Agony Bike Ride

General Information

Event Description:

This year’s Agony Bike Ride will be held from 1:00 pm Friday, July 29th to 1:00 pm Saturday, July 30th, 2011. The ride is a 24-hour endurance bicycle ride that could have from 50 to 100 riders participating. As the ride is a fund-raising event for Christian Encounter Ministries, each rider rides as many miles as possible during the 24-hour event. They raise money based on how far they ride. Some riders will ride until midnight, sleep and resume in the morning; others will press on through the night in hopes of reaching the 300-mile mark!



The town of Loyalton is at the center of the loop course set in the middle of the Sierra Valley north of Truckee. The ride will start from Loyalton at 1:00 pm Friday with half the riders starting out towards the town of Vinton and half towards a site near the town of Beckwourth. Each leg of the loop is approximately 14 miles. When a rider reaches either Vinton or Beckwourth, they check-in and may rest, get refreshment, medical attention or turn around and keep going by heading back to Loyalton. Upon reaching Loyalton they check in and then keep going on to the next site. This pattern is repeated for the whole 24 hours. In bicycle language each of these sites is known as a "sag stop". The helpers are called saggers. At each sag stop there is a Sag Leader in charge of the whole facility for the duration of the event.

Keeping Track of the Riders:

Each rider has a number assigned to him or her. As the riders check in or check out at a sag stop, the ride personnel will notify both the radio operator and map table personnel as to the number or numbers of the riders coming in or going out and their destination if leaving or originating point if arriving. The radio operator will then relay that information to the other sites, which will in turn relay that information to the map table operators at their location.


There are map tables at each site. Each map has moveable numbers representing each specific rider’s location. As you report to the map table, they will move the rider's number to the appropriate place on the map.

Communication Plan:

1. There will be a packet network set up on 2-meters. John Pekarek, KF6DQU will be operating a node at the Beckwourth site. Each site will have a computer, TNC and radio setup to access the node. Each computer will be in the Talk mode, which allow the operator to simply key in the rider numbers and details and press Enter. Each transmission is time stamped as well. This rider info will then pop up on the screens at the other two stations. You will not have to call a station, connect to them and then send the info, being connected to the node and being in Talk mode makes it all very simple. At last year’s event, the digital communications allowed precision tracking and record keeping not previously available when dealing with the large number of riders and with sleepy operators in the wee hours of the morning. When the information is right there on the screen, its easy to pass it on correctly. The trick is typing straight at 3:00 am!


2. Planned operations will also include voice on a local repeater. See the Protocol page for details.


3. A Computer Keyboard Cheat Sheet is located here.


4. A Current Staging Work Crew Sheet is located here.


NOTE: When driving in you may request directions as you approach the Sierra Valley on the TALK-IN frequency, 441.000 Simplex to help find your assigned location. The stations should be up and running by 12:00 noon on Friday the 29th.




Event Maps:

This is an Adobe PDF map .


This is an interactive map that will provide you a wealth of information.


First, when the map loads, it will center on Loyalton, and you will see an icon there. Then, in about 5 seconds, the map will automatically pan to Vinton, showing you where half of the group leaving Loyalton will go when the race begins. Then the Map will automatically pan back to Loyalton where the riders from Vinton will return.  Then the map will automatically pan to the Beckwourth station where the other half of the riders will set out for when the race begins. Then the map will pan back to Loyalton again showing you where the riders from Beckwourth will return.


After the riders return to Loyalton from one station, they must then head out to the opposite station, then return back to Loyalton. The riders continue this ping-pong for as many miles as they can in a 24 hour period.


The map is also a great tool to print out to give you directions to the race stations.


The map can be zoomed way in, or zoomed way out. You can then re-print another map to further help you with surface streets when you are getting close to your station.


The icons are correctly positioned as for Latitude and Longitude for each of the three stations.


The map can also slip into “Hybrid Mode”.  This mode will show you a satellite view of your location, with roads overlaid onto it.  You can also zoom this hybrid map way in, and way out to see what buildings are near your location.


For example, if you use Hybrid Mode at Loyalton, and zoom way in, you will see the parking lot of the school where the command center is located.  At Beckwourth you will just see the dirt turnout where the station will be setup, in the sharp 90-degree turn.


You can also place your mouse on the map, left click and hold, and drag the map any direction you want.


To see the map, click here.





Equipment Needed:

There is AC power available at both Vinton and Loyalton. Beckwourth runs on battery or generator. We will need masts at each location plus the simplex radio links. The packet equipment is taken care of as far as I know. We may need antennas for both the packet and the voice links too. If you can provide equipment, please let me know.


Note: If you can provide a packet station as a backup, it helps! 

            You must bring your own 440 handheld and/or mobile as a precaution!

Operator Accommodations:

As far as personal accommodations, there is food and drink provided at each site. (Good food too!) If you are spending the night, you may bring a tent or RV (Beckwourth) or you may sleep in the buildings provided at Vinton and Loyalton. There will be mattresses and sleeping bags available if you sleep inside the buildings at Vinton or Loyalton. You may want to bring your own bag. The sleeping setup is usually a number of people in a big room on separate mattresses on the floor. If you bring your own tent or RV, you’ll have to provide your bedding too. There are bathrooms at each site (porta potties at Beckwourth) plus sinks but no showers.

Operators Needed:

With the packet network, 1 operator at a time can keep up with the flow of information. However, because the event is a straight 24 marathon, it is key to have several people who can rotate through shifts at each site to help people get a break and get rested.

We will need at least 3 operators at each site. (We can certainly handle more people; so don’t be afraid we don’t need you. We’ll take all the help we can get.) You may sign up for a certain time, or you may sign up for the whole time and fill in where needed. Please contact me at the numbers below or via email.


Thank you and 73! Bill Lewis, KG6BAJ

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