FAQ FOR RIDERS

Getting a bike

+ How do I rent a bike on Cycle.land?

Renting a bike on Cycle.land is quick and easy. You can start browsing our bikes straight away, but in order to complete a rental agreement, you must sign up to Cycle.land. You can do this by entering your details manually or linking to your Facebook account. Once you have an account, you will be able to send requests to sharers, agree to rental arrangements and finalise payment.

+ I need a bike today/urgently. How do I get one?

The best way to secure a bike quickly is to make more than one request. This is will increase your chances of a response. We recommend that you identify 3 to 5 bikes that you like (even more if you have the time), contact the owners and go with whomever replies first.

Be patient! Remember that for a lot of our users this will not be their day job and they may be at work, travelling or doing who knows what! We advise our sharers to respond as soon as possible and so it is our hope that you will be able to finalise your rental arrangement within a few hours of placing a request.

+ Can I request more than one bike?

Yes, in fact, we encourage this. This will increase your chances of getting a bike quickly.

+ What if a bike sharer does not respond?

We encourage our bike sharers to check for bike requests frequently. We do realise that things come up and that sharers might be caught up in other things from time to time or may not have access to wifi. For this reason, if you don't hear back from a sharer within a few hours and you want to finalise rental arrangements ASAP, it might be a good idea to send out multiple requests to different sharers.

+ What if I can't find the bike I want?

You are into cycling as much as we are! We get that! We also understand that sometimes you may be looking for a specific ride for a specific activity. If you can't find the bike you already know you want, contact us and we will go on a quest with you.

+ What if I have a disability?

We have you covered! Charlotte's Tandems lists on our website. They are a free service for people with special needs and disabilities. You can find all of their listings on our website by location. They have tandems and tag-along bikes all over the UK. To hire one please go to CharlottesTandems.co.uk and fill out the Contact Form and they will get back in touch with you.

+ Can I rent several times in a row?

Absolutely! Come back to us as many times as you want. We will always be here for you. Just make sure to always follow the same process: once you have identified the bike you want, always contact the sharer to check on availability and rental details.


Making a profile

+ What do I say about myself on my profile?

Your profile is your chance to tell the bike sharer a little bit about you, what motivated you to use Cycle.land and why you think you are a reliable and trustworthy rider. Sharing openly, honestly and respectifully will make your request stand out to the owner and make them more likely to entrust their bike to you.

+ Do I have to upload a picture of myself?

You don't have to upload a picture of yourself, but we strongly recommend that you do. We live in a world where visuals are important; and though here at Cycle.land, we are not a superficial culture, we do like to get to know our members. And let's face it, pictures make our website look nice and colourful!


Preparing to ride

+ How do I make sure to rent a bike in good condition?

We recommend that you check the conditions of your rental bike before you start riding it. This includes checking the brakes, lights, tyre pressure, chain, etc. If there are any problems with the bike, contact the sharer straight away (we will help too if they are not available). The Oxfordshire Council also provides tips for Safety Checks.

+ Do I need to bring my own lock, helmet, lights, etc?

If you have your own, yes, why not! Some sharers may also provide extras with their bikes. If this is not specified in their listing, you can always write to them and ask. If they cannot provide these extras, you can fulfil all of your cycling needs in any of Oxford's many bike shops, for example Walton Street Cycles and their sister company Bainton Bikes. Along with their bikes, they also offer a variety of lights, locks, helmets, and other useful cycling accessories!


The Rental Process

+ How do I get in touch with the owner?

You can always get in touch with the sharer through our messaging system online. Once you are logged into your account, find the sharer's profile and click on the 'Contact' button.

Sharers may decide to give you an alternative form of contact, this is up to you and them and we always recommend our community members to be cautious about providing personal information to others.

+ How do I find the bike?

You should ask the sharer to give you as much detailed information as possible about the location of the bike and about any distinctive features. You can also ask them to send you photos or a pinned map of the location. If you are meeting the sharer in person, you can ask for a specific postcode.

+ Where is it safe to meet the sharer to handover the bike?

We strongly advise our members to use common sense when it comes to meeting for handovers. Why not ask a friend to come along for a ride? Or if you want to ride solo on this, let someone know where you are going and give them the details of who you are planning to meet.

If you are uncomfortable with meeting the sharer in person, you can always ask if they can provide a lock with a code they can give you, and then just agree on a location to pick up and drop off the bike.

+ Do I have insurance with Cycle.land when I rent?

