As the fall colors descend on Fauquier County’s countryside, the Fauquier Trails Coalition holds its annual Great Pumpkin Ride (GPR) over the roads and trails in the county. The GPR is a fundraiser for the small group of volunteers for the construction and maintence of new trails throughout scenic Fauquier County.
The ride consists of three different routes throughout the county of different lengths of 64, 49, and 18 miles depending on the participants choosing for up to 1,500 miles.
Because of the nature and geography of the county, there are large areas of the county not served by cellular service, and that is where the members of the Fauquier Amateur Radio Association members fill the need. Being a non-profit serving the community we can use our unique skills and equipment to provide coverage and support of the ride. We can provide easier, faster, and more coordinated communications than cellular service that is not limited to the reach of cell towers.
FARA members setup at each of the four rest stops and at the start / finish line which served as the base of operations. We provided communication support for food, mechanics, first aid, and keeping the organizers abreast of the status of riders on the different routes.
It was also an opportunity for our new members in public service and emergency communications support and procedures. It also provided a way for everyone to “field test” their equipment to verify what they have works as expected in a real situation.
The club would like thank Bruce, KN4GDX, for organizing the event for FARA and to the Fauquier Trails Coalition for providing the opportunity to serve.
Here are some pictures of the event:
(click on a picture for better views)