We have seen a big jump in the amount of road bike rentals. We didn't see this last year, so could it be better advertisement, word of mouth, or better weather? We are seeing people who are riding road bikes for the first time and seasoned veterans. Repeat customers are definitely a sizable unexpected presence. Group rides, which we have also seen an uptick, are gateway activities to long term riding.
In Washington, DC, a bike is the best way to this small town all year round. Well, maybe not last winter when we saw more single digit temperatures than I can remember. The density of bike commuters is astounding and must have something to do with the decreasing average age of the citizenry. The self employed population may also appreciate the freedom of the bike.
However, even though the NYTimes penned that cargo bikes are the new family vehicle, it doesn't seem to have caught on in the nation's capital. We have yet to rent ours once a month. We even have a leather seated vinyl canopy from Europe on ours. We try to advertise it, but its a bike that needs to be ridden to be advertised. So its a chicken and egg scenario.