I’m currently visiting Medellin in Colombia and I can’t help but think what a joy it would be to rent a nice bike for a day and explore the hills and nooks and crannies of this beautiful city.
Currently, I have to rely on local bike shops that often rent out clunky, badly maintained bikes. This is fine for a few short journeys, but not enough to satisfy my cravings for some real exploring.
However, a new startup Spinlister, that now has a pretty website and app (of course!) is shaking things up a little. Whether you are visiting a new city and want to rent a bike, or your bike is broken and you need to hire one or you’ve got a spare bike lying around and you want to make some extra cash, you’ll want to sign up!
Sign up is quick and easy and you can view all the bikes available for rental in your area. In London, pickings are still a little slim, but as the word gets out I’m sure this will become more popular.
Many of the first people to sign up are local bike shops. I can see Velorution and Cloud 9 Cycles are already offering bikes for rental, with both a Brompton and a Dutch style bike available.
Prices seem reasonable and only time will tell whether they’ll go up or down. The Brompton is available for $20 for the day and you can get something for as little as $10 per day (around £6.50).
Through the app or website, you can book how long you’ll need the bike for and the owner can accept your request.
You exchange payment details and ride off with the bike.
Obviously, there are some awkward situations that could arise. For example, what if the bike you rent is stolen? Spinlister says it would be your responsibility to replace, much like you would replace it for a good friend.
I really like the social nature of Spinlister. I’m visiting New York soon and intend to rent a bike through the service to check it out. What will be particularly useful will be recommendations that the person will be able to give me for where to ride and what to look out for. It’s always nice to get to know a cyclist in a new city!
Would you use the service?
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.