SOTA Cycling Week 2016 - intentions?

Perfectly good approach. No need to cycle all the way.

I hope that you have an enjoyable outing.

Nice ride up GW/NW-043 this evening, unfortunately no contacts made with my FT-270 on the standard antenna. Oh well still got until Sunday to try again

Ride details on Strava here

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Early tomorrow morning I will drive to Commondale on the North York Moors and then ride up to the top of the one point Gisborough Moor G/TW-003 on my bike. I intend to set up near the pile of stones on VHF 2m FM with 40 watts power to a vertical dipole . On HF I will run around 8 watts to a link dipole on 40/30/20m CW/SSB at 5m AGL. I will carry a 7 AH LiFePo battery. I’ll leave 2m until last as the locals may still be in bed when I go on air. The hour or two that EU are ahead of us in time makes quite a difference in the early morning on the level of activity so it will be HF first.

2m FM with 40 watts of power and a vertical was very successful on G/TW-001 on Saturday. I made 22 QSOs in 25 minutes which spread all over the middle part of England. I think there was a small lift on.

73 Phil G4OBK

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The sun was shining as I left my driveway at 6.40am local time to drive to the village of Commondale - a start point for what is usually the walk up to Gisborough Moor G/TW-003, today was different, I was cycling and started off on the C Class road which goes over to Kildale.

I started my 2.8 mile ride up to the summit at 7.25am and was on the summit at the activation point 30 minutes later. I had to push my bike for about 200m after leaving the road when I became short of breath.


I was carrying a lot more equipment to the summit than I usually do when walking. A 7 AH LiFePo battery, a 4.2 AH LiFePo4 battery, a small steel operating platten, a 50 watt VHF FT-1500M mobile radio, an Elecraft KX2 QRP HF radio, A 2m vertical dipole, an HF link dipole for 20/30/40m, a 5m travel pole and the usual extras like logbook, pencils, swiss army knife, rope and bungees. Some of the weightier things went into my saddlebag. The rest on my back in my rucksack.

My arrival at the summit:

I set up on the 40m band CW to start with and GU3TUX was the first station logged on 7033 KHz. A few minutes later I was called by S2S specialist Juerg HB9BIN/P who was on Biet, HB/SZ-016, a 6 point summit. 40m was the best band for me today. After 19 QSOs on CW I made 5 contacts on SSB. 20m and 30m were dissapointing with a total of 7 QSOs on those bands altogether. I finished off on 2m FM with just 4 more contacts - it is much harder to make a large number of contacts on 2m FM in England during the week. Last Saturday on G/TW-001 (the nearest summit to TW-003) I made 22 QSOs on 2m FM, albeit that is a better site for VHF working…

After an energy bar and a drink it was time to pack up and head off back down the hill. I used the same route back as I believed that going that way I would avoid the gamekeeper, and I did. I never saw a soul at any time.

Downward route:


Distance driven return: 48 miles
Distance cycled return: 5.6 miles (Up time 30 mins @ 5.52 mph - Down time 15 mins @ 10.91 mph)
Total ascent both ways: 483 feet
35 Contacts on 2m (4), 20m CW/SSB (3), 30m CW (4), 40m CW/SSB (24)
QRV: 0721z - 0826z

73 de Phil G4OBK/P


Aha -that explains the quote earlier that you would be running 8w on HF - I wondered what you had done to the poor old FT-817 to squeeze 8w out of it HI. Is the 817 relegated to backup or did you trade it in for the KX2? I’d be interested to hear what you think of the KX-2 (not that I’ll be buying one anytime soon - a little too expensive for what it is - in my opinion).

73 Ed.

Hi Phil, I normally operate from the trigpoint, I think its 5m lower but I prefer a backrest at my age hi. I’m going for a new M.O. as a qrp’er. :grin::grin::grin::grin: Look forward to our 1st kx2 - kx2 contact.


