another MTB activation

SoCal marine layer, chaparral, and radio installation.

Went out for my second MTB activation. The first one was a ‘fun’ one. This one fell more into the ‘utility’ category. Round trip was about 13 miles from home. The ride up included something that was a bit of a rocky and eroded jeep trail. Part of it was some deep soft crushed limestone sort of stuff on a steep pitch, so I ended up pushing. And way too much of it was paved. :slight_smile:

Found one station on 2m, not far from home. A retired Motorola guy. Will have to talk to him again. Then jumped on HF. Had packed my old ATS3B, without reviewing the manual. I wasn’t sure if I’d remember how to change the keyer speed. (I did, but the speed was good.) Very nostalgic. Such a fun little rig. It’s been fun with these first SOTA activations in several years.

Adding cycling to the mix has made for some interesting armchair SOTA activation planning. It’s actually opened up some possibilities, so I’m very excited about it. Also hoping to find some more SOTA summits with tasty singletrack. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the QSOs!



Good stuff! I’m looking forward to a few bikepacking SOTA trips myself, but I’m still in the planning stages. All my trips out to summits will be around 80+ miles round trip.

Bikepacking sounds awesome! Have seen a couple of pictures and a short video. How to pack all the creature comforts on my bike seems like a real challenge! (Zero brazeons on my MTB!) And to pedal up a summit, too? Or will you make camp and then hike up?

Cycling and Ham Radio best two hobbies combined. Have not done any SOTA by Bike for few years now, The summits I visit are too far away from home to cycle to so I prefer to drive then hike to them or a few are 4X4 drive ups. Took a 6 day tour with my BoB trailer one time staying in booked accommodation and hiked 3 summits on the way around the lap I rode my bike. I needed the full HF kit out here not many chasers in 2m handy range so my SOTA kit was pretty full and saved carting camping/cooking gear in my BoB by staying in caravan park cabins for the sleeping /feeding bit. Great fun for sure good work.
Ian vk5cz …

Ha! Packing is critical, for sure. I took a 1200mi bike tour so I have some experience in what to take and what can be left behind. Right now, I can’t decide how bad I want coffee in the morning! Space isn’t really an issue; I’ll probably ride the CrossCheck which has full brazeons and I’ve got a full set of panniers.

If you’re riding MTB, check out handlebar bags, seat post bags, and triangle bags.

There are lots of summits in my area that are unactivated, so I’m planning on bushwhacking to get on those unactivated summits out in the national forest. There’s no permitting necessary out here in W5A so it’s really just a matter of getting off the fire road and holing up. There are definitely some pedal up summits, but they’re all 40+ miles away so I’m more inclined to camp off the base and pedal unloaded or bushwhack to summits.

Although, if I were to camp on a summit, I could do some cw ragchewing, which I can’t really do at the moment. All I’m good for are calls, names, signal trips and SKCC numbers at the moment :joy:

SOTA tour! How big was your loop?

Yeah, that seems to be the way to go, at least with a regular MTB. Maybe I’ll round up gear and see if it looks like I could lash it all on. Leave the radio at home. :open_mouth:

I was also looking to see what sort of trail capable trailers there are, but that’s opening another can of worms.

Sounds like you had an awesome bike trip for sure!

Best regards,


My loop was about 480 km and 3 summit hikes abt 20km of hiking.
Stayed 2 nights in one place and rode out 20km to a SOTA hike of about 4 km then left for home next day.
Hardest Part was hiking 13 km then riding 40km to my next nights accommodation then a big 80 km dirt road ride the next day. Took me 5 hours on the bike with lots of Granny gear climbs with BoB behind, Oh plus a head wind all the way. Shattered was the feeling.
So the rest day with only short ride and hike was good.

There are some “drive up” summits that I would like to do but riding my MTB the last dozen miles sound like a lot more fun, thanks for the inspiration Drew.

1 Like


You’ve got the idea.

Locally we’ve been thinking and identifying some summits to try both in the “fun” and the “utility” category.

Today, got skunked on plan A (access issues, so really my poor planning). For plan B, hit Denk Mountain (W6/SC-368). Local MTB folks know this location as La Costa, a very fun local trail system with lovely singletrack. A+ to the manager of this land parcel, CNLM, because it certainly is a scenic SoCal chapparal landscape. And A+ to all the trail volunteers including SDMBA who help with the trails there.

You pay your price of admission in the climb. Took Sidewinder up which has plenty of technical challenge as well as aerobic and anaerobic punishment. Activated with an HT on 2m. Local SOTA master @N1CLC put out a spot after giving the first QSO. Picked up KM6LOU on W6/CT-018 which was a blast at 98 miles.

And friend riding with, a wizard of RF, had just gotten his ticket, KN6ITN. (Wow, way to go GLAARG, cranking out online exams!) He made his first QSOs and had his first SOTA activation as well. Nice to get some HT DX in. Horned Lizard was the ride down. Tons of fun.

80km on dirt with headwinds is no joke, but I like my pleasure mixed with pain too! Sounds like it was a blast. Dreams of big loops through the Ouachitas are in my head now.

An MTB is a Motor Torpedo Boat … no?

Walt (G3NYY)

Yes. It’s not.

No it is

1 Like

Hey, if you can get that up to the summit under your own power, I’m good with it. :slight_smile: