By Kevin Rouse
In my experience, there are few better ways to experience a new place than on a bike. Fast enough to cover some serious ground, and slow enough to take it all in, if I had my druthers, I’d have a bike with me on all my travels. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible thanks to the one-two punch of practicality and stratospheric airline fees.
But now, thanks to a novel new service dubbed Spinlister, you can easily find a bike wherever your travels take you. And by the same principle, you can also collect a check every month for letting friendly bike-loving travelers rent your bike when they’re in town.
Born from a summer trip to New York City, Spinlister seeks to help you find a bike to ride wherever your travels take you.
The idea behind Spinlister is similar to other peer-to-peer websites à la couchsurfing.org , and getaround.com, and on Spinlister, people can offer up their bikes to rent on the website, and others can then in turn rent those bikes for a daily or hourly rate.
Launched April 1st of this year, Spinlister is currently only live in San Francisco and New York City, although the site will expand to the rest of the country in the coming months (and Spinlister is currently accepting all bike listings right now, regardless of location)
The renting process with Spinlister couldn’t be easier. Simply search according to location, bike type and size, make a reservation and you’re already on your way to throwing your leg over the chariot of your choosing in your dream destination.
The average rental rate on Spinlister runs around $20 dollars per day. A quick perusal of the bike offerings in San Francisco turns up plenty of cruisers and townies as well as several high-end mountain and road bikes--and the number of listings is growing by the day.
Odds are, there’s a bike that fits what you’re looking for. Just three months in, over 500 bikes around the world have been listed on Spinlister.
Created by Will Dennis and Jeff Noh, the two started Spinlister as a way to make money with their bikes, and also create a much more interactive peer-to-peer rental experience. Users are encouraged to post information on their favorite rides in the area and to “treat the renter like a friend who’s borrowing your bike,” the website suggests.
A lister himself, Dennis rents out “The Blue Ladykiller”, his blue singlespeed. Based on his experiences, whether it be being asked to dinner by a couple visiting from Asia, or simply recommending a few tourist attractions and some good places to ride, the potential for interaction is great.
“We’re seeing a lot of community coming out of it,” Dennis said. “[Spinlister provides] shared action and and an excuse to meet someone new.”
While meeting someone can be a great experience, Spinlister does acknowledge the potential for things to turn south. As such, they offer those who list their bikes a guarantee against loss or damage should the renter be unable to reimburse the lister for the fair value of their bike.
Additionally, Spinlister eliminates any potential friction regarding payment. By acting as an intermediary between renter and lister. Listers are paid every two weeks, with Spinlister taking a 12.5-percent service fee from each rental.
To browse current offerings or to list your own bike, direct your browser this-a-way.