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Sag Wagons

Sag wagons do not have to be a pickup truck. What you want is to provide is a presence all along the route. Itty bitty little cars with a big sign can be VERY reassuring to a tired rider. Of course, the little car can not pick you up but it can carry a cooler of ice water and the driver can drive back to the rest stop for help (or use a cell phone). 

First a few rules:

1. Have Sag Wagons out on the route.  Do not depend on the bike shops or the amateur radios guys to provide sag support.

2. Put big signs on the sag wagons. Hazard flashers do not cut it.

3. Make sure the drivers know the route and ask them to monitor the signs.  

Sag Wagons have more than one purpose on a rally. Yes they are out there to pick up "broke down" riders but that is only part.

A well marked sag wagon will:

Assure riders they are on the right course.

Warn drivers that there are bicycles on the road. 

In many ride reviews, one consistent remark is the number of sag wagons seen. Quote: "Did the entire ride and never saw a sag wagon. I will not go back next year." .  Also, it is considered very uncouth to follow a rider in a sag wagon.  For one thing it points out "Hey! This jerk is the last rider," and it makes him very vulnerable to the redneck in the pickup stuck behind who can not see the rider because the sag wagon is in the way.  When he passes, he will pull in quickly, and that is where the rider is.

A personal note: I worked a rally in my Ford Escort. Every time I passed a rider I would look him/her in the face and smile to let them know I was there if they needed help. Few did, but the ride got good marks for the Sag wagons. (There were only three of us for the entire rally.)