My first experience with the Cedar Hill Bike Rally was as a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member in 2015. In 2016, this will be the tenth year of the Rally. For the newcomers to the club, or for those of you that don’t know, here’s a little background on the Rally. Each year, the Cedar Hill Rotary Club partners with the Cedar Hill State Park, and various sponsors, not limited to the City of Cedar Hill and the Cedar Hill Recreation Center, to provide bike riders with an exciting experience while riding through rolling hills and flowering farm meadows from Cedar Hill to Ellis County. Participants in the Rally are comprised of local and out of state residents. This year, riders may choose to ride a 20, 40, or 60-mile route.
The essence of Rotary International’s theme is “Service Above Self.” The Cedar Hill Rotary Club uses the net proceeds from the Rally to support worthy causes – locally and internationally. Donations help maintain youth programs, contribute to the Cedar Hill Food Pantry, and provide school supplies for low-income families.
We had a CERT tent set up at the first rest stop. Working alongside me was Steve Clem – another CERT member but, also a Ham radio operator from the Southwest Dallas County Amateur Radio Club (SWDCARC). Throughout the day, I listened with fascination to radio communications between Net Control and the Rally volunteers as well as updates on weather conditions. With so many riders, it takes approximately 170 volunteers’ help to make this event a safe and successful one. SWDCARC members contribute by helping the volunteers stay connected – making the Cedar Hill Bike Rally one of the safest bike ride events around. It was the involvement in CERT that first sparked my interest in Ham radio. Since then, I obtained a Technician’s license and am currently studying for the General. This year, I look forward to learning about and participating in Net Control operations.