Midland, Odessa, and Big Spring hams provided communications for the annual Bike MS Cactus & Crude Ride July 15 & 16. Andrew, NF5T, isolated the Midland, Big Spring, Patricia, Post, and Lubbock repeaters from the rest of the PermNet system providing a mini linked repeater system for the event.
Midland/Odessa hams participating were: Frank Alvarado AD5D, Daren Bishop W5DTB, Matthew Ellsworth KE5VFO, Chad Hauris KG5OZI, Scott Johnson AD5U, Clint Lannom N5MXE, David Moore N5QGL, David Overton W5JDO, George Robertson KG5KUQ, Alan Sewell N5NA, Alton Teague N5PSP, Michael Watson KB5KNF, and Lonnie Yee KE5MLP.
Big Spring hams participating were: Dustin Clark KF5FTY, Marvin Gross KE5EUR, Henry Hunter KN3RD, Jackie Moore KI5FJX, and Josh Sigmon KG5ROR.
Motorcycle marshals who are also hams were Jeff Edwards K1TAZ and John Wildenthal KG5PHX from Lubbock and Boerne, respectively.
Ham operators provided lead and tail vehicles for both days, called for bike mechanics as needed, were rovers along the route to assist cyclists, tracked down lost cyclists, moved rest stop supplies along the route, and generally insured the safety of the cyclists. Some hams who were 1st aid certified were called upon by the MS Society to act as 1st aid representatives at various rest stops in addition to their ham radio duties.
Overall the Cactus & Crude Ride went smoothly. One cyclist did have to be transported to the hospital on Saturday. The mini PermNet system worked well and provided good coverage over the whole route.
Plans are already being made for the 2024 Cactus & Crude which will be July 20 & 21, 2024.