At the moment, neither Cycle.land nor the sharer can provide you with insurance for the rental. Any damages, loss or accidents incurred while you are renting the bike are your responsibility. Before you complete a rental request, we will ask you to sign a Rental Agreement where you must agree to the terms and conditions before finalising payment.

+ Where can I leave the bike while I am not using it?

Sadly for us bike lovers, cycle theft is a common foe. You are guaranteed to reduce the risk of this happening if you always lock the bike to a solid unmoving object and if you avoid leaving it in desolate areas overnight or for long periods of time.

+ Can someone other than me ride the bike while I am renting it?

Technically, this is possible, though we do not advise it. As per your agreement at the time of booking, you will be responsible for looking after the sharer's bike. Therefore, anything that happens to the bike while it is rented under your name will be your responsibility and - let's face it - no one wants to be the fall gal or guy for something they did not do.

+ How long can I rent a bike for?

This is up to you and the sharer to decide. If the sharer cannot rent their bike for the full period you are requiring it for, request a bike from another sharer for the remainder of your request period.

+ Can I extend or modify a rental?

Once the rental period has been agreed and accepted by the sharer, your account will be debited. After this, if you wish to modify your rental (for example, you want to book the bike for 1 day instead of 3), you will need to get in touch with the sharer directly and discuss this. They will be under no obligation to accept this, as you have a previous agreement. It will be up to the two of you to reach a consensus.

If you want to extend the rental period, then follow the normal renting process on our website: get in touch with the sharer, ask them if the bike is available beyond the originally agreed dates and proceed to a normal booking.

+ Can I return the bike if I don't like it??

So it was love at first sight on our platform and you found the exact bike you wanted. However, now that you are seeing it in the flesh, so to speak, you are not as happy with your choice anymore. That's O.K., it's like when you buy a pair of shoes online that doesn't fit. In this case, your first point of action should be to contact the sharer. Get in touch with them and explain why you'd like to return the bike. If it is for any other reason than because there is a problem with it or there is misrepresentation of the bike in their listing, they are under no obligation to refund you (unless they want to). If you cannot reach the sharer or you are unable to reach an agreement with them, let us know.

+ Can I cancel a booking?

Life happens, we get it. Any booking can be cancelled by you or the sharer until noon for rentals starting the next morning, and until midnight for rentals starting the next afternoon or evening. If a rental is cancelled during the appropriate timeframe or through negligence from the sharer, you will be reimbursed 100% of the payment.

  • If you are the one who needs to cancel, let the sharer know as soon as possible so they can offer their bike to someone else. Only by getting in touch with them and cancelling will both they and us be able to arrange your reimbursement. If you cancel once the rental period has started, you will not be reimbursed, even though the sharer will be able to offer the bike to someone else.
  • If the sharer cancels on you before the rental period starts, they will arrange your reimbursement. If they cancel once the rental period has started or the bike is not where they said it would be for you to pick up, they will still be the first person you should contact for reimbursement. If there are any further problems, get in touch with us and write a review about the sharer and your experience on their profile.

+ Are there any cycling rules that I should be aware of?

We have general recommendations for keeping our members safe while cycling. Here they are:

  • Treat the bike you rent as if it were a dear friend’s - because in our world, it is!
  • Always lock it to a solid, unmoving object.
  • Avoid leaving it overnight in dark, remote or known unsafe areas.
  • Cycle assertively, joyfully and with prudence. Look around you!
  • Respect road signs. You may be fined £30 if you skip red lights.
  • Use lights when dark, white (front) and red (back). You may be fined £30 if you don’t have them.
  • Be aware of the driver’s blind spot when passing lorries and buses.
  • Wait in front of other vehicles at traffic lights.
  • Stay a door’s length away from parked cars, you never know when someone might open a door.
  • Signal visibly and appropriately when you turn.

In addition, the UK government also provides some rules that we recommend you familiarise yourself with, particularly if you are new to Oxford/the UK.

+ Can I contact Cycle.land during the bike rental?

Absolutely. Contact us anytime, for anything (but perhaps see if your query is already answered in our FAQ first).

+ What if I return the bike late?

If you know in advance that you will not be able to return the bike by the time agreed with the sharer, we recommend that you let them know as soon as possible. Be thoughtful. The sharer might be needing to get on the bike to return home that day or have it lined up for someone else to rent. If you return the bike late without any notice to the sharer, think about sending an apology message and smoothing things over with them.


Bike sharing Economy

+ Do I need a Paypal account to pay through Paypal?

Not at all. You can pay via credit or debit.

+ Do I have to pay with Paypal? Can I pay with cash, cheque, goats, unicorns, etc.?

