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Old 04-16-07, 07:26 AM   #1
becnal
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Bike tour Europe, leave your bikes at home.

Last year an internet friend asked me where he could rent a bike in Germany with which he could tour for a few weeks, thereby avoiding the hassle of bringing his own bike on the plane from America. I told him I didn't know where he could rent one, but that he could use my wife's touring bike for his trip. I told him he didn't have to pay me a cent for using it, but that he would need to leave a deposit with me while he was touring.

It went off without a hitch, and it made me think....... Why don't I offer that "service" to anyone?

So, that's what I'm gonna do. If you come in and out of Frankfurt, I have 2 touring bikes available to be lent. No charge, just the deposit which you get back when you return the bikes.

EDIT: Now, in addition to the three touring bikes, a tandem is available for "lental". Uh, I mean, loan.

Last edited by becnal; 10-24-07 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 04-16-07, 08:10 AM   #2
Ken Brown
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Wow, what an offer! I will keep it in mind. What size are the bikes?
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Old 04-16-07, 08:11 AM   #3
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Becnal:

that's a wonderfully generous offer!

Usually I fly through Frankfurt to teach my study abroad summer class but this year I'll be flying Continental right into BGN. If I hadn't bought a crossbike last fall to have when I was over there, I'd take you up on the offer.

BTW, I think you might have the germ of a successful venture in this (if it were to become popular & you needed another distraction...).

Woody
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Old 04-16-07, 11:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ken Brown
Wow, what an offer! I will keep it in mind. What size are the bikes?
Well, I'm 5'11" (179cm). Of course the saddle can be raised or lowered, and also, I have an adjustable handle bar stem, so that can also be "personalised". My wife is 5'6".

Both are bikes are touring bikes, 28" wheels (700c), with 27 gears, Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires, rear racks, bottle cages and quick releases. They have thousands of kilometers of touring experience in them as well, and I keep them well-maintained.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by becnal
Well, I'm 5'11" (179cm). Of course the saddle can be raised or lowered, and also, I have an adjustable handle bar stem, so that can also be "personalised". My wife is 5'6".

Both are bikes are touring bikes, 28" wheels (700c), with 27 gears, Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires, rear racks, bottle cages and quick releases. They have thousands of kilometers of touring experience in them as well, and I keep them well-maintained.
Wow! Incredibly generous of you! I'm trying to outfit a bike for a friend who is joining me on tour in early June. You may hear from me! Thanks! chris
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Old 04-16-07, 12:30 PM   #6
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A hats off to BECNAL and a handshake also for that offer

I spent 4 + months and 4000+ kms in 04 riding in Europe from Paris to Paris and as far east as budapest and Prague. The generosity and welcomes I recieved from other riders,B+B owners and folks in general, meant as much to me as the km's travels and sites obseerved.The gentleman exemplifies all that is good about our life style and the folks we meet. It was my first ride in Europe and from the moment I got off Air France at CDG until I settled into the seat for the return to the USA were all and more I hoped to encounter
All those who have doubts about doing an overseas trip to ride,,,,,forget about them and just go.

I had dozens of great encounters with riders and non riders and NOT A SINGLE unpleasant experience

A young American and his wife operate the Fat Tire Bike Tours in several Euro cities...used to rent bikes for his friends when they visited him in Paris and he would show them Paris as many never see it...He ultimately left his job and started the touring in Paris , has been very successfull there and in other cites
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Old 04-17-07, 04:17 AM   #7
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I spent 4 + months and 4000+ kms in 04 riding in Europe from Paris to Paris
Sounds like you need a better map.

