Three weeks ago, I did a self-sufficient 500-mile tour. I carried my sleeping bag, tent, clothing, food and water. It was a lot of fun. This past weekend, I rode a 250-mile tour with a group who was driving to Granby, CO, and rode with them in a round-about way to Walden and back. I rode to the departure spot, so all my stuff was packed on my bicycle. One other rider did the same.
Everybody else packed coolers, large tents, sleeping pads, multiple changes of clothing, and bags of groceries. Most of them rode light road bikes, that could carry very little. I put my tent and sleeping bag in the vehicle, but carried everything else.
I have mixed feelings about the Sag vehicle. It's great that it gets a lot of people out cycling. It's also nice, in that it can take you to a destination that might take days or weeks to bicycle (besides the Sagger, this took 2 additional vehicles for the ten riders). And, it can be used in case of an injury or accident. But somehow, it just seems to defeat the purpose of the trip for me.
Despite the fact that I had a loaded-down heavy bike, for the most part, I was able to keep up with most of the riders. This is probably due to conditioning from my 20 years of commuting. Anybody else have these mixed feelings about these kind of trips?