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Involving my spouse by driving SAG wagon for me

Old 06-21-11, 07:51 PM
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Involving my spouse by driving SAG wagon for me

Has anyone had success with having a road riding fearful spouse drive SAG for you? I want to do some local such as south through Oregon to California and others, hopefully of the credit card variety so she can be comfortable and not have to camp. We both do not do well sleeping on the ground. Just wondering how it worked out for you all.
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Old 06-21-11, 09:14 PM
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On one of my early tours my ex-husband drove SAG for me. It was OK, but didn't work brilliantly. He basically played leap frog with me all day. I'd ride out, and 15 minutes later he'd set off and pass me and drive up the road a ways to find a spot to wait, then I'd pass him, and he'd wait another 15 minutes and then drive past again, etc. etc. It was incredibly boring for him, and by about mid-way through the day he'd start nagging me to hurry up and wonder what was taking me so long.

If you do that, I'd suggest that you plan to meet a once or twice on the road ... like maybe at lunch and for a snack stop somewhere along the way ... and otherwise leave her free to check out the towns along the way, go shopping, go for a hikes, visit museums, or whatever she likes to do.
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Old 06-21-11, 09:19 PM
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i would enjoy having a sag along on a tour now that age is taking its toll on me. i just never found anyone with as much time to be away as I can be away. The price of fuel is a concern for me also.

Although I never had the luxury of a sag on tour, I did meet some that did. There was 4 guys doing the west coast ride. The youngest was 58 the oldest was 72. They had a fellow driving the van with the heavy gear. The sag would go ahead and get the rooms for the night then double back and check on the fellows riding. I would see these guys every day for a week. When the white van was parked on the side of the road he would have cold water and snacks for his riders and also for any one else that came along on a bicycle. At the end of the day they put their bikes on the rack and headed tot he motel for showers and dinner and such. next morning they would go back to where they left off and continue for another day.

Another fellow i met had his wife driving along as he rode. She made the motel connections and or campsite connections did the food run and have time to do her own thing for the day as the fellow was riding.
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Old 06-21-11, 10:08 PM
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Sounds dreadful! The car driver will finish the route in an hour or two, then be stuck waiting for the bicyclist or doing activities all alone. Not much of a family vacation if you ask me...
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Old 06-22-11, 02:25 AM
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In thinking about it, I drove SAG for three days during my Australia tour. I rented a car for three days so I could take a break.

We rode into a town about 30 km away, and picked up the car, then my cycling partner cycled on to the next town. Meanwhile, I did some shopping, and browsed through a bicycle shop, and spent some time on the internet at the library, and took a bit of a look at the town. He had a good ride and we both arrived at the destination town about the same time.

The next day we packed up camp and then drove up a road that he wanted to see, but was kind of off the bicycle route we were following. We had a look around, drove back down, and he started cycling. I drove to another town in a different direction and explored it for a while. It was a cute little town I want to visit again. I caught up with him later and we had lunch, and then I leap-frogged him because the area we were going into was quite scenic ... and the weather was also deteriorating. I stopped at scenic outlooks etc. along the way. The next day I drove to a town about halfway along our route and explored the town for a while until he showed up. We had lunch and then I drove to the destination town and explored that one for a while.

It wasn't dreadful at all. We still did things together, but I got a chance to do some of the non-cycling things I wanted to do ... and get some rest.


OP talk to your wife about it and see what she thinks ... and just make sure it doesn't end up being a situation where she becomes a maid, packing up, serving up lunch, unloading at the night's destination, etc.. etc. It has to be fun for her too.
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Old 06-22-11, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
Sounds dreadful! The car driver will finish the route in an hour or two, then be stuck waiting for the bicyclist or doing activities all alone. Not much of a family vacation if you ask me...
Much depends on when the sag partner wants to get out of bed and get moving. And what the sag partner prefers to do once they are moving.

Actually, for my thinking, if you get away from the concept of a sag wagon as such, and think more about having a bail-out nearby (say, within a 60-mile radius) and there are things for the partner worth doing and seeing, it becomes a parallel tour situation -- one by car, one by bike.

stringbreaker, what are your wife's interests, and could those interests be accommodated in the regions you are thinking of touring?
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Old 06-22-11, 02:51 AM
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To each his/her own I guess. I can think of few things as boring as killing a day waiting for someone else to finish a bike ride. Day after day after... My wife has offered, but when I encourage her to think about it realistically, she is happy to let me go alone. We have met during my tours from time to time and I take a couple of days off, but that's it.
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Old 06-22-11, 05:20 AM
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Having a car involved changes the character of a tour drastically. For me the change is likely to be for the worse. For one thing, you will be very likely to have way less interaction with the local folks.

