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Old 03-21-14, 08:29 PM   #1
mr_bill
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Rent a good bike - N+1 mitigation

I travel a lot on business. (Too much probably.)

I get to see cities in a way most folks don't.

Most recent trips:
Phoenix - rented a Felt 29er Hardtail.
San Francisco - delightful Mission Bicycle 8-speed.

Helps keep the home stable (The Noble Steel and T.A.R.D.I.S.) to two.

BTW, BYOH - highly recommended. Not thinking "a head" kept me from riding in Paris.

-mr. bill

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Old 03-21-14, 08:56 PM   #2
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Helps keep the home stable (The Noble Steel and T.A.R.D.I.S.) to two.
Wait... What's the TARDIS? (does it say police on it and is it blue?)
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Old 03-21-14, 10:19 PM   #3
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No, travel is reason FOR n+1. Like a Bike Friday. Or a bike with S+S couplers.

I too travel quite a bit and have rented bikes in many places. It's hit or miss. Sometimes there are ok bikes to rent, some times there aren't. Some times there are but the LBS that rents them is on the other side of the city from where I'll be and it's not so easy to get over there.

I came very close to pulling the trigger on a Bike Friday last year, but then I got injured and was out for the whole season. If I ever recover my fitness (I'm on the way but I have a LONG way to go), I will likely strongly consider it.
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Old 03-21-14, 10:23 PM   #4
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My personal pick for a bicycle in S.F. is Bay City Bike. I rent one of their Giant road bikes and then go across the Golden Gate to ride in Marin County. Usually I'm there in December for business at the convention center, and I steal out to Marin to ride for a morning or afternoon. And when I do, I think, "Why on Earth would I want to go back to that damned convention center?". Riding in Marin is dreamy.
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Old 03-23-14, 12:41 PM   #5
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Wait... What's the TARDIS? (does it say police on it and is it blue?)

The chamelion circuit is fine - so no. You'd never know by looking at it.

-mr. bill
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Old 03-23-14, 01:11 PM   #6
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Oh Goodie! I get to come up with my own meanings for the acronym 'TARDIS'.
Traipsing Around Really Drunk Invites Stupidity
Traveling Around Rural Dorchester Is Special
Taunting A Russian Dominatrix Is Sexy
Teasing A Rottweiler Daily Is Suicidal
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Old 03-23-14, 06:41 PM   #7
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N+1 will not be denied. One of these days a bike similar to one you rented will come to your home to stay. Why do you think bicycle dealers have demo fleets?
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Old 03-23-14, 08:57 PM   #8
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I once rented a bike in Vegas instead of a car to get between hotel and convention center. Drop off fee plus pick up fee plus daily rental was half again more than the cost of renting a car. But the biggest joke on me was when I tried to voucher the expense. No way.

My room was in a remote wing of the Flamingo and the best door and elevator combo to avoid having to walk the bike through the casino was at the opposite end. This left me more than a half mile maze of corridors to get to my room. So every morning and evening I would ride the bike through the halls from one end of the hotel to the other. No one ever questioned it.
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Old 03-23-14, 09:57 PM   #9
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No, travel is reason FOR n+1. Like a Bike Friday. Or a bike with S+S couplers.
Yes, business trips were my motivation to get a Bike Friday. (Although it hasn't done much for the n+1 idea - it's almost 20 years old now and is still my newest bike.)

Time on business trips was frequently limited and that made renting a bike very hit or miss. With the Bike Friday I was frequently able to dispense with a rental car by riding straight from the airport to my hotel or business destination. Since it was my personal bike I just submitted vouchers based on mileage - it was always much less than the usual travel costs and I never had any complaints.
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Old 03-24-14, 09:38 AM   #10
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The trip to Boston<->San Francisco was:
30 miles T
30 miles BART
30 miles Cycling
30 miles Walking

5400 Air - yikes

Bag fees change the calculus of BYOB versus Rent. Even a Bike Friday costs $50-$70 just to transport by air. Full size bike is 150.

Renting a bike for a day, a few days or a week depends on where you are is often cheaper. Most places the cost is reasonable. (Nothing is reasonable in Vegas.)

-mr. bill
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Old 03-24-14, 05:37 PM   #11
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My personal pick for a bicycle in S.F. is Bay City Bike. I rent one of their Giant road bikes and then go across the Golden Gate to ride in Marin County. Usually I'm there in December for business at the convention center, and I steal out to Marin to ride for a morning or afternoon. And when I do, I think, "Why on Earth would I want to go back to that damned convention center?". Riding in Marin is dreamy.
My wife and I did that a few years ago (not the same shop nor same bikes, but across the bridge). What a nice ride. We started out in downtown, rode through the Presidio (if I recall), and then out over the bridge. My memory is vague, but I recall the bridge and a tunnel. We got lost out there somewhere after the tunnel, and rode around for an extra hour in some beautiful fairly remote feeling countryside (is there a military post out there somewhere?) We missed our plan to walk around in Carmel before catching the ferry, but that was a good thing all things considered.
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Old 03-24-14, 05:57 PM   #12
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My wife and I did that a few years ago (not the same shop nor same bikes, but across the bridge). What a nice ride. We started out in downtown, rode through the Presidio (if I recall), and then out over the bridge. My memory is vague, but I recall the bridge and a tunnel. We got lost out there somewhere after the tunnel, and rode around for an extra hour in some beautiful fairly remote feeling countryside (is there a military post out there somewhere?) We missed our plan to walk around in Carmel before catching the ferry, but that was a good thing all things considered.
Yes, on the road down to Sausolito you can take a left turn, go through a tunnel and then you're in a nearly pristine valley that leads all the way down to Rodeo lagoon and the Pacific Ocean. There are former military installations there, but overall it's unbelievably pristine for a place just a short bike ride away from one of the nation's main urban centers.

