Does Anyone have an opinion about the types of sag

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Bluestreak2, Feb 27, 2003.

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  1. Bluestreak2

    Bluestreak2 Guest

    I am 55 years old married and we are thinking about doing a cross country ride. I am also a fulltime
    college student doing a research paper on bike touring.

    I am looking for input as to which of the following is the best type of support for the ride.

    Talking someone into driving a van or rv while we ride. Rotating couples driving and riding. Using a
    commercial (or charity)tour. Going totally self contained, we do have a bicycle trailer.

    [email protected]

    Thank you Diane
     
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  2. Paul D.

    Paul D. Guest

    *note - I have never done a cross-country ride, but it is a central part of my life plan...* I would
    say - how do you *picture* yourself doing it? Do you picture yourself riding alone, just you and the
    road with no one expecting you anywhere at any given time? Do you picture yourself riding carefree
    and unladen from one b&b to the next? Do you picture yourself bonding with a small group of
    other-wise strangers as you experience the journey together? Do this often and over a long period of
    time. Imagine, each morning as you are sipping your coffee in the comfort of your home - what it
    would be like to be on the road - whether lugging 40 lbs. of junk on a bike would be an unbearable
    drudge - or a requisite part of the trek. Cross country tours are a matter of routine - every day
    being ruled by the road that is awaiting you - you will be owned by that road, so make sure you
    understand - in a most basic way - what it is you are agreeing to. You may want to try some shorter
    tours to see what you are comfortable with. -P

    "Bluestreak2" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I am 55 years old married and we are thinking about doing a cross country ride. I am also a
    > fulltime college student doing a research paper on bike touring.
    >
    > I am looking for input as to which of the following is the best type of support for the ride.
    >
    > Talking someone into driving a van or rv while we ride. Rotating couples driving and riding. Using
    > a commercial (or charity)tour. Going totally self contained, we do have a bicycle trailer.
    >
    > [email protected]
    >
    > Thank you Diane
    >
     
  3. Bluestreak2 wrote:

    > I am 55 years old married and we are thinking about doing a cross country ride. I am also a
    > fulltime college student doing a research paper on bike touring.
    >
    > I am looking for input as to which of the following is the best type of support for the ride.
    >
    > Talking someone into driving a van or rv while we ride. Rotating couples driving and riding. Using
    > a commercial (or charity)tour. Going totally self contained, we do have a bicycle trailer.

    No question about it - self-contained. Otherwise you miss the best parts of the touring experience.

    Having a car or van to bail out to means you never completely let go. You never get the whole sense
    of freedom that comes after you get over your fear about where to stay at night, what you'll do in
    case of breakdown, or how to handle bad weather. The realization that you can deal with anything
    brings a liberating sense of confidence and freedom that you would never find with SAG support (an
    ever ready and present bail out).

    IMO

    --
    **********************************************
    Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO CycleTourist at http://www.CycleTourist.com attbi.com Tolerance is
    recognizing that other people have different ideals and needs than you. Compromise is acting on
    that knowledge.
    ***********************************************************
     
  4. Tbgibb

    Tbgibb Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "Bluestreak2"
    <[email protected]> writes:

    >I am 55 years old married and we are thinking about doing a cross country ride. I am also a
    >fulltime college student doing a research paper on bike touring.
    >
    >I am looking for input as to which of the following is the best type of support for the ride.
    >
    >Talking someone into driving a van or rv while we ride. Rotating couples driving and riding. Using
    >a commercial (or charity)tour. Going totally self contained, we do have a bicycle trailer.

    If you want to go as fast as possible, # 1 or # 2 If time allowed my preference would be # 4. An
    organized tour that binds one to a group would be last on my list.

    If it comes off please post a ride report.

    What is your major?

    Tom Gibb <[email protected]
     
  5. Doug Huffman

    Doug Huffman Guest

    Saturday week I depart for three weeks on the road with friends and a BOB. Option #4 for maximum
    independence and freedom. Not least freedom from too high priced auto fuel.

