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San Diegans renting out bikes, surfboards to earn extra income

San Diegans renting out bikes, surfboards for extra incomes
Posted at 4:09 PM, Mar 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 22:23:42-04

POWAY, Calif. (KGTV) — With the cost of seemingly everything on the rise, some San Diegans are now renting out some recreation for extra income.

At his home in Poway, Paul Blelloch can sometimes be found prepping his bikes for rides, but he’s not the one doing the riding.

"The goal is that anyone who wants to enjoy a bike here in San Diego can experience that,” said Blelloch.

Blelloch first bought the two road bikes for his sons several years ago, but the bikes were lightly used and he decided to rent them out.

Enter the Spinlister app, the so-called Airbnb for bikes, and water and snow sports. On the app, anyone with a bike, surfboard, paddle board, or snowboard can decide on a rate and rent it out.

“Typically, I’d rent out either for a day for $40 or a few days for a hundred, or sometimes even $200 for a week,” said Blelloch.

For the lister, on a $100 rental, the app—which handles all financial transactions—claims about $15 in fees.

“Our core user on Spinlister tends to mostly be the enthusiast, the cyclist or water sports enthusiast, who wants something better or higher quality,” said Mark Gustafson, CEO of the Los Angeles-based company.

Gustafson says while rentals slumped during the pandemic with the decline in travel, rentals are now surging even surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

“In San Diego, we’re already seeing really early indicators of people booking in advance, booking months in advance and pre-planning for their trips,” said Gustafson. “We're super excited about upcoming spring and summer.”

A look at the San Diego County section brings up more than 100 listings.

Both the lister and renter are cellphone verified and credit card verified. For each rental, the lister is insured up to $1,000. For the renter, optional damage and theft insurance is available.

As for Blelloch, his plan is to keep listing both of his bikes.

“Anyone who has got bicycles sitting around the garage that doesn't want to sell them, this is a great way to bring in some extra income,” said Blelloch.

Gustafson says about 90% of renters are travelers either for work or pleasure. He says the most popular rental in the San Diego area are triathlon bikes.