But seriously, I wonder how hard it would be to start a 'borrow-a-bike' website where others could make similar gestures of goodwill (or rent for a small fee to cover wear and tear). Or if one exists already.
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Old 04-17-07, 04:26 AM   #8
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I am much to fussy. I like my bikes . Doubt I'd find a bike to my liking. If possible I will take my own thank you. I'd be willing to rent a bike for short term tours. A major tour; it'd have to be to my liking. Doubt that is possible.
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Old 04-17-07, 07:32 AM   #9
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I am much to fussy. I like my bikes . Doubt I'd find a bike to my liking. If possible I will take my own thank you. I'd be willing to rent a bike for short term tours. A major tour; it'd have to be to my liking. Doubt that is possible.
Well, beggars can't be choosers. Not everyone can manage to take a bike with them. For you (cyclezealot) and me, it is easy to travel cause we can just roll our bike on the train and roll it off at our destination with little or no hassle. Things get dicier when planes are thrown in the mix.
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Old 04-17-07, 08:44 AM   #10
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Things get dicier when planes are thrown in the mix.
yup, + 1
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Old 04-17-07, 01:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becnal
Well, beggars can't be choosers. Not everyone can manage to take a bike with them. For you (cyclezealot) and me, it is easy to travel cause we can just roll our bike on the train and roll it off at our destination with little or no hassle. Things get dicier when planes are thrown in the mix.
Maybe I was lucky. I did take my bikes aboard a plane from LA to France on three seperate ocassions. It turned out ok. I do recommend a hard case ; since BA did significant damage on two trips. The down side, insurance is lousy and your bike might get damaged or lost. The logistics of transporting the bike out of the airport might be somewhat of a pain.
The upside, you have the bike you like. European airlines did not charge for bike transport as long as it was within weigt limits and packed according to size restrictions. If you can meet that requirement transporting your bike to Europe might cost you nothing. I like having my own bike I invested in so to make it the way I want it. Unlikely you will find that bike if you rent some local bike; which often I've seen as a piece of crap. Doing a couple weeks on a lousy bike. I will take the risk.
Of the three times I took my bikes to Europe on a plane, it cost me nothing. Other than twice the needed repairs.
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Old 04-17-07, 06:21 PM   #12
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This is very generous. I am thinking about touring Germany next year. I will have to keep you in mind.

Hey maybe you can start a co-op and get some of your friends in on the deal?
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Old 05-06-07, 11:34 AM   #13
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Now, in addition to the two touring bikes, a tandem is also available for "lental". Uh, I mean, loan.
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Old 05-06-07, 11:50 AM   #14
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Nice idea, very gernerous!!! Just hope they treat your bike like you do....
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Old 05-06-07, 12:00 PM   #15
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Becnal,
5 Stars for your generosity to the international touring group. It reminds me of the "Warm Showers" group, only much, much more.
I have flown into Frankfurt twice for tours, one was the Danube River out to Hungary, and the other was for the Rhine. Have not been to Frankfurt since my good friend moved to Switzerland. Yeah, I know it's close by...
Your kindness really struck me as a local friend is trying to get a young couple into touring. He called me up and wanted to know what bikes I would lend them. I was more than happy to lend them my KHS Montana Sport completely outfitted with road tires, SKS fenders, racks, or my Bridgestone MB-1, MB-2, or Marin Bear Valley...but not my trustworthy REI Randonee, or Bacchetta Giro. I hope that doesn't make me a bad guy!
Hats off to you!
(P.S. Still don't agree with you on the hammock, though! )
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Old 05-06-07, 12:21 PM   #16
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WOW what a super nice offer! Cheers to you and your wife!
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Old 05-06-07, 02:32 PM   #17
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With most airlines now charging extra to transport bicycles, this may be a great way to fight them. Hopefully this idea will take off (no pun intended).
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Old 04-10-08, 06:24 AM   #18
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Bumped for BisManDan.
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Old 04-10-08, 09:08 AM   #19
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My single experience flying with a bike was great. I turned up at the airport not having even thought about what I was going to do with my bike - I was using it as a trolley. When I got there, they asked if I was shipping it, I asked how much, they said 20 for a cardboard box, and that was it. They didn't even take the pedals off, just stuck it in the box and taped it up. Japan Airlines.

The worst bit was transiting from intl to domestic - how on earth do you carry a huge cardboard box from one terminal to another?

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Old 04-10-08, 10:18 AM   #20
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My single experience flying with a bike was great. Steve
When was that Steve?
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Old 04-14-08, 06:49 AM   #21
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Becnal,
Good idea to revive this thread.
I am hoping to do a tour of Europe this summer, though the airlines might have some hideous prices for transatlantic flights.
Lyndon
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Old 04-14-08, 10:42 AM   #22
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Learned about "coachsurfing" from the tv today. You register online and can sleep on somebodys couch (or spare room) and you let others stay at your coach. You get "kudos" for good behavior in a safe system so it is said to be safe. Mostly in citys I think, not sure. Sounds like a good system.
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