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This version was saved 13 years, 5 months ago View current version     Page history
Saved by Phil Stripling
on January 26, 2009 at 8:57:59 pm

SAG Wagons

The following information was written by Roger Rines, and we appreciate his permission to quote it here.
SAG Wagons are the lifelines of the bicyclist on the course. Without them, the process of getting injured riders and broken bicycles back home or moving supplies, would become a very difficult chore.
Because SAG wagons may be large and some of the roads are so small, please be careful when passing riders so as to not push them over too far. Also be aware that the exhaust of a vehicle is often on the right side of the vehicle near where the rider is breathing hard. Riders really appreciate it when vehicles don’t stay or ride along side gassing them into oblivion.
The event will have motorcycles patrolling the course, and they will have CB radios. With motorcycles patrolling the course, we don’t need to have SAG wagons roaming the course where the roads are narrow. Also, when a SAG wagon is on the course roaming, it becomes hard to determine where they are located. When a call to provide SAG support comes into net control, the most recently known SAG is often selected to pursue the assignment, instead of the closet SAG. If you move about the course, and there is any chance that net control might not know where you are located, please call in to net control and let them know where you can be found. If you do not have a ham radio, call net control at (650) 743-4008. Be aware that cell phones are often out of range of cells on the coast side of the course. If you are using a cell phone instead of a ham radio, be sure to give net control your phone number.
SAG Wagons are also important for sweeping the course. Releasing volunteers as early as possible is the best way to get them back next year. This year's plan for closing rest stops will be to monitor the approaching course sections closely with motorcycles and SAGs and to begin sweep operations as soon as possible. In addition, riders who are lagging way behind others on their course will be encourage to take a SAG wagon to the next location or back to Finish. This gets the lagging rider back into the main part of the event, and we won't keep volunteers standing around waiting for a lagging rider. This approach to leapfrog a rider has worked well in many other events, and riders have told us afterwards they are appreciative for the boost forward we gave them.
As volunteers know all to well, SAG wagons are never where they are needed when we receive a request for help. Moving a SAG wagon a long distance takes time and slows our response time. This problem will never go away because of the random nature of how needs develop on the course. However for the most part, where riders are grouping, that is the best place to station a SAG in most cases so the travel time doesn't get to be the biggest obstacle to getting help to a rider. The other part of this problem happens when we don’t know where all the SAG wagons are located so we tend to dispatch the wagon that answers the call on the radio or cell phone the quickest, instead of sending the wagon that is closest.
Another factor affecting arrival time to a dispatched location is the route the SAG wagon uses to travel to a location comes from a long distance and follows the entire course to the needed location. SAG wagon drivers may be unaware of how to efficiently travel between one location on the course and the target destination. If you aren’t familiar with an area, getting a good high-resolution map, or having a GPS with street-level detail and routing can make a significant difference in a SAG wagon's travel time. If you aren’t familiar with how to travel to a location, ask for assistance. Net Control will have Thomas Guide maps and can give you map numbers and grids, so we ask that you carry Thomas Guides with you if possible.
If you have a radio, be sure to test it before event day and to have some form of vehicle power to keep you on the air during the event. If you have a cell phone, be sure it is fully charged or that you have a cigar plug adapter for it. This is a long event.
Thanks again to Roger for letting us use this material.
If you are a SAG driver, we appreciate your patience as we chase you all over the earth, changing your destination before your get there.
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