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Question regarding organized rides(9 posts)

Question regarding organized ridesTeach
Mar 22, 2001 6:04 PM
Just for sheer curiosity's sake, I thought I'd ask you all a question about organized rides in your area. Here in the Houston area, we have very well-supported rides: sag vehicles, well-stocked rest stops (food, water, sports drink) that also include mechanical support. Bike shops here provide the mechanical support - a friend of mine was able to replace his wheel on a ride last year. I've done some rides a little distance from Houston and have not seen so much as a pump at rest stops. My LBS says that we are pretty spoiled here with all the support. What's it like in your area?
re: Question regarding organized ridesAkirasho
Mar 22, 2001 6:21 PM
Depends on the event, but in general, well supported rides in SW Ohio.

I suppose it depends on your tradition, but I still try to be as self supported as possible. Luckily, I've never needed to be SAG'd out or caught by the broom.

I have been privy to good food, water, drink and commraderie though... and appreciate the volunteerism that make most of these events possible.

Some events can cover quite a huge area and depending on the routes, you might see a SAG wagon once between stops. Still, folks keep coming back, so they must be doing something right.

Be the bike.
Aki: Have you ever ridden GOBA?bianchi boy
Mar 23, 2001 6:10 PM
You live in SW Ohio? My brother and I are thinking about riding in the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure in June because it's about halfway between where I live (NC) and where my brother lives (Chicago). It looks like a nice route and we like the idea of a fully sagged tour so we don't have to carry much. Have you ever ridden in GOBA or heard any feedback about it from other bikers?
re: Question regarding organized ridesDuane Gran
Mar 23, 2001 3:08 AM
That is pretty cool to have that kind of support for group rides. I think it largely depends on the club. Around here (DC metro area) there are numerous clubs and no shortage of riders. Usually the biggest challenge is organizing the ride in such a way that new and intermediate riders don't get dropped and lost. It still happens, but it is part of the whole process, and it is good motivation.

About half the people I ride with carry a cell phone in case they get in a jam and need to have someone bail them out. Everyone carries spare tubes and the necessary equipment to change a tire. A support vehicle sounds nice, but I never considered it for a group ride. For a race it is a must, but it seems pretty luxurious for a group ride.

How does the club do it? Do they have people trade off on riding versus support?
The DC Area Has Some Good Organized RidesGreg Taylor
Mar 23, 2001 4:53 AM
Apart from the standing "club" rides on the weekend (which are generally self supporting -- carry your tube, pump and tools) there are a bunch or organized events that are good as well. The Reston Bicycle Club puts on a good century, the Amish 100 is good, "Bike Virginia" is a fully supported tour with camping, etc, and then there is the Seagull Century, which is a firm tradition in the area. Finally, the guys that I ride with have put together a few trips for ourselves. We rent a HUGE van and use it as a support vehicle. We switch off riding to drive the van, rest stops every 20 or so miles, complete with folding lawn chairs. As with anything that happens when you get a group of riders together, we get competative about the rest stops: who can score the best food and location.
re: Question regarding organized ridesTeach
Mar 24, 2001 3:46 PM
I was speaking of the kind of rides you pay to enter, not club rides. Those are the same as everywhere. Apparently, the main difference is the mechanical support. The bike shops here really do an outstanding job. They come out for the rides sponsored by other bike shops with a tent and personnel to handle problems on the ride, just as you would see on what a later poster called, "Disease rides", like the MS 150.
re: Question regarding organized ridessimstress
Mar 23, 2001 4:30 AM
There are no rides in Austin that I know of that are supported like that. Of course, event rides (the ones you register for) are well supported.
Group rides vs. paid eventsBipedZed
Mar 23, 2001 5:22 AM
I don't know of any clubs or teams that will support a group ride with SAG vehicles and rest stops. However, any popular organized event (century, charity rides) will have the amenties that you describe.
re: Question regarding organized ridesSpoke Wrench
Mar 23, 2001 6:03 AM
Here in St. Louis as most places, it depends on the event. We have kind of a three tier system.

The "disease rides" will have the best support with stocked food stops and mechanical support every 10 to 20 miles. Providing mechanical support can be real challanging because the most common problems, after flat or cut tires, are broken spokes and trashed bottom brackets.

We have a couple of organizations that put on "social rides" for a small fee almost every week end. These will provide roving sag support, but no mechanical help.

We also have rides that are described as for "self sufficient riders only" and they really mean it. On one such ride I got a leg cramp as I was waiting for a traffic light to change. As I tried to walk off the cramp, the light turned to green. The other riders yelled that I should pick up my bike as they all rode off. Man, that's cold!