AMATEUR RADIO OPERATIONS & SAG VEHICLES

GOBA volunteers provide SAG Service for riders unable to continue on the route each day due to illness, injury, or mechanical breakdown that makes it impossible for the bicyclist to continue.  The extent of this service depends on the availability of volunteers.

No one knows what "SAG" really means or where it came from; in this respect it's kind of like "Ham".  According to one definition, it is an abbreviation for "Support And Gear." SAG Vehicle drivers pick up broken down bikes and tired riders.

Some SAG Vehicle Drivers are also amateur radio operators. Most of these obtained their licenses in order to provide better service on GOBA.

The SAG Coordinator, George Shoemaker, KC8BVC, is in charge of all SAG operations. Net Control will normally direct all requests for SAG Service to the SAG Coordinator.

SAG Service is provided to riders in the following priority:
Riders who are injured or ill and have been directed by a GOBA Official, EMT, GOBA volunteer Doctor or Nurse, not to continue on the ride. This includes bicyclists who have been transported to a local hospital whose bicycles must be transported from the location of their injury into camp.  
Riders whose bicycles have suffered from irreparable mechanical breakdowns -- a flat tire is not an irreparable mechanical breakdown.
Riders who are too tired to continue. SAG Service for tired riders does not usually begin until late morning or early afternoon.  Riders who are tired, but not sick, should rest.

When a rider stops at your location and reports that he or she is too tired to continue, you should first determine if the rider is ill or injured.  If the rider is ill or injured, contact net control and ask to have one of GOBA's EMT crews respond to evaluate the medical condition.  In hot weather this is a particular problem -- riders who become tired may be experiencing symptoms of dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke.  Despite the ready availability of food and water, GOBA riders sometimes fail to eat and drink sufficiently for a 50 mile bike ride in the summer heat.  Dehydration is one of the most common medical conditions GOBA riders suffer from.  Dehydration can become a serious medical condition.  When in doubt, always request medical evaluation.

If the rider is just tired, call in his request for a sag to net control.   GOBA's sag service gives priority to sick or injured riders and those with irreparable mechanical breakdowns.  Tired riders may have to wait for several hours for a sag vehicle to appear.  This is particularly true early in the day, as sag vehicles do not begin non-emergency transport until afternoon.   If you have riders waiting at your location for a sag vehicle, keep them nearby.  If they decided to continue on, after resting, advise net control.

GOBA Riders in need of SAG Service more than once during the week will usually be encouraged, and may be required, to leave the ride.

Original content by Jeff Ferriell, K8ZDA. Revised by Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ.