BY: CAROLINE ROLF
Just imagine her, will you? The sparkling crimson-coloured beauty I bought for 50 dollars from a sweet lady in my hometown, because she needed to upgrade for “yard-saling purposes.” Riding her made me feel like a mix of Marilyn Monroe and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the best possible way. I named her Peggy.
Now Peggy sits collecting dust in the corner of my apartment as I bury myself in blankets and put ‘dog rescue videos’ on auto-play. Peggy deserves it though, after she betrayed me by hitting the curb, causing me to scrape my knee on the sidewalk. There are some sunny days I long to ride a bicycle and feel the breeze through my helmet holes, but I stubbornly refuse to give her another chance. Just because I can’t won’t enjoy my bike, why can’t someone else take her for a spin? Well thanks to Spinlister, now they can.
Just as Airbnb has altered the way we travel, this company is transforming our commute with bicycles, surfboards, snowboards and skis. Spinlister is determined to promote common kindness with this unique startup that lets you rent a sweet pair of (two) wheels in your own neighbourhood or abroad.
The peer-to-peer cycle-sharing app launched in 2012, however bike rentals are not new to many European cities. The catch is that many of these rental shops are unaffordable or scattered few and far from your location. There are networks in Montreal and New York City, but their locations and options fall short of useful. Spinlister wants to make it easy for their users and riders by letting the renter set the price and time frame for their equipment. Hesitant about letting just any shmuck take your baby out on the road? The company insures up to $10,000 for a damaged or stolen bike. No word yet on how they would cover injuries.
Often renters also provide their bikes’ temporary riders with tips on the best local routes and even take them on a ride. The company’s chief marketing officer Andrew Batey says, “We see that all the time. Local advice is so important and people love the idea they can meet like-minded people and even go out on rides with them.”
Unlike Airbnb, Spinlister isn’t a way to make thousands of dollars per year. Nobody is getting rich from renting their wheels, but without a high monetary value, what you’ve got instead is a better sense of community. Look at that, there is a bicycle available five minutes away from me, I may just go for a quick spin. And when I get home, I think I’ll release my over-protective shield and list my bike on the app. Peggy deserves her day in the sun.
Image sourcing: news.discovery.com, road.cc, redhotiam.com