W4OVH and Friends at 2018 Warrior Bike Ride

Wow… it has been a very busy weekend over the 5-6 May Saturday and Sunday!

First the outstanding Manassas Air Show and W4OVH attending to promote our Amateur Radio activities on Saturday, coordinated by Kevin Utzy and then the 2018 Inaugural Warrior Bike Ride on Sunday.

The 2018 Warrior Bike Ride was hosted by the Serve Our Willing Warriors (SOWW) organization which does such outstanding work in providing a much-needed break for our recovering service members at military hospitals in the National Capital Region.  The average hospital stay is 300 days!  The exhausting, daily routine of surgeries, procedures, therapies, and doctor appointments takes a heavy toll on everyone involved. SOWW provides their Retreat, where our “Willing Warriors” can get away from the hospital environment with family, caretakers, and friends to relax, enjoy quality time, and reconnect in a comfortable home-like environment.  This getaway helps to revitalize the mind, spirit, and soul; important aspects of the holistic healing process.

SOWW sponsored the 2018 Inaugural Warrior Bike Ride based out of the Farm Brewery at Broad Run in Haymarket where warriors, family, friends and many supporters gathered to ride one of four (4) bike rides to help enjoy camaraderie and raise awareness and money for the SOWW Warrior Retreat at Bull Run.

The bike rides were a 10 mile family ride, a 25 mile Gravel Route jaunt up and along Bull Run Mountain, a 25 mile Country Challenge and a “Century Ride” – a 100 kilometer or 63 mile ride through Prince William County, Loudoun County and Fauquier County.  What an amazing event it was this past Sunday morning, 6 May 2018.

The W4OVH volunteers were joined by many other volunteers from Fairfax CERT & the Fairfax CERT Radio team, and the Prince William County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (PWCARES) and others to provide the ham radio volunteers to manage to keep eyes on participants over a very large geographic area in order to ensure communications amongst law enforcement, EMS from multiple jurisdictions, and a team of motorcycle riders known as the Nam Knights that patrolled the course and provided course safety sweeps to ensure all riders that began remained accounted for and returned before the event concluded.

My thanks to Brian Cochran, WC4J as our Net Control and Tom Fournier, W4PIO as the ARRL Public Information Officer for supporting the event.  Also a big thank you to Wes, WA4TSC for the use of the Bluemont Repeater and Kevin Loch for the use of the Haymarket N3KL repeater for the event.

Here are some photos of the event.

Our Operations and Net Control tent next to the EMS tent
The beginning of the 25-mile country challenge ride
Someone on this two person team was going to have an easy ride…
Our wonderful team consisting of the EMS coordinator, the EMS Med Tech and the SAG vehicle support dispatcher.

Thank you for everyone’s support and participation.  We have already been invited back for next year’s event.


Andy Gamponia, KJ4MTP

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