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Old 12-07-05, 02:47 PM   #1
JohnBrooking
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Renting bike for business travel

Okay, I've been looking into renting a bike in Nashville when I'm there for business training in January, instead of renting a car. After spending a fair amount of time researching, and actually making progress with Nashville Bicycle Company on a rental, my company just put the kabosh on it, at least as a bona-fide travel expense. It seems that our travel policy (really, that of the company that handles our business expense reimbursements) prohibits motorcycles as a mode of business travel. While bicycles are not explicitely prohibited, it is hard to see how they would be permitted if motorcycles are not. It's probably not worth fighting, in a lot of ways, but I'm wondering if anyone else out there has tried doing this, and run into the same barrier. Or maybe you'd just like to comment on it regardless.

Now I'm bummed.
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Old 12-07-05, 03:09 PM   #2
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Did you already check the cost on shipping your bike down?

If you have enough time before the trip you could have your bike shipped to the hotel.
Is there another bike around the house for a backup ? Or, if you are very friendly with the business you are going to, you could ship it to them. You could even have it shipped to a UPS or other freight terminal and have them hold it for you. If you must get a car and it is no cost to you just let it sit there unless you need it.
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Old 12-07-05, 03:15 PM   #3
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Just bury it in your expense report under "breakfast."
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Old 12-07-05, 03:35 PM   #4
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1. Ditch your current bike
2. Buy a hot folder
3. ...
4. PROFIT!

(however that's supposed to go)
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Old 12-07-05, 03:49 PM   #5
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Get a really nice folder and take it on the plane as checked baggage.
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Old 12-07-05, 04:02 PM   #6
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I like the idea of the folder best (after the "breakfast" idea, of course.) I really don't want to go through the hassle of shipping anything, between packing and unpacking both places, the shipping expense, and possibly having to pick it up somewhere else. It's only a 3-day training course.

Now if I could just convince my wife to let me buy a folder...

What's the general price range (USD)?
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Old 12-07-05, 04:21 PM   #7
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Have your hotel make the bike reservation and add it to the hotel bill. give the bike shop a head's up. It'll work for sure - most hotels that cater to business travelers eat that crap up. it's not likely to be a huge expense, but you could always reduce your trips to the mini bar to compensate.

That said, I have a bike friday that I take when I travel - a very worthwhile investment, even if I'm the one paying.
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Old 12-07-05, 04:26 PM   #8
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by the way. you are going to love the riding down there. I just took a trip to asheville and about crapped my pants it was so beautiful.
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Old 12-07-05, 05:15 PM   #9
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by the way. you are going to love the riding down there. I just took a trip to asheville and about crapped my pants it was so beautiful.
Asheville, or Nashville? We're talking about the latter?

I wouldn't want to do that while riding!
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Old 12-07-05, 06:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
Asheville, or Nashville? We're talking about the latter?

I wouldn't want to do that while riding!
When you're in Nashville, you've got to go to the Stage. A bit touristy, but tons o' fun none the less. If you got some Little E' apparell, the girls'll love you.
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Old 12-07-05, 07:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
Asheville, or Nashville? We're talking about the latter?
oops. that's what you get for trying to work while posting important advice.

anyway, I'm sure nashville's nice too - though I've never been. I still think having the hotel reserve it would be the bees knees. just submit your receipt that doesn't have the itemized crap. have fun!
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Old 12-07-05, 08:17 PM   #12
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My friend/ riding buddy / co-worker Mark has come up with a great answer for this. Generally, shops are unwilling to rent a bike for a few weeks because of liability concerns - they'd rather sell them.

Mark had three weeks in OK City and couldn't find a bike to rent, so he negotiated with a LBS owner. The LBS owner sold Mark a bike they'd taken in on trade for $100, and said he'd buy it back in a month for $75 if undamaged.

Mark took that bike to the hotel, spent an evening tweaking it, got it into great condition, rode it for three weeks, and on the last day of the trip returned it to the bike shop and sold it for $75. Everybody was happy. I've always credited Mark for a resourceful scrounge on this one.

