Suffice it to say, I am home.   Barely!

I posted this and never quite explained what happened so am updating with details.  I did indeed make it as SAG support vehicle all the way from start to stop (beginning and ending in Beatrice, NE), but just as I was coming in to Beatrice the last day I could hear a knocking noise that got louder and louder.  As my ending was rebuilt a couple of years ago and had less than 2,000 miles on it I did not want to risk blowing the engine.  Plus, it was about 100 degrees, so I knew the engine would be running hot anyway.

Once home I discovered a bolt that was put into an opening in the engine had worked its way loose and I was hearing the internal noise of the engine.  Had to ultimately pull the engine and take it to a shop for them to fix it.  A lot of hot, heavy work for one bolt.

Today was my first day of as a SAG (Support and Gear).  I thought this would be easy compared to riding and today I wonder why on earth I thought that!  It was hard, hot work on my feet for hours. It seemed like it was constant people which surprised me given the total is 184 riders.

Right off the bat we ran out of water.  We had about 10 gallons but it went quick.  We panicked as this was unexpected.  Fortunately one of the riders suggested we drive the 5 miles to Humbult for water, which one of us did. Basically we were out in the heat from 9:00-2:00.  And to top it off I got bit by a tic as we were setting up.  Sure hope I don’t get that Key Lime disease.  😉

But there was an unexpected surprise today.  The couple they partnered me with I knew from when my son was in scouts.  Matter of fact, their son is best friends of my nephew.  What a small world.

Tonight we are in Auburn, Nebraska, staying at the city park.  Free use of the pool and their showers.  The showers were ice cold, almost too cold for all of us overheated visitors, but it felt good just the same.

I hear we did have one person who needed emergency care.   She made it to camp, set up her tent, then collapsed.  I believe I heard it was dehydration and really low saline, so they transferred her to the Lincoln hospital right away.

Last night in Beatrice, NE, was nice.  A bit hot but comfortable after I opened all the windows on my VW camper.  Tonight will be a bit warmer with barely any breeze so I’m not sure how that is going to go.

Pulled pork tonight at the United Methodist church.  I’m really interested in something cool and refreshing to go with that.  Iced tea would be wonderful.

Will add pictures soon.  They are on my camera and I need to transfer and probably reduce.  Check back later for pics.


Picture of my decorated VW at Day 1 of SAG support


Side view of SAG Day 1

One of the most exciting and scarey parts of this trip is taking my 40 year old VW camper bus.  It’s not been this far out of Omaha in probably 15 years.  I’ve learned unless you completely replace everything replaceable you have a pretty good chance of something going wrong.  Well, I have a lot more parts to replace so we shall see how it does.    I’m writing this the first afternoon of the first day and happy to say we made it this far.  But…..   I’mleaking a bit more oil than normal which does concern me.  Bought 3 quarts of oil today just in case.

What I had not expected is that I can’t find the grade of gas I need.  This old style engine (carborator, no fuel injection here) needs high octane and no ethanol or it vapor locks.  I filled half the tank today with low octane gas and hope it can make it tomorrow.

Life’s activities and a drawn out failed root canal and ultimate tooth extraction (the week of BRAN) really got in the way of training this year.  It was with great sadness that I had to cancel my first NUMB ride, which starts June 24.  But as luck would have it, a few days after cancelling I received an email asking for SAG (support and gear) drivers and I quickly jumped at the chance.

I’ve never done SAG support before but know just how appreciated they are from my many rides, so I’m excited to be a part of this ride somehow.  So instead of the two wheels of my bike, I’m taking six wheels.  But not just any support vehicle, I’m taking my 40 year old VW camper and my 39 year old pop up camping trailer to haul all the gear.  What you say, I must be nuts?  Okay, that’s questionable, but I do have a crusty old VW that is mechanically sound and (new engine, tires, brakes and lots of other costly repairs).

In the instructions I received it says “Make your SAG unique!  Come up with a theme for your little oasis.”  Well, I jumped at the challenge and think you will find I have some things to entertain the weary riders.  So please check daily, starting tomorrow, for my daily updates to my blog.  Yes, it’s been sadly neglected without any rides this year, but this should be a fun adventure and I’m really looking forward to it.