Bikes to Borrow was created for selfish reasons. Access to bikes where and when needed. We read about bike sharing and didn't want to wait. We wanted great bikes for us and our friends, if they visited or competed like we had in the past. We wanted more cyclists in DC, supporting efficient travel in a tiny town. Less than an hour to get from one side of town to the other by bike. Never did we think there would be so many like minded people in the area.
20 years ago it became obvious that all able bodied Washingtonians should / would be riding bikes as transport & entertainment since the city was a certain size, never to get larger. The population density necessitated it, no matter what added trains, lanes or car sharing / pooling developed. Cost of living and lack of income parity mixed in the metro area shifted the lifestyle choices from house, car & maybe kids, to shared housing, two wheeling, college debt carrying citizens making ends meet. Create a job or form a career from disparate activities. Millennial satisfaction. Hipster happiness.
Did not realize that our tastes were appreciated until we added good road bikes for rent in 2008. All anyone wants is to have the right bike for the job. We thought the same thing. So, we added levels of road bike for the competitive racer. Cargo bikes for our family that we were creating.
Skilled cyclists know of the things we offer. They know because they are the ones that found us through the DC bike shop network, which only deals with retail and repair. Rentals are left to rental businesses in this metropolis. We started by catering to these cyclists. They are as demanding as we are.
Novice bikers call themselves bikers without thinking of leather clad Harley lovers. Details of bicycle types appear subtle. Pedals and component groups don't readily show their features. 2 hours on a bike versus 5 hours nonstop are things only less than 1% know about. Less than 1% of the USA bike commutes or competes and therefore knows very little about our two wheeled world. Hybrid bikes usually cover all of their needs. A road bike for them is like a Ferrari or Lambo for a car commuter or racing rookie.
Like many things we start out with, as our experience expands, the faster we get over the learning curve. The subtleties become obvious and the upgrades make sense. And the passion kicks in converting you to an actual skilled cyclist.