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Last man in at Foxy's

Old 10-20-13, 11:25 PM
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Last man in at Foxy's

Yesterday I finished my second century ever, and the second time I've ridden Foxy's Fall Century hosted by the Davis Bike Club. I was not prepared, didn't have enough base miles in, but I was 10 pounds lighter at 260 and I'd done the route before so thought I'd be ok.

I was doing great for the first 20, then realized I wasn't going to last at that rate so I decided to take it easier. I wasn't the last rider at the lunch stop but I was by the time I got to Cardiac Hill. One of the sag drivers stopped to ask if I needed a lift and told me the next group was 5 miles ahead and I was the absolute last rider. I told him I'd rather try it on my own and asked if he had water since I was running out. He didn't.

But he had a bottle of water for me when I reached the top of the hill and was very encouraging about my finishing the rest of the ride. The sag crews and rest stop crews were all very nice. They had to see the last rider in and that was me. I passed and talked to or waved to all the sag drivers on the route -- the last one at 100 miles and I was riding with my headlight!

Of course the pasta dinner was over and the room was being cleaned up when I finally came in, but the crew there were very friendly, and got me fixed up with plenty of pasta and bread and offered soda and beer. Very good folks in the Davis Bike Club.

And a very nice ride for me. I'm rather proud that I finished it and plan to do it again next year. I'd like to ask a question though.

What do you think of being sagged? I didn't want to consider it while I had a chance to finish the ride on my own. If I had thought that I couldn't, or if I thought I was starting to ride unsteadily or unsafely I hope I would have taken the lift and been disappointed but not embarrassed. If you've had to give up on a ride were you ok with it?
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Old 10-21-13, 12:16 AM
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I sag'd out on my first century attempt in 2011 and was initially very disappointed, ashamed and embarrassed. The sag ride back to the start seemed to take forever and was made worse by the fact that "everyone" knew i was doing the ride and would be asking about it. It was probably a good 24 hours before I began to accept the ride for what it was, a great learning experience with much to be proud of. I have since completed 1 solo century and 2 organized century's (both finished dead last as well), the most recent one, with my 12 and 15 yr old. As someone on here said and has stuck with me, DLF>DNF>DNS!!
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Old 10-21-13, 06:57 AM
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I've been the last one in only twice that I know of, and both times it was on a ride with very low attendance (fewer than 50 riders), and most folks were doing shorter routes, or bailed because of rain. I wasn't unreasonably far behind the others in either case, but on one ride I was "forced" to sag in basically because the sag and rest stop folks were bored or something. There were only 4 riders total that were doing the long/wet route, and I happened to be the last one on the course, so I was told everybody was going home, and I needed to put the bike on the truck and ride back in.

I understand sag and rest stop workers don't like hanging around in the rain any more than anybody else. I wouldn't want to inconvenience them if I was really hurting, or was unreasonably far behind the rest of the riders. In that case I would certainly have pity on them and sag in. But that one left a pretty bitter taste in my mouth.
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Old 10-21-13, 06:44 PM
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I have SAG'd three times. The first was because I bit off more than I could chew. It is pretty flat here and I signed up for a longer distance than I should have (in 100+ degree heat). I realized I stopped sweating with about 12 miles to go. Time to stop. I used it to learn from and the experienced riders who talked about it agreed.

The second time was hills. It's pretty flat here and I went to a ride with a lot of climb. I was the last or almost the last one and the suggestions to ride in did not help my mental game. Lesson learned. Don't stop until they make you stop.

The last one was the HHH this past August. I broke a spoke, the wheel warped and I was done. This one hurt because I was having fun and had trained well.

For me, there are two reasons I will SAG now: mechanical that I cannot fix or my physical safety.
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Old 10-21-13, 06:58 PM
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Sometimes you don't know what you can do until you try. Sometimes you just have an off day. Sometimes the environment changes and takes its toll. There is no shame in SAG'ing out.

Mrs. PJ and I just did the Metric at Tour de Fuzz. There was a lot more climbing than advertised and she almost SAG'd out. I told her I would support her in whatever decision she made, but (gently) encouraged her to rest at the last SAG stop and see where her head was after. She decided to go on for 3 more miles. Then 3 more. Then 3 more. All along the way, I encouraged her, but never pushed her. She finished it, and was very glad she did.
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Old 10-24-13, 12:13 AM
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I thought we were the last people in at Foxy's. I didn't see you come in; we got in at 5:58, and left for home about 6:45 or 7:00. It was my first century, and I was proud of being the last person in--it felt (feels) like an accomplishment to be the weakest person to attempt and complete a century.

Foxy's description said the course closed at six, and they'd sag us in if we weren't done by then. If we hadn't made it, and they had asked us to get in the sag wagon or ride on unsupported, I would have said, well, it's their choice; I won't feel guilty. I almost gave up at about mile 85, but my companion pulled me for about 10 miles, (and I ate something) and I got a second wind. Is that ethically different from sagging?

I think it depends on the ride. A year ago, before attempting the Konocti Challenge metric the first weekend in October as my first major ride after recovering from a bad crash in May, I posted here on bike forums asking about the ethics of sagging and got a broad spectrum of replies. I also wrote the ride organizers, who said they'd rather have us attempt to ride and sag than not attempt the ride, and they were sincere. I've seen other rides were it seemed that it was clear that sagging was for emergencies, not convenience.

This summer, I sagged on the 4th day of a week-long supported ride (BRAN, the bicycle ride across Nebraska) when I got a sharp, unfamiliar pain in my knee 15 miles into the 4th 80 mile day. I felt a little guilty, but I was planning a summer-long ride, and thought I'd better rest rather than risk the whole summer through an over-use injury on the 4th day. I got the message that it was okay to sag once, but that if I sagged again I should probably quit the ride. The last day, when it thundered and poured, I saw lots of people sagging as I splashed through the downpour.

On most of my fun weekend rides, I have a sag nearby for most of the ride: Caltrain, or BART, or the Golden Gate Ferry, depending on where I'm riding. I never feel guilty bringing my bike onto public transit and cutting a ride short if I run out of light or (less frequently) energy. How is that different?
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Old 10-24-13, 09:23 AM
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For me the key requirement of leveraging a SAG vehicle is that I legitimately have a problem that prevents me from completing the ride. Signing up for a ride distance that I know I'm not comfortable doing and then leveraging the SAG vehicle because of my poor fitness or overzealousness, is where I'd draw the line (personally).

Occupying the services of a SAG vehicle because I'm completely gassed on a 100 mile ride when I'm only comfortable doing 62 should not put the burden on the ride coordinators to transport my out of shape butt.

Foxy's was a great ride. My third organized metric for the year and it was a good one. Happy to hear you participated and completed it!
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