I guess it depends on the individuals and the tour, but on a long tour through very rural areas and small towns it would be a real drag for the sag driver. I know that we were pretty close with a couple that were doing this and it was a real strain on the driver. She had the patience of a saint and it was still a strain.

On the other hand if traveling to places where there are resorts and interesting stuff every day maybe the driver might be happier. The thing is that in those places I would rather not tour and would prefer to just do day rides from the base camp/room.

For me the inability to stay in hiker biker sites, church yards, and town parks would be a big minus. You said you would be credit card touring so that might make it a better fit.
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Old 06-22-11, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
Sounds dreadful! The car driver will finish the route in an hour or two, then be stuck waiting for the bicyclist or doing activities all alone.
Originally Posted by Cyclesafe
I can think of few things as boring as killing a day waiting for someone else to finish a bike ride.
You two are presuming that the partner driving the vehicle will be spending all her time waiting ... as though she has no life and no interests of her own. Maybe she doesn't, but if she is at least somewhat independent and curious with a variety of interests, she won't be sitting around staring off into space waiting for the OP ... she'll be busy doing interesting things.

If the OP is thinking of going down the coast, and if she were me, I'd be checking out the beaches, taking photos of the scenery, wandering through the towns doing some window shopping. If it was a nice day, I might sit by the ocean and read. Or I might go on a hike.

The OP might decide to ride 3 days, and then take a day off to spend with his wife at the beach, or hiking, or wandering through towns or whatever ... and then ride again for 3 days. The OP also mentions that his wife is fearful of road riding ... perhaps they can ride together on some trails on some days of the trip.

The tour also doesn't have to be riding day after day after day after day for hours and hours every day. It can include a variety of activities.
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Old 06-22-11, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
You two are presuming that the partner driving the vehicle will be spending all her time waiting ... as though she has no life and no interests of her own. Maybe she doesn't, but if she is at least somewhat independent and curious with a variety of interests, she won't be sitting around staring off into space waiting for the OP ... she'll be busy doing interesting things.

If the OP is thinking of going down the coast, and if she were me, I'd be checking out the beaches, taking photos of the scenery, wandering through the towns doing some window shopping. If it was a nice day, I might sit by the ocean and read. Or I might go on a hike.

The OP might decide to ride 3 days, and then take a day off to spend with his wife at the beach, or hiking, or wandering through towns or whatever ... and then ride again for 3 days. The OP also mentions that his wife is fearful of road riding ... perhaps they can ride together on some trails on some days of the trip.

The tour also doesn't have to be riding day after day after day after day for hours and hours every day. It can include a variety of activities.
This is sort of what I had in mind. she loves to sew and quilt and could check out all the quilting and sewing shops along the way. There is no shortage of things to do on the Oregon coast so I know she would have plenty to keep her occupied.
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Old 06-22-11, 08:23 AM
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My Wife and I did a tour together, with her as a sag driver. It was in a wilderness area with no towns or facilities. Well before the trip, I expressed my desire to ride the tour, and that I realized she worries about me on these long tours, so would she like to come along. I fully explained what was expected, and how boring it would be. She accepted right away, remarking that she had many books to read, games to play, and that she would love to bring along her books on flora, mushrooms, and birds, so that she could identify stuff along the way. She played leapfrog during the day, sometimes 15 min. and sometimes 1 hr. I would ride 3/4 of the day, and we would spend the rest together, going for walks etc. and sitting around the campfire. It worked out very well, we both enjoyed the holiday, and she said she would do it again. Next time it will be through civilization, so she can poke about in the local shops etc, something she can do for hours.....my only concern is her not showing up until the end of the day, and us having a hard time to find each other.
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Old 06-22-11, 08:52 AM
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take bike on vacation. do day rides. chart fun roads. hang out with partner more. road looks likely, let wife drop you off, pick a reconnoiter place like senic view, restaurant, hole in the wall, etc.

Having insider guidebooks about riding regional rides is good for this, "bikes rides of north coastal california" or' "short rides around san francisco" instead of the pacific coast guidebook for instance.

go to big city. leave spouse in town while you head out, overnight trip or two camping, have spouse pick you later up the route. leaving San Francisco south or north is great for this. MARIN to Mendocino, sublime.

leave home two or three days earlier than partner and plan a city to reconnect in.

