So much city, so little time: like lots of air travelers, I’m often forced to shoehorn my sightseeing into a few hours of leisure and a few square blocks. That’s when I get homesick for my trusty purple Schwinn, which hardly ever fits in the overhead bin. But I do tote a laptop, and that makes finding a local bike easy. Today RentABikeNow.com launches an online reservation site for cycling rentals at 200 locations nationwide. It’s a quick-click solution to the only-one-afternoon-in-a-new-town dilemma–enter your destination, find a convenient location, and book your bike.
Gearhead George Gill of Chicago says he came up with the idea on a recent plane flight and promoted it at last year’s Interbike trade show. The site lets cyclists reserve the bike of their choice, from a recumbent to a BMX, for just a few bucks (plus a surcharge that starts at $5). You can specify size and accessories (even, at some shops, a GPS to guide your way), and the dates, from a day to a month. The site pre-sifts available locations to make sure that the shop is open when you need it and responds with a confirmation that includes directions to the rental site and suggestions for area attractions nearby.
There are gaps–search for Cleveland and you’ll be matched with a shop 35 miles away in Barberton–but bike-friendly spots like San Diego, Tampa and Chicago are well served and the site is adding locations daily. RentABikeNow has also enlisted shops at rural trailheads for the fat-tire crowd. Log on today, ride tomorrow.
Photo: Biking along Lake Michigan in Chicago, by meryddian via the Intelligent Travel Flickr pool
- Nat Geo Expeditions