Author Topic: Drop bags  (Read 874 times)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Drop bags
« on: October 31, 2019, 01:26:59 pm »
Had a discussion with my fellow organisers about drop bags for the event we're organising.

I suggested we get a big batch of bags like these:



Even potentially having them printed up with the ride name etc... We could then give these out at the bike check.

The counter point was that they aren't that big, and that what do people do with the bag they brought their drop bag contents in to get to the start.

They suggested a cheap holdall type affair that works out at about the same price, but has a slightly larger volume. I countered that it wasn't ideal for sticking over your shoulder to carry on the bike, if you wanted to take the drop bag with you contents included, rather than swap contents, and hand back to take to the next location.

What we are in agreement on is that we want to provide a drop bag to everyone, so they are all the same, and we don't have any issues with capacity in the van.

The question is, for those of you more experienced in this sort of thing (LEL veterans I'm kinda looking at you here). What are your thoughts here? Would you be ok with being handede an issue bag at the bike check to put your stuff in? Is having a bag you can easily ride with important? How much stuff do you normally put in your drop bags?

Thanks

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Drop bags
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2019, 02:06:43 pm »
Your proposal sounds like what they do with Ride London (though rather it is for 'left luggage' than it is for 'drop bags'). They use bags just like that (draw-string), though they're made from clear plastic which is handy if it's raining, and they let you see what's inside to quickly verify if it's yours.

I know some people will look sideways at plastic anything but the clear plastic bags are very reusable, I've still got mine from Ride London 3 years ago.
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Re: Drop bags
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2019, 02:11:50 pm »
Bike check?

The BCM makes do with letting people use their own bags. Seems to work fine.

Re: Drop bags
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2019, 02:41:49 pm »
The BCM makes do with letting people use their own bags. Seems to work fine.
Letting riders use 'their own bags' fails to mitigate the risk of riders poling up with a bag that's 'too big' (and the hassle of turning them away) or alternative risk that loads of 'too big' bags overmatch the available vehicle's carry capacity.
On the flip side it does mean volunteers can let the riders forage for their bags (they'll recognise them). Uniform bags really require a dropbag monitor at the control, to find (having been dumped and arranged in an orderly fashion) and dish out; and receive back.
I used Ritchie's bag drop the first time round, mainly for cold/wet weather clothing options for the Menai Bridge loop - I took almost nothing from my bags (except a few snacks) on both visits. Next time round I decided to MTFU and carry what I needed needed and risk getting a bit cold (my clothing, footwear and glove choices were fine, and it didn't rain). On PBP I carried a lightweight bag similar in design to the one imaged in the OP, for use in the controls to keep my s**t together. Folded up tight and stowed in frame bag before departure.
@QG - provided you make it clear to entrants what the bag's capacity is, I would leave it to the riders to solve any self-made logistic challenge. I doubt many will wish to carry a dropbag with them and the capacity to do so should be regarded as a bonus of design rather than a design requirement. Didn't see anyone carrying their dropbag on LEL.

S2L

Re: Drop bags
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2019, 02:53:19 pm »
Big batch?

How many riders are you expecting?

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Drop bags
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2019, 03:03:07 pm »
Big batch?

How many riders are you expecting?

80+

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

S2L

Re: Drop bags
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2019, 04:27:23 pm »
Big batch?

How many riders are you expecting?

80+

J

Depends how much you want to charge for the event... I've only seen them at top dollar 1K+ events. Undulates had them made for Mille Cymru and of course LEL have them. To be fair for a 600 they seem a bit OTT

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Drop bags
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2019, 04:31:57 pm »

Depends how much you want to charge for the event... I've only seen them at top dollar 1K+ events. Undulates had them made for Mille Cymru and of course LEL have them. To be fair for a 600 they seem a bit OTT

It's a 1200...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Drop bags
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2019, 04:38:07 pm »
I'd want something a bit better at staying closed than those drawstring bags.  Barakta is a fan of them on account of their light weight, and I'm forever picking them up by the wrong corner when hoovering or whatever and spilling objects.  The care required to avoid doing that doesn't seem compatible with loading 80+ of them on and off a van.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Drop bags
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2019, 04:49:07 pm »
Surely you pick them up by the drawstring/shoulder straps?
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Drop bags
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2019, 04:52:17 pm »
Surely you pick them up by the drawstring/shoulder straps?

Yeah, so there's an amorphous pile of shoe bag(s).  You grab the string and pick it up, a bit carelessly because you're holding the hoover in your other hand, or because this is bag 37 of 93 to unload.  Except it turns out that you've grabbed it a bit too close to one of the bottom corners, the bag dangles the wrong way, and any sufficiently dense objects overcome the friction on the drawstring and fall out.

Now you have a lost property problem, and some poor rider has a lack of battery/minty arse lard/etc problem.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Drop bags
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2019, 04:56:07 pm »
I guess you have to stack them in the van so they're all roughly top up. If this type of bag was used on LEL then presumably it's a problem that has been dealt with and overcome in some way?
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Drop bags
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2019, 04:59:36 pm »
I guess you have to stack them in the van so they're all roughly top up. If this type of bag was used on LEL then presumably it's a problem that has been dealt with and overcome in some way?

