One of my favorite things about traveling abroad is the chance to ride a bike around a new city. I take the bus to work most days, and I'm not hardcore enough to spend the whole day caked in sweat or clad in spandex (or both). But travel, as it's prone to do, shakes me out of my daily rhythm, and I'm more than happy to discover a new place while cycling through it.
Riding through the rain in Prague with a beer garden buzz remains one of my fondest memories of the Czech Republic, and I still reminisce about the time my friends and I cycled through Seattle in a pedal-breakdown-repair loop the whole way to the brewery.
Even in larger cities, a bicycle is a great way to get in some exercise and move about at a natural pace. But sometimes, the rates at the local bike rentals are a little too steep to justify splurging for a few hours' city cruise. This is where Liquid (formerly named Spinlister) steps in and really shines.
Think of Liquid as Airbnb for bicycles: it's a Twitter/Facebook-verified service that allows owners to list available bicycles for potential renters and travelers, offering a win-win for both parties in a reciprocal relationship. Private owners keep the dust from settling on an unused bike, and renters are able to wheel themselves around town at a rate far below what they would otherwise pay at a bike shop. Bikes can also be listed with additional accessories, like helmets, locks, baskets—even surfboard racks!
The community aspect of Liquid is also a key feature: much like other community-based resources, listers and renters can review each other on the quality of their transaction, recommend great rides, ask questions, or schedule a meet-up. It's yet another brilliant expression of the travel as global community attitude, and though US-centric in its infancy, Liquid has a worldwide vision and accepts listings from any country.
Liquid has built-in safety measures, too: all payments are handled within Liquid itself, and individual listings are insured up to $5,000 per bike and (God forbid) $1,000,000 per incident. There's also promise of a cake if there are any hiccups.
And cake fixes everything. Right?