Second Time's The Charm

Second Time's The Charm

Last week I had my second rental. I was pumped - dang, this thing is working! People want it! I was most excited because this individual fit perfectly into one of my "user segment" slots I mapped out way back when – a cyclist renting a bike for their partner who does not own a bike. This allows the two of them to enjoy a fun ride together without both needing to own bikes.

He rented it, went radio silent for a while, during which time I assumed they were enjoying the ride. Then he texted me that the bike was safely back in its nest. Later, when I heard the full post-ride review, I felt like I had completely failed at my job. I sat on my couch with my hands over my face for a full minute. It felt like a disaster.

That said, I learned 3 very specific lessons. No one got hurt. At the end of the day that's a win, right? Here's what happened, what I learned, and what I'm going to do about it:

One of the guys I ride with called on Sunday around noon, saying he had rented the bike for his girlfriend and was wondering where to pick it up. I answered his call from my bike in the middle of Umstead - not really in a position to drop everything, ride back home, and get him the bike. So that was lesson 1:

  1. New policy: 24 hours' notice for any direct pickups.

Since they planned on going out to the ATT, cruising for a couple miles, and heading back home, I figured it would be fine to rent a Klunker. I pointed him towards Crank Arm since they were open. There was a live Klunker there, hot and ready to rent. Great!

Apparently, the pickup went very well. Same with the dropoff later that day. In a way, that's lesson itself:

  1. The remote pickup process works well.

So they get to the trail, unload the bikes, and she hops on. Turns out, the bike was a little too tall on the standover height. This wouldn't be a huge deal, except it's happened before with other ladies who've ridden the Klunker. For all of its "one size fits all" magic and coaster brake simplicity, I have to say: the standover height is damn high. Some people also just don't like coaster brakes. This was one of those moments.

  1. Reconsider the product selection. Order bikes to accommodate smaller individuals as well as those who might like hand brakes.

At the end of the day, she didn't feel comfortable riding the bike so they went on a walk together. Honestly, not a disaster at all. Nonetheless, I felt terrible so I refunded the whole enchilada and gave him a free ride voucher.

That's showbiz, baby! Next rental is booked for tonight. Actually, it might be double booked. I gotta go figure that out...

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