Many women I have hung out with over the years really like hanging out by a river on a sunny day in a comfortable chair with a book while the boys are out ripping it up for a few hours. course this is a very broad statement but its always seemed welcome for many of my lady friends to have a little down time instead of the guys typisch hammerfest vacation idylls,

Half day riding/ early starts for you, lazy starts for them sometimes makes for a good half day's morning riding, putting you 60 miles down the road and ready for lunch just about the time they'll get there after checking out of the hotel. They get to sleep in, you get to ride.

best answers is variety and flexibility with bikes on vacation with spouse, not riding the entire route yourself/SAG IMO..

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Old 06-22-11, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
You two are presuming that the partner driving the vehicle will be spending all her time waiting ... as though she has no life and no interests of her own.
No, I'm assuming that the partner driving the vehicle will be alone for the majority of the day and forced to stay within a relatively small geographic area. That doesn't sound like a family vacation to me, it sounds like two separate vacations. If the idea is to take two separate vacations, why force them to be in the same geographic vicinity?

If I told my girlfriend I was going to ride down the California coast again, I can guarantee that her first instinct wouldn't be to follow me down in a car despite the fact that there's tons of stuff to do in California. Instead, she'd hop on a plane to go visit her parents, or her brother, or go to Hawaii for a week. In short, she'd go off and do something that she really wanted to do rather than being constrained by having to follow me around...
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Old 06-22-11, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
... she'll be busy doing interesting things.
Like taking care of doing laundry, doing the shopping, and running all manner of errands? In the cases I have observed that is what typically has actually happened.

That said, I think that the Pacific coast would be a place where it might be the most tolerable for the driver as compared to most US touring locales. If it can work anywhere it can work there. It would be pretty grim for most drivers on the average coast to coast tour.

My wife expects to drive sag for me when we retire and to be honest I dread it. I may actually give up bike touring and either car tour or motorcycle tour if I must have a non rider along. The presence of a car in the mix kills many of the reasons that I tour. I personally would be inclined to make it either an unsupported bike tour or a car tour where I go on hikes and bike rides.

The other thing that helps in this case is that the OP sounds like he won't be cooking and camping
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Old 06-22-11, 10:43 AM
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A lady contacted me about joining my xcountry tour. It didn't state in the ad that it was to be self-contained, but that was in my very first e-mail, along with other essential points. About a week later, she wanted to have a van since it wouldn't cost too much for it or the driver (failing to mention that it would be her hubby driving their van). I nixed that very quickly because it would've changed the whole dynamics of the trip. If we'd taken her up on it, then you've got their relationship to worry about (is he going to get bored?), potential stealth camping would be difficult (how do you hide a van?), etc, etc.

It's probably a nice way to travel, but it really does depend on what you're trying to get out of the trip.
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Old 06-22-11, 10:56 AM
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She doesn't like riding on the road for long stretches. I don't blame her but I'm willing to take the risk. She could even take our daughter and the daughters boyfriend and stay where they want to and do some other stuff and I could either catch up if it wouldn't be too far to do in a day or I could camp a night and then catch up. I would never not take a tent and sleeping bag just in case I need it. I don't do well sleeping on the ground but one or two nights wouldn't be too bad. It would be a good way to experience the best of both worlds I think. Besides if I had major mechanical difficulty I could call her up and have her come and get me to get the repairs done.
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Old 06-22-11, 11:00 AM
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I think it'll help if the SAG vehicle in question is a Miata convertible.
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Old 06-22-11, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Like taking care of doing laundry, doing the shopping, and running all manner of errands? In the cases I have observed that is what typically has actually happened.

That said, I think that the Pacific coast would be a place where it might be the most tolerable for the driver as compared to most US touring locales. If it can work anywhere it can work there. It would be pretty grim for most drivers on the average coast to coast tour.

My wife expects to drive sag for me when we retire and to be honest I dread it. I may actually give up bike touring and either car tour or motorcycle tour if I must have a non rider along. The presence of a car in the mix kills many of the reasons that I tour. I personally would be inclined to make it either an unsupported bike tour or a car tour where I go on hikes and bike rides.

The other thing that helps in this case is that the OP sounds like he won't be cooking and camping
+1

My wife has plenty of interesting things to keep her busy. Lots. But I'm certain that driving a sag vehicle would not rank among them. Plus, I'd go nuts wondering if she was about to slit her throat after her third tractor museum tour. "How big was that ball of string?"

There are plenty of other places in the world where she would be enjoying herself far more.
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Old 06-22-11, 03:22 PM
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The lack of imagination here is just astounding (OP and a couple of others excepted).
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Old 06-22-11, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
take bike on vacation. do day rides. chart fun roads. hang out with partner more. road looks likely, let wife drop you off, pick a reconnoiter place like senic view, restaurant, hole in the wall, etc.

