Mobile bicycle rental business offers direct deliveryLocal man offers variety of biycle rentals
Belfast — Bicycle enthusiasts and casual riders alike will have even easier access to their two-wheeled vehicle of choice this summer with the introduction of a new mobile rental service that brings the bicycles to you.
Chris Gardner, a self-described bike industry fanatic, started thinking about the bike rental business and what would fit best in Belfast. He noticed there wasn’t a strong bike rental service available in the area and that's when Maine Bicycle Rental was born, but he added a twist — his business would deliver the bikes directly to the customer.
“I figured it made sense to offer delivery. Basically, the way we work is that we take reservations and deliver the bikes to your location. We’ll then pick them up at the end of the day or at the end of the rental period,” Gardner said.
Currently, Maine Bicycle Rental offers three products: a folding bike that can be easily assembled or disassembled for storage in the trunk of a car or the cabin of a boat; an electric bike powered by a lithium battery that offers power on demand and child trailers that can be attached to the bikes and carry up to 100 pounds.
“We’re also looking at adding some trailer bikes that attach to the bike and sort of transform it into a tandem bike. That would be more for kids between the ages of six and 10,” Gardner said. “The child trailers are really great for kids up to five years old.”
At the moment, Gardner’s business is strictly mobile, but he does plan to set up a small kiosk on Main Street across from Rollie’s Bar and Grill. The kiosk will make information available about the rentals as well as allow customers to rent or reserve the bikes.
Gardner said his business will be seasonal with most of his business coming during July and August, but he does have plans to expand if demand is high enough.
“We started Memorial Day weekend and I was really happy with the business we got right away. I think from the customers point-of-view the delivery service is a huge plus,” he said.
Maine Bicycle Rental offers delivery service to residents within a 15-mile radius of Belfast, which includes Bayside, Lincolnville, Northport, Searsport and Stockton Springs. Gardner said because the business is seasonal at the moment it makes more sense to remain mobile versus leasing a space year round.
As the business grows, Gardner hopes to be able to offer more services and continue expanding the coverage area for service.
“We have a web site and we’re working on building that out so that you can make reservations online. I also would like to produce more ride maps, so people know where to go,” Gardner said.
The possibility of offering guided bicycle tours, especially with the electric bicycles, is definitely an option Gardner would like to explore in the future.
“I haven’t gotten any requests yet for guided tours, but that is something that is definitely an option for growth,” he said.
Maine Bicycle Rental is open seven days a week and deliveries are available between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. but Gardner said the hours are fairly flexible. A helmet and bicycle lock are provided with all rentals.
For more information about Maine Bicycle Rental go to www.mainebicyclerental.com or look for Gardner’s kiosk on sunny days across from Rollie’s Bar and Grill.
Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at email@example.com.