Rider identification is (arguably) necessary to determine
<li>who should be fed</li>
<li>where they should be fed</li>
<li>who should be allowed across Westgate</li>
<li>who should be allowed on a ferry</li>
<li>which embarkation point should be available to a ferry passenger</li>
<li>who the ambos are scraping off the road in an emergency (ouch!)</li>
That being said it becomes necessary to find an effective way of doing identifying riders quickly, reliably and reasonably securely from fraud.
The advantage of the bib is it's big and visible and, with colour coding, makes for quick identification for all BV management issues. The disadvantages include being somewhat cumbersome, interfering with team jersey designs, hard to wear over pockets or front zips.
So what are the alternatives?
Wristbands are small and hard to see until you're right up at the checking point. They are also unlikely to be very comfortable as they will probably slide up and down and get into awkwark corners inside gloves.
ID type cards (e.g., last year's passports) are equally hard to see at a distance and, apparently, far too many of them were lost last year.
Big ID labels (e.g., tennis open, grand prix) which hang around your neck might be visible enough but they'd be so uncomfortable that you'd tuck them away and have to pull them out when needed thereby defeating the purpose.
Is some form of brightly coloured ankle band an option? These can be bigger than wrist bands without becoming uncomfortable.
Or should the ID go on the bike, not the rider? And if so, in what form and how and where would it be mounted?
Whatever the solution, consideration needs to be given to the production and distribution logistics as well.
The ID must be able to be produced quickly and distributed in advance directly to each entrant. This year's problems have totally invalidated the last objective listed as nobody has ended up with his/her assigned bib number so the number provides no emergency identification.
Perhaps the answer is a printed label INSIDE a weather-proof, colour coded cover (a bit like those package tour luggage tags). That way, the covers can be produced well in advance and the labels can be mailed to riders as were the collection tags this year. The big, colourful cover does the identification thing for BV administration and the printed label gets to the correct rider for the event so the ambos really do know who they're scraping off the road.