Sun July 27 2008
Posted Jul 27, 2008
The first wave of visitors to North Liberty from the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa didn't come on two wheels but four.
Jack Phillip was one of dozens of support vehicle drivers, known more commonly as "sag wagon" drivers, who flooded into North Liberty early Thursday while even the earliest rising riders still were miles away.
Phillip was the "on point" driver for the River Bend Bicycling Club, so his primary responsibilities were to get to the next stopping point and mark the way to the campsite for the group of 150 riders associated with RBBC.
In order to mark the path, Phillip said he has to wake up at 4:45 a.m. and pack up his gear before most of the riders have rolled out of bed. He then drives to the next overnight stop and marks out the campground.
Fellow support drivers Jere Wood and Rick Roggendorf join Phillip after riders have loaded their gear onto the moving trucks they drive. They fill up drinking water jugs, unload luggage for the riders and scout out the best showers.
"We work together as a team," Roggendorf said. "Without one man, the team falls apart."
The RBBC support drivers certainly display a lot of teamwork, but Phillip said it still is hard work.
"I've decided I might ride next year, it could be easier," Phillip joked.
-- Tyler O'Neil
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