagon being delivered to him.
Bring back up batteries, sun block, rain gear, warm clothes, your cheat sheet for the radio (and maybe a photocopy of your manual if your gear is new), course maps for all courses (you may be relocated), any medicine you need, tissues, paper towels, moistened towelettes, hand sanitizer lotion, and your own personal garbage bag.
Get the weather forecast on Saturday. It may be cool in the morning, then warm up -- dress in layers, so you can be warm in the morning, then take off a jacket or sweater as the day heats up. You may be standing in the sun all day; if you want a seat, bring one. If you want a shade, bring one. You may be standing in the rain all day -- waterproof shoes and a poncho (and a thermos of hot coffee) may help you weather the storm. (Don't forget to protect your radio and other gear.)

Your safety

Wear your reflective vest. This makes you stand out to the rest stop captain and the crew. It also makes you more visible to traffic on the road. Please: be careful at your station. You will be on a highway or busy road with hundreds of bicyclists and motorized traffic. Be careful crossing the road. Be careful not to interfere with the course by blocking the bicyclists.
The event is scheduled to end at 4:00 pm
Some operators will continue at their stations until about 5:00 pm.
The event is scheduled to end at 4:00 pm. Motorcycles will sweep the course at that time and inform any remaining riders that they must turn in their event bibs and that if they continue they will have no support. This is the last call for SAG wagons to bring back riders.
Net Control will release all stations. Operators should not leave their stations until released by Net Control. Some rest stops will be finished in the morning and released; you may be asked if you would like to continue at another post. If you don't care to, feel free to say no. If you think you have been forgotten, call in and ask.


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