No, unicorns are not an acceptable currency (yet)! We have set up PayPal as our only payment method to guarantee the safety of all our community members, as we can verify and track transactions in this way.

+ How does the PayPal payment flow work?

Want to know a little more about what happens once you make an initial request? Read on!

  1. Once the sharer posts a listing and defines a price for their bike, you can open the listing and message the sharer to enquire about the availibility of the bike. If the sharer agrees to rent the bike on the dates requested, you can add the agreed dates and click on the 'Rent' option in listing.
  2. You then review the details of the purchase and click "Checkout with PayPal". You are taken to PayPal to complete the payment.
  3. Once the payment is done, you will be shown a page that displays the transaction details. You will be told that the sharer needs to accept the transaction before the money is transferred.
  4. The sharer gets an email notification of a new transaction that needs to be accepted. If the transaction is not accepted within 3 days, the transaction is cancelled and no money is transferred. Once accepted, the money (minus PayPal's payment processing fee) is transferred to the sharer's PayPal account. You will both get a receipt of the transaction via email. Note that Cycle.land currently is not taking a transaction fee on top of PayPal's transaction fee.
  5. Now, both you and the sharer can freely discuss the handover details. When the rental is completed, you can both mark the order as completed and review each other.

+ Can I ask for a discount?

If you are renting for multiple dates or rides from the same sharer, you can ask them if they are willing to give you a discount. If you are in love with a particular bike from a specific sharer, it is up to you and the sharer to work together to find a consensus.


Troubleshooting

+ Will I be safe?

Cycling is a fun, convenient and active way of moving around, commuting and exercising. You should therefore feel perfectly safe riding a bike. We are aware that accidents can happen, but we do our best to minimise any potential risk by asking both you and the sharer to check the condition of the bike before riding it. If you are at all concerned about safety issues, don't hesitate to contact us.

+ What if the bike gets damaged while I am renting it?

As you'll remember from the Rental Agreement, any loss or damage that occurs while you are renting the bike will be on you. This means that you will be responsible for fixing any flat tyres, chains, brakes or any other issues that arise. We recommend that you pop into the Broken Spoke Co-op or any other bike shop. They will help you get the bike back to the condition you rented it in as quickly as possible.

+ Something happened and it wasn't my fault. Am I still responsible?

We are confident that most of our riders will not intentionally damage any of our bikes. However, any incident will be treated as if you were the bike owner, and that means that whether it is your fault or not, any damages that occured while the bike is rented in your name will be your responsibility.

+ What if something happens to me while I am renting a bike?

We would be devastated if anything happened to you while renting one of the bikes on Cycle.land. As we cannot insure you, we recommend that you make any arrangements necessary to make sure you are covered for any major incidents, particularly if you are a visitor.

+ Who should I contact in the event of an accident/incident?

If the incident is easily resolved (for instance if you get a flat tyre), you can take all the necessary steps to fix the issue. If the bike gets stolen, your first move will be to contact the police who will issue you with a report. You should then communicate this to the sharer and to us and we will endeavour to assist you further.

+ What sort of help is available in the event of an accident?

This will depend on the nature of the incident. If the bike is damaged while you are riding it or you get a flat tyre, we recommend to our members that they take the bike to repair as soon as possible. One of our partners is the Broken Spoke Bike Co-op, so you may take it there, though this is not a requirement. Do bare in mind that you will always be responsible for the cost of any repair.

+ What if the bike is stolen?

If the bike is stolen while you are renting it, we strongly encourage you to report it to the police straight away. They will issue you with a report which you will then need to give the bike sharer. As the bike is treated like it is your own while you rent it, the issue will be handled accordingly and you will be held responsible by the sharer.


Feedback and reviews

+ Why do I need to write a review?

Reviews are one of the cornerstones of our community. They keep our members honest, friendly and engaged. By writing a review, you will be helping other members make informed decisions about renting bikes on Cycle.land. When writing a review, think about the details about your experience: Did the bike owner respond quickly to your request? Did they offer any additional help or advice about cycling in your city? Did they do something extra special for you (i.e. lend you their helmet or leave you a water bottle in the basket)?

+ Can I delete a review?

Reviews keep our community honest, friendly and engaged. Once a rental period has ended both parties will have a chance to review the experience. Once a review is posted, it can be seem by all community members and cannot be deleted through your personal account. If you have any concerns about a review you have received, let us know.

+ Can I reply to a review?

Reviews are currently set up as a feedback feature on our platform. After the rental period is over, both parties will have a chance to have their voices heard and talk about their experiences from their point of view only. If you would like to respond to the rider's review, you can reach out to them directly through the contact link on their profile.