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POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Baggage Types and Identification

TypesWeightIdentification


Types
Not only will your bags be loaded and unloaded many times during our events, they will be handled roughly and packed very tightly with other bags and are going to get some wear. While we don't recommend spending too much money on your bags, you should make sure they are very durable and rugged so they don't break, rip, or fall apart easily. They should also be as water resistant as possible, and be able to stay closed completely so your personal items can't spill out.

The absolute best type of bags to use are the waterproof expedition style ones because they are very rugged and waterproof in case it rains. If this is not possible, we recommend using soft sided zippable bags for your baggage, particularly the kind with wheels. Soft sided bags also nestle the best as we transport them in our vehicles. Hard sided bags such as structured suitcases, plastic tubs, and foot lockers do not hold up very well and also don't nestle well and take up too much valuable room in our vehicles.

We recommend packing ALL of your personal items in clear Ziploc bags in case water gets inside your bag from rain or a leaky water cooler. Keeping your personal items in clear Ziploc bags can also help contain any items that might melt in the hot sun (such as deodorant) or rupture due to being moved around a lot (such as shampoo or shaving cream). Some participants also use Ziploc bags to "kit" their clothing so it is ready to be worn at the beginning of each day and also hold dirty laundry and wet towels at the end of each day so it doesn't get other clothes wet or stinky.

For all events, we recommend using a small, easily accessible day pack or duffel bag to carry the supplies you will need immediately before and/or the ride, such as suntan lotion, your shower items, a change of clothes, and any necessary medication.

If you will be carrying at lot of gear on a multi-day event, two smaller, lighter bags are better than one bigger, heavier one because they will be easier to handle. If you do want to carry only one bag, such as a big army style duffel bag, you can still stuff two smaller bags inside it. One bag should be for clothing and toiletries and the other bag should be for your camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, pillow, and air mattress). If you plan on camping outdoors, we also recommend using waterproof or at least water resistant stuff sacks to store your tent to prevent dew and moisture from getting other items in your bag wet or damp.

In order to pack light for single day events, we recommend using one main bag such as a medium sized duffel bag and one carry on bag such as a backpack for your baggage at most.

Prohibited Baggage Types
We cannot accept baggage with a bunch of separate loose items tied or strapped to it (also known as a cluster). Not only will they invariably come apart as they being loaded or unloaded, they make a big mess with stuff strewn all over the place and anything strapped to the outside will likely get lost.

We also cannot accept any of the following types of baggage because they are not durable enough to withstand the heavy handling encountered during our events:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Garbage bags and light plastic bags
  • Soft-sided styrofoam coolers

We will not transport any coolers with ice in them because they will leak on other luggage.

Quick Baggage Story: One year a participant used a cardboard box and their box fell apart from being moved around so much. Their stuff ended up all over the vehicle and they had to through the hassle of finding and buying a new bag in town after an already long day of cycling. Do not store your luggage in anything cardboard. We guarantee it will fall apart!

Bicycle Shipping Boxes and Containers

  • Click Here for more information about transporting bicycle shipping boxes and containers during our events.

Bike Trailers
If you have a bike trailer we will transport it for you but you must let us know about it ahead of time. It will count as one of your pieces of baggage.

Weight
For multi-day events, you will be limited to two bags that weigh under 40 pounds each or one bag that weighs under 80 pounds. You should be able to lift each bag above your head and count to three and also toss eac bag ten feet or so. If you can't, then your bag is definitely too heavy.

Identification
All baggage items must be individually identified with your name and the cell phone number you will be carrying during the event either on a baggage tag or directly on the item itself. You will need to supply your own baggage tags - we will not have extra ones available.

Individually identifying every baggage item significantly helps the baggage distribution process, especially if we're unsure about where a baggage item should be delivered or if two or more participants have the exact same baggage item. We can also quickly identify and return any unclaimed baggage item by contacting you directly on your cell phone. Having your name and cell phone number on your baggage can also be a lifesafer in case someone else accidentally picks up your bag or if you accidentally place your baggage on the wrong vehicle in the early morning light.

In addition to baggage tags many participants like to mark their baggage in a unique way to make it more identifiable and easier to find among the sea of other baggage, particularly if it's partially covered up. Green army duffels are the number one choice of baggage types amoung riders and bags look more and more alike as the event progresses. Some ideas include tying a bright bandanna or colored tape around your bags or spray painting it a fluorescent color like pink polkadots. Use your imagination to come up with something unique!

In the unlikely event your baggage tag comes off we may still be able to identify where your bag should go based on our previous experience with your specific baggage item. We may also call you on your cell phone if possible to verify your baggage delivery plans, but if there is any doubt your bag will be delivered to the main lodging site and/or ending location since this is where the majority of participants will have their bags delivered.

Each baggage item to be delivered to and/or picked up from a supported hotel must also be identified through separate supported hotel baggage delivery tags that we will provide for you.

  • Click Here for more information about our supported hotel baggage delivery service.

P.O. Box 8454 • Chicago, IL 60680 • (877) TOUR-ILL [868-7455]
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