Author Topic: Sag or not to sag?  (Read 14349 times)

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Offline MrBent

Sag or not to sag?
« on: January 31, 2009, 08:26:37 pm »
Greetings:  I'm in the initial stages of putting together a big touring club in my area with the goal of getting local kids and others to train for and undertake a challenging tour.  I've already made my first pitch to some high school boys, and they seem keen.

Without getting too detailed, I'm planning a challenging approximately two week, 500 mile tour.  I'll be leading lots of training rides over the next three months or so to get the kids in shape (youngest will be 15). My thinking right now is to go fully self-supported.  The idea is to prepare them well enough so the group can do it in a pure style, but I could possibly get one or more of the parents or a teacher to provide some sag support/back up.  What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks!

Scott

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Sag or not to sag?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 04:21:09 pm »
"My thinking right now is to go fully self-supported."   This philosophy would introduce considerable extra cost and hassle.  A touring bike would be required if using panniers.  So whatever the kids are riding right now would not work.  Extra cost.  Racks and panniers would be required.  Or a trailer.  A trailer would likely allow them to use whatever bike they are currently riding.  BOB trailer is $300?  One time use most likely.  I can hear the sales pitch now to the parents.  You need an official touring bike, $800-1200.  And/or a $300 trailer and/or $200 panniers to go on this trip.

I'd suggest having a van/truck carry the gear and having a parent drive it.  Then the kids can likely use whatever bike they already have.  And riding unloaded is generally more fun from a riding perspective than loaded with baggage.  Get the kids interested in riding first, then they can expand to the loaded touring later if they choose.

I understand the desire to do it self supported.  Bigger accomplishment and all that.  Doing it yourself.  But the extra cost and hassle and struggle kind of out weigh this.

Offline MrBent

Re: Sag or not to sag?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2009, 06:19:01 pm »
Russ:  You make excellent points.  I certainly wouldn't push for fancy touring-specific bikes, but there would be extra expense, for sure.  Gotta think about this.  Part of the fun, of course, is working out all the systems, the satisfaction of, as you say, doing all the work, etc.  I'll need to sound out the families and see where they stand in terms of making investments.

Scott

Offline 10thgear

Re: Sag or not to sag?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2009, 01:10:17 pm »
Since you are just getting started, begin with SAG for now. Once you get established add in a self-contained tour for the extra challenge. My name is Arlen and I have a program up and running like you are planning. It is called 10thGear Christian Youth Cyclists, www.10thgear.com. It has been operating since 1996 and I have been involved since 1998.

We traditionally have one SAG middle school trip (ages 11-14) and 2 high school trips (14-20); one SAG and one self-contained. We own 15 B.O.B. trailers that were purchased or donated in the past and own 8 bikes that we loan as needed to assist kids.

Although our program is not based on the ACA Pedal Pioneer program because we pre-date that great guide, it does look very similar in many fashions.

We are also a Boy Scout of America Venture Crew and obtain insurance for participants and leaders through that program (high school only). All our leaders are CPR/First Aid certified (we now pay for the certification).

I could go on and on. I am so excited that you are starting a new program. Would love to share ideas and hear about your plans. What area of the country are you planning to setup your group? Have you thought about insurance?

Offline MrBent

Re: Sag or not to sag?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2009, 02:57:24 pm »
Hey, 10thgear/Arlen: Thanks so much for checking in with me.  You're just the person I need to talk to.  I'm kind of flying by the seat of my pants on this thing.  Currently I'm working through our local parks and recreation department, and I'm not sure about insurance although all participants will be signing waivers, pretty much standard procedure.  How might I get involved with an "Adventure Crew"?  That sounds like a great connection.

The deeper I get into this, the more frightening/exciting it gets.  I'll be holding my first meet/greet/orientation session in early March.  I've got a few kids interested through the local high school.  Once parks and rec. starts advertising, I hope to snag a few more.  The minimum age for my group, as I said, will be 15, so I'm planning on pretty ambitious rides.  The three months of training and specific benchmarks will get everyone in line for the big tour.

My route is going to be a monster loop that starts and ends in Big Pine, CA.  We'll ride north along the eastern Sierras until Bridgport then head into Nevada, eventually trending east through Fallon.  At Middlegate, we head south, south, south through remote and wild country, eventually just east of the White Mountains. We'll climb over those at Westgard Pass and drop right back to the starting point.

Any ideas on getting donated gear?  Boy, a small fleet of BOB's would work wonders!  These could be used year after year with different riders and bikes.  Right now, I haven't come down strong one way or the other in terms of sag or not.  It depends on the group, their resources, etc.  I'll probably sag, but I'm holding on to the purist dream for a bit longer.

I'll check out your site.

Cheers,

Scott

Offline glester

Re: Sag or not to sag?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2009, 05:53:21 pm »

Big question there. I'm in a similar position and lean toward a sag wagon to provide a very positive experience for less experienced riders and adventurers. While most of your crew may train well enough to make a great unsupported expedition, consider that someone is going to get sick, someone injured, someone will miss home or start crying for whatever reason. May be best to provide some cushy support for a young group. I usually lead back packing and multi-sport van adventures with the organization I started called Great Outdoors Academy....
GreatOutdoorsAcademy.org. This year I'm in touch with some high school kids who really want to get out on the open road on bikes. I'm considering a supported expedition in Idaho doing some rails to trails or an adventure by train, ferry, bike up to san juan islands. My groups do wilderness experience with creative expression--we write, draw, photograph to chronicle the adventure. GOA publishes a journal that accepts submissions from young people everywhere, with a focus on nature, wilderness, adventure outdoors. If any of your group would like to be published, check us out. Hope your training and summer trip go well.




Greetings:  I'm in the initial stages of putting together a big touring club in my area with the goal of getting local kids and others to train for and undertake a challenging tour.  I've already made my first pitch to some high school boys, and they seem keen.

Without getting too detailed, I'm planning a challenging approximately two week, 500 mile tour.  I'll be leading lots of training rides over the next three months or so to get the kids in shape (youngest will be 15). My thinking right now is to go fully self-supported.  The idea is to prepare them well enough so the group can do it in a pure style, but I could possibly get one or more of the parents or a teacher to provide some sag support/back up.  What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks!

Scott

Offline MrBent

Re: Sag or not to sag?
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2009, 11:19:52 pm »
Hey, Lester-G:  I'm still undecided though leaning sag.  I've got a touch of the old Achilles tendonitis, so I may be the one driving  sag!  Ugh.  What do you do when you take young folks into the wilderness on back packing trips?  Certainly, no sag available there, right?  How has that worked out? I'm having my first meeting this week with some of the kids.  Wish me well!

Cheers,

Scott

Offline billy50

Re: Sag or not to sag?
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2009, 11:01:11 pm »
We are in the initial stages of a cycling program at our summer camp and I'm definately going with a sag on our trips the first year.  It is a great tool to deal with problems.  Our pick up has On Star for emergencies and with kids on your first tour, you are likely to run into an issue or two.  On another note, the experienced program director's at our camp made it clear to me that the trip had to have a lot of fun for teens to truly enjoy the experience.  Plan on stops to swim, canoe, and activities and things kids like to do.  We plan to let the kids participate in the planning and daily decision making, so the trip is really theirs within reason.  It can still be a challenging ride, but remember they are kids too and they like to have a good time.  Good insurance is a must.  One claim could ruin your life and don't rely on a release to protect yourself.  Good success to you and have a safe trip.