A new, online bike rental system called Spinlister connects cyclists on the go to bikes that would otherwise be sitting in garages or basements.
So far, the system is up and running in San Francisco and New York, but the startup is taking listings from around the world.
In many ways, the system is more VRBO or Airbnb than your typical city bike share. City bikes shares, usually designed for short-distance commuters or recreational riders, usually stock solid bikes that cyclists looking for a workout would find clunky. But Spinlister stocks whatever bike owners want to list, at whatever price they want to list them. And its online system works just like the peer-to-peer lodging sites work: log in, scroll, and click on your top pick to connect with the owner.
"People are becoming more comfortable connecting online using their real identity and people seem to be increasingly looking for more authentic experiences," founder Will Dennis told Fast Company.
Nervous about renting your Felt ZW to a stranger? Spinlister says it will reimburse owners up to $5,000 for damaged or stolen bikes if the renter doesn't.
"I tried it out on a recent weekend in Manhattan, picking up a sleek black Fuji Feather single-speed called Midnight Rider for $15, complete with helmet and lock," Andrew Zaleski wrote in Outside Magazine. "It handled the West Side Highway bike path like a champ."
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