What is SAG?
SAG is a term given to the vehicle support crew for a cycling (and occasionally running) event. It is sometimes applied to the Rest Stop and other support crews for such an event too.

What does SAG stand for?
There are two "definitions" for the term SAG. First, it's an expression about slower riders who are "sagging" behind, or "sag" off the back of the group during a ride.  The vehicles that help these riders are generally called Sag Wagons, or Broom Wagons as they sweep the course, picking up the stragglers.  Second, it's an acronym for Support And Gear.  I personally don't think the acronym version to be true.

What are SAG Wagons?
SAG Wagon is the term given to the vehicles on the event course used to provide support specifically to the event participants.  There may be other vehicles on the course for the event that do not provide direct support, such as vehicles for communications, escort, first responder services, and/or media.  Some SAG Wagons are also known as Broom Wagons.  Their purpose is to sweep the event course for stragglers; those sagging behind.

Who can be a SAG driver?
Just about anyone.  Cycling experience isn't necessary, but it's very helpful.

What is required of a SAG driver?
The biggest requirement is the desire to help the cyclists have an enjoyable & safe ride.

What are the primary duties of a SAG driver?
A SAG driver can have many duties, and they can vary from ride to ride, but the primary duties are to support the riders on the course to ensure that they have a safe and worry-free ride.  SAG vehicles generally carry water, tubes, tires, air pumps, food, some minor tools, and first-aid.  Most incidents where a rider needs SAG support involve tires or water.  Other duties may include communications, equipment transport, rider transport, and sweeping the course at the end ride to pick up signage.

Do SAG drivers perform any mechanical duties?
It really depends on the driver, and the rider.  Some drivers are capable mechanics, some have basic mechanical skills, other may have no skills at all.  Likewise, a rider may be comfortable with having someone they don't know work on their bikes, where others are very hands-on, or only want the one mechanic they know work on their rigs.

As a general rule, a SAG driver is there to support the rider in any way possible, and to do as much as they can for the rider.  If the rider is comfortable with the SAG driver doing the work, and the SAG driver is capable of doing what it necessary to get the rider back on the road, then the SAG should get it done.

What kind of vehicles are used?
Everything from motorcycles and small cars to pick-ups and semi-trucks.  Larger vehicles and vans work great because of their ability to carry lots of equipment, gear, and people.  Motorcycles work great because of their ability to move around the course quickly, through the cyclists easily, and their ability to easily park on the side of the road, off the course, to aid a cyclist.  On narrow roads, this can be tricky to impossible for cars and larger vehicles.

See the Vehicles Page for more details.

Are the vehicles marked?
Yes. Any vehicle used in an official capacity on an organized event should be marked identifying it as such, and all of the vehicles should be marked in a similar manner.  Those participating in the event should be able to easily identify the support vehicles and their purpose.  If there are different vehicles for different purposes (rider support [SAG], rest stop support, communications, course marshal, etc), they should be clearly identified.

See the Signage Page for more details.

How do the vehicles communicate?
It really depends on the event.  In the past, may events relied on the SAG drivers to be a sort of messenger service between rest stops (along with being "eyes-on-course"), however, cell phones are usually used today for SAG to SAG communication, as well as general communications for every aspect of the event.  In some areas for some events, texting is used as it can be an easier way to get a message out, particularly to groups of people, or in areas where cell coverage is spotty.   HAM Radio clubs and services can also be utilized, and many SAG drivers are HAM operators or can carry HAM operators in their vehicles.  CVBikeSAG also uses Twitter as a communication method, which allows individual riders to communicate directly with the SAG!

(With all communications, please practice SAFE DRIVING PRACTICES.  Don't drive while texting or making a call.  Pull over where it is safe.  Don't put yourself, event cyclists, or anyone else in danger.  Also, in California, using a handheld device while driving is illegal, and you may not get a pass just because you're working in an event.  If using a HAM radio, be sure to adhere to FCC rules and regulations.)

Got a question not seen here? Let us know!