I already enjoyed regularly riding my bike on the promenade at Blackpool, and knew that the sea water was an ideal ground-plane, so as an experiment, I put an old Yaesu FT- 817 on my bike, using a very short home-made centre loaded vertical for 14MHz, with just 2.5 Watts, contacts were made into USA, VK and ZL on SSB from the bike whilst riding along near to the sea, even running QRP the performance when riding close to the sea was outstanding.
"I was now truly hooked on operating HF bike mobile close to the sea".
What I needed to do now was to improve the system to get better results!
So with new found enthusiasm the bike steadily developed over the last few years into a much more efficient full blown radio station on two wheels, with power output of up to 250 Watts when I pull the trailer along behind my bike.
The bike is now fitted with more efficient (and bigger) home-made mono-band antenna's for different HF bands, multiple 12V gel batteries, and a tuned "on-board" ground-plane, also computer logging, weather monitoring and digital voice recording.
It's now my "Shack-on- a-Bike" and when operating close to the sea it competes well against much bigger home stations.
I would encourage anyone who enjoys bike riding to give it a try, its amateur radio and it helps to keep you fit! and to tell the truth, I donít think Iíve had as much fun playing radio since I first got licensed. Hereís the best part; lots of stations say ďIíve been a ham for 30 years or more and this is the first time Iíve talked to a guy on a bicycle.Ē Keep on saying that guys please!
Anyone who would like more information about bicycle or pedestrian mobile, please send me an e-mail, I am more than happy to pass on some of my experiences, both good and bad!