One thing I like about ham radio is that it can be used for public service. This doesn’t mean just disasters, but also special events. Today was the bicycling event to support diabetes research called the Tour de Cure. Our local radio club always provides communications support for this event.
Public service support is great practice for an emergency, but it also provides a capability that in this day of cell phones and texting is still important. For the event there were courses for four distances ranging from 10 miles to 100 miles. There were 7 different stops along the way plus the starting/finishing point. With cell phones you have to remember who’s where and make a separate call to each person at each stop. With ham radio, a single announcement is heard by the hams at each station. All forms of communication have their benefits – it’s a case of choosing the right tool for the job. If you want to speak to one person about a confidential issue – telephone is best. You want to let everyone know that the 60 mile riders have just started, ham radio works better.
Adam, my son spent the day with me working the event. It wasn’t his first choice as to how to spend his Saturday, but he was there. I’d like to say that the main reason I dragged him along was to teach him that contributing to the community is important. While that’s true, I must confess that my real number one reason is that I truly enjoy it when he spends time with me doing one of “my things.” Therefore, I enjoyed it far more than he did, but he was gracious and a gentleman about the whole thing.
Makes a father proud and happy.