Having insider guidebooks about riding regional rides is good for this, "bikes rides of north coastal california" or' "short rides around san francisco" instead of the pacific coast guidebook for instance.

go to big city. leave spouse in town while you head out, overnight trip or two camping, have spouse pick you later up the route. leaving San Francisco south or north is great for this. MARIN to Mendocino, sublime.

leave home two or three days earlier than partner and plan a city to reconnect in.

Many women I have hung out with over the years really like hanging out by a river on a sunny day in a comfortable chair with a book while the boys are out ripping it up for a few hours. course this is a very broad statement but its always seemed welcome for many of my lady friends to have a little down time instead of the guys typisch hammerfest vacation idylls,

Half day riding/ early starts for you, lazy starts for them sometimes makes for a good half day's morning riding, putting you 60 miles down the road and ready for lunch just about the time they'll get there after checking out of the hotel. They get to sleep in, you get to ride.

best answers is variety and flexibility with bikes on vacation with spouse, not riding the entire route yourself/SAG IMO..
+1

Last edited by Machka; 06-22-11 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 06-22-11, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
No, I'm assuming that the partner driving the vehicle will be alone for the majority of the day and forced to stay within a relatively small geographic area. That doesn't sound like a family vacation to me, it sounds like two separate vacations. If the idea is to take two separate vacations, why force them to be in the same geographic vicinity?
Who said anything about "family vacation"?


Being alone can be good ... having time to go off and do things on her own (like checking out the quilting and sewing shops, and farmers markets, and craft fairs, and whatever else there is out there) could be very pleasant.

She probably wouldn't head down the coast on her own, but since her partner (the OP) is heading there, what a great excuse to accompany him and to be able to spend the mornings with him in a nice hotel/motel somewhere, then spend several hours of the day doing what she wants to do, and then spend the evening with him telling each other about their days, strolling by the beach together, going out to a little restaurant she discovered for dinner, or whatever.


Of course, the key is whether or not she is interested in doing that. If she is interested ... wonderful!
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Old 06-22-11, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
Who said anything about "family vacation"?


Being alone can be good ... having time to go off and do things on her own (like checking out the quilting and sewing shops, and farmers markets, and craft fairs, and whatever else there is out there) could be very pleasant.

She probably wouldn't head down the coast on her own, but since her partner (the OP) is heading there, what a great excuse to accompany him and to be able to spend the mornings with him in a nice hotel/motel somewhere, then spend several hours of the day doing what she wants to do, and then spend the evening with him telling each other about their days, strolling by the beach together, going out to a little restaurant she discovered for dinner, or whatever.


Of course, the key is whether or not she is interested in doing that. If she is interested ... wonderful!
My thought exactly. I'm hoping to do the STP next year and she is going to drive a SAG for me. She is taking her bike with the car and then we will make our way over to the ocean to do some day riding and such. Kind of a shakedown for what I want to do on the coast. We are the type of couple that have fun doing anything or nothing so I'm not too concerned with her not finding enough stuff to keep her occupied.
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Old 06-22-11, 06:17 PM
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She probably wouldn't head down the coast on her own, but since her partner (the OP) is heading there, what a great excuse to accompany him and to be able to spend the mornings with him in a nice hotel/motel somewhere, then spend several hours of the day doing what she wants to do, and then spend the evening with him telling each other about their days, strolling by the beach together, going out to a little restaurant she discovered for dinner, or whatever.


Of course, the key is whether or not she is interested in doing that. If she is interested ... wonderful!

Very well put! My Wife and I have traveled all over the western half of North America, from the extreme top to Mexico by vehicle, and she still can't get enough of checking out little shops etc. When I asked her, I made sure she understood what was involved, and she agreed right away....we had a great time together each evening.
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Old 06-22-11, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan
The lack of imagination here is just astounding (OP and a couple of others excepted).
This was an interesting thread before the personal attacks. Driving a sag wagon isn't for everybody. Just sayin'.
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Old 06-22-11, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
On one of my early tours my ex-husband drove SAG for me. It was OK, but didn't work brilliantly. He basically played leap frog with me all day. I'd ride out, and 15 minutes later he'd set off and pass me and drive up the road a ways to find a spot to wait, then I'd pass him, and he'd wait another 15 minutes and then drive past again, etc. etc. It was incredibly boring for him, and by about mid-way through the day he'd start nagging me to hurry up and wonder what was taking me so long.
Originally Posted by Machka
Being alone can be good ...
Originally Posted by Machka
She probably wouldn't head down the coast on her own,
You undoubtedly paint a very compelling picture of what it can be like to drive sag for a bicycle tourist. Your description of your own experience with a sag driver is especially encouraging
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