    "Bluestreak2" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I am 55 years old married and we are thinking about doing a cross country ride. I am also a
    > fulltime college student doing a research paper on bike touring.
    >
    > I am looking for input as to which of the following is the best type of support for the ride.
    >
    > Talking someone into driving a van or rv while we ride. Rotating couples driving and riding. Using
    > a commercial (or charity)tour. Going totally self contained, we do have a bicycle trailer.
    >
    > [email protected]
    >
    > Thank you Diane
    >
     
  6. Karen M.

    Karen M. Guest

    Diane wrote:
    > I am 55 years old married and we are thinking about doing a cross country ride. I am also a
    > fulltime college student doing a research paper on bike touring.
    >
    > I am looking for input as to which of the following is the best type of support for the ride.
    >
    > Talking someone into driving a van or rv while we ride. Rotating couples driving and riding. Using
    > a commercial (or charity)tour. Going totally self contained, we do have a bicycle trailer.

    If you include a motor vehicle, you're stuck with hook-up times and locales. "You said you'd wait
    at the highway crossing!" Self-contained means you can stop almost anywhere, change your plans,
    and meet local folks. Many's the time someone would offer me a spare room, sleeping bag space,
    their backyard, or the back half of their RV campsite. And the conversations! If you're sitting
    there waiting for your partners, you're always focused on them and what they're doing. Someone
    else mentioned gas prices. Sag drivers tend to loop back, worry, and drive in circles. "Whaddya
    mean you stopped for a swim?? I was sitting here waiting for twenty minutes!" Someone else
    suggested doing sampler rides so you can see what you'd like to do. Great idea. --Karen M.
     
  7. >I am looking for input as to which of the following is the best type of support for the ride.
    >
    >Talking someone into driving a van or rv while we ride. Rotating couples driving and riding. Using
    >a commercial (or charity)tour. Going totally self contained, we do have a bicycle trailer.

    People and preferences are different. My suggestion is to first try a shorter trip or two (e.g. 4
    day weekend or a week) with some of these suggestions.

    My personal preference is #4 and this is the way I've done almost all my touring (including two
    cross-country US trips, one cross-country Canada and one lap around Australia). However, a
    cross-country trip wasn't the first long tour I did. I had worked up to that over time with
    overnight weekend trips and one week or two week long tours. By the time I left on my first cross
    country ride, I had a very good feeling what to expect, exactly what equipment to bring (hint: I've
    seen many people bring too much at first) and feelings for my own style and my own preferences for
    multiple touring aspects such as early/late, motel/camping, cooking or not, mileage/hours, rest days
    or not, solo/group/large group etc...

    For me, the first two alternatives above would depend a lot on other people I was with. If someone
    from the group was happier mostly driving and occasionally cycling, then perhaps ok... but I'm the
    type of person who would much rather be cycling and feel more independent.

    For me, the third option of an organized tour or charity ride would have been reassuring if I hadn't
    toured much but I fairly quickly got to a point where the structure/support this provides is more of
    a negative than a positive.

    --mev, Mike Vermeulen
     
  8. Gary German

    Gary German Guest

    "Bluestreak2" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I am 55 years old married and we are thinking about doing a cross country ride. I am also a
    > fulltime college student doing a research paper on bike touring.
    >
    > I am looking for input as to which of the following is the best type of support for the ride.
    >
    > Talking someone into driving a van or rv while we ride. Rotating couples driving and riding. Using
    > a commercial (or charity)tour. Going totally self contained, we do have a bicycle trailer.
    >
    > [email protected]
    >
    > Thank you Diane
    >
    >

    In my case, I really wanted to do a self-contained cross-country ride (option 4). That is, until I
    did my first solo tour down the Oregon Coast.

    Despite the gorgeous scenery, and (mostly) friendly locals, I did not enjoy that tour as much as
    others I've done with groups (option 3). I got tired of being by myself all day, and I really got
    tired of draggin' that %$#@ trailer! I love to ride, but hooking that trailer up to the bike took a
    lot of the joy out of it, for me. It felt like I had hitched a 20-foot long camping trailer to the
    back of a BMW Z-3. I guess I just don't like going that slow.

