Bernice, a SAG (support and gear) wagon driver on the current Sea to Sea Bicycle Tour, provided us with some insight into her daily responsibilities.
“Let me give you a quick idea of what things are like. We get up super-early, 5:00 am; the cyclists like to be on the road by about 6:00 or 6:30 to beat the heat of the day. That means SAG wagon drivers have to be ready and on the road, too. Getting ready includes stocking our vans with lots of icy drinks and snacks, chairs, a canopy, a Sea-to-Sea sign, a first aid kit, and whatever else we might need during the day. One van has to pull a mobile outhouse – my job this week! It was pretty funny when I forgot to remove the toilet paper between SAG stops and the rolls unrolled into a big heap on the crapper floor. I just laughed and shut the door!
“Once we're set up at a stop, we help the cyclists as they come by. They usually need new water or electrolyte drinks and something to eat (fruit). If it's really hot, we put cold towels on their necks to bring down their core temperatures, and they soak their jerseys or sleeves. Once the sweep truck has passed, indicating all the cyclists have gone by, we're either done or we hop-scotch beyond the third SAG vehicle to set up all over again.
“The days are long and very tiring. It's a lot of work and the heat saps what little energy I have. I don't mind though. I've now seen the desert in California and Arizona and New Mexico, complete with spectacular mesas, and now we’re in Colorado. God's creation is truly magnificent!!”
Her husband, Stan, one of the three Hope Fellowship cyclists on the tour, found a unique way to make one of her days even more interesting.
“Bernice and I celebrated our 34th anniversary on July 6,” Stan said. “I was wondering how to do this with flair. One week earlier, in Payson, I bought the supplies I needed. On Saturday morning, July 6, cyclists brought 1 or 2 puzzle pieces to Bernice at the first SAG stop.
“One cyclist brought red licorice, one brought dark chocolate, another brought darker chocolate, etc. The 100 puzzle pieces each had a letter on the back. When the puzzle was completed she had to do the word search to discover the message. Basically it said ‘Happy anniversary, I love you, Wanna go on a date?’ So we did. I had arranged for a vehicle, we found a hotel and went out for an anniversary supper. Bernice overheard many of the young single riders telling each other to "take notes." I had a blast doing this and Bernice REALLY enjoyed it too. Still lovin' her after all these years.”
- Pastor Peter