An old friend of mine (the guy I used to rent bikes from in the early days and also the guy who introduced me to Mt. Bouquet, which I’m not sure is a positive thing at all) is launching a new website and business very soon and Vicious Cycle readers are going to be the first to hear about it…assuming you keep reading of course.
Doug Stoddart owned that bike shop near Uzès for years, but he’s a geek at heart and what he really wanted to do was to work on code and make something useful for his industry. This led to him to eventually sell the shop and start Bike Rental Manager, software for bike rental shops to help them save time on bookings and manage inventory more efficiently.
Doug has had good success with BRM and now has 350 shops all over the world using it, but he obviously felt that something was missing, so he, along with a growing management team, decided to launch Bike.rent.
As you can see from the site, it’s not quite live yet. Doug and the gang are looking for investors. However, a glance at his CrowdCube page tells me that he’s basically reached his funding goal, so I imagine that the hard work will begin soon.
The concept of Bike.rent is pretty simple: it’s a platform like Interflora, except it’ll be bikes and not flowers. Bike.rent will connect independent bike rental shops with the consumer, allowing you to rent a bike from, say, Mallorca, directly from the app/site instead of the shop directly. Simple idea, not so simple coding!
Note: if you are a resident of the UK, you can win a Canyon bike by clicking on that Enter Now button at the top of the home page. I’m not sure what you need to do in order to do this because I was rejected mercilessly when I clicked on it.
Anyway, good luck Doug. Anything that makes the increasingly-complicated process of bike renting easier is good news for this tour operator.