Ever Lend Out Your Bikes?
I just had an odd dream.
I had loaned - or is it "lent"? Where is an English major when you need one? - my Bridgestone MB-Zip to a friend. I've owned this bike since new. When it was returned, I was upset to see that the bar, levers and shifters had been removed and replaced with some chrome steel BMX bar, and that the bike had been left outside to rust as a beater yard toy for his little children. How did I know he'd given it over to his kids? Because the MB-Zip had been made into a tricycle. Funny, that part didn't bother me so much. Odd dream, as I said.
Fear not, the Zip is safely dozing in the basement. But this makes me wonder: do you loan (or lend) out your bikes? Offer them for guests to ride, or let friends take them away for a while? Is there just one loaner bike in your fleet, or multiple? Have you had any good or bad experiences?
Myself - I have one designated "guest bike" in the garage, a Dahon folder that can fit anyone and is easy to ride albeit not speedy. A guest has already crashed it, and the little bike bears those scars. I've also had guests ride the longtail (Xtracycle) grocery bike in the past, that also allows them to carry all the picnic supplies (heh heh). There are two bikes my kids ride to school, and they could be emergency guest-fodder if needed. Otherwise, all the currently-functional bikes in the fleet have clipless pedals, or in one case the bike is a recumbent, so they can't be easily borrowed. I've never given anyone a bike to borrow for an extended time, and the situation has never arisen.