    Anyway, the trip was a real revelation for me, and I'm glad I took it. Better to discover this about
    yourself before setting out for a cross-country!

    OTOH, I know folks that love to hitch up and go self-supported. So, get out there and try some
    shorter tours to see for yourself.
     
  9. Cliff Allo

    Cliff Allo Guest

    In addition to the vision of the trip you hold, there are trade offs of risk, certainty, and
    duration. With close SAG support, under most circumstances, I would expect successful completion of
    the trip is more likely. In some eyes, a supported ride is not as much an accomplishment as an
    unsupported ride but everyone must agree any completed ride is a real accomplishment.

    I too am hoping to make the trip this summer. My wife and her sister are planning to drive. With
    them taking care of the logistics and only a cell phone call away, *all* I must do is pedal 3100
    miles. For my first transcontintental, at 57, that will be quite satisfying. Additionally, with no
    baggage on the bike, we won't be on the road as many days and the mountains won't be quite as steep.

    I usually credit card without SAG on shorter trips. That style would be a step up in difficulty for
    a second crossing. The second time, she may feel more confident in my safety, I may be more daring,
    and I may be able to afford more time on the road. This time, if we can make the trip happen, I'll
    be glad to have the support.

    At bottom, there is no one, single, right choice; there is only the mystery of finding *your*
    right choice.

    On 28 Feb 2003 04:56:03 GMT, [email protected] (TBGibb) wrote:

    >In article <[email protected]>, "Bluestreak2"
    ><[email protected]> writes:
    >
    >>I am 55 years old married and we are thinking about doing a cross country ride. I am also a
    >>fulltime college student doing a research paper on bike touring.
    >>
    >>I am looking for input as to which of the following is the best type of support for the ride.
    >>
    >>Talking someone into driving a van or rv while we ride. Rotating couples driving and riding. Using
    >>a commercial (or charity)tour. Going totally self contained, we do have a bicycle trailer.
    >
    >If you want to go as fast as possible, # 1 or # 2 If time allowed my preference would be # 4. An
    >organized tour that binds one to a group would be last on my list.
    >
    >If it comes off please post a ride report.
    >
    >What is your major?
    >
    >Tom Gibb <[email protected]
     
  10. Cliff Allo

    Cliff Allo Guest

    On 28 Feb 2003 05:39:17 -0800, [email protected] (Karen M.) wrote:

    >Diane wrote:
    >>
    >> I am looking for input as to which of the following is the best type of support for the ride.
    >
    > If you include a motor vehicle, you're stuck with hook-up times and locales. "You said you'd
    > wait at the highway crossing!" Self-contained means you can stop almost anywhere, change your
    > plans, and meet local folks. Many's the time someone would offer me a spare room, sleeping bag
    > space, their backyard, or the back half of their RV campsite. And the conversations! If you're
    > sitting there waiting for your partners, you're always focused on them and what they're doing.
    > Someone else mentioned gas prices. Sag drivers tend to loop back, worry, and drive in circles.
    > "Whaddya mean you stopped for a swim?? I was sitting here waiting for twenty minutes!" Someone
    > else suggested doing sampler rides so you can see what you'd like to do. Great idea. --Karen M.

    In reading web-posted accounts of supported rides, the more successful teams seemed to (1) make
    contact in mid-morning (2) agree on the destination (3) not interfere with the other's enjoyment of
    the afternoon. Additional meetings during the day might well generate some of the problems Karen
    cites. For this first trip, if my wife and her sister find a motel in the agreed town, I don't mind
    an obligation to get myself there by dinner time and to give them a call if I am delayed. YMMV.
     
  11. Ron Friedel

    Ron Friedel Guest

    A friend and I rode cross-country last summer on the Adventure Cycling Northern Tier Route with my
    wife for a sag. (Details at friedel.org.)

