Have you ever thought your bike could make you money while you're not using it? Places like Kopenhagen or Amsterdam are booming cycling havens, London is slightly behind but steadily catching up with growing bicycle community. You would naturally expect new trends popping up from these places but surprisingly some of popular concepts, just like the fashion of Fixed Gear, is coming from the hilly San Francisco.
The west coast startup called Liquid
has created a peer to peer bike rental service bringing private owners and renters together directly bypassing the traditional bike hire companies. It is a fantastic service to use if you are traveling and a handy tool to make some extra money. If you're wondering why would anyone rent a bike from you instead of just picking one up from the Boris rack, I guess the answer is the feel of community. I would much prefer hiring a bike in New York from a chap in brooklyn who will suggest me the best places to go and see, will give me tips only locals know. In fact Liquid
encourages it's users to share your tips and suggest the rides.
For sure you wouldn't give your bike to just any stranger on the street and would worry your bike might not make it back but the Liquid
guys have worked it out. Renters on Liquid are required to enter a valid credit card in order to rent a bike. Should anything happen to the bike or if the bike is returned late, Liquid retains the right to charge the credit card. Credit cards also provide another instance of identity verification.They claim every bike rented out is also insured up to $5000 (roughly £3160).
So while the startup currently is concentrating on New York and San Francisco areas they have big plans in quickly spreading through US and Europe. It already allows listing your bike anywhere in the world so it's very possible it will quickly become the new Airbnb for bikes.