RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!


Are there any other expo vendors out there who have done this before? Draft Cyclery is brand new and we’re signed up to be at the expo, as well as ride. I was curious if there’s any advice you could give as far as how much product to take, what sells best (we sell Funkier bike clothes), etc.
Your help is much appreciated!
Draft Cyclery, LLC

13 Replies

BoninSactown, April 10, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I’m not a vendor but I’ve gone to the expo six out of the last seven years and I buy gloves, socks, any piece of apparel I forgot to pack or need, and look for the unique — things not in every other stand. Also, discounts, discounts, and did I say discounts?


Kevin Tuttle, April 11, 2012 at 9:04 am

Thanks for the info! We will have discounts and a brand of clothing that isn’t carried everywhere else, so that’s good news! Stop by the booth when you’re there. You can also check out our site: http://www.draftcyclery.com
We’ll be carrying plenty of gloves, headbands, shorts, jerseys…
Hope to meet you in person!


jwsknk, April 11, 2012 at 9:43 am

are you setting up just in the start town or will you be out every night? If we get a couple of cool days/night lonf sleeve stuff will sell out quick, most people won’t pack for that. But if it stays hot all the time, you are stuck hauling a bunch of long sleeve stuff around.


Sandaltan ., April 11, 2012 at 10:30 am

Think long and hard how you will handle credit card transactions. A couple of years ago we spent the day assisting a vendor and the inability to quickly process a credit card through the internet was a huge headache.



Kevin Tuttle, April 11, 2012 at 11:53 am

We have the Square for credit card transactions using our smart phones. Works great! As for where we’re setting up, I haven’t found any details on the costs of setting up in overnight towns yet. I’d like to set up daily or at least one other time besides just the expo. I was thinking Marshalltown. If you have suggestions on who to contact to get this info, I’m all ears!


jwsknk, April 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm

so you are not part of bike shop row everynight. If people see something they like they better grab it now cause you won’t be there tomorrow night. Now if you are set up again in M-town (or someplace else) will you be able to restock take orders for that cool jersey you don’t have in my size?


Sandaltan ., April 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm

I am familiar with the square and yes it does work great with your iPhone under normal conditions and saves you money to boot. However; there will be 15,000 or so visitors in Sioux Center Iowa, most of them wanting to yap on their phone starting about 3:00 pm when the buses start to arrive. Be prepared.

Vendor information for each overnight town will appear on their individual web sites down the road a ways. Bike Expo 2012 information will appear under EXPO above when they get the details hammered out.



Sandaltan ., April 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm

The 2012 Expo application us up.



straycat, April 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Sandaltan is giving you some good advice. Check your mobile service provider, make sure they have coverage where you want to set up. Even then, it may get overloaded. There are some towns that getting a voice connection may take hours, and a text message goes through with un-predictable delays.


Tony, April 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm

A couple of considerations. you said Iphone. Which leads me to assume ATT service. I’m a charter service director. I have ATT. The service is horrible in rural Iowa. I carry a Verizon phone I use for RAGBRAI. Verizon service is solid throughout Iowa. I would suggest using wifi if possible in the overnight towns. for apparel to bring. Think changing weather conditions. Rain gear, leg and arm warmers, gloves, socks, and du wraps. Marshalltown would be good. But I think it would be wise to setup in Cedar Rapids too. As it is the celebration town for the 40th anniversary.


Borasam, April 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Oh, Kevin. I looked at your website and it really doesn’t offer anything different from what other vendors with 20+ years of experience in RAGBRAY.

You might be able to set your credit card ap to authorize in batch mode (at the end of the day) instead of during each transaction. Also, get some paper credit card charge forms from your bank just in case.

Something that RAGBRAI really needs is a camping supply vendor.

Oh, and BTW, women always forget stuff, so take a lot of womens stuff.


Kevin Tuttle, April 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Good advice, everyone! Thanks for the support! I sure hope women forget a lot of clothes…


Sandaltan ., April 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Kevin Tuttle:
Good advice, everyone! Thanks for the support!I sure hope women forget a lot of clothes…

Me too.



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