BIKE MS SUNCOAST CHALLENGE 2024
EVENT DETAILS ABOUT THE BIKE MS SUNCOAST CHALLENGE
MAIN EVENT – BIKE TOUR ITSELF
WHEN: Saturday April 20, 2024.
WHERE: Lakewood Ranch, Manatee and Sarasota Counties.
To Be Announced
APRS Trackers – 144.390 MHz – APRS Digipeaters.
REGISTRATION AND INFORMATION: http://www.suncoastchallenge.org
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT
THE BIKE MS SUNCOAST CHALLENGE
WHAT IS THE SUNCOAST CHALLENGE AND WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BIKE MS CITRUS TOUR?
The Bike MS Suncoast Challenge is the largest annual fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in the ARRL West Central Florida Section. Amateur Radio and the ARRL West Central Florida Section have been asked to continue the same role as they had in former Bike MS Citrus Tour. In September 2023, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, announced that the “Bike MS Citrus Tour” would be relocated to the Lakewood Ranch area from northeastern and eastern Polk County and be rebranded as the “Bike MS Suncoast Challenge” due to multiple factors.
HOW DID THE ARRL WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION COME TO SPONSOR COMMUNICATIONS FOR SUNCOAST CHALLENGE?
For the past thirty years an informal group of dedicated volunteers had provided communications for the Bike MS Citrus Tour and the MS 150 that had preceded it. However in the last few years the number of volunteers had been falling off and reached a bare minimum.
Starting in 2018, the ARRL West Central Florida Section per agreement with the logistics coordinator of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, agreed to become the sponsor of the amateur radio communications in order to facilitate recruitment of new volunteers to improve the communications service being provided and to have an umbrella organization under which the group of communicators can be organized. The ARRL West Central Florida Section Cabinet and or the Section Manager are not out to re-invent, re-make, or otherwise “take over” amateur radio communications for the Bike MS Citrus Tour, but to simply be a “sponsor” to provide a structure under which volunteers can be recruited, volunteers can be retained, and to help with resources. See WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #18-2 for the initial announcement with some details concerning this.
Then in September 2023, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, announced that the “Bike MS Citrus Tour” would be relocated to the Lakewood Ranch area and be rebranded as the “Bike MS Suncoast Challenge” due to multiple factors.
WILL THERE BE ANY CHANGES IN AMATEUR RADIO COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE BIKE MS SUNCOAST CHALLENGE SPONSORED BY THE ARRL WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA SECTION?
No. All previous volunteers will continue in their respective volunteer positions and will continue to perform their responsibilities as they always have done. The staff and leadership have done an outstanding job in providing leadership in amateur radio communications for the Bike MS suncoas Challenge. To quote the phrase: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
WHO IS THE AMATEUR RADIO COORDINATOR FOR THE BIKE MS CITRUS TOUR?
Dana Rodakis K4LK is still the Bike MS Suncoast Challenge Amateur Radio Coordinator. Dana succeeded Mike Bresse W2YS as the amateur radio coordinator following the conclusion of the 2020 Bike MS Citrus Tour. Bresse had been appointed as an Assistant Section Manager for the Special Project – Bike MS Citrus Tour since 2018, succeeding Jason Triolo KD4ACG. Jason stepped down as the amateur radio coordinator following the Bike MS Citrus Tour in 2017 and had been coordinator for a number of years.