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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 07-10-07, 10:17 AM   #1
banerjek
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Do you get SAG support from a spouse or SO?

Although I do organized rides, the vast majority of my riding is unsupported. Part of the reason is that I've always felt that it's important to be able to take care of yourself. Another factor is that my wife is not a cycling nut and I felt it unfair to ask her to help out -- it's kind of like asking someone to attend a party they don't want to go to so they can serve as a designated driver.

Although there are many great rides you can do on your own, there are many where there simply is too much distance between opportunities to get water for it to be practical. Also, some of the more interesting organized rides/races require you to have a support vehicle.

Just out of the blue this week, my wife suggested that she might volunteer for such duty in the future. I got caught totally off guard by this since she's never expressed interest in helping me do things she considers insane in the past. This is huge for me because it means I might be able to do some rides I've wanted to do for years.

I was just wondering, how many people out there have someone they can tap for ride support? And why do they do it? I've always had great appreciation for volunteers at events, but I've never quite understood why someone who is not a rider would want to do it.
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Old 07-10-07, 10:52 AM   #2
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"Ditto" with respect to asking my wife for support. Never done it so far; hope never have to make that call: "Hi, honey, I'm ZZZ miles away with an unrepairable bicycle, can you come pick me up." Just wouldn't be fair to add to the burden of leaving her to be the primary caregiver while I'm off riding my bike to ask for any further contribution.

I'm not sure quite what kind of rides can't be done without support -- I guess even if one were crossing Death Valley and one couldn't carry enough water in front and rear panniers, one could always tow a trailer. People make unsupported cross-country touring rides all the time. But maybe not at brevet speeds.
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Old 07-10-07, 11:06 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by thebulls
I'm not sure quite what kind of rides can't be done without support -- I guess even if one were crossing Death Valley and one couldn't carry enough water in front and rear panniers, one could always tow a trailer. People make unsupported cross-country touring rides all the time. But maybe not at brevet speeds.
Specifically, I'm thinking about rides like the Race Across Oregon and the 508. Most of the time, I enjoy riding for the sake of riding, but the compulsive competitive side of me (as well as the part going through a mild midlife crisis) occasionally requires me to see how I compare with serious cyclists.
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Old 07-10-07, 11:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by banerjek
I was just wondering, how many people out there have someone they can tap for ride support? And why do they do it? I've always had great appreciation for volunteers at events, but I've never quite understood why someone who is not a rider would want to do it.
my girlfriend rides and is a car-free, year-round cycle commuter, but she has bad knees and can't do long distances. We've done a few light tours, but she would usually need to pack it in around 100k in a given day.

With that said, she has provided support for me on one DIY event. A few friends and I were organizing a small 300 mile tour of New England and a couple of them didn't have rack eyelets for panniers or luggage. So, she drove SAG for a couple of days, basically ferrying gear from our house to our Day 1 and Day 2 stop, then met us on Day 3 for the ride home. She initially volunteered because she wanted to participate even though she didn't have the legs to do the whole tour, but she found the experience to be rather draining (basically, tons of responsibility but little payback aside from our gratitude whenever we'd see her show up)

since I started randoneering, she's always said that she would be 'on station' to pick me up if anything happened, but I've never had to call her in for that. She also traditionally drives me in to the 600k start because she wanted to see me off and to witness the departure of 30+ cyclists all attired in glittering reflective vests and twinkling red taillights. Even if she doesn't ride with me, during the season, she provided an immense amount of moral support, and so getting to see me off and picking me up after finishing a 600 was getting to share in the emotional payoff.

I think that, for people who love you, even if they don't share an interest in the event itself, they gain gratification from the fact that the event makes you happy, and if you share that experience with them or make them feel like they're a part of it, then that will also amplify the pleasure that they get.

With all of that said, however, for PBP, the girlfriend has made no bones about how she'll be perfectly happy to snack on croissants and chocolate in Paris while I'm climbing up Roc Trevezel ...
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Old 07-10-07, 11:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebulls
I'm not sure quite what kind of rides can't be done without support -- I guess even if one were crossing Death Valley and one couldn't carry enough water in front and rear panniers, one could always tow a trailer. People make unsupported cross-country touring rides all the time. But maybe not at brevet speeds.
I feel the same way. It would be nice to have support on a cross-country ride, but it's possible without it. My SO isn't into cycling and I asked her what she would think about a cross-country trip where I rode during the day and she drove around checking out the scenery. Sounded like an OK idea to me, but she thought that would be pretty boring. I think she's actually more likely to want to do it on a tandem than to do that. What would be really nice would be if she motorpaced me the whole way, but that's not going to happen.

