Recent Activity

Shenandoah 500  

Oct. 5 and 6, 2019

On Oct 5 and 6, several hundred dual sport motorcycle riders took to the mountain roads of Augusta and Rockingham counties in a ride organized by the Washington Area Trail Riders (WATR), with communications support provided by valley ham radio operators. The ride started and ended each day at Natural Chimneys Regional Park. During the course of the two day ride, hams passed numerous pieces of traffic dealing with the ride. This year there were no major incidents on Saturday, but on Sunday there were several major and minor injuries . Two major injuries at nearly the same time at one location resulted in a call for 911 EMS assistance in Pendleton Co WV. This call was made by Net Control through an HRECC  issued radio  for just such an occurrence. HRECC then contacted Pendleton County 911 services. It was reported that after that call went, through there was a quick response with multiple fire and rescue vehicles, including the WV State Police, responding to the location. One of our MARA members, David N4WDC, transported both injured riders out from the forest service road to meet the EMS transports on the main road. Both riders were then transported to SRMH. Reports indicated that one rider had a knee injury and the other a broken leg and both were reported doing fine. There were also several breakdowns each day and a few minor injuries that didn’t require EMS services. .

Net control Bryan K4RMY was located high atop Reddish Knob. Other hams were located around the course each day along with the Shenandoah 500 SAG trucks.  A station set up at Natural Chimneys Regional Park relayed info to the ride organizers. Several other hams actually rode the course on motorcycles with the riders. 

Hams working the event over the two days included the following:

Ray KE4HVR, Gerald KN4FM, Andy WA2ONG, Bob KN3Y, Gayle KU4XN, Deeter K4IZ, Bob N1QEQ, Ray K2HYD, Andrew N4RCE, John KB4LOZ, David KD9LA, Tom KM4LHR, and Dan KN4WDD were stationed with SAG trucks at various points on the ride. On Saturday, Jason N4DSL and Brian KI4LLC rode with the riders providing updates on the ride, along with several WATR members who had HTs with them and called in when needed. Jason N4DSL also rode Sunday until he had some mechanical issues and was forced to go home after lunch.  Caren, KG4IFR manned the main station at Natural Chimneys and provided a relay to the organizers Saturday and Sunday. Special thanks goes out to Dan KN4WDD. After the ride was basically over he came back with his truck and picked up a ramp to attempt to bring a broken bike back to Chimneys from the overlook on Rt. 33 in WV.  Unfortunately, the ramp broke due to the large motorcycle they were attempting to load. He then had to take the rider back to get his trailer to haul the bike out. During all of this Deeter K4IZ was coordinating via repeater from Natural Chimneys since net control was shut down.

A BIG THANK YOU to all these volunteers for making the ride even safer this year by giving time over this weekend to assist when needed.

WATR gave each participant in the event a Shenandoah 500 T-shirt. 

Thanks again to all who gave their time and talents to make this ride safe and successful again this year.


Bryan K4RMY



© Bryan Daniels 2020