Friday, August 7, 2015

“Look kids! There’s Big Ben! - Guest Blog By Kristin Ware

Yeah, I’m sagging

SAG = Support And Gear [vehicle]

Three little letters – three small words.  Supporting cyclists on a 400+ mile journey

just didn’t seem that hard.  From the beginning of this discussion, I wasn’t sure of

my plan.  When Joe first started talking about the Colorado Trail, he showed me how

the book had USPS addresses where hikers/bikers/support crew could send care

packages to pick up along the way.  This is how many portions of the Colorado Trail

or other trails (like the Pacific Crest Trail) are accomplished with solo or

unsupported riders/hikers.  The participants will mail themselves packages full of

supplies, food and fuel to help them along the next stage of the trail.


Just no.

I’m a logistics person. I plan events and communication plans for a living.  Nothing is

left to chance, if at all possible.  I want to be in control, and I want to hold everything

in my hot little hands.  Relying on the USPS to get my husband the food (and I mean

LOTS of food) he needs to make this trek?


Even as late as a month or two ago, I wasn’t sure how this would play out.  I couldn’t

imagine being away from home, the dogs and my job for three full weeks.  Not only

is this hard logistically, it’s hard financially.  Dog sitters, hotels, campsites and on-

site groceries can really add up.  Erin, as an educator with a flexible work

environment, made the decision that she was going to be a full-on SAG vehicle.  She

would take the two kids, stay all three weeks and follow the boys along the route.

This made my decisions both easier, and harder.  Should I stay with her the whole

time?  Does this make it easier for me to go home – knowing that she’d be there

when they needed her?  What does SAG really mean, anyway?

I’ll tell you – SAGging is intense.  Erin has blogged about a lot of the SAG aspects, and

she’s right. It might not be hard work, but at the very least, it’s time-intensive.

Between scouting camp sites, booking hotels (with showers!) for the group, doing

laundry, to grocery shopping and cooking meals to buying last-minute, much-

needed supplies for our husbands (mainly mine,) it takes a huge chunk out of every

day.  I was hoping this would be a relaxing vacation for me after a very busy summer

– but it’s just not the case.  I envisioned working remotely, taking naps and reading

and two-a-day hikes through the wilderness.  #NOTSOMUCH.

Being a SAG vehicle is #werk.  You shop, cook, wash and prepare for the next day, all

while worrying that you’ll be in the right place at the right time to meet your

husbands.  And, all while trying to keep up with a day job.  You check the GPS

coordinates every 10 minutes to make sure the riders aren’t lost, injured, stuck or

simply off the trail.  You look for cheap hotels, not knowing whether the guys will be

finished with Segment 14 in time to check into the hotel tonight, or tomorrow.  It

doesn’t sound that hard.  It sounds like a total Real Housewives / First World

problem.  But honestly – it’s exhausting.  Maybe it’s the worrying that wears us out

the most…

I ended up making the decision to do:

1 week Colorado

1 week Tulsa

1 week Colorado

I knew Erin would be there if the guys needed her.  And boy – did they need her.

She’s been up to bat to go hunt down a new tire for Joe after he popped one on the

trail.  She’s done his laundry, his cooking and his packing.  I owe her immensely.

Had it not been for some responsibilities at home, I wouldn’t have left.  But

adulthood called, so I left on Friday (one day late) and came back yesterday (two

days early.)  This meant writing copy for a client using talk-to-text during a 12-hour

drive.  It meant asking for more help from my in-laws, Tracy and Sara (THANKS!)

regarding the dogs, but it put me at ease.  Knowing I would be there 75 percent of

the time to run errands, buy shoes, buy athletic tape, moleskin and Band-Aids for

Joe’s feet and simply helping Erin with the logistics made me feel so much better.

The guys seem to be hitting their stride.  The current segments they’re tackling have

caused the most stress for them and for us.  But, all is well.  They are making solid

progress and taking advantage of the downhill portions.  The Spot seems to indicate

that they’ve been on their bikes more and on their feet less.  In a few days, we pick

them up in the middle of nowhere and drive them to the next segment of the trail –

also in the middle of nowhere.  Thank goodness for technology and iPhones –

otherwise they’d probably be waiting on us for days as we drove around the same

trees trying to find them.

“Look kids!  There’s Big Ben!  And Parliament…again!”

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