Proposed Forum: Bicycle Rentals
I travel a lot without bike to many towns and wished I could rent a bike from someone privately.
I also have several "spare" bikes myself that I would rent to other WS members.
Rental could be so much cheaper and nicer and fun within WS community.
This could also be a nice fundraiser for WS, because I would actually consider a donation to WS as the rental price... I am not in it for profit.
This site is new and with a small member base but may be worth checking out: http://bike-sharing.org/ (as mentioned in the forums here:
thanks for the reference; I joined and listed my bike.
But I still think WS is also a great resource since I learned to trust the members here.
Here are a couple more sites:
Can't vouch for any of them as I have never used them.
I registered with a few, but they don't seem to take off, since none produced any inquiries so far.
By now one of my recent host had lend me his bike on a visit (and hosted me despite not arriving on a bike- instead, providing his ;) )
In any case: I hope this forum here will take off. If any HOSTS (min. 1 feedback) come to Waikiki and need a (now fully fixed and inflated ;) 60 cm bike for a few days, please let me know!
Michael, with all due respect...
"Traveling a lot"... "without a bicycle..." in my opinion does not make one a "touring cyclist".
but more a traveler that will ride a bike occasionally... hence the need for a rental or loaner bike.
Since Warmshowers directs its efforts towards encouraging travel by bicycle, supporting adventure touring, and allowing for inexpensive accommodations for the community of Cyclists ON TOUR...
...then a rental bike business really has no place on the site.
This isn't an elitist or exclusionary stance I take, but how diluted WS becomes will depend on focusing on priorities.
The other hospitality sites, hostels, taxi companies, airbnbs, campgrounds, etc can take care of the traveler on the cheap.
WS serves a specific sporting community.
Our common ground is the adventure and challenge of cycling travels...
not just the bike.
I respect your purist stance on WS. However, I also think you misinterpreted my intentions.
My suggestions are not to sidetrack from WS's mission, but to add another option for people like us, when -I forbid- we travel without our bikes, as it happens to me frequently. But yet, I still consider myself very much a cyclist and very much part of this community.
IMO it would be cool to add the bike rent/lend option- no harm done. Since WS is not a religion, I can handle a little flexibility. However, if you don't like the proposed option, no need for you to use it.
I hope you didn't read my profile before you made your comments- otherwise I must consider that my profile is not very clear and I will need to review it.
This just does not intersect at all with the scenario of host and tourer that Warmshowers concerns itself with (hence my posting of links to other sites above). I'm not sure that Kathryn made any comment on your intentions, regardless they are irrelevant here, the discussion is about outcomes and I would have to agree with her that tacking other ideas on to a small volunteer run community with a specific focus like Warmshowers, while they may often seem like good ideas, can often result in detrimental effects such as diverting what are already limited resources and diluting the sense of community (eg: bringing in members who are not at all concerned with touring hospitality as hosts or as guests). Additionally if your proposal gained the traction it needed to be useful, it would result in a defacto green light for non-tourers to approach members for hosting something which I am very much against; WS has been shielded from what could've been a much more profound deterioration in functionality by keeping its focus restricted to hospitality for touring cyclists.
The arguments you have made (WS is not a religion, some can handle a little flexibility, if you don't like it you don't have to use it etc) I could equally make for the proposal that WS be extended to motorcycle tourers. The counter argument is being made not out of personal preference but concern that the community continues to function doing what it was founded to do - enabling touring cyclists to find hosts on their travels.
There was a poll on here last year I think about WS priorities and I was heartened to find that a majority of members voted in favor of WS 'doing one thing well'. Let other sites dedicate themselves to bike sharing, blog rating, wikis, for profit accommodation etc - they are already out there. If you like the idea join those communities and help them build and realise those ideas but given the worrying decline in functionality of this site over the last few years I would be very much against anything taking the focus of WS away from hospitality for touring cyclists.