We started with a desire to meet the demand for rental bikes. An employee of a DC bike shop noticed people wanted to rent, even though the shop had ended renting a year earlier. With a polite request from the owners to field the rental calls independently, the employee began a business experiment.
Strictly from forwarded calls of local DC shops, which also didn't rent bikes, the new entrepreneur and shop employee had fun & made a return on the investment. No car (thanks Zipcar), no building and no frills. Just a website and a reputation of good bikes by word of good shops. Every two years the fleet was replaced and doubled.
Like all shop employees, part of the fun of working is having the types of bikes you wanted to ride, so great bikes were always in stock. Racing bikes, city bikes, and eventually, cargo bikes. Accessories like iPhone holders for the handlebars and HD action video cameras were added to the mix.
In 2013, with over 50 bikes to choose from, Bikes to Borrow makes its deliveries with its own electric car. We are well represented online business wise and socially. We support Wounded Warriors ride and visiting triathletes. In recent years, our repeat business is what most surprised us and we thank those of you who keep coming back.
Our sponsors are Chevy Chase Nissan, who supported us in obtaining a Leaf, The Bike Rack, who helped us obtain our current bike fleet, and Solar Solution LLC, that established us to run on the power of the sun!
We also want to send a shout to all of the other shops that keep our cards stocked in their businesses, the personal trainers that take their clients on group rides, and the bike organizations that make riding pleasurable and safer in DC.