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Advice for our SAG driver?

This year a family member will be joining us as a fully registered non-rider with vehicle pass. Any advice for them? Map and route? Meetings and Meeting Towns? Non-bike activities during the day?

5 Replies

Joseph Schlau, April 11, 2022 at 6:07 pm

Maps for support vehicles usually come out after the final rider maps in July. They include routing to the meeting town of the day.


flyinbrian, April 11, 2022 at 9:21 pm

They’ll have maps for the driver route as we get closer. We never had our driver meet us at the meeting towns but that’s a pretty simple option. It’s usually pretty simple from the main driver route over the town. We’ve had drivers that made their own driver friends that they met for lunch everyday.


KenH, April 12, 2022 at 7:59 am

As others have said support vehicle maps will come out eventually. Stick to the suggested route as best you can. If you do not you could end up in a situation where you have to cross the bike route and that will be a nightmare!

Meeting towns are the place where your support driver can meet you riders. My team has no driver, we all have to take turns driving. We try to balance each member’s riding versus driving miles and meeting the riders in the meeting towns allows us the freedom to change drivers there and that makes it far easier to balance everyone’s riding to driving ratio. The meeting town lets your driver have lunch with you which can be nice for the driver. If you have gear like jackets or rainwear that you need in the morning but not in the afternoon you can dump them in the support vehicle at the meeting town. Likewise you can pick up gear that you forgot or need only for the afternoon. You can make repairs using all the tools and parts you are bringing, right? If a rider gets to the meeting town and would rather not ride the rest of the way they just jump on the support vehicle. There are many reasons to use the meeting towns so don’t be too quick to dismiss them.

Early in June the RAGBRAI team does a pre-ride inspection of the full route on bicycles. They will report on route conditions and they will publish information about all the towns that are involved. The reports about the overnight and meeting towns include things that your driver might like to visit or do. Your driver can also look at Iowa tourist information for things near the route that he/she might like to do while you are pedaling. If your driver needs to get from one side of the bike route to the other, and back, to visit some attraction off route plan those crossings on major roads with overpasses or which are likely to have police directing traffic because once again crossing the bike route at any old random place can be a nightmare!

Most HyVee grocery stores have an excellent cafe that makes a fine breakfast. Some of them have breakfast buffets too.

If riders need things from stores they should make a list nightly so that the driver can make a supply run the next day.


Niles, April 12, 2022 at 9:50 am

Our driver always meets up at meeting town, normally not earlier than 12:00. Set up a canopy to allow us and old friends to drop by, have a lunch break, a couple drinks, spirited or non. Then take it up by 2:30 and drive to overnight town. In rare occasion when we don’t have a hosting family, text us where to find the bus.


T. Gap Woo, April 12, 2022 at 2:40 pm

Mrs Woo is my support driver. Since I ride solo (if you consider riding with 10-15,000 of your closest friends to be solo), I don’t have to worry about the logistical concerns that a full-fledged team does.

That being said, I still have to figure out where she can go, etc without crossing the route.

Here’s how we handle it. Once the Route is announced and all of the towns are revealed, we sit down with the AAA Tour Book, the TravelIowa magazines and an IDOT map. Mrs Woo highlights the things she wants to see and the places she wants to visit, within 25-30 miles of the route. She likes wandering around the small downtowns, enjoying “Iowa nice” while browsing through the small shops and picking up things for the Grandwoos. While she’s not an avid photographer, she has taken some interesting pictures. She still brags about the one she took of a lady walking her potbellied pig on a leash one year!

Rest assured that your SAG driver won’t be bored and will be as active as they want.

See you along the I-O-Way soon!


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