I don't feel bad using her as emergency support on everyday rides. I would only call in a real emergency, so to me it's no different than if she called me because her car broke down. That's what friends are for, right?

I'll take her on one or two events per year, and this Saturday will be one of those events (RAIN). Even though she doesn't ride she enjoys the atmosphere of the occasional big event. It really is quite a scene to see thousands of bikes and cyclists all in one place.
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Old 07-10-07, 02:37 PM   #6
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I was into mountaineering before I was into randonneuring, and I took the mountaineering ethic with me. So no, I'm not counting on anyone but me, on LD rides. Even if my wife were to go temporarily insane and offer to sag for me, I'd turn her down.

Not that there's anything wrong with it if it's what you're into...
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Old 07-10-07, 03:27 PM   #7
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I like to have my SO on call if I need her, but mostly I try to be self-sufficient. With that said, some friends and I have talked about doing a "ride to the beach", which involves getting over a bridge that cycles aren't allowed on.... that one stretch, and the ride home would need support. We also have a guy in our group building a trailer for picnic type rides.
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Old 07-10-07, 04:28 PM   #8
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When I lived in Manitoba and did long distance rides there (my brevets and my solo centuries, double centuries, etc.), I had NO ONE to call if something went wrong. I didn't even bring a phone ... I didn't see the point! I rode like that for 4 years. On the odd occasion it bothered me a little bit, but most of the time I enjoyed the idea of being completely self-sufficient.

I've moved to Alberta now, and here my father supports me on my brevets by being around as the sun sets and throughout the night. I also carry a phone now and could call him if I ran into trouble on a solo century or similar ride.

For some reason, I just don't feel as safe here as I did in Manitoba. The drivers are generally better here, but there's a different ... atmosphere, I guess ... in the small towns.

In Manitoba, the small towns were very rural and agriculturally based ... and the people were very friendly, mature, farmer-types who had been born and raised in their small towns, and who did not look like they'd do anyone any harm. In fact, some would go out of their way to help me and make me comfortable (giving me water, getting me a chair to sit on to have lunch, etc.). I also felt completely comfortable leaving my bicycle unlocked outside a grocery store.

Here in Alberta, the small towns are still somewhat agriculturally based, but the oil field has a huge influence. There are still a few of those born-and-raised farmer-types here, but even in the very small towns there is a rougher element ... guys, especially younger guys, who are in from working on the rigs or wherever. They might be nice guys, but they look like just been let loose from a prison. Drinking also seems to be the big past-time here ... everyone seems to drink, and drink heavily. That's what people (even my co-workers) do on weekends ... and weeknights ... and any chance they get. (In Manitoba, when I was there, some towns were still dry towns!). There's also a very independent, every-man-for-himself attitude in Alberta in general ... and Albertans are proud of that. So when I arrive in these small towns, I have never received any kind of assistance or kindnesses like I used to get in Manitoba ... and I don't feel all that comfortable leaving my bicycle outside.

So ... the support here is greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-10-07, 10:24 PM   #9
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It can work, but as with everything, it really depends on the people involved. My first wife used to like to drive support for me since it got her out on the event without her having to ride her bike. In fact, on BAM (Bicycle Across Missouri) in '85 it was 566 miles in 60 hours and my ex and my ex-boss (also a woman) drove support for me. So that was great, and they both had a good time with it.

My present wife is also a doubles rider (in fact, she got me back into ultra-marathon riding), and in most CA Triple Crown events a private SAG is not allowed, so we work some doubles and ride others. If there's too much cilmbing for her, she works the double while I ride it (so I see her at checkpoints or at SAG stops).

So there's no easy answer that will work for everyone (sorry!).

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Old 07-11-07, 09:14 AM   #10
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I too ride the CA Triple Crown Series and as mentioned before they don’t allow SAGs on the doubles. The only time I have a SAG on a long event is when I’m doing the Triple and my family work as a mobile SAG on the ride, that way I get to see them sometimes.
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Old 07-11-07, 03:11 PM   #11
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Does "Honey, come get my bike, 'cause they won't put it in the ambulance with me" count?
(She did, BTW)


Has been know to catch up with me with baclava, and other treats that most nutrional types would frown on.

Oh, yeah, I'm lucky.
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