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Tour de Victoria 2022


Radio mounted on my riding gear, which is a very well made piece of safety equipment called an Areostitch Roadcrafter

Preparing for the Tour de Victoria!

Over the weeks before the Tour de Victoria, while my fellow lantern rouge was working out the digital challenge of our timing map, I was testing out my equipment and how it's mounted on my motorcycle.

For APRS I use a Yaesu FT3D, with a 1/4 wave mag mount antenna. The radio rides in a bag on the passenger backrest of my motorcycle, and the antenna is mounted on a bracket VE7EPX made for me, that mounts on the tail rack of my bike. This keeps a bit of space between the radios, the one I use for voice communications is mounted on my Roadcrafter, clipped to one of the many pockets, and my speaker microphone can be easily reached with whatever hand I can get off the handle bars (left while moving, right while stopped). I try to avoid working the radio while moving, but it's not impossible to pull in the clutch and coast while managing a brief communication, acknowledging receipt of a message for example.

A new part of my set up this year was a cell phone mounting bracket for the handlebar of my motorcycle, so I could have 'live' visual mapping, and be able to keep track of our route timing. This was a great improvement over last year's paper route sheet with a list of street names.

Lantern Rouge Day 2022

The opportunity to participate in a bicycle event as the lantern rouge motorcycle delights me! It's a chance to participate in the roots of motorcycling, bicycle racing, and a long tradition of two-wheeled sport. In the modern context, it's also an opportunity to play with radios, and how could I possibly turn down the chance to spend a day combining my favorite hobbies?

I enjoyed the Tour de Victoria so much last year, that I was really looking forward to the 2022 version of the event, even though it was moved back to the event's pre-pandemic date in August which would mean much warmer conditions than the October ride in 2021.

For a motorcyclist in full safety gear, going slowly on a warm day means relatively little breeze blowing through the venting on your safety gear, so one remains quite warm. Any rider who's been stuck in traffic will tell you it gets hot when you get slow, but planning to spend the day at 'stuck in traffic' speeds allows you to be prepared for it; plan to stay well hydrated and self monitor for signs of heat exhaustion. I was also a bit worried about my radio equipment getting hot but all the gear and equipment survived. But I'm getting ahead of the story.

The Vulcan 500 all dressed up for the Lantern Rouge role with official sign on the front and the new flag on my antenna!

The radio brief:

Provide communications along the route for bicyclists needing mechanical or medical assistance, emergency communications if needed, and provide an APRS tracking point to indicate the end of the ride, per the event schedule.

The motorcycling brief:

Ride as slowly as the slowest bicycle.

Andrea VA7ALG at the first rest stop of the 2022 Tour de Victoria - acting as lantern rouge following the ride Arriving at the first rest stop and connecting with my fellow Lantern Rouge David VE7EPX, who was operating under the tactical call sign LR1, while I was answering to calls for LR2.

You might not be able to see my grin in my helmet, but I was really enjoying the ride and the event. I managed to help a few bicycle riders who had mechanical issues, and I was able to radio a message to get them assistance. As bicycles get fancier, and more complicated, mechanical issues get more interesting. The bicycle mechanics around the course have their work cut out for them!

David was riding his ST1100, which is a similar vintage to my Vulcan. I doubt the bicyclists recognize that they have a uniquely vintage escort, but both our bikes are older than a good percentage of the participants.

David and I have become good friends over the years we've been working this event together, and we were delighted to connect at this point and have a quick break before proceeding together around the rest of the route.

Riders end up talking about bikes, and radio operators end up talking about radio, not sure exactly which was happening here, if it was about antennas or not, but we were enjoying the conversation.

riders talking bikes, Andrea LR2 and David LR1


The official event route(s) mapped out. There were routes of several different distances, and a lot of local geography is covered. What isn't obvious is how much of the terrain has elevation changes, some of which presented riders with a lot of challenges. Bicycle riders. Those of us with motors just practiced patience with the pedal powered puffing panting people. Yes, I did say that in my helmet many times during the day, excellent diction practice and a reminder to myself that the bicycle riders were working much much harder than I was.

The Official Event map for the Tour de Victoria

New for this year, a huge help keeping on route and on time, a timing point digital map for the Lantern Rouge riders, worked out by LR1, and vastly superior to last year's paper list of street names. David's route left hours earlier than the group of bicyclists I was escorting, but we all met up a few hours into the ride where the two routes joined up.

The Lantern Rouge timing map worked out by LR1 for the route timing to keep the event on schedule


Screen shots of my APRS trail, which looks a bit different than the route map I very carefully followed, but the changes in elevation may have contributed to the gaps in my signal which make it look like I took a different route than planned.
APRS Route for Lantern Rouge 2 in August 2022, VA7ALG LR2 at the Tour de Victoria

View 2 APRS Route for VA7ALG August 2022 Lantern Rouge 2 at the Tour de Victoria


The start of the ride I followed (David started hours earlier) on it's way out of the city... I'm at the back, of course, at about the 6:50 minute mark in a 7 minute video.


If you are interested in the motorcycle part of the story, check out my motorcycling website here:

Tour de Victoria -

Tour de France -

Lanterne Rouge in Wikipedia -

WARA (west coast amateur radio association) -

SSIARS (Salt Spring Island Amateur Radio Society) -

Back to the WHEN Page - Main Page

Thanks for visiting... hope to meet you on the air! 73
~ Andrea VA7ALG


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