Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hello and Welcome to the “Support Crew Blog.”

You’ve heard how it goes from the point of view of the 2 tire, leg powered, helmet wearing folk…it’s about time the 4 tire, gas powered, riding in the warm heat (or cool AC) and a comfy seat check in. POPsRide from the car is a Very Different experience and we are going to share our take with you along this amazing journey.  We cannot all be so lucky to take 4 weeks off from our day job to sight see, so this blog will be written by different people along the way.  So first, let me introduce myself…..  My name is Rachel and I have been fortunate enough to be part of the POPsRide family from the beginning.  I helped plan the first ride and my hugest regret was that I was unable to join them for any part of that ride, so there was NO way I was missing out this time.  I am driving one of the vehicles this week and Jerry - Grand Master of Support - is driving the other one.

Rachel & Jerry - Your Week 1 SAG drivers

So, you are probably asking yourself, what does a SAG driver actually do?  No, it has nothing to do with certain body parts as you age…or the way kids are wearing their pants these days.  SAG stands for Support And Gear.  And I know what you’re thinking….”How hard can it be?”  We’re only going 65 miles a day…in a car.  I don’t have kids but I have a feeling it’s a lot like being a SAG driver.  I now have 7 ‘kids’ to look out for.  Are they going the right way? Did they get enough to eat? Do they need a break?  Where are they?  They missed curfew.. . and should have been by my car by now.  How long should I wait before I go track them down myself? Should I call the Canadian Mounties to go out looking for them?  This parenting thing is kinda stressful… (thanks mom & dad, I had no idea)

My SAG Wagon
The first responsibility is to make sure the riders are going the right way which was NO easy task getting out of Canada.  There were A LOT of turns.  Four (4) pages of turn by turn directions on Day 1, to be exact.  Quite different from day 3 when we will have only 6 turns all day (and that is mostly to find where we are staying)  Oh, and did I mention the directions are for the bike riders?  So after making sure they are on the right path – you have to find a way around on the roads.  There were two times Monday when I was literally LOST and all I could think about was not myself and but “What will the riders do without their support?”  There’s that parenting thing again.  I was never so happy to see the group again after that last ‘detour’ I took.  Thought I was going to be MIA in Canada.

Jerry and I, with the help of Alison, played Leap Frog all day with the turns.  Locate the next stop and find a safe place to pull off to the side and then walk back to the corner to direct the bikes.  Then hurry back to the car and try and find the next turn.  We did not have mileage on the directions for day 1 so you never knew if the next turn was a block or 5 miles.  It was very stressful as we did not want the bikes to go the wrong way and have to add miles to their journey by backtracking.

Shannon, Alison & Shane
Besides making sure the riders go the right way, we stop every few miles to make snacks and water available as needed.  I coordinated the rest stops for the MS Bike ride for hundreds of riders in Arizona for 14 years so that was really good training for this.  We are basically a Rest Stop on Wheels.  I can  make a mean PB sandwich and fill water bottles with the best of them.

Then there are the ‘other tasks’ such as confirming with the hosts for the evening lodging, side trips to the grocery store to get batteries, water or Orange Fanta,  finding gas (which is few and far between at some points.)  There is Way more to this SAG thing than I thought but I am LOVING it!

I am so grateful that I met Shane, Shannon and Kyle on the MS Bike ride and that I get to be a part of this POPs Ride Family.  It is only day #1 and I know it is going to be truly hard for me to leave the ride. 


  1. I had NO IDEA such planning was involved.

    1. Thanks for reading, Bev! There is so much going on behind the scenes…if you don't know about it, then we have succeeded and made it a smooth ride!