On June 19, 12 FCC-licensed amateur radio operators took a support role in an offroad bicycle race that ran from Burns to the top of Snow Mountain in Grant County.
The 120-mile course is considered one of the toughest “gravel grinder” races in the world, according to a press release from Grant County Amateur Radio Emergency Service. There were three courses spread over an area of approximately 800 square miles.
Grant County ARES took the lead in the provision of radios and planning. They were supported by Wheeler County ARES and Amateur Radio operators in Harney County. ARES did extensive propagation modeling and testing over many weeks to ensure that the communications was adequate. They set up a temporary radio repeater on the south facing slopes of Snow Mountain, which covered the 30-by-40-mile area where radio communication was required.
There were county, state, tribal, rural fire departments and federal agencies involved in providing services for the race.
Grant County residents who are interested in amateur radio communication may visit W7GCO.org for further information.