Too early to say how I find the KX2 Ed, but on its first showing it did well. I like the full break in, the clear display, a little extra power, the memory and voice keyer and the lighter weight. I have a £2.99 skype microphone which does the job, it just plugs into the jack socket and I key the radio from a switch on the set itself. There is an internal mic which also seems to work well, but it means bending your neck more to talk into it. The little £2.99 stalk mic is FB for someone like me who is into CW most of the time and want to save weight carrying a mic with a flexible lead. The built in paddle for the KX2 will be a boon, when I can actually get one - they are like rocking horse s*** at present, and are unavailable in the UK. You are right though, the KX2 is expensive and probably overpriced for what it is. I don’t feel this KX2 will make me any more QSOs on a summit as I am the hunted and not the hunter, so you don’t need the superior RX performance to the FT-817 although it is nice to have. I won’t use the KX2 at home, although I did spend one day chasing with it last week as practice in its operation. Operating the KX2 is totally different to the Japanese radios due to the multi purpose controls, which change their use depending on your mode, if you click them briefly or hold them down for a half second or three! My FT-817 and MTR3B will be sold when I get around to it. My back up radio is now an HB1B, which is CW only, and I also have an FT-857 which will be going to Czech Rep when I go there in September, with the HB1B as backup.

For Steve - have also operated from the trigpoint, but that side of the hill is more inconvenient to where I live. I also think the hill would be too steep from that side of the hill to ride up! Looking forward to hearing and working you on a KX2 also soon.

73 Phil

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Hi all,
Today I activated Butser Hill G/SE-004 as part of the cycling SOTA week.
I left home on my bike at 9.45am and cycled the 9 miles to Winchester station where I left my bike .
From a nearby bus stop I got the 11.00am number 67 bus going to Petersfield.
I got off at East Meon at just after 12.00noon and set off along the lanes to Butser Hill.
At the start of Harvesting Lane there were ‘road closed’ signs as the road was being resurfaced with tar and chippings. I walked on over the freshly laid tar and gravel .Not the best surface for a walk in the mid-day heat. About three quarters of the lane had been done. I passed the gang on their lunch break who told me that the rest would be done this afternoon . It was as I found on the way down.
It took me just over the hour to reach Butser Hill.
I set up on the north west side of the summit where I found a convenient post to support my pole.
I used my ground sheet over the post to provide some shade as the sun was strong.
I started on 10mhz cw where I found David GM0EVV/P for an S2S .
I self spotted for 10mhz cw and made a further 7 contacts.
3 contacts on 14mhz cw
3 contacts on 7mhz cw
I listened on 7mhz ssb with a view to self spotting here but conditions seemed to be so bad that I concluded this would be a lost cause with my low power (FT 817).
Had a listen on 14mhz ssb where I found Terje LA8BCA/P for a second S2S of the day.
Self spotted for 14mhz ssb where I made 4 contacts before taking some eats and packing up.
Walked back down the tar and gravel road to East Meon , caught the 16.45pm number 67 bus back to Winchester and then cycled home.
I was very glad that it was only a 9 mile ride home as my old legs were getting quite tired.
Arrived home just before 18.45pm.
Roughly today I :-
Cycled for 2 hours
Walked for 2 hours
Rode bus for 2 hours
Played radio on summit for 2 hours = 19 QSO’s including 2 S2S.
Thanks for all chasers today.
73 David G3RDQ


Bike Packed!

Very basic equipment at the moment, will take a photo when I am out on the bike this afternoon.

Have adopted the opposite approach of Phil G4OBK with a lightweight set up!

Hope to speak to some of you this afternoon (22/07/16)


Matt G8XYJ


Hi David

Shame I had to work yesterday as could have worked or joined you on Butser as its my local hill. Didn’t realise we were almost neighbours!!

73 Glyn

Hi Glyn,
Yes a missed opportunity that would have added to the day out.
I chose Thursday as it was forecast as being slightly less hot .
Also there are more buses than on a Saturday.
Planning also involved getting permission from the Hampshire County Council which I did on Monday having first looked at the forecast for the week ahead.
My back-up was one (or both) of the isle of wight summits so maybe next year we could do something during SOTA cycling week 2017 ?
73 David G3RDQ

I’ll do DM/HE-484, DM/HE-068 and DM/HE-333 on Sunday 24 July with my VHF/UHF/HF bicycle with a mono-wheel carrier.
Total distance: 163.1 km
Total ascent: 1511m
During the ride I’ll be standby on 7.118 or 14.285 MHz and on various VHF/UHF digital modes (DMR, D-STAR, Fusion, TETRA). You can track me on APRS, look for DK3CW-7. Vry early in the morning, I’ll be on the first summit. So I’m looking forward to get some early bird chasers :wink:

73 DK3CW


Well that was a first for me!

Decided to make G/WB-018 the target for my first Bicycle activation. The bike has been a big interest recently and has accounted and helped towards me losing weight, so it seemed a good idea to combine both radio and the bike! That said the radio was a lesser thought on my mind, since I gained the goat it seems that I am thinking less about SOTA and more about all the other things in life. So more effort was spent on the planning of the route.