    This was my first cross country trip and want to do more in the future. We were really happy to have
    a car for a sag. This was a camping trip and we carried thick air mattresses in the car and had a
    good sleep every night because of it. We also could use a bigger tent for more room. Both of these
    things would have been impossible if we had been carrying all of our own gear. We planned the route
    each day and the sag driver, my wife Sandy, only drove through the route once, sleeping in at the
    campground, passing us and stopping somewhere up ahead, and then stopping again, a number of times
    if necessary, to supply fluids and fuel as we came upon her.

    The self-supported cyclists we talked with were of various types. Some stayed in motels and ate at
    restaurants for the entire trip while others camped and cooked all their food. The fast tours are
    credit card tours and supported tours.

    There can be problems in a group tour. One bad apple is bad for the group. You can try to stay away
    from that person during the day but they will be with you at night. Three of us were just fine.

    I've done supported cross-state tours since 1978. My wife and I were the leaders of 7 cross-state
    tours (SAGBRAW in Wisconsin) so I've had lots of experience with group tours, mostly very good
    experiences, so a group tour might be just the ticket.

    Having a sag driver for a first tour is very reassuring.

    Ron Friedel

    "Bluestreak2" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I am 55 years old married and we are thinking about doing a cross country ride. I am also a
    > fulltime college student doing a research paper on bike touring.
    >
    > I am looking for input as to which of the following is the best type of support for the ride.
    >
    > Talking someone into driving a van or rv while we ride. Rotating couples driving and riding. Using
    > a commercial (or charity)tour. Going totally self contained, we do have a bicycle trailer.
    >
    > [email protected]
    >
    > Thank you Diane
    >
     
  12. On our LA-Milwaukee trip in 1998, we had 7 bike riders and an eighth to drive the van, which had a
    trailer that could carry such bikes as weren't riding.

    There were always an abundance of volunteers to drive the van, expecially since we kept up a pace of
    over 150 miles per day. The extreme case was one day in western Kansas, when we had a strong all-day
    headwind, and I was the only one biking!

    The van driver(s) would, inter alia, have beverages and snacks at points along the way, do laundry,
    carry spare parts and tools, keep track of everyone (more or less) and at the end of the day, look
    for a motel and make the reservations. It also carried camping gear, which we needed once. This was
    a very cost-effective way to travel, since no one was being paid to do anything.

    "Bluestreak2" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I am 55 years old married and we are thinking about doing a cross country ride. I am also a
    > fulltime college student doing a research paper on bike touring.
    >
    > I am looking for input as to which of the following is the best type of support for the ride.
    >
    > Talking someone into driving a van or rv while we ride. Rotating couples driving and riding. Using
    > a commercial (or charity)tour. Going totally self contained, we do have a bicycle trailer.
    >
    > [email protected]
    >
    > Thank you Diane
    >
     
  13. "Chuck Anderson" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Bluestreak2 wrote:
    >
    > > I am 55 years old married and we are thinking about doing a cross
    country
    > > ride. I am also a fulltime college student doing a research paper on
    bike
    > > touring.
    > >
    > > I am looking for input as to which of the following is the best type of support for the ride.
    > >
    > > Talking someone into driving a van or rv while we ride. Rotating couples driving and riding.
    > > Using a commercial (or charity)tour. Going totally self contained, we do have a bicycle trailer.
    >
    > No question about it - self-contained. Otherwise you miss the best parts
    of
    > the touring experience.
    >
    > Having a car or van to bail out to means you never completely let go. You never get the whole
    > sense of freedom that comes after you get over your
    fear
    > about where to stay at night, what you'll do in case of breakdown, or how
    to
    > handle bad weather. The realization that you can deal with anything
    brings a
    > liberating sense of confidence and freedom that you would never find with
    SAG
    > support (an ever ready and present bail out).
    >
    > IMO
    >
    > --
    > **********************************************
    > Chuck Anderson . Boulder, CO CycleTourist at http://www.CycleTourist.com attbi.com Tolerance is
    > recognizing that other people have different ideals and needs than you. Compromise is acting on
    > that knowledge.
    > ***********************************************************
    >

    Chuck is right, of course, but I have a feeling that isn't what the questioner was looking for.
     
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