FRS Radios, Cycling, Hams and, Whoops, CRASH!

My usual riding partner and I ride at different speeds, so FRS radios have worked out well for us. We bought a couple of refurb Uniden units for $60 and plug boom mikes into them. We use voice activation so we don't have to take our hands off the bars to talk. Diddling with the sensitivity settings eliminated most of the problem with wind noise.

It's great to be able to carry on a conversation without having to set your speed to match the other person's. When we start to break up (at about 1-1/2 to 2 miles), I'll either stop for her to catch up or I'll double back.

I got my ham license a couple of weeks ago, but that was primarily so I could communicate with the hams running sag on organized rides. I've monitored them with a scanner and thought it would be nice to be able to talk with them.

There are some good safety reasons to use the radios. One night, my partner radioed ahead to ask me if the restrooms at a park we were approaching were open. I checked and told here that they were. Over her voice-actived mike, I heard her say, “Where the bleep is the turnoff?” followed by “Oh, Bleep!!!” CRASH!!! and moaning. Fortunately, she survived with only a little road rash and some bruises. At least I knew to go looking for her.