The route in question is below.

I have been cycling around these routes for a while, but had never ventured to Aldon from Onibury so thought it was ideal to give it a go.

The route started from home in Ludlow the picture of the bike is below

I was lucky enough to be able to wedge the 5m fishing pole into the frame! The rest of the equipment was put in the pannier rack bags.

This was a Yaesu VX170, Slim Jim made from 450 ohm ladder feed, velcro strapping, note book, wallet, foam pad and a sandwich! The bike also had 1 litre of blackcurrant squash, the mobile phone packed into the front pocket and the camera was also in there for easy access.

All set to go! I started at 1310 local and headed towards Bromfield North on the A49! Luckily there is a path along side as I did not fancy riding on the road! Turned onto the B4365 and headed to the Golf Club and race course in Ludlow.

Bridge over Raiilway libe before heading to Ludlow Golf Club looking towards Bromfield Level Crossing and View Edge right in the background.

There at last!

Quick round anyone?


Ludlow Race Course Pavilion

I reached Bromfield Level Crossing, however I would not be going over this one, instead I was heading right where the diverted traffic was being sent! Having seen the diversion sign I was rather worried it would be busy. However I didn’t see one car down that lane at all.

The lane is part provides a lovely backdrop onto the Onny River Valley and the A49 and Train line that thunder through it. You miss all these things on a car so it was rather nice to see them in more detail whilst on the bike.This photo below shows the valley in more detail

I was somewhat annoyed that after I took this photo, about 2 minutes later whilst pedalling away a train went past :persevere:

So I was about 0.5 miles from Onibury and it was all plain sailing as it was so flat for most of the way, I knew that the worst was yet to come.

Here are some photos from Onibury! I was surprised to catch a steam tractor going down the A49 and crossing over Onibury Level Crossing! How apt that steam power was back on the train tracks.

Onibury Church

Was tempted to call in for a pint

Onibury Level Crossing

Steam Tractor

Eventually I turned Left and heads south bound on the A49 for 200 metres, before turning right to Aldon and the ascent that was due.

Nice to see the gates to of Stokesay Park, this is where the film for Atonement was filmed. According to sources online the mansion was built in 1886,

So onwards and upwards! Now the sweat was pouring out of me, I had to drop the bike to 1st gear, but aboout half way up I pulled over to get a photo of G/WB-002 over a cornfield! Lots of Corn up here and Potatoes, all waiting to be Harvested.

I carried on for a further 15 mins and the summit was in sight! At last at 1415 local time, I made it and went to visit the SSSI site that is up there, lots of quarrying had happened here, however I could not find any wooden poles so decided to operate from elsewhere.

I ate the sandwich and downed the bottle of squash before setting up the station.

I was never optimistic about 2m FM on a Friday at 1430 from a low hill, so it came as no surprise when I called CQ loads to unanswered calls! eventually Rod M0JLA, Lyndon 2E0PPV and Ian M0INY came back to me! I just could not find the 4th and with time pushing on and a hungry Labrador to feed I had to head home. The train would not wait for me.

I left at 1520 racing for the 1538 train from Craven Arms to Ludlow! Got there with 5 mins to spare. The ride back down the west side of View Edge certainly made the climb up the east side worth it. So much fun, takes you back to being a teenager when your bike was the only form of speedy transport you had.

Was relieved when the train was on time and my legs would get a rest!

Mangaged to get one last view of the hill, before I got back to Ludlow and biked the final 0.8 miles home!

View from the train window

All in all a good day, just wish the radio had been better! Next year I will take part on a weekend and more than likely carry the 817 and a HF aerial. That said I was really impressed how well the VX170 worked, the problem being there were no people to work.

73 all

Matt G8XYJ


Nice report, Matt, glad the cycling worked out well. Sorry I couldn’t help out with a contact on the day.


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#@!#%** cyclists.

Don’t like them myself.

It’s the way they ride at a speed that is slow enough to hold me up when I’m driving, but too fast for me to easily complete a safe overtaking manoeuvre. Or when they ride two-abreast on a main road, especially on the bits with double white lines in the middle. Or that they ride six feet away from the left-hand edge of the carriageway when there’s a perfectly good gutter for them to ride in. And don’t even get me started on the wannabe Olympian holiday cyclists in Majorca.

And that’s nothing compared to the mountain bikers that persist in churning up the paths on The Cloud G/SP-015, happily riding past and happily ignoring the National Trust signs that prohibit cycling on there. I mean, just how selfish can people be?