Maybe you can research a few bike shops in advance, pack your pedals and fav seat, and see what shakes loose. Good luck!
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Old 12-07-05, 09:17 PM   #13
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Hide it under:

Miscellaneous business expense
Public transportation (no receipt)
Business meals under $35/day (no receipt)
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Old 12-08-05, 08:37 AM   #14
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I had the same problem--I really wanted to rent a bike for a trip to the LA area. I think I would have been better off if I didn't ask and just submitted the bill. I think they would have had to have paid it.
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Old 12-08-05, 09:28 AM   #15
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My last business trip I rented a bike for a week and submitted a transportation expense. No questions were asked.
When we did go out in the evenings I simply hitched a ride with a co-worker. More than one rental car sat in the hotel parking lot for the whole time.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:36 AM   #16
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Since you wouldn't be driving the car, submit the bike rental under fuel. Or my favorite way to expense random stuff: snack. Two snacks a day adds up to just about anything I could have forgotten at home that I needed to buy while on travel.
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Old 12-08-05, 04:14 PM   #17
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My stay will only be 3 days, and I already had an LBS working on a rental as well as even delivering it to and picking it up from my hotel! :-(

edtrek, that's a good idea your buddy had. Besides reluctance of the shops to rent for that long, I would think that if it were a several week time period, the rental fees would soon rise above the cost of a basic cheap new bike!

My problem in this situation is that I'm too honest, and/or afraid of getting caught, to do much expense hiding. I'm not sure how I could make up $40/day of miscellaneous undocumented charges. $10-20 maybe, but $40 a day? I don't see it.

The hotel idea is not bad, except in this case, as luck would have it, the training company has already struck a deal with the hotel to include it in the cost of the training, which my manager knows, so that's out (unless we go back to miscellaneous un-itemized room charges).
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Old 12-08-05, 04:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
(unless we go back to miscellaneous un-itemized room charges).

pay per view porn
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Old 12-08-05, 06:42 PM   #19
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I had to go to New Orleans last May and rented a bike while I was there. I just got it for a few hours to go for a ride, but the guy said he would rent it longer term if I wanted. I don't remember the rate exactly, but I think I paid something like $10 and rode for about 3 hours.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:00 PM   #20
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Post an ad on Criagslist in Nashville that you are looking to rent a bike while you are in town. You will probably get a few replies.
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Old 12-08-05, 11:48 PM   #21
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If it that big a deal, don't go on the training course......... If your firm really wants you to attend, they'll come to the party; if you really want to attend, you'll ship/ take your bike with you, or rent one.
End of issue!
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Old 12-09-05, 02:21 AM   #22
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The reason for the rule is that the rental car is a legal tax write off for the company. Motorcycles and bicycles are prohibited from that write off.

In cases for which I needed a bicycle to perform a job, I simply took it on the plane and put it down in the expense report as “excess baggage charge/work equipment” which was a 100% true statement.

So if you can use the bike as work equipment rather than only transportation or recreation, then the company can legally take the tax write off.
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Old 12-09-05, 04:17 PM   #23
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The reason for the rule is that the rental car is a legal tax write off for the company. Motorcycles and bicycles are prohibited from that write off.

In cases for which I needed a bicycle to perform a job, I simply took it on the plane and put it down in the expense report as “excess baggage charge/work equipment” which was a 100% true statement.

So if you can use the bike as work equipment rather than only transportation or recreation, then the company can legally take the tax write off.
Is stress relief a legal write off in the US???? I'm sure you could include your bike in that, along with a few other things....
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Old 12-09-05, 06:44 PM   #24
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Is stress relief a legal write off in the US???? I'm sure you could include your bike in that, along with a few other things....
Sadly, no. Except maybe in California, under state taxes.

We need to reform our tax code and remove the anti-bicycle bias.
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Old 12-09-05, 09:22 PM   #25
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Passive agressive method-- Rent a car. Park it. Get somebody's gas reciept and submit that. How hard could it be to talk someone out of a $40-$50 gas reciept? Hell give them 10 bucks for it.

I wish I could rent a bike now. I am in boston on business and there is a great amount of fun snow.

Could start a bike forums share a ride plan for travelers. I have bikes that I would let others use for free.
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