Saturday, April 13, 2024

Tour de Castroville

Friday - Actually rode the Ural a bit yesterday to pick up some stuff to support the Tour de Castroville bike ride tomorrow. I need a clipboard to hold the paperwork I'm supposed to be filling out during the event and some paper to record the bib numbers of the riders as they ride through the checkpoint. 

We had a pleasant surprise yesterday. A colleague and friend from Fairbanks stopped by. WalkerW grew up in the area and was in San Antonio for a work-related conference. The conference ended so he is visiting friends and family. We had a great visit, went to the local steak house for dinner, and he drove us around the area showing us where he grew up. It really was a surprise as I had known Walker since the mid-90s and he was one of the most technically competent IT individuals at the university. Bridget taught his kids at the elementary school so there was a lot to catch up on.

This morning, while waiting for the morning test session, I played around with APRS some more. Since the Anytone does have a GPS, I set it up to beacon my location. The radio GPS is -5 and the phone GPS is both the blue dot and the -4. The -5 location is off by about 100'. The -4 differs from the blue dot since I've been walking around and the phone is connected to the TNC via BT. 

RMarx and I traveled the bicycle route this afternoon and tested our radios making contact with the Castroville repeater. Since I only have a handheld 2M radio, they switched our locations. I’m now at rest stop #1. It’s in a much more open location and I didn’t have any problem hitting the repeater even with just the regular antenna on the handheld. 

Saturday - The event started early-ish as I was at the rest stop around 7:45. Initially, I set up on the west side where the bikes came in on their way around the loop. But I moved to the east side and recorded the bib numbers as they left the rest stop. 

There were 250 riders but I missed at least a quarter of the riders as I couldn’t read the numbers. I was out there until around 1pm. Pretty warm day but it was a fun, community service activity. The ham radio club gets community service credit. 

Afterwards, we met back at the park in Castroville for a discussion on what should be changed for next year. 

We went to Whataburger, a Texas fast food chain. Their smash burger is pretty good (in my opinion). Plus, they have sugar free lemonade which I mix with unsweetened ice tea.

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