Now the Olympians themselves are OK. I don’t mind them so much. I like the way they win lots of gold medals for Britain and give us some sporting pride, especially just after the national football team has performed to its usual tournament standard in a tournament. And how our boys keep winning the Tour de France. I think Kenya counts as “ours” doesn’t it?

So with Mr Froome set to ride into Paris as the “le Tour” winner once again, I thought I would bury the hatchet for one afternoon and support “SOTA Cycling Week”. To do this, I piled all my gear and grown-up children into my Citroen Xsara Picasso and drove up to Gun G/SP-013 for a look at Richard G3CWI’s bike.

I arrived at a strangely deserted parking area just after 3pm local. It was no surprise that Richard’s car wasn’t there, but there were no other cars there either. Not even Mickey 2E0YYY’s car. Unbelievable! I felt every one of my now 46 years on the long and gruelling ascent, with Jimmy disappearing into a dot on the horizon, and my failing to keep pace with Liam despite my very finest efforts.

Richard had already finished his 2m FM activation and was sat by the trig point modelling his yellow cycling helmet and branded SOTAbeams cycling vest. Jimmy was delighted not to have any competition for VHF spectrum and made 9 contacts of his own on 2m FM. On 15m CW, I made 6 QSOs, mainly into central Europe.

I was tempted to stay longer with some very loud signals being heard on the PSK frequencies - and I had all the data kit with me. However, Richard’s suggestion of beer at the Harrington Arms, Gawsworth won the day. We’d worked out that if we started packing up at the same time that Richard set off on his bike, that we’d arrive at the pub around a similar time. And we did, and enjoyed a couple of very welcome beers.

Richard, having established that Marianne was working a late shift, then managed to skilfully manipulate himself an invitation to dinner at EYP Towers. That necessitated a diversion to Big Sainsburys on the way home to get ingredients for my speciality - chicken, chorizo and squid paella. This had a cycling theme to it as well as a cyclist joined us to eat it. Apparently, sometimes cyclists in Spain eat it too.

So, there’s my entry to the SOTAbeams SOTA Cycling Week activation report thing. I think it’s a sure-fire winner myself - we took part in a SOTA Cycling Week activation, we had a look at a bike, we overtook two bikes on the roads, we took a photo of a bike and we fed a cyclist. #WINNER


I’ll be making an attempt on Mt. Bishop (VE7/GV-004) tomorrow, using a bike to cruise the 14km of trail before a steep and technical climb to the summit. Vancouver is UTC -7:00, so hopefully I’ll be able to get this done and written up before the contest ends.

Edit: At 32 km return distance, and an elevation gain/loss of more than 1200m, this will probably take about 14 hours, so I’ll more than likely be a little late in putting up a trip report.

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Not to worry, mate, you’ve got another couple of decades before you start to seriously slow down!


PS I had to shift a bike in the garage today so that the window cleaner could get through, does that count?

Probably more than mine does Brian :smiley:

Today I drove up to Mt Stromlo, on the lower slopes of which is a cycling park. Had numerous mountain bikers ripping up the trails adjacent to my activation site - and drove past a multitude of them on the way to and from the parking area. I didn’t even force any of them off the road either. Does this count as an entry for SOTA cycling week? :smiling_imp:


It appears that my thunder has been unceremoniously stolen by a motorist. Anyway I had a very nice ride out from Macclesfield to Gun G/SP-013. I decided to see if I could get there without getting out of breath and I did …by cycling very slowly. 11.3 miles, average 10.1 mph (but a mad max of 41.8 mph = 67 kph - a new PB for me). I pushed the bike along the public footpath to the summit - not rideable on a road bike in any case.

I had bought a Yaesu VX3 for just this sort of thing and it worked very well - my Baofeng is virtually unusable on local summits due to overload. 5 QSOs before Tom M1EYP bowled up breathing harder after his 200 m flat walk than I had on any of the 1,335ft ascent I had ridden on the way there.

Tom gave me a head start to the pub and I was in the mood for a blast so I covered the 10.3 miles at an average of just under 20 mph but timed it right so the beer was in on arrival - perfect!

After a couple of beers I cycled home and was amazed to bag a PB on an ascent that I have had 124 previous attempts at, proving conclusively that beer is a performance enhancing drug.

That’s another SOTA Cycling event over for me.

The day was rounded off by a pleasant meal at chez M1EYP, cheers mate!