And if you want to go back via the headlands, there's an awesome climb that connects the two.
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Old 03-24-14, 06:01 PM   #13
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Bag fees change the calculus of BYOB versus Rent. Even a Bike Friday costs $50-$70 just to transport by air. Full size bike is 150.

Renting a bike for a day, a few days or a week depends on where you are is often cheaper. Most places the cost is reasonable. (Nothing is reasonable in Vegas.)

-mr. bill
True for a full sized bike, but not necessarily for a Bike Friday if you're a frequent traveller and get standard bags checked for free.
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Old 03-25-14, 11:29 AM   #14
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True for a full sized bike, but not necessarily for a Bike Friday if you're a frequent traveller and get standard bags checked for free.
You'll really want to take a closer look at the (ever diminishing) baggage allowances for frequent traveler programs before you buy a Bike Friday for air travel. Also consider what fraction of travel you do on a qualifying carrier. (For me, it's at best a coin flip.)

-mr. bill
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Old 03-25-14, 12:16 PM   #15
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You'll really want to take a closer look at the (ever diminishing) baggage allowances for frequent traveler programs before you buy a Bike Friday for air travel. Also consider what fraction of travel you do on a qualifying carrier. (For me, it's at best a coin flip.)

-mr. bill
Yeah, everybody is in a slightly different fuselage here, and I think that the Bike Friday carrying case is technically over the total inches for most carriers (though I think most people get away with this b/c the agents don't take out a ruler and measure).

As to carriers, etc., Minneapolis is more or less a one airline town. The advantage of being at a hub is that you always fly the same airline and you get a non-stop to most anywhere (domestic). The disadvantage is that you pay the monopolist's price. The upshot is that I'm "platinum elite" and I don't pay no stinkin' baggage charges. YMMV.
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Old 03-25-14, 02:38 PM   #16
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"Riding in Marin is dreamy." I'll second that! My favorite place to ride in the Bay Area. Sure do miss it.
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Old 03-25-14, 02:50 PM   #17
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"Riding in Marin is dreamy." I'll second that! My favorite place to ride in the Bay Area. Sure do miss it.
Marin is 2nd only to Santa Cruz county.
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Old 03-25-14, 03:04 PM   #18
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Don't know the nature of your business travels, but when I visited my major customers, I always tried to be personable, ie sharing stories, talking about hobbies etc. Obviously I told them I was a cyclist. Bingo, some of them were cyclists, too. Frequently, the bikes I got to ride were better than my own.

At times in my career, I was a 'road warrior', and the idea of another bag was a non-starter.

I would rent, unless you are a week or more at each of your destinations - then maybe a Bike Friday.

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Old 05-27-14, 03:35 PM   #19
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If the bike rental cost is less than the cost of travelling with my bike, I will usually rent at my destination. And even if I do travel with bike, I bring one of my older road bikes so that I won't get too upset if it gets squashed or otherwise beat up. I have been using a BD aluminum Motobecane with DA7800 for the past few years of travel.

Spotty service from rental companies inspered me to set up my own rental company, so if you ever find yourself in SoCal, look me up. My website is in my sig.
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Old 08-10-14, 08:20 PM   #20
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Quick update - the free ones.

In Manhattan, hotel with free bikes. (OK bike, best bike bell ever.)
Seattle, Timbuk2 bikeshare - I don't know why free but I do know thank you.
And in Vancouver BC, hotel with free bikes (and free water).

Great way to lose travel legs. Wicked awesome way to see cities.

-mr. bill
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Old 08-11-14, 07:00 AM   #21
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I travel a lot on business. (Too much probably.)

I get to see cities in a way most folks don't...

BTW, BYOH - highly recommended. Not thinking "a head" kept me from riding in Paris.
Besides helmet, sneakers for walking and riding, and cycling clothes, I also bring my eyeglass mounted rearview mirrors, lights, small pump and/or CO2 cartridges and adapter, tire levers, and I buy a tube for possible flats.

I don't fly so luggage is not a problem, and if feasible I bring my mountain bike. Unless going to visit family, I never bring the carbon fiber. On business travel, I only get a brief amount of riding, less than about 20 miles early in the AM, and usually it's dark, but it makes the trip better than just business and the usual entertainment.
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