UberXL for Bailout? - CycleBlaze

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UberXL for Bailout?

John Pescatore

My wife and I will be driving down to Venice FL to stay with friends in January, much biking planned. I'm going to then bike from Venice to Jacksonsville and take Amtrak back to Washington DC while my wife visits other friends around FL. 

If the weather in DC cooperates, I will just bike home from there. I'm trying to make sure I have some alternatives if the weather does not cooperate - my usual alternative is my wife, who of course won't be around, and some of my other bailout friends will actually be down there with her.

Looks like UberPedal ($5 upcharge for Uber cars with a bike rack) doesn't exist anymore. I'm thinking I can try UberXL and then once someone takes my ride I can call and say "I have a bike" and see what happens. Anyone had good/bad experience doing that?

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5 months ago
Susan CarpenterTo John Pescatore

I had Lyft bail me out one time while on an ACA tour. I requested a van, told the driver we had bikes, and he was very  accommodating. We had to take off the front wheels off but were able to fit 2 bikes, 2 sets of rear panniers and 2 riders in the van - along with the driver.  Another couple in the group had a similar experience with Uber.  

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5 months ago
John PescatoreTo Susan Carpenter

Thanks, Susan - I will keep UberXL as my backup, maybe will load the Lyft app, too.

I'm trying to enable another option: back in 2011, to much fanfare, a fancy "Bike Transit Center" was built outside Union Station. It is a small but very elegant looking structure, with indoor bike racks, lockers, changing rooms, etc. You can pay by the year or use day passes. I figured  if worse came to worse weather-wise I could leave my bike there and come back and get my bike when the weather cleared.

Another bonus: I could leave my cold weather clothing there vs. having to carry it across Florida...

However, turns out the contractor running the facility went bankrupt and the website is dead. I contacted the DC government bike coordinator, and he has given me an access fob to the location but then promptly went on holiday vacation before he could enable my access.  Will be cutting it close before we leave for Florida, will see.

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5 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo John Pescatore

Hi John, 

I've never put my bike on Uber or Lyft, so take what I have to say for what it's worth.

I'm kind of cheap, so whenever I rent a car I go with one of the smallest cars available.  Once I remove both wheels, I have yet to find a car that I can't somehow squeeze my bike into.  At the end of my New Orleans to Lake Superior tour, my brother picked me up in a tiny little Toyota.  We fit it inside.  Once, I even convinced a cop, despite his skepticism, that I could break my bike down to fit inside the huge trunk of his cop car.  (It fit easily and he drove me home.  It was a long time ago, I was young, I was biking home from a bar. Please don't ask any more questions.) 

So, if you have your bike broken down as small as you can make it when the Uber driver arrives, and you have a piece of plastic to protect his upholstery, it would take a real jerk of a driver to say he won't take it on board.

Having said that, if you have a recumbent or a trike or a pennyfarthing, all bets are off. 

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5 months ago