So: you’re from out of town and need to get around. You could rent a car. Roughly $40 a day plus gas. You could take the bus. Roughly $2.50 a trip. You could walk. This takes time you may or may not have. For easy getting-round in a strange town, few might opt to rent a bike – most bike rental places aim to provide recreation rather than transit and charge rates comparable to a car rental. One could likely find a used bike on craigslist and abandon it for less!
The University of Victoria – or, more accurately a group of dedicated volunteer students called SPOKES at the University of Victoria – provides an amazing $3/day rental service. Sure, the bikes aren’t fancy disc-brake, carbon-fibre frames with shocks. More well-loved, refurbished bikes. For myself? A well-maintained OPEC-crisis (’70s-’80s) road bike with down-tube shifters and toe clips made for a fun ride covering the 6 miles separating my downtown hotel and the conference at the university in the same time transit takes – and cheaper. Bonus? The joy of coffee-fueled exercise.
Thank you, SPOKES! Here’s hoping the university continues to support your fine work.