Acting like a camel – or the water boy

At some point last summer while preparing for one of my long rides (typically 7-9 hours) I realized that I was packing more water bottles in the car than I preferred to have rolling around.  And while re-using plastic bags from the grocery store was valid solution, I found that over time they would roll out of the bag or leak in for one reason or another.  And of course the leaky ones were always the ones with some sort of non-water liquid in them – the kinda of liquid that was sticky and messy.

Typically my routine is to fill and prepare all the bottles the night before – and then leave them in the fridge.  My bike has the following water positions:


Thus, on a long ride where I’m going unassisted, I’m going to have to carry at a minimum all of my sports drink, plus at least a ‘starter kit’ of water.

A typical ride is the following:

1) Front aero hydration system: One chamber water (1 bottle worth), one chamber sports drink (1 bottle worth)

2) Cage mount: One bottle of water

3) Rear mount: Two bottles of sports drink

This enables me to refill the cage bottle at various water stops/bathrooms with just plain water, and then slowly dwindle down the sports drink.  In a race situation I’d minimize this as appropriate to the length of the race – but I’d MUCH rather carry the extra weight than have nothing due to an issue (i.e. a bottle pops off/lost, water not available, etc…)

Thus in total I have:

A) Water Only: 2 bottles

B) Sports Drink: 3 bottles

C) Total bottles-worth on bike to start: 5 bottles.

Finally, I’d also have at least one bottle of water post-ride in the car (I’d place it outside before leaving, so it wasn’t 150*F when I returned), plus a bottle to drink right before the start of the ride, plus a bottle of some sort of breakfast drink (OJ).  So, now we’re up to at least 8 bottles floating around the fridge, and then eventually the car.

So I realized what I needed was a way to keep the bottles both upright – but also a way to keep them organized in the fridge.  And then a way to transport them to/from the car (both the filled and the empties).

Then it dawned on me.  I needed a system like all of the sports teams have for carrying lots of bottles out to the field for practice.  Brilliant!  Reusable, and easy to clean also.

So I started searching eBay for “Water Bottle Carrier”, and here was one of my first options:


Umm..not exactly what I wanted.  The picture also begs the question – does the girl come with it?  It’s not clear in the description.  At least the below one makes it clear only the bottle is included – however, the one with the women above is a better deal at a dollar cheaper (and apparently including the women).  Though, maybe they’re charging you extra for the ‘Butterfly Lovers’  design.


Anyway, continuing through the list I found some items on the right track:


At least the above result understood what I wanted.  And at $25 for a lot of 100 of them – it was a pretty good deal.  But it was made out of cardboard – which would be a waste of paper over time, and also wouldn’t hold up well to liquid spills.

So I searched on, and found this option:


Sweet!  Now that thing is stylish!  But upon further reflection I’m concerned that a typical water bottle is wider than an old school soda bottle.  So… I move on.

Next up was this collapsible water bottle set.  Now this shows some serious promise.  But, my concern would be that if it’s collapsible, it might also be flimsy and looks like it might be lopsided if I only had a few bottles in it.


Finally, I found this product – a heavy duty plastic water bottle carrier.  Bingo!  A quick check on Amazon and with free shipping at the time and only $20 – I had found my match!  So I clicked ‘Buy it now’ and was off and cooking.


A few short days later they arrived at my pad, and I decided it needed the ultimate test. 


No…not loading it up with 25 bottles that I got back at the Kinetic race…though, that would be fun.


But rather just loading it up with two peoples worth of bottles for the Saturday long ride. 
Good news – they all fit!  Well..sorta, there might have been some extra bottleage.


And even better, it keeps them ‘in line’ in the backseat during transport to the mountains.  No kids rolling around making a mess.


So with that, I’m ready for mass liquid transport!


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  1. That water bottle carrying case would do me some good… I just may have to buy one or two of them :)

  2. But you are a butterfly lover afterall.

  3. Anonymous

    That is a excellent find.

    I am curious what your sports drink of choice is for long rides?

  4. Very cool! I just placed my order.

  5. Very nice. I’ll have to consider that one.

    Of course, you forgot the camel back for the long training rides. ;^)

  6. understatement of the year to say my family with four kids on soccer and baseball teams involved with complex carpooling arangements with strangers could have used these…and now i need one…um, just for me though.

  7. Anonymous

    i meant *neighbors, not *strangers


  8. I actually saw someone using one of those lately and wondered where I could pick one up…I had just figured they were some Gatorade promo item not for sale. Thanks for the tip!

  9. I had seen this in one of your other posts and thought it was cool. Now it would be most awesome to have one of those foil insulated bags from Costco for one 6-bottle carrier to keep some bottles cool or to throw in a few gallon zipper bags of ice to have cold bottles when you get finished.

  10. YOU CAN DO IT!!!

    I could not resist…Water Boy is one of my favorite movies.

  11. you figure out every dilemma with a sound solution….

    now, if you worked for the Redskins, you’d be the fittest water boy there….

  12. You put so much time and thought into everything you do. Although, maybe if I took a cue from you, I wouldn’t become all dehydrated during my “long” runs.

  13. Heh. I just placed my order.

    You know, it really is amazing how something so simple as finding a good way to transport water can make for a decent blog post. That, or I’m really THAT uninteresting in my life.

    Seriously, thanks for the post. I’m sure this will come in handy!

  14. On the question of what I’m using in the bottles…

    This year I’m going with EFS mix/powder. I use it in a highly concentrated variant, so it’s packing a lot of calories. Currently using the Fruit Punch flavror…which is very fruity. Last year I used infinite, but found that I would start throwing it up when my HR was in the upper 170’s (upper Z4). So…it was time for a change. So far, so good.

    And using the EFS Gel on the run. Vanilla..cause it taste like cupcake batter. :)

  15. sweet! I love hearing about others nutrition/hydration. FYI – I take 3 bottles on a 1.5-2 mile rides. :-)

    FYI – two of my bottles are the “big” polar bottles that are insulated.

  16. A very good discovery! It must have a very good effect to you! excellent!

  17. Coop

    With all of your gadgets, I’m surprised you don’t have a portable ARB fridge/freezer for the car. Not only would it allow you to transport your liquids, but you can throw meals in there for pre/post race as well. There are a few companies that make very nice portable fridges…might be worth looking into.