Bottles Bottles everywhere | and not a drop to drink

image31I’ve often been out on a ride and heard the question “What do I get for my membership fee?”  Well at the AGM, I think Steven comprehensively answered that by showing that for every $1 we receive in membership fees, we spend over $3 in providing benefits for the members, whether that is club breakfast, OneLifeiD’s Training programmes, or (now) the new ANZA water bottles.  On top of that, whether due to interest in taking on a role or other reasons, we sometimes get asked “what does the committee do?”, well the honest answer is we sit around a few times a year asking each other questions like:

  • What do we think the members would like to do on their bikes
  • Can we organise more social events
  • How do we get less experienced or confident members into the club
  • How can we make the rides safer
  • What should the kit look like this year
  • How can we look better and more like a club

Well after a little more trouble than I would have liked one of those has come to fruition this week so I thought I’d share what goes into being on the committee.

Now as VP, I don’t really have a defined role, so it often falls to me to try to take an idea and see what it will take to make it happen.  Club Water Bottles was an idea we had which had proved difficult in the past so always up for a challenge I thought I’d give it a shot.

Bottle Design-right sizeI found Specialized did a customised water bottle line, but they never even bothered to respond to my enquiries, perhaps the thought of shipping to Singapore was putting them off or perhaps they had too much business to want to bother but you’d have thought that a 300 bottle order was at least worth an email.  So a bit more searching and I found that Polar Bottle in the USA would do custom designs and I have used Polar bottles for years so some enquiries and they were delighted to help.

The first step is agreeing the design, I took the ANZA kit design colours and put together something that the rest of the committee were happy with.  Then we negotiated pricing and shipping.  This is where it got interesting / difficult and my lack of knowledge of shipping showed.  I had 3 options. 1. Ship to dock ($370) 2. Ship to final address ($700) both 30-45 days and airfreight ($750).  Now I had researched the cost of buying Polar image21Bottles here and found the absolute best you could do was just under $20 so our manufacture cost was coming in significantly under that so I decided we could afford having the airfreight to get them a month earlier, what they didn’t tell me was that it was the air equivalent of the ship to dock option.

Not a problem you might think, go and collect at the airport.  Well that’s what I thought but that’s not what it means at all, it means that none of the customs clearance or import documentation is done.  I asked the shipping company of they could do that for me and they came back telling me that customs had put a stop on the bottles as I didn’t have an import license.

You see water bottles hold drinks and therefore you need a “food appliances” license from the AVA.  The license is free but you can’t get one as an individual, you have to be a company [getting frustrated now!].  Again, I asked the shipping company if they could apply on my behalf and they came back a day later saying that “management” had said no.  Stalemate.  Bottles stuck in a customs warehouse.

seatronicsThis is where mates come to the rescue and with thanks to Derek and Craig they offered to get their freight forwarding agents involved. and a couple of days later I was delighted (my wife was not) to find this lot in my livingroom.

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So now you know, this is the sort of thing that the committee spend their time trying to sort out.

Now what do you do with 300 water bottles, well obviously, you get your kids to write ANZA with them right.

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