Tuesday, 11 June 2013

SOTA Cycling Weekend June 2013 - G/SB-007 Tosson Hill

Monday 10th June (AM)

With two summits remaining to bag and activate I rose early, leaving the Bunkbarn in Bellingham at 7.30am for my drive to the Simonside Hills, around 20 miles away. The YHA bunkbarn I stayed at Demesne Farm  was excellent value for a single traveller -  clean, modern and very well equipped, a fine example of farm diversification if there ever was one.

Demesne Farm YHA Camping Barn Bellingham
The bunkhouse sleeps up to 15 people at a cost of £17 per night. All you need is a towel and toiletries. I booked online the previous day via the YHA website. As it was a Sunday night I had the whole bunkhouse to myself - ensuring a good sleep. 

So on to the parking for Tosson Hill. I started from the forestry car park (free) at NZ 037996, five miles by road from Rothbury.  The forestry track was excellent for my bike up to NZ 0178 9905 and after a short push up a rough steep section I was back on the bike and able to ride to the summit.

My ride to the summit of Tosson Hill G/SB-007
After snapping my short 4m fishing pole the previous day I had to bodge a repair with insulation tape but managed to get the antenna up at  a mere 10 feet. Amazingly, even with QRP I still made plenty of contacts and activated the 30m band for the first time from this summit. I finished with 20 contacts on HF and just one on 2m FM!

G4OBK/P on Tosson Hill G/SB-007 International SOTA Cycling Weekend June 2013
The ride up took me 50 minutes, and the ride down just 26 minutes, over a return distance of 6.4 miles. I left the car park at 11.30am to head four miles north of Rothbury for my final Scottish Border summit on the English side, Long Crag SB-008.

Stats:
Bike: Ideal Traveller Hybrid
Distance cycled: 6.4 miles
Total ascent: 1050 feet
Time taken out and back: 3 hours 0 minutes
Radio's used: YouKits HB1B 5 watt CW Transceiver and Yaesu VX-170 5 watt FM Transceiver both internal batteries
Antennae: Homemade 3 band link dipole, homemade 2m vertical dipole 
Amateur Bands used: 40m CW, 30m CW, 20m CW, 2m FM
Contacts made: 31
Countries worked: G, ON, GW, EA, HB9, OK, OM, DL, HA, F, SP.  

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