On Saturday 2 April 2016, a team of Motorola Solutions employees and friends cycled 520 km over a 28 hour period in the Murray to Moyne Charity Event. At time of printing the team had raised $5735, which they elected to donate to the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal of 2016.
Beginning in Echuca, the cyclists rode in relay teams of four from Saturday, through the night and into Sunday, finally arriving in Port Fairy. In order to facilitate communications during the ride, the team used MOTOTRBO mobile radios in the two support vehicles, MOTOTRBO portable radios, earpieces and microphones for the cyclists, and a dedicated channel.
Support vehicles drove quite closely behind the riders, so usually riders used hand signals to indicate they were stopping or required something, such as a puncture repair kit. This system was used by other teams, in addition to mobile phones.
With a MOTOTRBO radio communications system, there were a number of benefits for the team: Constant communication: At all times the support team knew how the cyclists were going and where they were as they could check in over the radio. Even if one of the vehicles fell behind to help a rider or took a detour for supplies, they were immediately contactable especially in the case of an emergency. With half a dozen punctures encountered over the 28 hour period, this proved very useful.
Logistical efficiency: The teams had planned how long each rider would cycle before changing with another cyclist. On the day, of course, things change – some riders wanted to ride for longer periods before being relieved, and others rode shorter distances than planned due to the incredibly strong headwinds on Saturday. These changes could be conveyed quickly and easily over the radio without bringing all cyclists and vehicles to a stop.
Moreover, when the riders decided they needed a meal stop they advised the support crew in advance, who drove ahead and set up in a suitable location. When the riders arrived, the support crew had already prepared for the break, which minimised wasted time.
Easy-to-use handsets: With a range of Motorola Solutions’ business departments represented in the bike ride, even some Motorola Solutions’ staff had never used MOTOTRBO handsets before, such as Jenny Morelli, proposal specialist at Motorola Solutions and logistics manager for the event. Nevertheless, everyone quickly learnt how to use the handsets. Morelli remarked that “the handsets were easy to use – we figured out the call system function in seconds”.
Shane Grigg, bid manager, organised the radio communications for the weekend: “While the radios weren’t critical, they were really convenient. We knew how each team member was doing all the time.”
Maintaining team morale: “Another benefit was that the radios were great for team morale, especially on the Saturday which was a hard slog. It was the windiest day I’ve seen in many years of cycling, but the banter between the riders and vehicles kept everyone going,” adds Grigg.
Another participant, Motorola Solutions’ Julian Sargeant, sums it up: “I am baffled as to how other teams managed without radios. The earpieces were a lifeline, and the handsets were really light – barely weighing more than a mobile phone. And I felt safer on the road having them.”
Read the Murray 2 Moyne Case Study here.