By Maggie LaCoste
Geoffroy Muller reports that the new bike rental website, Rent a Bike in France is now up and running. After only a few short weeks, the new website, which will match inquiries for bike rentals in France with professional bike shops in France has over 200 partners registered with the program. By the beginning of the busy summer holiday season, Rent A Bike in France should have bike rental options in most of the popular biking destinations. Geoffroy reports that they are currently working to secure a partner who will provide much sought after road bikes in the South of France. So for all of you serious cyclists who are aching to try some of the Tour de France hills, you may now have an option other than bringing your own road bike to France.
The system is pretty straight forward, you can begin your search by entering the town, department or postal code if you happen to know it and the dates of your trip. A screen will ask what type of equipment you are interested in. Equipment choices will vary from bike shop to bike shop, but the overall choices include mountain, hybrid and road bikes, trekking and tandem bikes, city cruisers and beach bikes and electric bikes. Once you have chosen your type of bike, you will be asked to provide information on bike sizes, and then you will add these selections into your shopping cart. If there is currently a partner servicing that area, you will then proceed with additional questions before you complete your order. Partners will directly showcase their bikes, accessories and services on their own “online shop” within the Rent A Bike Network, so you will be able to also rent helmets, bike bags and other accessories directly. If there is not a partner currently servicing that area, Rent a Bike in France will work to secure a service provider for you, and will notify you to complete your reservation.
This new bike rental service is a huge undertaking, and is really in its infancy. If you are planning to take a look at it for this upcoming summer, be patient with the system. The network is taking care to partner with professional bike shops that offer a full range of bike rental and repair services so that renters can feel comfortable that they are renting top quality equipment that has been maintained properly. By next spring this time, this network could be the best resource for anyone planning to bike in France, but for this summer, success with the network may just depend on where you are going, and if there is a location to service you.
Since I have not yet used the new reservation system, I am not sure how the costs will compare to those I have reported on in previous posts about renting bikes in France. But as the system evolves, I will report back to let you know more about pricing. It will be interesting to see if the company’s partners will allow one way rentals on some of the major routes like La Loire a Velo and the Canal du Midi. If so, this could make the new system the perfect choice for many people biking these routes. If you are interested in more information, you can contact Geoffrey Muller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.