I missed that point.  Fair enough.  (If I were given one for drop bag purposes, I'd probably take the extra minute to re-route the string so it could be knotted shut.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Drop bags
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2019, 05:01:51 pm »
Yeah ones like that were used on LEL and IIRC we tied the name tag onto the draw strings so it couldn't open

Re: Drop bags
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2019, 05:05:32 pm »
One ride i did in Italy gave us little rucksacks and a large number to go on it, worked!
Other rides i have done have used the type of bag Q has suggested and again worked with out issue!
The bottom line is if let people used there own bags they take the piss.
Remember the first. Mc1000km , one person turned up with a large suitcase and expected it to be transported to the drop bag control.  :facepalm:

So my thoughts for what its worth , go with your bags and if they have the event printed on them they will make a nice souvenir  :thumbsup:

Zed43

  • prefers UK hills over Dutch mountains
Re: Drop bags
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2019, 05:12:15 pm »
They suggested a cheap holdall type affair that works out at about the same price, but has a slightly larger volume. I countered that it wasn't ideal for sticking over your shoulder to carry on the bike, if you wanted to take the drop bag with you contents included, rather than swap contents, and hand back to take to the next location.
Personally I wouldn't think of taking a drawstring bag as shown with me (on my back) for 80km, let alone 300km to the next sleep control.

The holdall they used for PBP worked well. Could be improved by having pre-printed labels that can be attached to the bags like the airlines do with luggage.

Re: Drop bags
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2019, 05:13:43 pm »
** rummages in drawer of crap **

The LEL ones only had a drawstring around the top that you could tie off in a bow, so no leakage problem*. No shoulder straps.

(* unless you cocked it up, pulled part of the string into the hem while opening it, and have to waste precious already OOT minutes trying to get it back by external peristalsis, before handing off to the attendant to sort out)

One logistical thing to consider is how many people want a bag they can access during the ride vs how many people want non-ride-related luggage to retrieve at the finish. It may not be a meaningful difference on a point-to-point event.

Re: Drop bags
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2019, 05:22:27 pm »
Surely the point of a drop bag is you don’t want to carry it. The minority that do can sort that problem out themselves.
A customised bag is a nice extra reminder of the event, and if they’re standardised you know what you’re dealing with. The two shoe bags given out for LEL were plenty big enough.
The Cascades 1200 didn’t provide drop bags and just said a small hold-all/ rucksack. Everyone seemed to stick with this and they managed to transport them between night stops ok. That was with 60 riders.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Drop bags
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2019, 06:16:42 pm »
Yebbut you might want to carry it before/after the event. Lots of people will be riding home post-event, or even just to accomodation (and/or station). It is certainly handy to have a bag that will work for a cyclist.
Has never ridden RAAM
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fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Drop bags
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2019, 06:22:06 pm »
Usual problem with those cheap drawstring bags is they fall apart at the seams. Especially if you put any sort of weight in it.

I'd rather just use my own small rucksack. Or a plastic carrier bag. Or a ziplock bag can be good for smaller things, put a bit of paper in it to label it with your name/number.

Re: Drop bags
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2019, 06:52:54 pm »
In terms of logistics: I still would need to carry everything I put in the drop bag to the start of the event (or from wherever the bus is leaving, Utrecht?). And because we're not returning to the start, we can't leave stuff there (unless you're willing to throw stuff away). So, either I carry a bag with me that contains the stuff that goes into the drop bag and put this bag into the drop bag. Or, alternatively, you specify the max dimensions that the drop bag is allowed to be and we use our own bags. The latter seems to be easier to me and probably more sustainable.

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Drop bags
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2019, 01:03:21 pm »
Imperator gave us big stickers for our bags. One way ride, access the bags from the van at the overnight. You recognise your own bag, it's easier than looking for your number in a sea of identical bags- then the orgs have to sort bags by number?

For 80 riders bag size isn't really going to be an issue- for every suitcase there's a self sufficient type who skins her own rabbits by the wayside and sneers at the luxury of minty arse lard.
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FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Drop bags
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2019, 01:07:17 pm »
Yebbut you might want to carry it before/after the event. Lots of people will be riding home post-event, or even just to accomodation (and/or station). It is certainly handy to have a bag that will work for a cyclist.

If there's drop bags it usually means I will be wanting to carry more than I can be bothered cramming into my Carradice.
If there's 2 drop bags then even more so.
Id' end up having to put my small rucksack that has the stuff that's going into the drop bags into one of the small drop bags...

Edit: Slugbait has already made this point.

Re: Drop bags
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2019, 05:05:35 pm »
Just limit drop bags to draw strong sports kit bags and let riders supply their own.

1) they will need their own bags on the way to the event
2) easy to identify your own bag if there are big 80 identical bags
3) those that dont want dont have to pay
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